Kingdoms of Southeast Asia
Geography of Southeast Asia

  • Lies between the Indian and Pacific oceans
  • Spreads from Asia to Australia
  • Made up of two main parts
    • Indochina- Mainland Peninsula
      • borders China to the north and India to the west
    • The Islands- The largest include: Sumatra, Borneo, and Java
  • Climate: Tropical, Warm, Humid
    • Heavy seasonal rains due to Monsoon winds
      Effects of a monsoon

  • Control of trade routes and harbors
  • Between Indian Ocean and the South China Sea
    • Two important water ways connect the two seas
      • The Strait of Malacca
      • The Sunda Strait

Influence of India and China

  • Hindu and Buddhist missionaries spread their: faiths, art forms, languages, and religions
    Spread of Hinduism

  • Chinese ideas and cultures expanded to Southeast Asia through trade

The Khmer Empire

  • Cambodia: present day Khmer Empire
  • 800s Khmer created an empire by conquering neighboring kingdoms
    • Capital: Angkor
    • Angkor Wat- world's greatest architectural achievement
      • reflected strong Indian influence

  • 1200- peak of power
    • improved rice cultivation and advanced irrigation systems and waterways
    • Three or four crops of rice grown per year

Island Trading Kingdoms

  • Strong, powerful kingdoms arose on Southeast Asia's islands
  • Sailendra: dynasty which ruled an agricultural kingdom on the island of Java
    Sailendra Dynasty

  • 800s the Buddhist temple at Borobudur was built
    • reflected strong Indian influence
      Buddhist temple at Borobudur

  • Srivijaya Empire overtook the Sailendra dynasty
    • Capital: Palembang
      • Center for Buddhist learning
      • Chinese monks studied there
    • Controlled the Strait of Malacca and surrounding waters
    • Grew wealthy by taxing trade that past through waters

Imperialism in Southeast Asia
Dutch Expand Control

  • 18th century- the Dutch East India Company gained control over most of the Indonesian islands
  • Reasons to take over:
    • Perfect for plantation agriculture
    • Grew sugar cane, coffee, cocoa, rubber ,coconuts, bananas, and pineapple
  • British East India Company gained control of Malacca from Portuguese
  • Fought for Java from its control of the British and the Javanese
    Satellite of Java Island

  • Dutch spread control to Sumatra, part of Borneo, Celebes, the Moluccas, and Bali
    • WHY? - discovery of oil and desire for an excess number of rubber plantations
  • Dutch East Indies- the whole island chain of Indonesia controlled by the Dutch
    • began to create a rigid social system pyr..png
British Take the Malayan Peninsula

  • The British found harbor on Singapore, to compete with the Dutch for trading
  • Singapore was one of the world's busiest ports
    • WHY? large demand for tin and rubber and the opening of the Suez Canal
  • British gain control of the colonies in Malaysia and in Burma (Myanmar)
    • Malaysia: large amount of tin and is the world's leading rubber exporter
  • Chinese forced to migrate to Malaysia by the british
    • Malaysians became minority in own country
    • Conflict arose between the two and was never resolved

French Control Indochina

  • 1840s - the French added Laos, Cambodia, and northern Vietnam
    • WHY? 7 French missionaries were killed and emperor Napoleon III asked the French to invade southern Vietnam
  • Laos, Cambodia, and northern Vietnam combined are known as French Indochina

  • rice decreased for the peasants and caused Vietnamese resistance against the French

Colonial Impact

  • Southeast Asia's economies grew
    • WHY? due to cash crops and the mines
  • Southeast Asia became a melting pot of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists


Siam (Present day Thailand) Remains Independent

  • Lies between Burma, controlled by Britain, and French Indochina
    • Siam tries to remain a neutral zone between powerful Britain and France
  • King Mongkut and son, Chulalongkorn, guided the modernization of Siam
    King Mongkut and Prince Chulalongkorn

    • started schools, reformed legal systems, and reorganized the government
    • Infrastructure: new railroads,and telegraph system
    • Slavery was ended due to modernization

The Philippines

  • The U.S. won the Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam
  • The Filipino nationalists angered by change of control, from the Spanish to the Americans
    • Leader of the Filipino nationalists: Emilio Aguinaldo
      • wanted independence
            • established the Philippine Republic
              Logo of Philippine Republic
  • 1902- the U.S. won against the Filipino nationalists
    • U.S. promised the Philippines would be prepared for self-rule
    • The U.S. built roads, rail roads, hospitals, and schools
    • Businessmen encouraged the growth of cash crops ===> led to food shortages for the Filipinos
  • The Philippines became the first of the world's colonies to achieve independence following WWII
  • July 4, 1946- the U.S. allowed the Philippines independence
  • The Filipinos wanted to rebuild the economy and restore the capital, Manila, which was damaged in WWII

