Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Idealism, Imperialism, and Internationalism: Opium Politics in the Colonial Philippines, 1898–1925


While establishing a framework for colonial governance in the Philippines, American policymakers had to confront the issue of opium smoking, which was especially popular among the Philippine Chinese community. In 1903, the Philippine Commission proposed a return to the Spanish-era policy of controlling the opium trade through tax farming, igniting outrage among American Protestant missionaries in the Philippines and their supporters in the United States. Their actions revived a faltering global anti-opium movement, leading to a series of international agreements and domestic restrictions on opium and other drugs. Focusing mostly on American policy in the Philippines, this paper also examines the international ramifications of a changing drug control regime. It seeks to incorporate the debate over opium policy into broader narratives of imperial ideology, international cooperation, and local responses to colonial rule, demonstrating how a variety of actors shaped the new drug-control regimes both in the Philippines and internationally.

Corresponding author
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Hakiem Nankoe , Jean-Claude Gerlus and Martin J. Murray , ‘The Origins of the Opium Trade and the Opium Regie in Colonial Indochina’, in John Butcher and Howard Dick (eds), The Rise and Fall of Revenue Farming: Business Elites and the Emergence of the Modern State in Southeast Asia (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993), pp. 182195

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Modern Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0026-749X
  • EISSN: 1469-8099
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-asian-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 44 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 228 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.