Imperialism in Asia

Imperialism in Asia

Overview
Imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

traces its roots back to the late 15th century with a series of voyages that sought a sea passage to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in the hope of establishing direct trade between Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Asia in spices. Before 1500 European economies were largely self-sufficient, only supplemented by minor trade with Asia and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. Within the next century, however, European and Asian economies were slowly becoming integrated through the rise of new global trade routes; and the early thrust of European political power, commerce, and culture in Asia gave rise to a growing trade in lucrative commodities
Commodity
In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Economic commodities comprise goods and services....

—a key development in the rise of today's modern world free market
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 economy

In the 16th century, the Portuguese
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 broke the monopoly of the Arabs and Italians of trade between Asia and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 by the discovery of the sea route to India around the Cape of Good Hope.
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Encyclopedia
Imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

traces its roots back to the late 15th century with a series of voyages that sought a sea passage to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in the hope of establishing direct trade between Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Asia in spices. Before 1500 European economies were largely self-sufficient, only supplemented by minor trade with Asia and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. Within the next century, however, European and Asian economies were slowly becoming integrated through the rise of new global trade routes; and the early thrust of European political power, commerce, and culture in Asia gave rise to a growing trade in lucrative commodities
Commodity
In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Economic commodities comprise goods and services....

—a key development in the rise of today's modern world free market
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 economy

In the 16th century, the Portuguese
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 broke the monopoly of the Arabs and Italians of trade between Asia and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 by the discovery of the sea route to India around the Cape of Good Hope. However, with the rise of the rival Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

, Portuguese influence in Asia was gradually eclipsed. Dutch forces first established independent bases in the East (most significantly Batavia, the heavily fortified headquarters of the Dutch East India Company) and then between 1640 and 1660 wrestled Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

, Ceylon, some southern Indian ports, and the lucrative Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 trade from the Portuguese. Later, the English and the French established settlements in India and established a trade with China and their own acquisitions would gradually surpass those of the Dutch. Following the end of the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 in 1763, the British eliminated French influence in India and established the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 as the most important political force on the Indian Subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

.

Before the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 in the mid-to-late 19th century, demand for oriental goods remained the driving force behind European imperialism, and (with the important exception of British East India Company rule in India) the European stake in Asia remained confined largely to trading stations and strategic outposts necessary to protect trade. Industrialisation, however, dramatically increased European demand for Asian raw materials; and the severe Long Depression
Long Depression
The Long Depression was a worldwide economic crisis, felt most heavily in Europe and the United States, which had been experiencing strong economic growth fueled by the Second Industrial Revolution in the decade following the American Civil War. At the time, the episode was labeled the Great...

 of the 1870s provoked a scramble for new markets for European industrial products and financial services in Africa, the Americas, Eastern Europe, and especially in Asia. This scramble coincided with a new era in global colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 expansion known as "the New Imperialism
New Imperialism
New Imperialism refers to the colonial expansion adopted by Europe's powers and, later, Japan and the United States, during the 19th and early 20th centuries; expansion took place from the French conquest of Algeria until World War I: approximately 1830 to 1914...

," which saw a shift in focus from trade and indirect rule
Indirect rule
Indirect rule was a system of government that was developed in certain British colonial dependencies...

 to formal colonial control of vast overseas territories ruled as political extensions of their mother countries. Between the 1870s and the beginning of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1914, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 — the established colonial powers in Asia — added to their empires vast expanses of territory in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, the Indian Subcontinent, and South East Asia. In the same period, the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

, following the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

; the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

, following the end of the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 in 1871; Tsarist Russia; and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, following the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 in 1898, quickly emerged as new imperial powers in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 and in the Pacific Ocean area.

In Asia, World War I and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 were played out as struggles among several key imperial powers—conflicts involving the European powers along with Russia and the rising American and Japanese powers. None of the colonial powers, however, possessed the resources to withstand the strains of both world wars and maintain their direct rule in Asia. Although nationalist movements throughout the colonial world led to the political independence of nearly all of the Asia's remaining colonies, decolonisation was intercepted by the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

; and South East Asia, South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, the Middle East, and East Asia remained embedded in a world economic, financial, and military system in which the great powers compete to extend their influence. However, the rapid post-war economic development of the East Asian Tigers
East Asian Tigers
The Four Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons is a term used in reference to the highly developed economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. These nations and areas were notable for maintaining exceptionally high growth rates and rapid industrialization between the early 1960s and 1990s...

 and the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, along with the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, have loosened European and North American influence in Asia, generating speculation today about the possible re-emergence of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 as regional powers.

Early European exploration of Asia


European exploration of Asia started in ancient Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 times. Knowledge of lands as distant as China were held by the Romans. Trade with India through the Roman Egyptian Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 ports was significant in the first centuries of the Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

.

Medieval European exploration of Asia



In the 13th and 14th centuries, a number of Europeans, many of them Christian missionaries
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

, had sought to penetrate China. The most famous of these travelers was Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

. But these journeys had little permanent effect on East-West trade because of a series of political developments in Asia in the last decades of the 14th century, which put an end to further European exploration of Asia. The Yuan dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 in China, which had been receptive to European missionaries and merchants, was overthrown, and the new Ming
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 rulers were found to be inward oriented and unreceptive to foreign religious proselytism. Meanwhile, The Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 consolidated control over the eastern Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, closing off key overland trade routes. Thus, until the 15th century, only minor trade and cultural exchanges between Europe and Asia continued at certain terminals controlled by Muslim traders.

Oceanic voyages to Asia


Western European rulers determined to find new trade routes of their own. The Portuguese spearheaded the drive to find oceanic routes that would provide cheaper and easier access to South and East Asian goods. This chartering of oceanic routes between East and West began with the unprecedented voyages of Portuguese and Spanish sea captains. Their voyages were influenced by medieval European adventurers, who had journeyed overland to the Far East and contributed to geographical knowledge of parts of Asia upon their return.

In 1488, Bartholomeu Dias rounded the southern tip of Africa under the sponsorship of Portugal's John II
John II of Portugal
John II , the Perfect Prince , was the thirteenth king of Portugal and the Algarves...

, from which point he noticed that the coast swung northeast. Although his crew forced him to turn back, he was pleased with the prospect of soon finding a sea route to India and named the tip as the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

. Later, starting in 1497, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 made the first open voyage from Europe to India. In 1520, Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was born in Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" ....

, a Portuguese navigator in the service of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, found a sea route into the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

.

Portuguese and Spanish trade and colonization in Asia


For further detail see Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

.

Portuguese monopoly over trade in the Indian Ocean



Early in the 16th century Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean...

 (left) emerged as the Portuguese colonial viceroy most instrumental in consolidating Portugal's holdings in Africa and in Asia. He understood that Portugal could wrest commercial supremacy from the Arabs only by force, and therefore devised a plan to establish forts at strategic sites which would dominate the trade routes and also protect Portuguese interests on land. In 1510, he seized Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

 in India, which enabled him to gradually consolidate control of most of the commercial traffic between Europe and Asia, largely through trade; Europeans started to carry on trade from forts, acting as foreign merchants rather than as settlers. In contrast, early European expansion in the "West Indies", (later known to Europeans as a separate continent from Asia that they would call the "Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

") following the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

, involved heavy settlement in colonies that were treated as political extensions of the mother countries.

