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HISTORY OF MODERN SOUTHEAST ASIA

MIDTERM STUDY GUIDE


3/1/2017

IMAGE IDENTIFICATIONS

ANGKOR WAT

 The largest religious monument in world


 Located in present-day Cambodia
 Built in 12th century Khmer empire (1113 and 1150)
 Initially built as a Hindu temple to reflect Hindu cosmology, but Buddhist elements were later
incorporated into the temple when it eventually became the dominant religion; also incorporated
indigenous animistic and mystic elements
 Led to the eventual demise of the Khmer empire due to its financial burden
 Used to legitimize power of rulers, whose idols were installed into the temple, as well as dominance of
the empire through its sheer size
 Centralized the empire’s sphere of influence (a.k.a. the center of the mandala) for 500 years; the Thais
pushed the Khmers out of Angkor in 1431

PIE OF CHINA

 The race for acquiring Chinese territories by colonial powers (Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Japan)
without regard for the indigenous peoples (e.g. the Chinese Manchu in the background) in the era of high
imperialism is analogous to the race for acquiring Southeast Asian land during the 19th and 20th centuries
o Between 1800 and 1900, most of Asia was carved up by Western powers
 The Industrial Revolution resulted in an increased demand for natural resources that many world powers
did not have in their home countries, so colonies were sought for these resources
 Why the haste? “Either imperialize or be imperialized by your neighbor” was the general attitude
 People present: Queen Victoria of England, Wilhelm II of Germany, Nicholas III of Russia, Marianne of
France, Emperor Meiji of Japan – rulers of nation-states, the new political form, Chinese Manchu official

WHITE MAN’S BURDEN

 A British man carries an African person to the local school


 Demonstrating the idea of white man’s burden, or the idea that it is the duty of Europeans/Americans to
“shoulder the responsibility” of colonizing indigenous peoples for their benefit, to “civilize” them
 Destruction of indigenous culture for the sake of progress
 The U.S.’s hesitance to annex the Philippines – McKinley’s eventual reason for doing so being a religious
one (“benevolent assimilation”)
 Rudyard’s Kipling’s poem that the term comes from is one that encourages the U.S. to annex the
Philippines and become the world colonial power that it should be
TERMS

MAINLAND SOUTHEAST A SIA

 States: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar/Burma, Thailand, Vietnam


 Religion: Theravada Buddhism is the dominant religion in the former four, Mahayana Buddhism is
dominant in Vietnam
 Terrain: mountainous, north-south rivers, river-valley civilizations
 Hill-valley people distinction

INSULAR SOUTHEAST ASIA

 States: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Timor Leste (East Timor)
 Religion: Islam is the dominant religion today (dominated Malaysia and Indonesia by 1650), Christianity in
the Philippines
 Terrain: thousands of islands (Indonesia – 17,000; Philippines – 7,000), tropical
o Major islands: Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi, western half of New Guinea, Maluku Isl.
 Settled vs. nomadic people distinction

INDIANIZATION

 Influences brought by Indian Brahmans, who impacted elite culture and state structure
 These influences were brought by trading routes, first overland through Burma and then through Indian
Ocean trade
o Burmese – first to convert to Buddhism
 Monsoon winds meant that Indian traders would stay at Southeast Asian ports for long periods of time, so
they were able to talk about laws, government and transmit their culture in a very organic manner
 Hinduism was brought and influenced ancient kingdoms, later surpassed by Theravada Buddhism which
also came from India
o Only island where Hinduism is still the dominant religion today = Bali
 Indian Ocean trade increases interest in SE Asia

SINICIZATION

 Influences brought by Chinese refugees that largely went to the Red River Delta (present-day Vietnam),
began in first century C.E.
 Commerce also catalyzed this cultural diffusion
 Earliest influences included Chinese classics, Confucian ethical principles, and Chinese ideographs (writing
style)
 The prevalence of Mahayana Buddhism at the start of 5th century C.E.
 Confucian values and civil service examination spread in Vietnam
 “Love-hate” relationship between China and Vietnam – dominance for a millennium, first 1000 years C.E.
 Later migration of Chinese during colonial period also increased Chinese influences

SPREAD OF ISLAM

 Spread by Muslim merchants from India in the 13th century


 Syncretic adaptations
 Spread aided by increase in interest in Asian goods due to the Crusades
 Merchants encouraged conversions by offering better trade terms to Muslims
 The first Muslim state in SE Asia was the Malacca Sultanate, founded 1401, which became a center of
Muslim learning

