Physical Environment• Wet and warm so highly productive environments – Rainforests• Very different from environments in temperate Asia, Arab world, and Europe – Thus, plant products available in SE Asia different from those in temperate environments • E.g., spices, rubber
Humans in Malaysia• First evidence of humans in Malaysia dates back 40,000 years ago
Indigenous Peoples of Peninsular Malaysia- Orang Asli
Monsoon Winds• Monsoons are regional-scale wind systems that predictably change direction with the passing of the seasons.• Like land/sea breezes, these wind systems are created by the temperature contrasts that exist between the surfaces of land and ocean.• However, monsoons are different from land/sea breezes both spatially and temporally. Monsoons occur over distances of thousands of kilometers, and their two dominant patterns of wind flow act over an annual time scale• EoE- Local and Regional Wind Systems
Monsoon Winds• During the summer, monsoon winds blow from the cooler ocean surfaces onto the warmer continents. In the summer, the continents become much warmer than the oceans because of a number of factors.• These factors include: – Specific heat differences between land and water. – Greater evaporation over water surfaces. – Subsurface mixing in ocean basins which redistributes heat energy through a deeper layer.
Summer Monsoons• Precipitation is normally associated with the summer monsoons.• Onshore winds blowing inland from the warm ocean are very high in humidity, and slight cooling of these air masses causes condensation and rain.• In some cases, this precipitation can be greatly intensified by orographic uplift. – Some highland areas in Asia receive more than 10 meters of rain during the summer months.
Winter Monsoon• In the winter, the wind patterns reverse as the ocean surfaces are now warmer.• With little solar energy available, the continents begin cooling rapidly as longwave radiation is emitted to space.• The ocean surface retains its heat energy longer because of waters high specific heat and subsurface mixing.• The winter monsoons bring clear dry weather and winds that flow from land to sea.
Settlement of Malacca• In the early 15th century, Parameswara, a prince of the former Srivijayan empire, founded the Malacca Sultanate, commonly considered the first independent state in the peninsula.
Malacca• Malacca was an important commercial center during this time, attracting trade from around the region. – People stayed waiting for the monsoon winds to switch so there was lots of intermingling between cultures• Parameswara became a Muslim, accelerating the spread of Islam.
Style of Government Established in Malacca Served as Model for Other Malay Sultanates• Ruled by the Sultan – Had almost unlimited power – Benefited those that gained his favor “Although Sultan Mahmud was known for his cruelty, his weakness for women, his quick temper, his vindictive and impetuous nature, his impulsive behavior which allowed his passions to dominate his judgments, his show of favoritism, his squandering habits, and his jealousy, he also had certain good qualities as a human being that must be respected.” - Muhammad Yussof Hashim, The Malay Sultanate of Malacca, 1992
Malacca• Malacca became a profitable port• Ships sailed down the Straits of Malacca – Resting and exchange point between traders from the West (Arab and Indian) and the east (Chinese) – West side of Malay peninsula protected from effects of Monsoon – Significant Chinese population• Mid 1400s China tried to invade Malacca, but were denied
Portuguese Invade Malacca 1511• Malay Sultans fled and established elsewhere• Sultans eventually established across the Malay peninsula• Portugal tried to dominate the trade in the region, but were poor administrators – Trade became decentralized throughout the region
Dutch Displaced Portuguese in 1641• The Dutch ruled Malacca from 1641 to 1798 but they were not interested in developing it as a trading center, placing greater importance to Jakarta on Java as their administrative center.
Arrival of the British• The British established Singapore on the Malaya Peninsula in 1819 – Sir Stamford Raffles• Caused conflict between the Dutch and the British over trading rights• The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 gave Malacca to the English – Basically gave the British control of the peninsula in exchange for some land in Sumatra• British focused on Straits Settlements – Singapore, Malacca, and Penang
Early 20th Century• The Philippines was colonized by the Spanish in the mid 1500s – Spanish came over from the Mexico – Philippines became a US colony in late 1890s following the Spanish American War• Indochina (Vietnam, Laos) French colony• Burma (now Myanmar) British colony• Siam/Thailand independent
Early 20th Century Peninsular Malaysia• Malays spread across the peninsula – Several Sultanates• Orang Asli still inhabited the inland rainforests• Chinese and Indian workers brought in by British• Chinese population concentrated on the West Coast of peninsula
SE Asia in WW II• Japanese attacked most of SE Asia on December 8th, 1941• Quickly conquered most of SE Asia – SE Asian rubber• Defeated the British in their stronghold of Singapore – British guns faced to sea, not towards Malay peninsula • Japanese came down peninsula through the rainforest and attacked Singapore from the other side
SE Asia in WW II• All SE Asian countries except Thailand were conquered by Japan• Greater East Asia Co- Prosperity Sphere
After the Defeat of the JapaneseIndependence Came Relatively Quickly• Indonesia declared independence in 1945• the Philippines was granted independence by the United States in 1946• Burma secured their independence from Britain in 1948• French were driven from Indochina in 1954 after a bitterly fought war• Britain granted independence to Malaya in 1957 and in 1963 added Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak to form Malaysia – Singapore later left and formed its own country
SE Asia Since Independence• Vietnam War – Vietnam remains a socialist country, but is moving towards free market economy• Cambodia – Pol Pot became leader of Cambodia in 1975. • Khmer Rouge imposed agrarian socialism forcing urban dwellers to relocate to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labor projects. • The combined effects of forced labor, malnutrition, poor medical care, and executions resulted in the deaths of estimated 800,000 to three million people • Pol Pot displaced when Vietnam invaded in 1979
SE Asia Post Independence• The Philippines and Indonesia have had dictators, but have established democratic governments now• Myanmar has been ruled by military dictatorship since 1989 – Recent reforms allowed long time oppossition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to be released from house arrest
SE Asia Post Independence• Thailand – King – Some conflict between opposition political parties recently• Singapore – Highly developed city/state• Brunei – Small Muslim country in Borneo – Oil wealth
Lingering Issues• Many of the SE Asian countries were put together by colonial powers rather than based on historical and cultural similarities• Great ethnic and religious diversity – Source of conflict• Indigenous Issues