Lured by the potential of high profits from another expedition, the Portuguese established a permanent base south of the Indian trade port of Calicut
History of Kozhikode
Kozhikode , also known as Calicut, is a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is the third largest city in Kerala and the headquarters of Kozhikode district....

 in the early 15th century. In 1510, the Portuguese seized Goa on the coast of India, which Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 held until 1961. The Portuguese soon acquired a monopoly over trade in the Indian Ocean.

Portuguese viceroy Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean...

 (1509–1515) resolved to consolidate Portuguese holdings in Africa and Asia, and secure control of trade with the East Indies
East Indies
East Indies is a term used by Europeans from the 16th century onwards to identify what is now known as Indian subcontinent or South Asia, Southeastern Asia, and the islands of Oceania, including the Malay Archipelago and the Philippines...

 and China. His first objective was Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

, which controlled the narrow strait through which most Far Eastern trade moved. Captured in 1511, Malacca became the springboard for further eastward penetration; several years later the first trading posts were established in the Moluccas, or "Spice Islands," which was the source for some of the world's most hotly demanded spices. By 1516, the first Portuguese ships had reached Canton
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 on the southern coasts of China.

By 1557, the Portuguese gained a permanent base in China at Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

, which they held until 1999. The Portuguese, based at Goa and Malacca, had now established a lucrative maritime empire in the Indian Ocean meant to monopolise the spice trade
Spice trade
Civilizations of Asia were involved in spice trade from the ancient times, and the Greco-Roman world soon followed by trading along the Incense route and the Roman-India routes...

. The Portuguese also began a channel of trade with the Japanese, becoming the first recorded Westerners to have visited Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. This contact introduced Christianity and fire-arms into Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

.

The energies of Spain, the other major colonial power of the 16th century, were largely concentrated on the Americas, not South and East Asia. But the Spanish did establish a footing in the Far East in the Philippines. After 1565, cargoes of Chinese goods were transported from the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 to Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and from there to Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. By this long route, Spain reaped some of the profits of Far Eastern commerce. Spanish officials converted the island to Christianity and established some settlements, permanently establishing the Philippines as the area of East Asia most oriented toward the West in terms of culture and commerce.

Decline of Portugal's Asian empire since the 17th century


The lucrative trade was vastly expanded when the Portuguese began to export slave
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

s from Africa in 1541; however, over time, the rise of the slave trade left Portugal over-extended, and vulnerable to competition from other Western European powers. Envious of Portugal's control of trade routes, other Western European nations — mainly the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, France, and England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 — began to send in rival expeditions to Asia. In 1642, the Dutch drove the Portuguese out of the Gold Coast
Gold Coast (British colony)
The Gold Coast was a British colony on the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa that became the independent nation of Ghana in 1957.-Overview:The first Europeans to arrive at the coast were the Portuguese in 1471. They encountered a variety of African kingdoms, some of which controlled substantial...

 in Africa, the source of the bulk of Portuguese slave labourers, leaving this rich slaving area to other Europeans, especially the Dutch and the English.

Rival European powers began to make inroads in Asia as the Portuguese and Spanish trade in the Indian Ocean declined primarily because they had become hugely over-stretched financially due to the limitations on their investment capacity and contemporary naval technology. Both of these factors worked in tandem, making control over Indian Ocean trade extremely expensive.

The existing Portuguese interests in Asia proved sufficient to finance further colonial expansion and entrenchment in areas regarded as of greater strategic importance in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. Portuguese maritime supremacy was lost to the Dutch in the 17th century, and with this came serious challenges for the Portuguese. However, they still clung to Macau, and settled a new colony on the island of Timor
Timor
Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. It is divided between the independent state of East Timor, and West Timor, belonging to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. The island's surface is 30,777 square kilometres...

. It was as recent as the 1960s and 1970s that the Portuguese began to relinquish their colonies in Asia. Goa was invaded by India in 1961 and became an Indian state in 1987; East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

 was abandoned in 1975 and was then invaded by Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. It became an independent nation in 2002; and Macau was handed over to the Chinese as per a treaty in 1999.

Rise of Dutch control over Asian trade in the 17th century


Portuguese decline in Asia was accelerated by the attacks on their commercial empire by the Dutch and the English, which began a global struggle over empire in Asia that lasted until the end of the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 in 1763. The Netherlands revolt against Spanish rule facilitated Dutch encroachment of the Portuguese monopoly over South and East Asian trade. The Dutch looked on Spain's trade and colonies as potential spoils in war. When the two crowns of the Iberian peninsula were joined in 1581, the Dutch felt free to attack Portuguese territories in Asia.

By the 1590s, a number of Dutch companies were formed to finance trading expeditions in Asia. Because competition lowered their profits, and because of the doctrines of mercantilism
Mercantilism
Mercantilism is the economic doctrine in which government control of foreign trade is of paramount importance for ensuring the prosperity and security of the state. In particular, it demands a positive balance of trade. Mercantilism dominated Western European economic policy and discourse from...

, in 1602 the companies united into a cartel
Cartel
A cartel is a formal agreement among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production. Cartels usually occur in an oligopolistic industry, where there is a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products...

 and formed the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

, and received from the government the right to trade and colonise territory in the area stretching from the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 eastward to the Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan
The Strait of Magellan comprises a navigable sea route immediately south of mainland South America and north of Tierra del Fuego...

.

In 1605, armed Dutch merchants captured the Portuguese fort at Amboyna in the Moluccas, which was developed into the first secure base of the company. Over time, the Dutch gradually consolidated control over the great trading ports of the East Indies. Control over the East Indies trading ports allowed the company to monopolise the world spice trade
Spice trade
Civilizations of Asia were involved in spice trade from the ancient times, and the Greco-Roman world soon followed by trading along the Incense route and the Roman-India routes...

 for decades. Their monopoly over the spice trade became complete after they drove the Portuguese from Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

 in 1641 and Ceylon in 1658.

Dutch East India Company colonies or outposts were later established in Atjeh (Aceh
Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

), 1667; Macassar
Macassar, Mozambique
Macassar is a village in Ancuabe District in Cabo Delgado Province in northeastern Mozambique.It is located northeast of the district capital of Ancuabe.-External links:*...

, 1669; and Bantam
Bantam (city)
Bantam in Banten province near the western end of Java was a strategically important site and formerly a major trading city, with a secure harbor on the Sunda Strait through which all ocean-going traffic passed, at the mouth of Banten River that provided a navigable passage for light craft into...