  • Bell Act- gave money to the Philippines and free trade to the U.S. for eight years with tariffs
  • 99-year lease, on military and naval bases in the Philippines, was demanded by the U.S.
    • WHY? the U.S. wanted to maintain its military presence in the Philippines
  • 1965- Ferdinand Marcos was elected president of the Philippines
    • imposed an authoritarian regime and stole millions of dollars from the public treasury
    • Chief opponent, Benigno Aquino, Jr., was assassinate
    • 1986- Corazon Aquino challenged Marcos in the elections
  • Aquino won and Marcos was forced to exile in Hawaii because he declared himself winner
1995- Philippines recovered $475 million that Marco had stolen
  • Under Aquino- new constitution
    • U.S. ended the lease on the military bases


The Philippines After Independence

  • Southern part of the country is made up of Muslims, known as the Moros
    • 1970s- the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) began an armed struggle to gain independence from Philippine rule
    • 1996- the Moros were granted autonomous region in the southern Philippines
    • The agreement did not satisfy the splinter group of the MNLF called Abu Sayyaf
      • These rebels used terror to achieve goals
        • 2002- they kidnapped 20 people
    • Current Philippines president: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
      • launched military response to the Moros
      • U.S. provided military assistance
        Gloria Macapagal Arroyo


  • 1900s- France controlled most of Southeast Asia
  • Ho Chi Minh, a young Vietnamese nationalist
    • asked the communists for help
  • 3207829.jpg
    Ho Chi Minh

    • Ho's Indochinese Communist party led revolts against the French
      • The Vietnamese were jailed
      • Ho and other nationalists founded the Vietminh (Independence) League
  • The Anti-Colonial War (1946-1954)
    • Vietminh (communists) against the French

Vietnamese War (1959-1975)

  • During the Cold war
  • Domino Theory- the Southeast Asian nations were like a row of dominos, the fall of one to communism will lead to the fall of its neighbors
  • Geneva Conference- divided Vietnam
    • 17th parallel divides North and South Vietnam

    • North: communist led by Ho Chi Minh, the Soviet Union, and People's Republic of China
      • Vietminh - north vietnamese communist guerillas
    • South: was non-communist led by Ngo Dinh Diem and the U.S., after the french withdrew
      • Vietcong - south vietnamese communist guerillas
  • U.S. technology was not as effective in this war
    • WHY? the Vietnamese jungle
  • First televised war

The United States Gets Involved

  • August 1964- North Vietnamese patrol boats attacked two U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin
    • The Congress authorized the President to send U.S. troops to fight in Vietnam
    • 1968- half a million U.S. soldiers in combat
    • U.S. turned to air power, bombing millions of acres of farm land and forests
      Bombing of Vietnam

    • Peasants oppositions to the South Vietnamese government strengthened
      • WHY? The bombing
  • 1969- President Richard Nixon withdrew U.S. troops from Vietnam
    • Nixon called for Vietnamization- allowed for U.S. troops to gradually pull out, while the South Vietnamese increased their combat rule
    • Nixon used a massive bombing campaign against North Vietnamese bases and authorized bombings in neighboring Laos and Cambodia to destroy Vietcong hiding places
    • 1973- Vietnam was cleared of all U.S. troop
  • 1975 - Vietnamese War ended with 58,000 dead U.S. soldiers and 1.5 Vietnamese killed

Vietnam After the War

  • 1975- North Vietnam had strict control over the South
  • Officials sent thousands of people to "reeducation camps" for training in Communist thought
  • Business was strictly controlled
  • North Vietnamese renamed South's former capital, Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City
    Ho Chi Minh City

  • Most people fled Vietnam and survivors of the escape spent months in refugee camps in Southeast Asia
  • 1995- the U.S. normalized relations with Vietnam

Cambodia (Kampuchea)


    • Pol Pot
      • 1962- became leader of Cambodian Communist Party and forced to flee to jungle to escape President Norodom Sihanouk, leader of Cambodia
      • 1975- Khmer Rouge was set up, communist rebels who set up a brutal Communist government
      • 1975 to 1979- Pol Pot
        • Goal: forced city laborers to work on collective farms to reach goal of "restarting civilization"
          • Results: slaughtered 2 million people (almost one quarter of nations population) due to starvation, execution, and beatings
    • WHY? to reinforce a Communist society in Cambodia

  • pol-pot1.jpg

  • 1978- Vietnamese invaded Cambodia and overthrew the Khmer Rouge
    • introduced a less repressive government
  • 1989-Vietnam withdrew
  • 1993- Cambodia introduced a democratic constitution and held free elections under UN peacekeepers

