Host: Christopher Rose, Department of History
Guest: Julia Gossard, Department of History, Utah State University
In the 17th and 18th centuries, France had its eyes on creating a worldwide trading empire. French merchant families began sending young men–teenagers by modern definitions–to the Ottoman Empire, India, and Southeast Asia, where they were expected to learn local languages and trading customs, while representing French values and serving as the vanguard of French imperialism. However, things didn’t always go according to plan.
Guest Julia Gossard shares her research into the fascinating world of child ambassadors who were expected to live in two worlds and create lasting relationships between France and a global network of allies.