, 1682. The company established its headquarters at Batavia (today Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

) on the island of Java. Outside the East Indies, the Dutch East India Company colonies or outposts were also established in Persia (now Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

), Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 (now Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 and part of India), Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

 (1638-1658/1664-1710), Siam
Ayutthaya kingdom
Ayutthaya was a Siamese kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767. Ayutthaya was friendly towards foreign traders, including the Chinese, Vietnamese , Indians, Japanese and Persians, and later the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French, permitting them to set up villages outside the walls of the...

 (now Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

), Guangzhou
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

 (Canton, China), Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 (1624–1662), and southern India (1616–1795). In 1662, Zheng Chenggong (also known as Koxinga) expelled the Dutch from Taiwan. (see History of Taiwan
History of Taiwan
Taiwan was first populated by Negrito, and then Austronesian people. It was colonized by the Dutch in the 17th century, followed by an influx of Han Chinese including Hakka immigrants from areas of Fujian and Guangdong of mainland China, across the Taiwan Strait...

) Further, the Dutch East India Company trade post on Dejima
Dejima
was a small fan-shaped artificial island built in the bay of Nagasaki in 1634. This island, which was formed by digging a canal through a small peninsula, remained as the single place of direct trade and exchange between Japan and the outside world during the Edo period. Dejima was built to...

 (1641–1857), an artificial island off the coast of Nagasaki, was for a long time the only place where Europeans could trade with Japan.

In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck
Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck was a Dutch colonial administrator and founder of Cape Town.-Biography:...

 established an outpost at the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 (the southwestern tip of Africa, currently in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

) to restock company ships on their journey to East Asia. This post later became a fully-fledged colony, the Cape Colony
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

 (1652–1806). As Cape Colony attracted increasing Dutch and European settlement, the Dutch founded the city of Kaapstad (Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

).

By 1669, the Dutch East India Company was the richest private company in history, with a huge fleet of merchant ships and warships, tens of thousands of employees, a private army consisting of thousands of soldiers, and a reputation on the part of its stockholders for high dividend payments.

Dutch New Imperialism in Asia


The company was in almost constant conflict with the English; relations were particularly tense following the Amboyna Massacre
Amboyna massacre
The Amboyna massacre was the 1623 torture and execution on Ambon Island , of twenty men, ten of whom were in the service of the British East India Company, by agents of the Dutch East India Company, on accusations of treason...

 in 1623. During the 18th century, Dutch East India Company possessions were increasingly focused on the East Indies. After the fourth war between the United Provinces
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 and England (1780–1784), the company suffered increasing financial difficulties. In 1799, the company was dissolved, commencing official colonisation of the East Indies
East Indies
East Indies is a term used by Europeans from the 16th century onwards to identify what is now known as Indian subcontinent or South Asia, Southeastern Asia, and the islands of Oceania, including the Malay Archipelago and the Philippines...

. During the era of New Imperialism the territorial claims of the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 (VOC) expanded into a fully fledged colony named the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

. Partly driven by re-newed colonial aspirations of fellow European nation states the Dutch strived to establish unchallenged control of the archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 now known as Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

.

Six years into formal colonisation of the East Indies, in Europe the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 was occupied by the French forces of Napoleon. The Dutch government went into exile in England and formally ceded its colonial possessions to Great Britain. The pro-French Governor General Daendels of the Dutch East Indies fought the British in the Anglo-Dutch Java War
Anglo-Dutch Java War
The Anglo-Dutch Java War in 1810–1811 was a war between Britain and the Netherlands , fought entirely on the Island of Java in colonial Indonesia.-Background:...

 before surrendering the colony. British Governor Raffles, who the later founded the city of Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, ruled the colony the following 10 years of the British interregnum
Interregnum
An interregnum is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order...

 (1806–1816).

After the defeat of Napoleon and the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814
Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814
The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 was a treaty signed between Great Britain and the Netherlands in London on August 13, 1814...

 colonial government of the East Indies was ceded back to the Dutch in 1817. The loss of South Africa and the continued scramble for Africa stimulated the Dutch to secure unchallenged dominion over its colony in the East Indies. The Dutch started to consolidate its power base through extensive military campaigns and elaborate diplomatic alliances with indigenous rulers ensuring the Dutch tricolor was firmly planted in all corners of the Archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

. These military campaigns included: the Padri War
Padri War
The Padri War was fought from 1803 until 1837 in West Sumatra between two rival muslim factions. The Dutch intervened from 1821 and helped the Adats defeat the Padri faction.-Background:...

 (1821–1837), the Java War
Java War
The Java War or Diponegoro War was fought in Java between 1825 and 1830. It started as a rebellion led by Prince Diponegoro. The proximate cause was the Dutch decision to build a road across a piece of his property that contained his parents' tomb...

 (1825–1830) and the Aceh War
Aceh War
The Aceh War, also known as the Dutch War or the Infidel War , was an armed military conflict between the Sultanate of Aceh and the Netherlands which was triggered by discussions between representatives of Aceh and the U.S. in Singapore during early 1873...

 (1873–1904). This raised the need for a considerable military build up of the colonial army (KNIL). From all over Europe soldiers were recruited to join the KNIL.

The Dutch concentrated their colonial enterprise in the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

 (Indonesia) throughout the 19th century. The Dutch lost control over the East Indies to the Japanese during much of World War II. Following the war, the Dutch fought Indonesian independence forces after Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945. In 1949 most of what was known as the Dutch East Indies was ceded to the independent Republic of Indonesia. In 1962 also Dutch New Guinea was annexed by Indonesia de facto ending Dutch imperialism in Asia.

Portuguese, French, and British competition in India (1600–1763)



The English sought to stake out claims in India at the expense of the Portuguese dating back to the Elizabethan era
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 incorporated the English East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 (later the British East India Company), granting it a monopoly of trade from the Cape of Good Hope eastward to the Strait of Magellan. In 1639 it acquired Madras on the east coast of India, where it quickly surpassed Portuguese Goa as the principal European trading centre on the Indian Subcontinent.

Through bribes, diplomacy, and manipulation of weak native rulers, the company prospered in India, where it became the most powerful political force, and outrivaled its Portuguese, and French competitors. For more than one hundred years, English and French trading companies had fought one another for supremacy, and by the middle of the 18th century competition between the British and the French had heated up. French defeat by the British under the command of Robert Clive during the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 (1756–1763) marked the end of the French stake in India.

Collapse of Mughal India


The British East India Company, although still in direct competition with French and Dutch interests until 1763, was able to extend its control over almost the whole of India in the century following the subjugation of Bengal at the 1757 Battle of Plassey
Battle of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey , 23 June 1757, was a decisive British East India Company victory over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies, establishing Company rule in South Asia which expanded over much of the Indies for the next hundred years...

. The British East India Company made great advances at the expense of a Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 dynasty.

