• Jesuit Conspirators and Russia’s East Asian Fur Trade, 1791–1807

    Author(s):
    Gregory Afinogenov (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Subject(s):
    Russian history, Transnational history, Jesuits, Imperial China
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    conspiracy, espionage, Russian Empire
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6Q00N
    Abstract:
    In 1791, amidst growing anxiety about British encroachment on its fur trade with the Qing Empire, the Russian government discovered that Britain was sending a large and important embassy to Beijing, led by Lord Macartney. In an attempt to derail the negotiations, Russia enrolled the Polotsk Jesuits in a plot to convince the Qing of the nefariousness of British designs. The conspiracy was not a success, despite Macartney’s failure. The Jesuits both in Belarus and Beijing continued to play a central role in Russia’s geopolitical plans in the region for the next decade and a half, although ultimately the project to establish a Russian Jesuit college in the Qing capital failed. Using Russian as well as Jesuit archival sources, the article reconstructs the secret plans, mishaps, and miscalculations that shaped this unusual relationship.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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