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Southeast Asia in World History1

Craig A. Lockard
University of Wisconsin- Green Bay


    An old and much-loved Indonesian folk song about the Solo River in central Java related Southeast Asia's green lands to its blue waters, the past to the present, and the local people to the wider world: "Solo River, ancient your histories span. Linking present to past, linking the life of the soil and man. In the summer's heat your streams are sluggish and slow. In the rainy season's height far afield your banks overflow. Now you flow on through fertile rice fields, down to the sea at last. Here are ships of trade, and when your journey's over, sailors brave the ocean wide, seeking some far distant shore." Today, in an increasingly globalized world, institutions, ideas, ways of life, and traditions are colliding, blending, and even sometimes disappearing. But the process of mixing old and new, local and imported, began for Southeast Asians many centuries ago as the region and its peoples were connected, directly or indirectly, to other Asian peoples and to societies all over the Eastern hemisphere and, after 1500, to the Western hemisphere. The song about the Solo River reflects these encounters.

    In various writings over the past 25 years I have noted how world history texts and many academic studies on world history, not to mention History departments in North American colleges and universities, have tended to ignore Southeast Asia, especially for the centuries prior to 1800. In the Anglo-American view of world history, "Asia" has meant essentially China and India, with perhaps a brief nod to Japan. When Southeast Asia finally appeared in a few brief paragraphs in world history texts it was usually in the context of Western exploration, colonialism, nationalism, decolonization, Cold War global rivalries, and the U.S. war in Vietnam. The prevailing attitude toward Southeast Asia and its peoples seemed to be similar to that once expressed about African history by renowned British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper: "The unrewarding gyrations of barbarous tribes in picturesque but irrelevant corners of the globe."2 Even with the trend toward a more comprehensive world history in the past decade or so, only a few college-level texts offer anything like reasonable coverage of this important region.3

    How did Southeast Asia fit into world history and world history into Southeast Asian history? In this paper I identify several key themes that closely connected Southeast Asia to what Marshall Hodgson called the wider Afro-Eurasian Historical Complex4 and hence can serve as a basis on which to integrate Southeast Asia into world history as more than a sideshow of marginal importance. In contrast to strictly national or regional history, world history emphasizes all societies, the connections between them, and the larger patterns of trans-regional or global significance. To be sure, Southeast Asian historians must seek to explain the diverse and distinctive societies and cultural traditions that arose in the region, societies very different from those of other regions. Yet, many historians of Southeast Asia have also paid attention to connections, since the encounters over 2500 years with India and China, and later with the Middle East, Europe, and North America, greatly influenced Southeast Asian states, religions, arts, and economies.5 Like the Japanese, Southeast Asians borrowed ideas from others. Like Chinese, Indians, and West Africans, they supplied commodities to the world. Like Arabs, Indians, and Chinese, they transported trade goods around vast ocean basins. It may be possible to write the history of Japan or of southern Africa or perhaps, some might argue, even of China before 1500 without paying very much attention to the links with other world regions, but it is not possible for Southeast Asia. Among the major concepts relevant to connecting Southeast Asia to world history are: borrowing and adaptation, migration and mixing, the diffusion of religions, maritime trade, the expansion of Dar al-Islam, Western expansion and colonialism, and the rise of the global system.

Borrowing and Adaptation I

Like northwestern Europeans, Southeast Asian peoples developed on the fringes of expansive and densely populated societies, in this case China and India. For many centuries Southeast Asians, like Europeans and Japanese, have been receptive to influences emanating from outside. Traditionally China and India provided political, religious, and cultural ideas, although the impact of these varied greatly from society to society. Later, the Middle East, Europe, and finally North America and Japan provided some models, imposed in part by force.

