Imperialism in Southeast Asia

996 Words4 Pages
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. The island of Singapore, on the tip of the Malay Peninsula, guards the entrance to the Strait of Malacca --- one of the most vital trade routes in the world 1. Britain's first recorded contact w/ Singapore was by representative of the East India Company a) In 1819 a company ship landed at Singapore 1) Informed that there were only a few residents & no Dutch among them, the company decided to purchase land for a factory site a. It created a city at Singapore, which became an important naval base in the British Empire FRENCH GAINS A. The eastern part of the mainland of Southeast Asia contained several small nations that struggled w/ internal instability & were at times also under the influence of Siam 1. In the late 1800s, French imperialists, by means of assertive economic measures and military intervention, laid claims to the area, & the French became the dominant power in what became known as French Indochina a) The original 3 nations eventually regained the... ... middle of paper ..., American forces also occupies Guam, which was a small Spanish- held island east of the Philippines C. Some Filipinos welcomed the Americans & even fought w/ them against the Spaniards 1. Most of the local population had suffered under Spanish rule for centuries 2. Yet many saw little advantage in changing one foreign master for another a) Led by Emilio Aguinaldo, Filipino locals fought for independence for 3 years against American troops b) The Filipinos used guerilla warfare against the better-equipped US army but were finally defeated in 1901 1) Besides acquiring the Philipine Islands and Guam, the US also took possession of Wake Island in the central Pacific a. Thus the US acquired another link in a chain of island possessions running from its west coast across the vast distances of the Pacific Ocean all the way to East Asia.
Open Document