Government and Nationalism in Southeast Asia

By Rupert Emerson; Lennox A. Mills et al. | Go to book overview

I. INTRODUCTION: COMPARATIVE NATIONALISMS

The striking similarity displayed by the nationalist movements throughout southeast Asia, allowing for variations in intensity and timing, derives from their common inspiration in Western ideology and their largely identical economic bases. Of these two largely alien forces, the former has guided the intellectuals who lead the movements in their respective countries; the latter has supplied the driving power from the masses. Yet one must not think that these nationalist movements have the support of more than a very small fraction of the native peoples, who for the most part are not aware that the question of autonomy even exists, and whose 'major concern is simply survival. Native nationalists probably number no more than a few hundred thousand in Java and the Philippines, and less than a quarter of that number in Thailand (Siam), Burma, Indo-China and Malaya. Nevertheless, foreigners by their very presence have accentuated a sense of apartness from themselves and have even created a sense of unity among native peoples. This has been strengthened indirectly by the development of a system of communications, and more directly by an increasingly widespread system of education, which automatically disseminates Western concepts of nationalism and democracy. Nationalism has run ahead of reforms granted by the authorities. The increasing concessions, fairly grudgingly made, no longer keep pace with the demand; and because even these concessions represent a compromise, they are essentially dangerous to the governing power.

The East India Companies of Holland, Great Britain and France were born of the same l7th-century mercantilist doctrines. They aimed to establish trading posts along Oriental sea lanes where Eastern goods could be exchanged for European gold. Recurrent warfare in Europe periodically interfered with this program by cutting off these outposts from both the bullion and the provisions required for their commerce and even for their survival. Commercial competition among these European rivals often developed into open warfare, either as a result of local disputes or, more frequently, as a repercussion of con-

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Government and Nationalism in Southeast Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Institute of Pacific Relations iv
  • Title Page v
  • Foreward vii
  • Editorial Note xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Part I - Introduction 1
  • Part II - The Governments of Southeast Asia 37
  • Author's Note 38
  • 1. Introduction 39
  • Ii. the Philippines 53
  • Iii. Burma 70
  • Iv. British Malaya 78
  • V. Hongkong 92
  • Vi. the Netherlands Indies 97
  • Vii. French Indo-China 107
  • Viii. Taiwan 113
  • Ix. Thailand 118
  • Part III - Nationalism and Nationalist Movements in Southeast Asia 125
  • I. Introduction: Comparative Nationalisms 127
  • Ii. the Philippines 145
  • Iii. Burma 159
  • Iv. British Malaya 169
  • V. the Netherlands Indies 182
  • Vi. French Indo-China 198
  • Vii. Thailand 211
  • Index 223
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