    To be sure, Southeast Asians were also creative. The early inhabitants developed agriculture and metalworking. Rice was first domesticated in the general region about 5000-6000 years ago; Southeast Asians may also have been the pioneers in cultivating bananas, yams, and taro, and likely first domesticated chickens and pigs, perhaps even cattle. Southeast Asians mastered bronze making by 1500 BCE and iron by 500 BCE. These early Southeast Asians also built sophisticated boats capable of sailing the oceans, beginning the maritime trade that soon linked Southeast Asia to China, India, and points beyond over networks of exchange.6

    Yet despite centuries of borrowing and sometimes foreign conquest, Southeast Asians rarely became carbon copies of their mentors; they took ideas they wanted from outsiders and, like the Japanese and Europeans, adapted them to their own indigenous values and institutions, creating in the process a synthesis. Historians are impressed with the resilience and strength of the many indigenous beliefs and traditions that have survived the centuries of borrowing and change. In many Southeast Asian societies women long held a higher status and played a more active public role—including dominating small-scale commerce—than was true in China, India, the Middle East, and even Europe.7

Migration and Mixing

The distant ancestors of many Southeast Asians migrated from China and Tibet. Over the course of some 5,000 years, peoples speaking Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) languages took part in an extensive population movement, migrating into Southeast Asia from Taiwan, spreading out around the archipelago and Malay peninsula, and pushing across the Pacific as far as Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand as well as westward to the island of Madagascar (much of whose population derives from Indonesian migrants who arrived 1300-2000 years ago). Trade networks linked the central Pacific islands such as Fiji with Indonesia. Indonesians were apparently the major seafaring traders of Asia several centuries before the beginning of the Common Era; they pioneered the commerce between China and India and also carried Southeast Asian foods (especially bananas) and musical instruments to East Africa, which were adopted by the peoples there.

    The chronic migration and mixing of peoples over the centuries was as important a theme in Southeast Asia as in Europe, Japan, or southern and eastern Africa. This process closely resembled the migrations and assimilation of various "barbarian" peoples in Western Europe as well as the spread of Bantu peoples in Africa through the first millennium of the Common Era. By 500 BCE or earlier a few small states had emerged in the lowlands, especially in Cambodia and Vietnam, based on irrigated rice agriculture, just as sedentary farming peoples like the Greeks were establishing vigorous states around the northern Mediterranean basin. By 2000 years ago varied Southeast Asian societies carried on maritime trade with each other.

Borrowing and Adaptation II

Between 250 BCE-200 CE China and India began exercising a stronger influence; China even colonized Vietnam in the 2nd century BCE, ruling for the next thousand years. Some scholars see these contacts as a generator of state building, others as a response to it. Indian traders and priests began regularly traveling the oceanic trade routes, some of them settling in mainland and island states. They brought with them Indian concepts of religion, government, and the arts. At the same time, Southeast Asian sailors were visiting India and returning with new ideas. Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism became a strong influence in a process often termed "Indianization" (or, more recently, "southernization"), which continued over many centuries and synthesized Indian with indigenous ideas.8 This occurred about the same time as classical Greco-Roman "civilization" was spreading around the Mediterranean in a similar process. For a millennium many Southeast Asians were closely connected to the more populous and developed societies of southern Asia, partaking in the general historical trends of the Afro-Eurasian Historical Complex to a greater degree than most of the peoples on the western and northern fringes of post-Roman Europe between 500 and 1400.

    Due partly to the stimulus from outside, the great classical states developed near the end of the first millennium CE, with their main centers in what is today Cambodia, Burma, the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, and Vietnam, which managed to throw off the 1000 year Chinese colonial yoke in the 10th century CE. In this period many Southeast Asian states made brilliant and selective use of Indian models in shaping their political and cultural patterns.

    Historians differentiate coastal and inland states in this era. Coastal states, especially those in the Malay peninsula and the western Indonesian archipelago, which were adjacent to major international trade networks, mainly thrived from maritime commerce.9 The Straits of Melaka between Sumatra and Malaya had long served as a crossroads through which peoples, cultures, and trade passed or took root in the area, with peoples of many societies following the maritime trade to this region. The prevailing climatic patterns in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean of alternating monsoon winds allowed ships sailing southwest from China, Vietnam and Cambodia and southeast from India and Burma to meet in the vicinity of the Straits, where their goods could be exchanged. This process had already commenced by 200 BCE. Sumatra and Malaya had long enjoyed international reputations as sources of gold, tin and exotic forest products; the Romans referred to Malaya as the "golden khersonese." Between the 4th and 6th centuries CE the overland trading routes between China and the West (the "Silk Road") were closed off by developments in central Asia, increasing the importance of the oceanic connection. Srivijaya, for example, in southeast Sumatra, was the hub of a major trade network linking South and East Asia as well as a center for Mahayana Buddhism.

