The Legacy of Imperialism in Southeast Asia
Imagine a tropical island paradise isolated from external influence or interference, with limited localized conflicts. Then a fleet of dark ships sail up to the golden beaches and land. These ships are filled with Europeans, who wish to take over this land for its strategic location and the plentiful natural resources that exist on the majestic lands of Southeast Asia. This straightforward scene, often exhausted at global locations, could be the start of a legacy of enormous impact and complication. A legacy is what is left behind by an event, a person, or a idea. Legacy can be composed of memories, physical differences, or different outlooks on life. Colonization typically refers to the movement of individuals from one country to another country to develop colonies. However, colonization strategies became increasingly sophisticated during the period of expansive European colonization. It become possible for Europeans to colonize vast areas with limited numbers of people and indirectly through local participants. European powers wanted the resources and location that Southeast Asia possesses, and they sought to take this land and these resources, often by force. European imperialism in Southeast Asia left a legacy of conquest, greed, and power over the people of Southeast Asia.
One legacy of European imperialism in Southeast Asia was the wars of conquest among the European powers vying for increased territory after their initial colonization. During the 1500s and 1600s, European powers seized control of large parts of Southeast Asia. This take over affected the lives of the natives of Southeast Asia and also the individual European colonizers. European corporations wanted lands so that they could get resources and money. For example, the Dutch East India Company, a politically-connected corporation, wanted lands in Southeast Asia, so they attacked with a corporate army. As certain areas of Southeast Asia were seized by some European powers other European participators began to see a need to compete for control of the region. It became a large scale, regional conflict pitting European powers against each other, dividing Southeast Asia into different areas of influence. America took over the Philippines, defeating them after a three-year war. America gained new resources and a critical strategic location, increasing their global power, and bringing them into the power-competition for Southeast Asia. The conquest for dominance in Southeast Asia scarred the region in a way that left a lasting legacy; similarly, the impact of the hunt for wealth also remains.
Another legacy of European imperialism in Southeast Asia is the greed for resources and commodification of the natural wealth of the region. Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, the United States, and Japan all wanted to control the resources of Southeast Asia. There was a great deal of competition for Southeast Asian...