Why did Aceh Lose its Nineteenth Century Independence? Comparisons with Siam and Other States

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    By the middle of the 19th century fully independent states in Southeast Asia were few, and all felt threatened by the advance of competitive European imperialisms. By 1900 only Siam (Thailand) had retained its full formal independence, though arguably by yielding key levers of control to the British. Siam’s success is often compared with the failure of Burma and Vietnam, conquered by Britain and France respectively in the late 19th century. Archipelago states have seldom entered this comparison, although Aceh had unique advantages in the ability to play off British and Dutch. The argument here is that the Aceh leadership did have vital agency, and made some crucial choices that could be considered mistakes from a Siam perspective. Dutch and British choices and mistakes have been better studied, but Acehnese ones also deserve to be.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-182pp
    JournalHeritage of Nusantara: International Journal of Religious Literature and Heritage
    Volume5
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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