The reign of Aurangzeb had marked the height of Mughal power, By 1690. Mughal territorial expansion reached its greatest extent, Aurangzeb's Empire encompassed the entire Indian Subcontinent. But this period of power was followed by one of decline. Fifty years after the death of Aurangzeb, the great Mughal empire had crumbled. Meanwhile, marauding warlords, nobles, and others bent on gaining power left the Subcontinent
Subcontinent
A subcontinent is a large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent. By dictionary entries, the term subcontinent signifies "having a certain geographical or political independence" from the rest of the continent, or "a vast and more or less self-contained subdivision...

 increasingly anarchic. Although the Mughals kept the imperial title until 1858, the central government had collapsed, creating a power vacuum.

From Company to Crown


Aside from defeating the French during the Seven Years' War, Robert Clive, the leader of the Company in India, defeated a key Indian ruler of Bengal at the decisive Battle of Plassey
Battle of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey , 23 June 1757, was a decisive British East India Company victory over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies, establishing Company rule in South Asia which expanded over much of the Indies for the next hundred years...

 (1757), a victory that ushered in the beginning of a new period in Indian history, that of informal British rule. While still nominally the sovereign, the Mughal Indian emperor became more and more of a puppet ruler, and anarchy spread until the company stepped into the
role of policeman of India. The transition to formal imperialism, characterised by Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 being crowned "Empress of India" in the 1870s was a gradual process. The first step toward cementing formal British control extended back to the late 18th century. The British Parliament, disturbed by the idea that a great business concern, interested primarily in profit, was controlling the destinies of millions of people, passed acts in 1773 and 1784 that gave itself the power to control company policies and to appoint the highest company official in India, the Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

. (This system of dual control lasted until 1858.) By 1818 the East India Company was master of all of India. Some local rulers were forced to accept its overlordship; others were deprived of their territories. Some portions of India were administered by the British directly; in others native dynasties were retained under British supervision.

Until 1858, however, much of India was still officially the dominion of the Mughal emperor. Anger among some social groups, however, was seething under the governor-generalship of James Dalhousie (1847–1856), who annexed the Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 (1849) after victory in the Second Sikh War
Second Anglo-Sikh War
The Second Anglo-Sikh War took place in 1848 and 1849, between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company. It resulted in the subjugation of the Sikh Empire, and the annexation of the Punjab and what subsequently became the North-West Frontier Province by the East India Company.-Background...

, annexed seven princely states on the basis of lapse, annexed the key state of Oudh on the basis of misgovernment, and upset cultural sensibilities by banning Hindu practices such as Sati
Sati (practice)
For other uses, see Sati .Satī was a religious funeral practice among some Indian communities in which a recently widowed woman either voluntarily or by use of force and coercion would have immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre...

. The 1857 Sepoy Rebellion, or Indian Mutiny, an uprising initiated by Indian troops, called sepoys, who formed the bulk of the Company's armed forces, was the key turning point. Rumour had spread among them that their bullet cartridges were lubricated with pig and cow fat. The cartridges had to be bit open, so this upset the Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 and Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 soldiers. The Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 religion held cows sacred, and for Muslims pork was considered Haraam
Haraam
Haraam is an Arabic term meaning "forbidden", or "sacred". In Islam it is used to refer to anything that is prohibited by the word of Allah in the Qur'an or the Hadith Qudsi. Haraam is the highest status of prohibition given to anything that would result in sin when a Muslim commits it...

. In one camp, 85 out of 90 sepoys would not accept the cartridges from their garrison officer. The British harshly punished those who would not by jailing them. The Indian people were outraged, and on May 10, 1857, sepoys marched to Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, and, with the help of soldiers stationed there, captured it. Fortunately for the British, many areas remained loyal and quiescent, allowing the revolt to be crushed after fierce fighting. One important consequence of the revolt was the final collapse of the Mughal dynasty. The mutiny also ended the system of dual control under which the British government and the British East India Company shared authority. The government relieved the company of its political responsibilities, and in 1858, after 258 years of existence, the company relinquished its role. Trained civil servants were recruited from graduates of British universities, and these men set out to rule India. Lord Canning (created earl in 1859), appointed Governor-General of India in 1856, became known as "Clemency Canning" as a term of derision for his efforts to restrain revenge against the Indians during the Indian Mutiny. When the Government of India was transferred from the Company to the Crown, Canning became the first viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 of India.

Rise of Indian nationalism


The denial of equal status to Indians was the immediate stimulus for the formation in 1885 of the Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

, initially loyal to the Empire but committed from 1905 to increased self-government and by 1930 to outright independence. The "Home charges," payments transferred from India for administrative costs, were a lasting source of nationalist grievance, though the flow declined in relative importance over the decades to independence in 1947.

Although majority Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 and minority Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 political leaders were able to collaborate closely in their criticism of British policy into the 1920s, British support for a distinct Muslim political organisation, the Muslim League from 1906 and insistence from the 1920s on separate electorates for religious minorities, is seen by many in India as having contributed to Hindu-Muslim discord and the country's eventual Partition
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

.

France in Indochina


France, which had lost its empire to the British
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 by the end of the 18th century, had little geographical or commercial basis for expansion in Southeast Asia. After the 1850s, French imperialism was initially impelled by a nationalistic need to rival the United Kingdom and was supported intellectually by the notion that French culture was superior to that of the people of Annam, and its mission civilisatrice— or its "civilizing mission" of the Annamese through their assimilation to French culture and the Catholic religion. The false pretext for French expansionism in Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

 was the protection of French religious missions in the area, coupled with a desire to find a southern route to China through Tonkin
Tonkin
Tonkin , also spelled Tongkin, Tonquin or Tongking, is the northernmost part of Vietnam, south of China's Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces, east of northern Laos, and west of the Gulf of Tonkin. Locally, it is known as Bắc Kỳ, meaning "Northern Region"...

, the European name for the northern region of northern Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

.

French religious and commercial interests were established in Indochina as early as the 17th century, but no concerted effort at stabilizing the French position was possible in the face of British strength in the Indian Ocean and French defeat
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. A mid-19th century religious revival under the Second Empire
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

 provided the atmosphere within which interest in Indochina grew. Anti-Christian persecutions in the Far East provided the pretext for the bombardment of Tourane (Da Nang) in 1847, and invasion and occupation of Da Nang in 1857 and Saigon in 1858. Under Napoleon III, France decided that French trade with China would be surpassed by the British, and accordingly the French joined the British against China in the Second Opium War
Second Opium War
The Second Opium War, the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war pitting the British Empire and the Second French Empire against the Qing Dynasty of China, lasting from 1856 to 1860...

 from 1857 to 1860, and occupied parts of Vietnam as its gateway to China.

By the Treaty of Saigon
Treaty of Saigon
The Treaty of Saigon was signed on June 5, 1862, between representatives of the French Empire and the last precolonial emperor of the Nguyễn Dynasty, Emperor Tự Đức. Based on the terms of the accord, Tự Đức ceded Saigon, the island of Poulo Condor and three southern provinces of what was to become...

 in 1862, on June 5th, the Vietnamese emperor ceded France three provinces of southern Vietnam to form the French colony of Cochinchina
Cochinchina
Cochinchina is a region encompassing the southern third of Vietnam whose principal city is Saigon. It was a French colony from 1862 to 1954. The later state of South Vietnam was created in 1954 by combining Cochinchina with southern Annam. In Vietnamese, the region is called Nam Bộ...

