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Indigenous Responses to Protestant Missionaries: Educational Competition and Economic Development in Ottoman Turkey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 May 2022

Emre Amasyali*
Affiliation:
Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals, Barcelona, Spain [eamasyali@ibei.org].
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Abstract

In recent years, a growing literature has claimed that there is a strong and consistent association between the presence of historic missionary societies outside Europe and positive long-term socio-economic outcomes. Yet, most of these studies fail to specify whether this finding is the result of missionary investment in human capital or of local actors stepping up their educational efforts in reaction to missionary activities. This article uses the example of Protestant missionary activity in Ottoman Turkey to separate these two mechanisms. The Ottoman state and the Armenian population responded to missionary incursions by modernizing and expanding their educational efforts. However, after the foundation of the Republic and of modern Turkey, most of the missionary schools were closed and the Armenian population was dramatically reduced. Using the blockage of direct effects, this study confirms the role that indirect effects or emulation has played in Ottoman Turkey. Results show that places with historically heightened competition between missionary schools and native educational institutions are more likely to have a higher income, as measured by night-time light density.

Résumé

Résumé

Ces dernières années, une littérature grandissante a montré qu’il y une association forte et cohérente entre les sociétés missionnaires historiques en dehors de l’Europe et des résultats socio-économiques positifs à long terme. Pourtant, la plupart de ces études ne précisent pas si ce constat est le résultat d’investissements missionnaires dans le capital humain ou d’acteurs locaux qui intensifient leurs efforts éducatifs en réaction aux activités missionnaires. Cet article s’appuie sur l’analyse des activités missionnaires protestantes en Turquie ottomane pour séparer les deux mécanismes. L’État ottoman et les Arméniens ont répondu aux incursions missionnaires en modernisant et en élargissant leurs efforts d’éducation. De plus, après la fondation de la République, la majorité des écoles missionnaires et de la population arménienne ont cessé d’exister dans la Turquie moderne. En utilisant le blocage des effets directs, cette étude montre le rôle des effets indirects, c’est-à-dire de l’émulation, dans la Turquie ottomane. Les résultats montrent que les endroits où la concurrence est historiquement accrue entre les écoles missionnaires et les établissements d’enseignement autochtones, sont plus susceptibles d’avoir des revenus plus élevés, tels que mesurés par la densité lumineuse nocturne.

Zusammenfassung

Zusammenfassung

In den letzten Jahren hat eine stetig wachsende Zahl von Studien einen starken und anhaltenden Zusammenhang zwischen historischen Missionsgesellschaften außerhalb Europas und positiven, langfristigen sozioökonomischen Ergebnissen festgestellt. In den meisten dieser Studien wird jedoch nicht präzise angegeben, ob dieses Ergebnis das Resultat missionarischer Investitionen in Humankapital oder verstärkter Bildungsbestrebungen lokaler Akteure als Antwort auf die Missionstätigkeit ist. Dieser Beitrag nutzt die protestantische Missionsarbeit in der osmanischen Türkei, um beide Mechanismen zu trennen. Das osmanische Reich und die Armenier reagierten auf die missionarischen Übergriffe mit einer Modernisierung und Ausweitung ihrer Bildungsbestrebungen. Mit der Gründung der Republik, d.h. in der modernen Türkei, endete die Existenz der meisten Missionsschulen und der armenischen Bevölkerung. Durch den Rückgriff auf die Blockierung direkter Effekte bestätigt diese Studie die Rolle, die indirekte Effekte oder deren Nachahmung in der osmanischen Türkei gespielt haben. Basierend auf der nächtlichen Leuchtdichte zeigen die Studienergebnisse, dass Orte, die im Laufe ihrer Geschichte einem stärkeren Wettbewerb zwischen Missionsschulen und einheimischen Bildungseinrichtungen ausgesetzt waren, eher über ein höheres Einkommen verfügen.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© European Journal of Sociology, 2022

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