Essay on Imperialism in Southeast Asia

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Imperialism in Southeast Asia

A. In the late 1400s & early 1500s, European traders explored the East Indies 1. In the seaports of these islands & on the nearby mainland a) Portuguese & Dutch merchants enjoyed a rich & active trade until the early 1800s. B. In the 1800s and early 1900s, European imperialism made its way to Southeast Asia as it did to nearby India & China 1. The area became an important source not only of spices but also of the world's tea 2. Later valuable products such as tin and oil came from this area
BRITISH SUCCESSES A. It was natural that the British should take an interest in the kingdom of Burma, on the eastern border of India 1. By 1886 all of Burma had come under British control B.
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The British on the Malay Peninsula & the French in Indochina nibbled at the borders of Siam a) To maintain their independence, Siamese rulers skillfully maneuvered British interests again French interests 2. The British & French finally agreed that an independent Siam was a useful buffer state between their possessions a) A buffer state, located between hostile powers, is a small country that serves to decrease the possiblity of conflict betweeb them
THE DUTCH EAST INDIES A. The Dutch East India Company, formed in 1602 to protect Dutch trading interests in the Indian Ocean, succeeded for many years 1. By the late 1700s, however, it had become corrupt & inefficient 2. In 1799 the govt of the Netherlands revoked the company's charter & took over the administration of the Netherlands East Indies 3. By the late 1800s, several revolts convinced the govt of the Netherlands to make basic reforms in the administration of its richest imperial possession
INTEREST IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS A. Only a few of the islands & island groups in the Pacific were economically attractive to imperialist powers 1. Europeans were at first interested in acquiring valuable raw materials, such as sandalwood or pearl shell, from the islands a) Some of the areas had fertile soil that could support rich plantations b) other islands had minerals to be mined B. Imperialism in most of the Pacific