; France also secured trade and religious privileges in the rest of Vietnam and a protectorate over Vietnam's foreign relations. Gradually French power spread through exploration, the establishment of protectorates, and outright annexations. Their seizure of Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

 in 1882 led directly to war with China (1883–1885), and the French victory confirmed French supremacy in the region. France governed Cochinchina
Cochinchina
Cochinchina is a region encompassing the southern third of Vietnam whose principal city is Saigon. It was a French colony from 1862 to 1954. The later state of South Vietnam was created in 1954 by combining Cochinchina with southern Annam. In Vietnamese, the region is called Nam Bộ...

 as a direct colony, and central and northern Vietnam under the protectorates of Annam
Annam (French Colony)
Annam was a French protectorate encompassing the central region of Vietnam. Vietnamese were subsequently referred to as "Annamites." Nationalist writers adopted the word "Vietnam" in the late 1920s. The general public embraced the word "Vietnam" during the revolution of August 1945...

 and Tonkin, and Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 as protectorates in one degree or another. Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

 too was soon brought under French "protection."

By the beginning of the 20th century, France had created an empire in Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

 nearly 50 percent larger than the mother country. A Governor-General in Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

 ruled Cochinchina
Cochinchina
Cochinchina is a region encompassing the southern third of Vietnam whose principal city is Saigon. It was a French colony from 1862 to 1954. The later state of South Vietnam was created in 1954 by combining Cochinchina with southern Annam. In Vietnamese, the region is called Nam Bộ...

 directly and the other regions through a system of residents. Theoretically, the French maintained the precolonial rulers and administrative structures in Annam
Annam (French Colony)
Annam was a French protectorate encompassing the central region of Vietnam. Vietnamese were subsequently referred to as "Annamites." Nationalist writers adopted the word "Vietnam" in the late 1920s. The general public embraced the word "Vietnam" during the revolution of August 1945...

, Tonkin, Cochinchina
Cochinchina
Cochinchina is a region encompassing the southern third of Vietnam whose principal city is Saigon. It was a French colony from 1862 to 1954. The later state of South Vietnam was created in 1954 by combining Cochinchina with southern Annam. In Vietnamese, the region is called Nam Bộ...

, Cambodia, and Laos, but in fact the governor-generalship was a centralised fiscal and administrative regime ruling the entire region. Although the surviving native institutions were preserved in order to make French rule more acceptable, they were almost completely deprived of any independence of action. The ethnocentric French colonial administrators sought to assimilate the upper classes into France's "superior culture." While the French improved public services and provided commercial stability, the native standard of living declined and precolonial social structures eroded. Indochina, which had a population of over eighteen million in 1914, was important to France for its tin
Tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

, pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

, coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, and rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

. It is still a matter of debate, however, whether the colony was commercially profitable.

Russia and "The Great Game"


Tsarist Russia is not often regarded as a colonial power such as the United Kingdom or France because of the manner of Russian expansions: unlike the United Kingdom, which expanded overseas, the Russian empire grew from the centre outward by a process of accretion, like the United States. In the 19th century, Russian expansion took the form of a struggle of an effectively landlocked
Landlocked
A landlocked country is a country entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas. There are 48 landlocked countries in the world, including partially recognized states...

 country for access to a warm water port.

While the British were consolidating their hold on India, Russian expansion had moved steadily eastward to the Pacific, then toward the Middle East, and finally to the frontiers of Persia
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 (both territories adjacent to British holdings in India). In response, the defense of India's land frontiers and the control of all sea approaches to the Subcontinent
Subcontinent
A subcontinent is a large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent. By dictionary entries, the term subcontinent signifies "having a certain geographical or political independence" from the rest of the continent, or "a vast and more or less self-contained subdivision...

 via the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

, the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

, and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 became preoccupations of British foreign policy in the 19th century.

Anglo-Russian rivalry in the Middle East and Central Asia led to a brief confrontation over Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 in the 1870s. In Persia (now Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

), both nations set up banks to extend their economic influence. The United Kingdom went so far as to invade Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

, a land subordinate to the Chinese empire, in 1904, but withdrew when it became clear that Russian influence was insignificant and when Chinese resistance proved tougher than expected.

In 1907, the United Kingdom and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 signed an agreement which — on the surface —ended their rivalry in Central Asia. (see Anglo-Russian Entente
Anglo-Russian Entente
Signed on August 31, 1907, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 brought shaky British-Russian relations to the forefront by solidifying boundaries that identified respective control in Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet...

) As part of the entente, Russia agreed to deal with the sovereign of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 only through British intermediaries. In turn, the United Kingdom would not annex or occupy Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. Chinese suzerainty over Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 also was recognised by both Russia and the United Kingdom, since nominal control by a weak China was preferable to control by either power. Persia was divided into Russian and British spheres of influence and an intervening "neutral" zone. The United Kingdom and Russia chose to reach these uneasy compromises because of growing concern on the part of both powers over German expansion in strategic areas of China and Africa.

Following the entente, Russia increasingly intervened in Persian domestic politics and suppressed nationalist movements that threatened both St. Petersburg and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. After the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, Russia gave up its claim to a sphere of influence, though Soviet involvement persisted alongside the United Kingdom's until the 1940s.

In the Middle East, a German company built a railroad from Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 to Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 wanted to gain economic influence in the region and then, perhaps, move on to Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and India. This was met with bitter resistance by the United Kingdom, Russia, and France who divided the region among themselves.

Qing territorial expansion


By the late 19th century, in response to competition with other states, the Qing government
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 of China attempted to exert direct control of its frontier areas by conquest or, if already under military control, conversion into provinces.

The Qing had also expanded into Taiwan near the beginning of its dynasty, but did not convert it into a province until 1885, after Japanese interest
Taiwan Expedition of 1874
The , usually referred to in Taiwan and mainland China as the Mudan incident , was a punitive expedition launched by the Japanese in retaliation for the murder of 54 Ryukyuan sailors by Paiwan aborigines near the southwestern tip of Taiwan in December 1871...

 and French invasion
Sino-French War
The Sino–French War was a limited conflict fought between August 1884 and April 1885 to decide whether France should replace China in control of Tonkin . As the French achieved their war aims, they are usually considered to have won the war...

 had challenged Qing control. Some Western studies of the Qing dynasty have used the concept of colonialism as a framework to describe the expansion of the Qing into Taiwan
Taiwan under Qing Dynasty rule
The Qing Dynasty ruled Taiwan from 1683 to 1895. The Qing court sent an army led by general Shi Lang and annexed Taiwan in 1683.-History:Qing Emperor Kangxi annexed Taiwan because he wanted to remove the remaining resistance forces against the Qing Dynasty...

. The use of the term colonialism or imperialism to describe this expansion is controversial, as it contests the claims of current governments to rule Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

.