    Gradually a more complex and increasingly integrated maritime trading system emerged that linked the eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, East African coast, Persia, and India with the societies of East and Southeast Asia.10 Over this network the precious spices of Indonesia (especially cloves, nutmeg and pepper), the gold and tin of Malaya, and the silks and tea of China traveled to Europe, sparking interest there in reaching the sources of these eastern riches. Inevitably, then, a vigorously mercantile variation of Indianized classical culture emerged to capitalize on this growing exchange.

    The largest inland state, Angkor in Cambodia, built an empire over a large section of mainland Southeast Asia. This empire flourished for half a millennium, and compared favorably to the fragmented states of medieval Europe, bearing some resemblance to the expansive Carolingian realm. By the 12th century its bustling capital city, Angkor Thom, and its immediate environs had a population of perhaps one million, much larger than any medieval European city but comparable to all but the largest Chinese and Arab cities of that era. And even interior states were linked to international trade. Angkor enjoyed an active and multifaceted trade with China and housed many resident Chinese merchants.11

    The great Indianized kingdoms gradually came to an end between the 13th and 16th centuries, for reasons both internal and external. The Mongols helped destroy the Burman kingdom of Pagan, but were unable to extend their domination into Southeast Asia generally, failing in attempts to conquer Vietnam, Champa, and Java. Hence, Southeast Asians were among the few peoples to successfully resist persistent efforts at integrating them into the vast and powerful Mongol empire, a tribute to their skill and might as well as their distance from the Eurasian heartland. However, Angkor was eventually unable to resist invasions by the Thai-Lao peoples migrating down from China. The empire disintegrated and the capital was abandoned.

Religion and Maritime Trade

Two other forces, the arrival of new religions and the expansion of maritime trade, were also at work. By the 1300s two of the great universal religions were filtering peacefully into the region: Theravada Buddhism and Islam. Theravada Buddhism from Sri Lanka became the dominant religion of the major mainland societies (except Vietnam) by incorporating the rich animism of the peasant villages and the Hinduism of the courts. Sunni Islam arrived from the Middle East and India, spreading widely in the Malay peninsula and Indonesian archipelago while gradually displacing or incorporating the local animism and Hinduism; it was closely tied to international trade. Through this process of trade and religious networks, Southeast Asia became even more firmly linked to the peoples of Southern and Western Asia. These trends inaugurated a new era that persisted until the acceleration of European conquest in the 19th century.12

    Beginning in the 14th century a new pattern of world trade was developing that more closely linked Asia, Europe and parts of Africa. There was no particular center but Southeast Asia, especially the archipelago region, became an essential intermediary as long voyages were replaced by shorter hops and more frequent trans-shipment. This enhanced the value of regional ports and a half dozen distinct commercial zones arose in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asian peoples like the Malays and Javanese played active roles in the interregional trade, which also spurred the growth of cities. Changes in the international maritime economy beginning around 1400 fostered an unprecedented commercial prosperity and an increasing cultural cosmopolitanism, most especially in the archipelago. A new type of maritime trading state arose to handle the increased amounts of local products dispatched to distant markets.

