The Oxford History of the British Empire - Vol. 3

By William Roger Louis; Andrew Porter et al. | Go to book overview

17
British Expansion and Rule in South-East Asia

A. J. STOCKWELL

British expansion in South-East Asia was shaped by the well-being of India, opportunities in China, and international, particularly Anglo-French, rivalry. When British authorities in Calcutta or in London sanctioned a forward policy here, it was usually in order to prevent another power from controlling a vital sea lane or threatening a sensitive frontier. Nevertheless, considerations of global strategy were frequently reinforced by prospects of profit from South-East Asia itself. From the late eighteenth century British commerce in South-East Asia became enmeshed with British commerce in India; from the late nineteenth century the development of agriculture and mining tied South-East Asian economies more closely to industrial and finance capitalism in Britain.

While business interests were not always in tune with high policy, zealous merchants and headstrong men on the spot frequently got their way in spreading British influence further than their masters might have wished. Often they took advantage of the lack of Imperial supervision; sometimes they seized chances thrown up by crises in indigenous societies. The British frequently achieved their objectives merely by rattling the sabre but, provided that intervention had been authorized, in times of trouble they could draw reinforcements from the Indian Army and Royal Navy which underpinned British power and prestige in South-East Asia.

Yet the exercise of Imperial power and the extent of colonial control were limited. Mismanagement, disease, and jungle impeded military expeditions; pirates eluded British warships in the mangroves while rebels took to the forests. Moreover, Asian rulers frequently succeeded in turning to their advantage the British propensity for negotiating and signing agreements for the purposes of protecting British subjects, nourishing commerce, securing frontiers, and foiling the ambitions of other powers. Indeed, British imperialism advanced by the pen as well as by the sword and its history is peppered with treaties--albeit unequal ones--concluded with South-East Asian monarchs, some of whom secured their thrones and dynasties through such arrangements and regarded them as a source of prestige.

-371-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Oxford History of the British Empire - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 780

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.