After British troops invaded Tibet
British expedition to Tibet
The British expedition to Tibet during 1903 and 1904 was an invasion of Tibet by British Indian forces, whose mission was to establish diplomatic relations and trade between the British Raj and Tibet...

 in the waning days of the Qing Dynasty, the Qing responded by sending Zhao Erfeng
Zhao Erfeng
Zhao Erfeng was a Qing official and Chinese bannerman, who belonged to the Plain Blue Banner. He is known for being the last amban in Tibet, appointed in March, 1908. Lien Yu , a Manchu, was appointed as the other amban...

 to further integrate Tibet into China. He succeeded in abolishing the powers of the Tibetan local leaders in Kham
Kham
Kham , is a historical region covering a land area largely divided between present-day Tibetan Autonomous Region and Sichuan province, with smaller portions located within Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan provinces of China. During the Republic of China's rule over mainland China , most of the region was...

 and appointing Chinese magistrates in their places by 1909–10. Qing forces were also sent to Ü-Tsang
Ü-Tsang
Ü-Tsang , or Tsang-Ü, is one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the other two being Amdo and Kham. Geographically Ü-Tsang covered the central and western portions of the Tibetan cultural area, including the Tsang-po watershed, the western districts surrounding and extending past Mount...

 in 1910 to establish a direct control over Tibet proper, though a province was never established in this area.

Process of expansion


The ability of Qing China to project power into Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 came about because of two changes, one social and one technological. The social change was that under the Qing dynasty, from 1642, China came under the control of the Manchus who organised their military forces around cavalry which was more suited for power projection
Power projection
Power projection is a term used in military and political science to refer to the capacity of a state to conduct expeditionary warfare, i.e. to intimidate other nations and implement policy by means of force, or the threat thereof, in an area distant from its own territory.This ability is a...

 than traditional Chinese infantry. The technological change was advances in the cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

 and artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 which negated the military advantage that the people of the Steppe
Steppe
In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

 had with their cavalry (although cannons and firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

s were used in China centuries beforehand to combat similar threats, see Technology of Song Dynasty). Zunghar Khanate (Зүүн гарын хаант улс) was the last great independent nomadic power on the steppe in Central Asia. The Dzungars were deliberately exterminated in a brutal campaign of ethnic genocide. It has been estimated that more than a million people were slaughtered, and it took generations for it to recover. The Manchu ruling family (Aisin Gioro
Aisin Gioro
Aisin Gioro was the family name of the Manchu emperors of the Qing Dynasty. The House of Aisin Gioro ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which established a republican government in its place. The word aisin means gold in the Manchu language, and "gioro" is the name of the place in...

) was a supporter of Tibetan Buddhism and so many of the ruling groups were linked by religion. China most of the time had little ambitions to conquer or establish colonies. There were exceptions to this, such as the ancient Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 (202 BC-220 AD) establishing control over northern Vietnam, northern Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, and the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin is a large endorheic basin occupying an area of about . It is located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west. Its northern boundary is the Tian Shan mountain range and its southern is the Kunlun Mountains on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The...

 of Central Asia. The short-lived Sui Dynasty
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

 (581–618 AD) had high imperial aims, reinvading Annam
Annam (Chinese Province)
Annam or Jiaozhi was the southernmost province of the Chinese Empire. It is now part of present-day Vietnam...

 (northern Vietnam) and attacking Champa
Champa
The kingdom of Champa was an Indianized kingdom that controlled what is now southern and central Vietnam from approximately the 7th century through to 1832.The Cham people are remnants...

 (southern Vietnam), while they also attempted to conquer Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, which failed (see Goguryeo-Sui Wars
Goguryeo-Sui Wars
The Goguryeo–Sui Wars were a series of campaigns launched by the Sui Dynasty of China against the Goguryeo of Korea between 598 and 614. It resulted in the defeat of Sui and contributed to the eventual downfall of the dynasty in 618.-Background:...

). The later Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 (618–907) aided the Korean Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

 Kingdom in defeating their two Korean rivals, yet became shortchanged when they discovered Silla was not about to allow the Tang to claim much of Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

's territory (as it had been under the Chinese Han Dynasty's control a few centuries before, the Han having wrested it from native kingdoms at that time). The Tang Dynasty established control over the Tarim Basin region as well, fighting wars with the new Tibetan Empire and stripping them of their colonies in Central Asia (which was abandoned after the An Lushan Rebellion). The Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 (960–1279), in securing maritime trade routes that ran from South East Asia into the Indian Ocean, had established fortified trade bases in the Philippines. The Mongol-lead Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 (1279–1368) made attempts to invade Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 after securing the Korean peninsula through the vassaldom of the Korean Goryeo
Goryeo
The Goryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ was a Korean dynasty established in 918 by Emperor Taejo. Korea gets its name from this kingdom which came to be pronounced Korea. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean peninsula until it was removed by the Joseon dynasty in 1392...

 dynasty, yet both of these military ventures failed (see Mongol Invasions of Japan
Mongol invasions of Japan
The ' of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank...

). Yet even when the Chinese had established their first standing navy in the 12th century (under the Southern Song), and when they had the world's strongest and biggest naval fleet during the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 (1368–1644), their aim was not colonisation, but tribute
Tribute
A tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states, which could be called suzerains, exacted tribute from areas they had conquered or threatened to conquer...

 gathering. Rather, Chinese immigrated overseas to areas outside the control of their government. For instance, numerous southern Chinese emigrants settled in areas of Southeast Asia outside Chinese political control; to this day their descendants remain an economic elite, especially in Malaysia and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, and to a fair extent, also in Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

European penetration of China



The 16th century brought many Jesuit missionaries to China, such as Matteo Ricci
Matteo Ricci
Matteo Ricci, SJ was an Italian Jesuit priest, and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China Mission, as it existed in the 17th-18th centuries. His current title is Servant of God....

, who established missions where Western science was introduced, and where Europeans gathered knowledge of Chinese society, history, culture, and science. During the 18th century, merchants from Western Europe came to China in increasing numbers. However, merchants were confined to Guangzhou and the Portuguese colony of Macau, as they had been since the 16th century. European traders were increasingly irritated by what they saw as the relatively high customs duties they had to pay and by the attempts to curb the growing import trade in opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

. By 1800, its importation was forbidden by the imperial government. However, the opium trade continued to boom.

Early in the 19th century, serious internal weaknesses developed in the Qing dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 that left China vulnerable to Western, Japanese, and Russian imperialism. In 1839, China found itself fighting the First Opium War
First Opium War
The First Anglo-Chinese War , known popularly as the First Opium War or simply the Opium War, was fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing Dynasty of China over their conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade, and the administration of justice...

 with Britain. China was defeated, and in 1842, agreed to the provisions of the Treaty of Nanjing. Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km², as of 2008...

 was ceded to Britain, and certain ports, including Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

 and Guangzhou
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

, were opened to British trade and residence. In 1856, the Second Opium War
Second Opium War
The Second Opium War, the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war pitting the British Empire and the Second French Empire against the Qing Dynasty of China, lasting from 1856 to 1860...

 broke out. The Chinese were again defeated, and now forced to the terms of the 1858 Treaty of Tientsin
Treaty of Tientsin
Several documents known as the "Treaty of Tien-tsin" were signed in Tianjin in June 1858, ending the first part of the Second Opium War . The Second French Empire, United Kingdom, Russian Empire, and the United States were the parties involved...