Expansion of Dar al-Islam and Trans-regional Trade Networks

By the 14th century Muslim merchants (mostly Arabs and Indians) were spreading Islam along the great Indian Ocean maritime trading routes. The arrival of Islam coincided with the rise of the great port of Melaka, on the southwest coast of Malaya, which became the region's political and economic power as well as the crossroads of Asian commerce. During the 1400s Melaka was a flourishing trading port attracting merchants from many lands including Chinese, Arabs, Persians, Vietnamese, Burmese, Jews, Indians, and even a few Swahilis from East Africa. Observers reported that Melaka boasted 15,000 merchants and more ships in the harbor than any port in the known world, induced by stable government and a free trade policy. Melaka's rulers sent tributary missions to China and their port became an important way station for the series of grand Chinese voyages to the Western Indian Ocean in the early 15th century led by Admiral Zheng He, the greatest seafaring expeditions in history to that point.

    Soon Melaka became the southeastern terminus for the great Indian Ocean maritime trading network and one of the major commercial centers in the world, very much a rival to Calicut, Cambay, Canton, Hormuz, Kilwa, Aleppo, Alexandria, Genoa and Venice. An early 16th century Portuguese visitor noted the importance of Melaka to peoples and trade patterns as far away as Western Europe: "Melaka is a city that was made for merchandise, fitter than any other in the world... Commerce between different nations for a thousand leagues on every hand must come to Melaka... Whoever is lord of Melaka has his hands on the throat of Venice."13

    The spread of Islam and the expansion of commerce developed simultaneously in many places, ultimately creating a Dar al-Islam ("Abode of Islam"), an interlinked Islamic world stretching from Morocco, Spain and the West African Sudan to the Balkans, Turkestan, Mozambique, Indonesia, and China, joined by a common faith and trade connections. Muslim merchants and sailors became central to the great Afro-Eurasian maritime trading network. By the mid-15th century Melaka had become the main center for the propagation of Islam in the Malay peninsula and Indonesian archipelago.

Southeast Asia, Western Expansion, and the Emerging Global System

Southeast Asia had long been a cosmopolitan and wealthy region where peoples, ideas and products met. The intrepid Italian traveler Marco Polo had passed through in 1292 on his way home from a long China sojourn; his writings praised the wealth and sophistication of Indochina, Java, and Sumatra, fostering European interest in these seemingly fabulous lands. The Moroccan Ibn Battuta stopped by on his way to China in his lifelong tour of the Dar al-Islam in the 14th century.14 Vietnam and the Siamese kingdom of Ayuthia were two of the powerful and prosperous states that stretched across Asia from Ottoman Turkey to Tokugawa Japan in the 1600s.

    By the end of the 15th century a few Portuguese explorers and adventurers, who came from a country with superior military technology, unparalleled missionary zeal, and a compelling appetite for wealth but a standard of living little if any higher than that of Siam, Vietnam, Melaka or Java, would enter Southeast Asia in search of, as the explorer Vasco da Gama put it, "Christians and spices."15 They were the forerunners of what would ultimately be a powerful and destabilizing European presence to gradually alter the history of the region between 1500 and 1914. The Europeans would prove the bloodiest of the new forces reaching the region in these centuries.

    The Portuguese conquest of Melaka in 1511 and the Spice Islands of Eastern Indonesia a few years later marked the beginning of a turning point for the region. They would be followed in the next several centuries by the Spanish (who colonized the Philippines), the Dutch (Indonesia), the English (Burma and Malaya), the French (Indochina), and finally the Americans (who replaced the Spanish in the Philippines), products of a Western world rapidly transformed by expansionism, capitalism, and later industrialization. First the Portuguese and then the Dutch gained some control over the Indian Ocean maritime trade by force, altering its character and diminishing its vibrancy. Eventually the Western powers would impact nearly all the societies of Southeast Asia in various ways and, by the beginning of the 20th century, had colonized the entire region except for adaptable Siam, whose wise leaders convinced the British and French to make the country a buffer between British Burma and French Indochina. Still, Southeast Asian states like Siam, Vietnam, Burma, Johor, and Acheh were strong enough that it took 400 years of persistent effort for Westerners to gain complete political, social and economic domination. Once an equal of Europe, the region gradually became a dependency dominated by the West.