British Colonies Gain Independence

Burma (Myanmar)

  • Burma wanted independence from Britain
    • 1948- became a sovereign republic
    • 1989 -Burma named Myanmar
  • Burma struggled between repressive military governments, pro-democracy forces, and conflict among Communists and ethnic minorities
    • 1988- Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of Aung Sun a leader of the Burmese nationalist's army

      • Aung San Suu Kyi was active the National League of Democracy
      • 1991- won Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to establish democracy in Myanmar
      • For democratic practice, the military government placed her under house arrest multiple times
        • 1995 released from house arrest but placed under house arrest again in 2000

Malaysia and Singapore


  • The Japanese conquered the Malay Peninsula during WWII, which was originally owned by the British
  • 1945- British return to the peninsula
    • British tried to organize the people of Malaysia into one state and tried to stop the Communism uprising
    • Ethnic groups resisted the British efforts
  • Malays were a slight majority
  • Chinese were the largest group on the southern tip, the island of Singapore
  • 1957- the Federation of Malaya from Singapore, Malaya, Sarawak, and Sabah was created
  • 1965- Singapore separated from the federation and was known as an independent city-state
  • Malaysia formed from the federation consisting of Malaya, Sarawak, and Sabah
    Malaysian Flag

    • Steady economic progress in Malaysia was a result of a coalition of many ethnic groups

Indonesia gains Independence from the Dutch

  • The Dutch ruled Indonesia
    • It fell when Japanese conquered the region and destroyed the Dutch colonial order as WWII was starting
  • Indonesian people strived for a free nation when war finished
  • Sukarno- led an effort to establish an independent Indonesia
  • 1945- Sukarno proclaimed Indonesia's independence and called himself president
  • 1949- the UN and U.S. and granted Indonesia its freedom

  • The independent Indonesia became the world's fourth most populous nation, consisting of 300 different ethnic groups, 250 languages and several different religions, containing the world's largest Islamic population
  • Sukarno, took the official title of "life-time president"
    • attempted a parliamentary democracy
  • Economy fell and nation slid rapidly
  • Banks refused to lend money to Indonesia and inflation occurred to one thousand percent
  • 1965- Suharto, a general, put down the group of junior army officers, who attempted a coup
    Sukarno and Saharto

  • Seized power for himself
    • 500,000 to 1,000,000 Indonesians were killed
  • 1967- Suharto became president
    • turned Indonesia into a police state and imposed frequent periods of martial law
    • 1976- annexed East Timor
    • human violations
    • government had little tolerance for religious freedoms
  • 1997-1998- suffered one of the worst financial crises
    • Effects: Suharto stepped down from power in 1998
  • 2001- Sukarno's daughter, Megawati Sukarnoputri, elected president
    • She hailed the virtues of democracies
    • Urged Indonesians to do what they could to maintain a democracy
    • Faced still-fragile economy, ethnic strife, security problems, and corruption

East Timor


  • 1970s- Indonesian forces had ruled East Timor with brutal force since Suharto seized it
  • Jose Ramos Horta- East Timorese independence campaigner
    • won the 1996 Noble Peace Prize for efforts to gain independence for East Timor without using violence
  • August 1999- the United Nations-sponsored referendum
    • the East Timorese voted for independence
    • angered the pro-Indonesian forces
      • ignored the referendum results
        • Effects: bloody rampage killing hundreds, forced thousands into refugee camps in West Timor
    • 2002- The UN intervention forces brought peace to the area, East Timor celebrated its freedom

Changing Times in Southeast Asia


  • In rural Thailand, the water buffalo-drawn cart was a past mode of transportation
  • Today, in Bangkok, Thailand, there are very different forms of transportation, including: cars, motorcycles and public buses
    Bangkok, Thailand


  • In Jakarta, Indonesia, the luxury apartment building towers over the shabby and polluted slum of Muarabaru
    Jakarta, Indonesia


  • The gap between rich and poor remains an issue
  • The Asian Tigers consist of Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea
    • These nations have experienced rapid economic growth and prosperity due to industrialization, and were aligned both politically, and economically with the West throughout the Cold War


  • Modern convenience stores, with prepackaged foods like this street-side store in Vietnam
    • Replaced floating markets of Thailand


  • one of the busiest ports in the world
  • 1959 to 1990- Lee Kuan Yew ruled as prime minister of Singapore

    • Singapore emerged as a banking center and a center of trade
  • Singapore was recognized as having the world's strongest economy on the list of the Geneva World Economic Forum

By Alexandra Tramposch and Cara Laban