MALACCA SULTANATE

 First Muslim state in SE Asia, founded in 1401


 Ideally located to control commerce through Malacca Strait, and ends up flourishing as a major
international trading port
o Emerges as a center for Islamic learning, and became a spot for cultural, religious, and
intellectual exchange
o Economically successful
 Tributary relations with China and Thais are established
o Protected by Chinese military due to these relations
 Invaded by the Portuguese in 1511, and remain under their governance until the VOC (Dutch) takes over
in 1641 and remain under control for almost two centuries

MANDALAS

 Sanskrit for ‘circle’


 Primary political structure of ancient SE Asian kingdoms circa. 0 – 1000 CE, after that temples and
infrastructure aid in the practice of defining geographic borders
 Circles of influence where the center is the location of most influence but is subject to change
o Early on, the center would shift constantly
o Unstable, shifting loyalties for tribes that are on edges of circle
 Often, it would be difficult to tell which tribes were loyal to which kingdoms if they were in the middle of
two intersecting mandalas
 Khmer and Champa are examples of mandala kingdoms

INDIAN OCEAN TRADE

 Flourished around 1000-1200, declined due to Mongol presence, and then re-emerged in the 1400s
 Monsoon winds (a.k.a. “trade winds”) were so easy to predict that you could predict the exact day to
leave
 Many middlemen meant huge price inflation by the time goods reached Europe, which meant that
initially, only the elite could afford certain goods
o But for Asians, prices were still cheap so it was very cosmopolitan
 Trade remained successful without safety concerns for 700 years
o More efficient, cheaper, safer than overland trade, since there were less bandits and it took less
time to travel via water, and you could transport a large amount of cargo on one boat
 Controlled by merchants, not kings
 Major commodities of SE Asia: nutmeg, mace, cloves, pepper (all have medicinal properties)
o Other key commodities globally: gold, silver
o Most items traded in SE Asia were bulk foods, but spices garnered the greatest profits
 Southeast Asian “junk” vessels – made of Javanese wood
o At first constructed w/o nails, but nail use increased over time
o Grew smaller after the arrival of European ships (a defense tactic)
 Navigation: used Chinese compass, and often just followed the shoreline of the literal thousands of
islands in the region
 Shipboard organization: the boat owner likened to king with the sailors as the subjects, with the exception
of the captain who acted as a spiritual leader
o People could even be killed if they disobeyed the king’s orders
o Women were more frequent passengers on SE Asian boats, both as companions and worked
o Most workers were unpaid and made profits from trade
o Slaves on ship performed the most undesirable jobs  they were often acquired through a
change in power, indentured servitude, or becoming prisoners
 Voyages of Zheng He (1405-1423)
o Chinese Muslim explorer and eunuch
o Eventually, his expeditions were defunded because his voyages were not that profitable (very
novel, giraffe!, but not paying the bills) and the Ming dynasty had to focus on the very real
Mongol threat  money used for expansion of Great Wall
o Larger ships: 400 ft long (this is debated), 500 passengers, lots of cargo, defended by garrisons
 Significant decline after the 17th century due to European dominance

SPICE ISLANDS

 Major exports: nutmeg, cloves, pepper, mace


 Traded prior to the VOC, in silk roads and Indian Ocean Trade
 Major reason for interest in the region by global powers
 Also known as the Maluku islands, in between Sulawesi (although sometimes that is also considered to be
a spice island) and Iran Jaya
 When the VOC take control of the archipelago, they force a monopoly by burning crops that weren’t
under their direct control or spraying lime to render the plant infertile