    Just as Europe was in transition from feudalism to capitalism during this period, with profound consequences in all phases of life, the 15th through 17th centuries was a time of transformation for Southeast Asia toward somewhat more economically dynamic systems. Southeast Asia became an even more crucial part of the developing world economy, with the Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish exporting luxury items like Indonesian spices but also bulk products like tin, sugar, and rice from their newly-colonized possessions.16 Some historians attribute the beginning of a true global economy to the trans-Pacific trade between the Philippines and Mexico that commenced with the rise of Manila as a major hub in the 1570s.17           

    The Manila Galleons which annually carried Southeast Asian agricultural products as well as Chinese silk and porcelain across the Pacific for distribution in Spanish America and Europe symbolized the new reality; vast amounts of American silver to pay for these items was shipped westward across the Pacific, draining Spanish imperial coffers. But until the 19th century the West was neither dominant in political nor economic spheres except in a few widely-scattered outposts. Furthermore, the still peripheral European interlopers had to compete with Chinese, Arab, and Southeast Asian merchants as well as local mercantile states. Hence, the West did not come into a decaying and impoverished region but rather a wealthy, open, and dynamic one. By the 19th century, however, little was left of this once vibrant local society as Western powers began to expand or intensify their colonial enterprise.

Western Colonialism, Southeast Asian Resurgence, and the Global System

By 1914 the various Southeast Asian societies had become part of a global system dominated economically and politically by various Western European nations and the United States, more firmly connecting these peoples to global patterns and networks. The much greater degree of integration of Southeast Asia into the rapidly expanding world economy and imperialism-driven sociopolitical system had profound consequences on the region's political, economic, social and cultural life, greatly reducing their autonomy and challenging traditional patterns. For example, between the mid-19th century and World War II the region became a major producer of raw materials needed by the industrializing West and its markets, including rubber, tin, coffee, rice, sugar, timber, gold, and oil. Some of the major agricultural exports, such as rubber and coffee, had originated in other parts of the world, part of the overall shuffling of the world's biota that accompanied the great era of Western exploration and colonization. Commercialization of land and proletarianization of labor shifted the balance to commodity exports rather than subsistence food growing and handicrafts, and reshaped life for millions of Southeast Asians now enmeshed in a world economy subject to rapid fluctuations in prices and demands.18

    Colonialism served to transfer much wealth from Southeast Asia to the West. For example, the Dutch based much of their industrialization on profits derived from their control of the enormously lucrative coffee and sugar exports from Indonesia while British, French, and American capitalists derived extraordinary capital accumulation for investment from colonial enterprises in Malaya, Indochina, and the Philippines. It is hardly inaccurate to argue that the exploitation of their colonies in Southeast Asia and elsewhere was critical to the rise of Western wealth, power, and modernization.

    Millions of workers from other regions of Asia, especially China and India, migrated into the region temporarily or permanently to undertake plantation labor, mining, or trade, helping reshape ethnic patterns and reshuffle genetic pieces. In some colonies immigrant Chinese and their descendants came to account for a substantial portion of the population; they also became generally dominant in the commercial sphere throughout the region.19 And Christianity from the West became a major regional religion, especially in the Philippines and, to a lesser extent, Vietnam, Malaya, and several regions of Indonesia.

    But the traffic in ideas was not entirely one way. Anticolonial nationalism, a major phenomenon of the 20th century world, originated in Southeast Asia in the Philippines, in the struggle against the Spanish and then the Americans beginning in the second half of the 1800s, an inspiration to many colonized peoples. Indeed, the Philippine Revolution is sometimes called the first true war of national liberation, with astonishing parallels to the later ill-fated American experience in Vietnam.20 Later, the Vietnamese communists under Ho Chi Minh in their ultimately successful 50 year fight against French colonialism, Japanese occupation, and then American intervention would stimulate both a wave of revolutionary efforts to overthrow Western domination as well as a surge of student militancy in the West.