. The treaty opened new ports to trade and allowed foreigners to travel in the interior. Christians gained the right to propagate their religion—another means of Western penetration. The United States and Russia later obtained the same prerogatives in separate treaties.

Toward the end of the 19th century, China appeared on the way to territorial dismemberment and economic vassalage—the fate of India's rulers that played out much earlier. Several provisions of these treaties caused long-standing bitterness and humiliation among the Chinese: extraterritoriality (meaning that in a dispute with a Chinese person, a Westerner had the right to be tried in a court under the laws of his own country), customs regulation, and the right to station foreign warships in Chinese waters.

The rise of Japan since the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

 as an imperial power led to further subjugation of China. In a dispute over China's longstanding claim of suzerainty in Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, war broke out between China and Japan, resulting in humiliating defeat for the Chinese. By the Treaty of Shimonoseki
Treaty of Shimonoseki
The Treaty of Shimonoseki , known as the Treaty of Maguan in China, was signed at the Shunpanrō hall on April 17, 1895, between the Empire of Japan and Qing Empire of China, ending the First Sino-Japanese War. The peace conference took place from March 20 to April 17, 1895...

 (1895), China was forced to recognize effective Japanese rule of Korea and Taiwan was ceded to Japan until its recovery in 1945 at the end of the WWII by the Republic of China.

China's defeat at the hands of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 was another trigger for future aggressive actions by Western powers. In 1897, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 demanded and was given a set of exclusive mining and railroad rights in Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

 province. Russia obtained access to Dairen and Port Arthur
Lüshunkou
Lüshunkou is a district in the municipality of Dalian, Liaoning province, China. Also called Lüshun City or Lüshun Port, it was formerly known as both Port Arthur and Ryojun....

 and the right to build a railroad across Manchuria, thereby achieving complete domination over a large portion of northwestern China. The United Kingdom and France also received a number of concessions
Concession (territory)
In international law, a concession is a territory within a country that is administered by an entity other than the state which holds sovereignty over it. This is usually a colonizing power, or at least mandated by one, as in the case of colonial chartered companies.Usually, it is conceded, that...

. At this time, much of China was divided up into "spheres of influence": Germany dominated Jiaozhou (Kiaochow) Bay
Jiaozhou Bay
The Jiaozhou Bay is a sea gulf located in Qingdao Prefecture of Shandong Province. It was a German colonial concession from 1898 until 1914....

, Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

, and the Huang He (Hwang-Ho) valley; Russia dominated the Liaodong Peninsula and Manchuria; the United Kingdom dominated Weihaiwei and the Yangtze
Yangtze River
The Yangtze, Yangzi or Cháng Jiāng is the longest river in Asia, and the third-longest in the world. It flows for from the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai eastward across southwest, central and eastern China before emptying into the East China Sea at Shanghai. It is also one of the...

 Valley; and France dominated the Guangzhou Bay and several other southern provinces.

China continued to be divided up into these spheres until the United States, which had no sphere of influence, grew alarmed at the possibility of its businessmen being excluded from Chinese markets. In 1899, Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 John Hay
John Hay
John Milton Hay was an American statesman, diplomat, author, journalist, and private secretary and assistant to Abraham Lincoln.-Early life:...

 asked the major powers to agree to a policy of equal trading privileges. In 1900, several powers agreed to the U.S.-backed scheme, giving rise to the "Open Door
Open Door Policy
The Open Door Policy is a concept in foreign affairs, which usually refers to the policy in 1899 allowing multiple Imperial powers access to China, with none of them in control of that country. As a theory, the Open Door Policy originates with British commercial practice, as was reflected in...

" policy, denoting freedom of commercial access and non-annexation of Chinese territory. In any event, it was in the European powers' interest to have a weak but independent Chinese government. The privileges of the Europeans in China were guaranteed in the form of treaties with the Qing government. In the event that the Qing government totally collapsed, each power risked losing the privileges that it already had negotiated.

The erosion of Chinese sovereignty contributed to a spectacular anti-foreign outbreak in June 1900, when the "Boxers" (properly the society of the "righteous and harmonious fists") attacked European legations in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, provoking a rare display of unity among the powers, whose troops landed at Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 and marched on the capital. British and French forces looted, plundered and burned the Old Summer Palace
Old Summer Palace
The Old Summer Palace, known in China as Yuan Ming Yuan , and originally called the Imperial Gardens, was a complex of palaces and gardens in Beijing...

 to the ground for the second time (the first time being in 1860, following the Second Opium War), as a form of threat to force the Qing empire to give in to their demands. German forces were particularly severe in exacting revenge for the killing of their ambassador, while Russia tightened its hold on Manchuria in the northeast until its crushing defeat by Japan in the war of 1904–1905.

Although extraterritorial jurisdiction was abandoned by the United Kingdom and the United States in 1943, foreign political control of parts of China only finally ended with the incorporation of Hong Kong and the small Portuguese territory of Macau into the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

U.S. Imperialism in the Pacific and Asia



As the United States emerged as a new imperial power in the Pacific and Asia, one of the two oldest Western imperialist powers in the regions, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, was finding it increasingly difficult to maintain control of territories it had held in the regions since the 16th century. In 1896, a widespread revolt against Spanish rule broke out in the Philippines. Meanwhile, the recent string of U.S. territorial gains in the Pacific posed an even greater threat to Spain's remaining colonial holdings.

In 1867, the Midway Islands were occupied by the U.S. and Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 was purchased from Russia. The next advance was in the Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands
The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaii in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll...

, where Europeans had earlier set up a lucrative plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

 economy exporting sugar. In the 19th century U.S. capital poured into the islands' sugar industry; and Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 came increasingly under the effective control of U.S. corporations. The U.S. consolidated its influence in Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 in 1893, when U.S. Marines engineered a revolt that deposed the Hawaiian queen and set up a new U.S.-backed regime. Five years later, the U.S. dissolved the republic and annexed the islands.

As the U.S. continued to expand its economic and military power in the Pacific, it declared war against Spain in 1898. During the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

, U.S. Admiral Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet at Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 and U.S. troops landed in the Philippines. Spain later agreed by treaty to cede the Philippines in Asia and Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 in the Pacific. In the Caribbean, Spain ceded Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 to the U.S. The war also marked the end of Spanish rule in Cuba, which was to be granted nominal independence but remained heavily influenced by the U.S. government and U.S. business interests. One year following its treaty with Spain, the U.S. occupied the small Pacific outpost of Wake Island
Wake Island
Wake Island is a coral atoll having a coastline of in the North Pacific Ocean, located about two-thirds of the way from Honolulu west to Guam east. It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior...