FRENCH INDOCHINA

 Example of direct rule, in which officials from home country are in charge
 Civilizing mission – a form of Kipling’s white man burden
o More of a façade than actuality, ended up becoming economic exploitation
 Sequence of French expansion
o 1863: Cambodia becomes a French colony
o 1867: Southern part of Vietnam (Chochinchina) – capital only actual colony (the others are
protectorates
o 1883: Northern part (Tonkin) and Central part (Annam – where the traditional seat of
Vietnamese monarchy, Hue, lies) of Vietnam is colonized
o 1887: Creation of Indochina Union
 All governed by separate officials – “Divide and conquer” strategy stifled chances of
revolt
 All separate borders and checks
o 1893: Laos becomes a French colony and part of Indochina
o Much more haphazard and violent for French, lots of differences in the way they were handled
o Never a coherent policy for Indochina
 French governors had a LOT of authority, more than the country probably wanted
 Lots of heavihandedness
 Vietnamese experiences:
o Building roads through rice fields and sacred locations – “protection” / “betterment”
o Violence (slapping, running over people on roads)
o Alcohol and salt monopolies
o Forced labor without “benefits” of slavery – had to pay for food
o Displacement of indigenous landowners
o Lottery for military draft, where the rich could pay to have smaller chances – further distinction
of rich vs. poor
 Administration of French Indochina
o French influenced by Christianity and converting peoples until 19th century
 “civilizing mission” steeped in religious thought
 Shift from Chinese bureaucrats to modernized system / Vietnamese officials
o Colony: Cochinchina – capital of Indochina, direct connections to Paris, dominated by French
o Protectorates: Cambodia, Tonkin, Annam (Vietnam)
 Laos – administered from Cochinchina, larger role for indigenous administrators
o Monarchy in Annam
 Hue: traditional set of Nyugen monarchy
 Court of Hue: parallel Vietnamese administration within Indochina gov’t
 After 1925 – power removed by French government, became ceremonial figureheads
 Criticized by some for “Mandarin mentality”
o Indigenous collaboration:
 “Francophiles” – Vietnamese officials and bureaucrats, held pro-French views
 Military: 1 European for every 3 indigenous troops
 Police: almost all indigenous, except chiefs
 Finances and Economy
o Budget: Supported by various taxes, labor, monopolies
o “Head” taxes: all indigenous people aged 18-45 had to pay yearly taxes
o Taxes granted identity cards, which had to be carried at all times
o Corvée (unpaid) labor
o Economy: monopolistic sale of three goods (opium, alcohol, salt)
 Controlled prices and supply imposed burden on indigenous people
 Education system:
o First schools were mission schools
o 1889 educational policies required teaching Romanized writing system, French
o 1919: Monarchy abandons Mandarin exams; 2-track schools established (one for French and
Vietnamese)
 Very selective – groomed very few for the public sector (can’t go on if you don’t pass
ridiculously hard final)
 Independence for all territories proclaimed in 1945 (debatable)

DUTCH EAST INDIES

 VOC, or Dutch East India Company is made to make this colony happen
 Took over Iberian colonies in 17th century, pushed out British too
 Indirect rule - left local powers alone, didn’t spend money on changing political power to them
 However, they murdered anyone that resisted and there was a lot of heavy-handedness – they would
burn crops or douse saplings in lime to make them infertile in order to maintain monopoly
 Known as “most successful business in world history”
 Near monopoly in spice trade (16th – 17th cen.)
 VOC goes out of business in 1800s, but Dutch East Indies remain
 Dutch came for strictly economic interests, unlike some of their neighbors
 Major exports: nutmeg, cloves, pepper
 Dominant for 300 years
 Connected to Spice Islands (Maluku), Malacca Strait
 Present-day Indonesia
 Later exports (1800): spices, coffee, tea, palm oil, rubber
 1949 – independence of Indonesia acquired

U.S. COLONIZATION OF THE PHILIPPINES

 U.S. came into the position of being able to annex the Philippines after winning the Spanish-American war
 After some reluctance, the U.S. took the islands in 1898
 President McKinley thought Philippines should be annexed in order to “civilize” the Filipinos and engage
in “benevolent assimilation”
 Independence movements 19th – 20th centuries
 Exports: sugar, tobacco, copra (dried and shredded coconut)
 Philippine commonwealth is proclaimed 1934

WESTERN COLONIAL ECO NOMIES

 How colonial economies under western influence work


 1) Extraction of raw resources through exploitation of colonized countries
 2) Transport raw resources back to industrialized home country and generate manufactured products
 3) Force sales of manufactured goods in colony for increased profit
 Discourage the development of industry in the colony
 SE Asian commodities in colonial period
o Rubber, tea, coffee, palm oil (insular)
o Tin, mineral extraction, oil (mainland and Borneo), sugar
 Modes of production in SE Asia
o Chinese immigrants
 Work their way up to become creditors
 More familiar with monetary economies  dominate local trade
o Indian immigrants
 British (Singapore, Borneo) territories – originally had mid-level bureaucratic jobs, move
to acquire gov’t positions
 Labor
o Corvee
o Forced labor
o Primarily paid labor
INDEPENDENT SIAM

 How did Thailand maintain its independence?