    The Vietnamese communist defeat of the United States in 1975 certainly constitutes a major development in 20th century world history, marking the temporary decline of the "American Century" of unrivaled economic, political and military power in the world. In the 1980s and 1990s several Southeast Asian nations (Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and, to some extent, Indonesia) have generated some of the fastest growing economies in the world by borrowing development models from Meiji Japan. Vietnam, borrowing models from post-Mao China, now joins them in its rapid pace of economic growth. These rapidly industrializing Little Tigers, with their distinctive mix of free market and state-stimulated economics with semi-authoritarian politics, may offer the best available model for development in the global south. As they have for centuries, Southeast Asians mixed local traditions and foreign influences to create eclectic new cultures oriented to the wider world.21

    With nearly 500 million people, the region already accounts for a nearly a tenth of the world's population. Southeast Asia, then, with its long, rich connections to the wider world and persistent ability over the millennia to integrate ideas and institutions from abroad with varied but still powerful indigenous traditions, has made its mark on world history and will likely continue to do so in the near future. The Solo River still flows to the sea and ships, joined today by airplanes, laden with goods and travelers still link Southeast Asians to other parts of the world.

Biographical Note: Craig Lockard is the Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he teaches courses on Asian, African, and world history. A founder of the World History Association, he has published widely on Southeast Asian and world history, including Societies, Networks, and Transitions: A Global History (Houghton Mifflin, 2007); Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia (Univ. of Hawaii, 1997); From Kampong to City: A Social History of Kuching, Malaysia, 1820-1970 (Ohio University, 1987); and Lands of Green, Waters of Blue: Southeast Asia in World History (Oxford University, forthcoming).



1. This paper was read at the annual meetings of the American Historical Association in Atlanta, January 5, 2007. I would like to thank Anand Yang for arranging and chairing the session. An earlier, and longer version, was published in The History Teacher, 29/1 (November, 1995). For a much more detailed study of this subject, see Craig A. Lockard, Lands of Green, Waters of Blue: Southeast Asia in World History (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

2 Quoted in Philip Curtin, "African History," in Michael Kammen, ed., The Past before Us: Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980), p. 113.

3. For a recent text with extensive coverage of Southeast Asia and its role in world history, see Craig A. Lockard, Societies, Networks, and Transitions: A Global History (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007).

4. For Hodgson's conception see his Rethinking World History: Essays on Europe, Islam, and World History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 3-28.

5. Some of the general historical studies of Southeast Asia that also address in some form the wider context include John Bastin and Harry J. Benda, A History of Modern Southeast Asia (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1968); Mary Somers Heidhues, Southeast Asia: A Concise History (London: Thames and Hudson, 2000); Victor Lieberman, Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800-1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003); Milton Osborne, Southeast Asia: An Introductory History, 7th ed. (St. Leonards, NSW: Allen and Unwin, 1997); Norman Owen, et al., The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia: A New History (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2005; David Joel Steinberg, et. al., In Search of Southeast Asia: A Modern History, revised ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1985); Nicholas Tarling, Southeast Asia: A Modern History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001); and Tarling, ed., The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). See also Lockard, Lands of Green, Waters of Blue (forthcoming).

6. On ancient Southeast Asia see, in addition to the general studies, Peter Bellwood, Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago, revised ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1997); Charles Higham, The Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Higham, The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); and Dougald JW O'Reilly, Early Civilizations of Southeast Asia (Lanham, MD: Altamira, 2007).

7. Scholars debate the status and experiences of women and gender issues in Southeast Asian history and modern society. See, eg., Barbara Watson Andaya, ed., Other Pasts: Women, Gender and History in Early Modern Southeast Asia (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2000); Jane Monnig Atkinson and Shelly Errington, Power and Difference: Gender in Island Southeast Asia (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990); Aihwa Ong and Michael G. Peletz, eds., Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); and Penny Van Esterik, ed., Women of Southeast Asia (DeKalb: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University, 1996).

8. On Indianization the classic work is George Coedes, The Indianized States of Southeast Asia (Honolulu: East-West Center Press, 1968). For more recent approaches see Osborne, Southeast Asia and Tarling, Cambridge History, vol. 1. On southernization see Lynda Shaffer, "Southernization," Journal of World History, 5/1 (Spring, 1994), 1-22.

9. Among the key studies on early maritime trade in Southeast Asia are Kenneth Hall, Maritime Trade and State Development in Early Southeast Asia (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1985) and Lynda Norene Shaffer, Maritime Southeast Asia to 1500 (Armonk, N.T.: M.E. Sharpe, 1996).

10. On the Indian Ocean maritime trade routes, see, eg., K.N. Chaudhuri, Asia Before Europe: Economy and Civilization of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); Chaudhuri, Trade and Civilisation in the Indian Ocean (Cambridge: Cambride University Press, 1985); Philip D. Curtin, Cross-Cultural Trade in World History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984); Milo Kearney, The Indian Ocean in World History (New York: Routledge, 2004); Michael Pearson, The Indian Ocean (New York: Routledge, 2003); and Patricia Risso, Merchants and Faith: Muslim Commerce and Culture in the Indian Ocean (Boulder: Westview, 1995).

11. On Angkor see, eg., David P. Chandler, A History of Cambodia, 4th ed. Updated (Boulder: Westview, 2007); Ian Mabbett and David Chandler, The Khmers (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995); and Charles Higham, The Civilization of Angkor (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).

12. On the international connections and transformation of archipelago Southeast Asia, see Anthony Reid, Charting the Shape of Early Modern Southeast Asia (Bangkok: Silkworm, 1999); Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450-1680, 2 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988 and 1993); and Reid, ed., Southeast Asia in the Early Modern Era: Trade, Power, and Belief (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993). For the somewhat different situation for the mainland societies, see Lieberman, Strange Parallels.

13. Tome' Pires, quoted in Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 291. On Melaka and its role in trade see, eg., Barbara Watson Andaya and Leonard Y. Andaya, A History of Malaysia, 2nd ed. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2001); Sarnia Hayes Hoyt, Old Malacca (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1993).

14. See Ross E. Dunn, The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the 14th Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), pp. 248-258.

15. On Southeast Asian wealth and a standard of living that may have been comparable to, or even higher than, that of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, see Reid, Charting the Shape, pp. 216-226.

16. On the Southeast Asian export economy in these centuries, see, eg., David Bulbeck, et al., compilers, Southeast Asian Exports Since the 14th Century: Cloves, Pepper, Coffee, and Sugar (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1998).

17. See Dennis O. Flynn and Arturo Giraldez, "Born with a 'Silver Spoon': The Origin of World Trade in 1571," Journal of World History, 6/2 (Fall, 1995), 201-222.

18. For the colonial impact on Southeast Asia, see, eg., Andaya and Andaya, History of Malaysia; Ian Brown, Economic Change in South-East Asia, c.1830-1980 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997); John A. Larkin, Sugar and the Origins of Modern Philippine Society (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993); Ngo Vinh Long, Before the Revolution: The Vietnamese Peasants Under the French (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991); Owen, Emergence; Tarling, Southeast Asia; D.R. Sar Desai, Southeast Asia: Past and Present, 5th ed. (Boulder: Westview, 2003); Steinberg, In Search; and Adrian Vickers, A History of Modern Indonesia (Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 2005).

19. For a brief overview of the Chinese in Southeast Asia as part of the broader Asian migrations, see Craig A. Lockard, "Asian Migrations," in William H. McNeill, ed., Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History, vol. 1 (Great Barrington, MA.: Berkshire, 2005), 191-197.

20. See David Joel Steinberg, The Philippines: A Singular and Plural Place, 3rd ed. (Boulder: Westview, 1994), p. 66; Gary R. Hess, Vietnam and the United States (Boston: Twayne, 1990); Craig A. Lockard, "Gunboat Diplomacy, Counterrevolution and Manifest Destiny: A Century of Asian Preludes to the American War in Vietnam," Asian Profiles, 23/1 (Feb., 1995), 35-57.

21. For a study of how popular musics and cultures have reflected a mix of indigenous and imported influences, see Craig A. Lockard, Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1997).

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