 Employed European advisors before all the shit hit the fan
 King Mongkut:
o Prevented Siam from falling under colonial rule, promoted western-style learning, maintained
unequal treaties w/ major Western powers
o Educated with Buddhist principles, but grew up around a lot of foreigners
o Extraterritorial law – tried in courts connected to home country
o Receptive, soft, diplomatic  avoid colonization
o Promoted western style learning and maintained unequal treaties with major Western powers
 King Chulalongkorn:
o Son of Mongkut, even more committed to modernization
o Prevented British from having too much power by having all countries’ foreigners in Siam
o Modernized, but not to the level of colonize countries
o Conscription army (anyone can join)
o Mandatory schooling (Western style) – how to work with and embracing new tech
 In middle of British and French territories (Burma and Indochina) – this geographical position meant that
Brit and Fr kept Thailand as a buffer state between their colonies, which helped prevent annexation by
either (plus they were already doing well)
 Today, direct descendants of the monarchy still rule Thailand! :O

SHORT ESSAYS

PROMPT 1

How was Southeast Asia connected to the rest of the world before the arrival of Europeans? In your answer, be
sure to draw upon examples from at least two different regions or kingdoms in Southeast Asia, and cite at least
two outside civilizations, peoples, or events that influenced Southeast Asia.

1. Introduction
a. Many aspects of modernization in the world today can be attributed to historical influence by
European powers. However, long before Europeans entered Southeast Asia its kingdoms and
empires had been heavily influenced by global powers and were in contact with several countries
not in their immediate vicinity. Southeast Asia was especially connected to the civilizations of
India and China, and also other countries participating in global trade to a certain extent.
2. Influences from major Asian powers
a. Indianization
i. Early mandala kingdoms (first 1000 AD) influenced: Funan, 0 – 500 AD (adopted Indian
systems, tributary w/ China), Srivijaya, 670 – 1025 AD (Indian influence after conquering
Funanese land, alternating hostility and subservience towards China), Sailendras,
Mataram, Kediri, Singhasari, Khmers (Angkor Wat!)
1. Active in global trade
ii. First imperial kingdoms
1. Majapahit 1100-1400 AD
iii. Started with traders who impressed locals with goods and culture
iv. Brahmins spread knowledge about laws, gov’t, architecture
v. Burma was link between India and SE Asia that helped spread Indian culture
1. Conquered Pyus that were extreme pacifists due to being Buddhist/Hindu,
assimilated into Burmese culture
b. Sinicization
i. Began first century CE
ii. Started with refugees from China who went to Red River Delta (today Vietnam)
iii. Earliest influences: Chinese classics, Confucian ethical principles, Chinese ideographs
iv. Start of 5th century CE: Mahayana Buddhism introduced through China
v. Chinese civil service exam in Vietnam
vi. “The Chinese Millennium” = first 1000 years CE
c. Other cultures:
i. Mongols, man!
ii. Indian Ocean Trade
1. Obviously, India as mentioned earlier, but also Middle East
2. Led to Age of Commerce 15th – 17th c.
iii. Spread of Islam
1. Spread by Muslim merchants from India in 13th century
2. Syncretic adaptations!
3. Malacca Sultanate – tributary relations with China and Thais, center of Muslim
learning, major trading hub
3. Conclusion

PROMPT 2

What major transformations occurred in Southeast Asia between the 16th and 19th centuries? This question
requires you to decide upon what the most important transformations were and how to best illustrate them using
the many examples we covered in class. In your answer, describe at least three major changes associated with this
time period.

PROMPT 3

Analyze the similarities and differences in any two of the following colonial regimes, and be sure to consider their
origins and administrative styles in your comparisons:
 Spanish colonization of the Philippines
 U.S. colonization of the Philippines
 French Indochina
 British Burma and Malaya
 Dutch East Indies

OVERVIEW

 2 image identifications – 12 points (6 each)


 12 multiple choice questions – 30 points (2.5 each)
 4 term definitions – 24 (6 each, 2 for each point)
 1 short essay – 34 points

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