.

The Filipinos, who assisted U.S. troops in fighting the Spanish, wished to establish an independent state and, on June 12, 1898, declared independence
Philippine Declaration of Independence
The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo , Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of Independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the...

 from Spain. In 1899, fighting between the Filipino nationalists and the U.S. broke out; it took the U.S. almost fifteen years to fully subdue the insurgency
Philippine-American War
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection , was an armed conflict between a group of Filipino revolutionaries and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following...

. The U.S. sent 70,000 troops and suffered thousands of casualties. The Filipinos, however, suffered considerably higher casualties, through fighting, extrajudicial executions and disease.

U.S. attacks into the countryside often included scorched earth campaigns where entire villages were burned and destroyed, tortured, and concentrated into camps known as "protected zones." Many of these civilian casualties resulted from disease and famine. Reports of the execution of U.S. soldiers taken prisoner by the Filipinos led to disproportionate reprisals by American forces. Many U.S. officers and soldiers called the war a "nigger killing business."

In 1914, Dean C. Worcester, U.S. Secretary of the Interior for the Philippines (1901–1913) described "the regime of civilisation and improvement which started with American occupation and resulted in developing naked savages into cultivated and educated men." Nevertheless, some Americans, such as Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

, deeply opposed American involvement/imperialism in the Philippines, leading to the abandonment of attempts to construct a permanent U.S. naval base and using it as an entry point to the Chinese market. In 1916, Congress guaranteed the independence of the Philippines by 1945.

World War I: Changes in Imperialism


World War I brought about the fall of several empires in Europe. This had repercussions around the world. The defeated Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

 included Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and the Turkish
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 lost all of its colonies in Asia. German New Guinea, a part of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

, became administered by Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. German possessions and concessions in China, including Qingdao
Qingdao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

, became the subject of a controversy during the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

 when the Beiyang government
Beiyang Government
The Beiyang government or warlord government collectively refers to a series of military regimes that ruled from Beijing from 1912 to 1928 at Zhongnanhai. It was internationally recognized as the legitimate Government of the Republic of China. The name comes from the Beiyang Army which dominated...

 in China agreed to cede these interests to Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, to the anger of many Chinese people. Although the Chinese diplomats refused to sign the agreement, these interests were ceded to Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 with the support of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 gave up her Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 provinces; Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 (now Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

) came under French and British control as League of Nations Mandates. The discovery of petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 first in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and then in the Arab lands in the interbellum provided a new focus for activity on the part of the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.

Japan



In 1641, all Westerners were thrown out of Japan. For the next two centuries, Japan was free from Western influence, except for at the port of Nagasaki, which Japan allowed Dutch merchant vessels to enter on a limited basis.

Japan's freedom from Western penetration ended on 8 July 1853, when Commodore Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry (naval officer)
Matthew Calbraith Perry was the Commodore of the U.S. Navy and served commanding a number of US naval ships. He served several wars, most notably in the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854...

 of the U.S. Navy sailed a squadron of black-hulled warships into Edo
Edo
, also romanized as Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of the Japanese capital Tokyo, and was the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868...

 (modern Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

) harbor. The Japanese told Perry to sail to Nagasaki but he refused. Perry sought to present a letter from U.S. President Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States and the last member of the Whig Party to hold the office of president...

 to the emperor which demanded concessions from Japan. Japanese authorities responded by stating that they could not present the letter directly to the emperor, but scheduled a meeting on July 14 with a representative of the emperor. On 14 July, the squadron sailed towards the shore, giving a demonstration of their cannon's firepower thirteen times. Perry landed with a large detachment of Marines and presented the emperor's representative with Fillmore's letter. Perry said he would return, and did so, this time with even more war ships. The U.S. show of force led to Japan's concession to the Convention of Kanagawa
Convention of Kanagawa
On March 31, 1854, the or was concluded between Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the U.S. Navy and the Tokugawa shogunate.-Treaty of Peace and Amity :...

 on 31 March 1854. These events made Japanese authorities aware that the country was lacking technologically and needed to industrialise in order to keep their power. This realisation eventually led to the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

.

The Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

 of 1868 led to administrative modernisation and subsequent rapid economic development. Japan had little natural resources of her own and needed both overseas markets and sources of raw materials, fuelling a drive for imperial conquest which began with the defeat of China in 1895.

Taiwan, ceded by Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 China, became the first Japanese colony. In 1899 Japan won agreement from the great powers' to abandon extraterritoriality, and an alliance with the United Kingdom established it in 1902 as an international power. Its spectacular defeat of Russia in 1905 gave it the southern portion of the island of Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

, the former Russian lease of the Liaodong Peninsula with Port Arthur (Lüshunkou
Lüshunkou
Lüshunkou is a district in the municipality of Dalian, Liaoning province, China. Also called Lüshun City or Lüshun Port, it was formerly known as both Port Arthur and Ryojun....

), and extensive rights in Manchuria (see the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

).

Japan's encroachment on Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 began with the 1876 Treaty of Kanghwa with the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 of Korea, increased with the 1895 assassination of Empress Myeongseong
Empress Myeongseong
Empress Myeongseong , also known as Queen Min, was the first official wife of King Gojong, the twenty-sixth king of the Joseon dynasty of Korea...

 and the 1905 Eulsa Treaty
Eulsa Treaty
The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905, also known as the Eulsa Treaty or Japan–Korea Protectorate Treaty, was made between the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire in 1905. Negotiations were concluded on November 17, 1905....

, and was completed with the 1910 Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty
Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty
The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, also known as the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, was made by representatives of the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire in 1910. Negotiations were concluded on August 20, 1910...

 when Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 was formally annexed to the Japanese empire, see Korea under Japanese rule
Korea under Japanese rule
Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

.

Japan was now one of the most powerful forces in the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

, and in 1914, it entered World War I on the side of the United Kingdom, seizing German-occupied Kiaochow
Jiaozhou Bay
The Jiaozhou Bay is a sea gulf located in Qingdao Prefecture of Shandong Province. It was a German colonial concession from 1898 until 1914....

 and subsequently demanding Chinese acceptance of Japanese political influence and territorial acquisitions (Twenty-One Demands
Twenty-One Demands
The ' were a set of demands made by the Empire of Japan under Prime Minister Ōkuma Shigenobu sent to the nominal government of the Republic of China on January 18, 1915, resulting in two treaties with Japan on May 25, 1915.- Background :...

, 1915). Mass protests in Peking
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

 in 1919 coupled with Allied (and particularly U.S.) opinion led to Japan's abandonment of most of the demands and Jiaozhou's return (1922) to China.

Japan's rebuff was perceived in Tokyo as only temporary, and in 1931, Japanese army units based in Manchuria seized control of the region; full-scale war with China followed in 1937, drawing Japan toward an overambitious bid for Asian hegemony (Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was a concept created and promulgated during the Shōwa era by the government and military of the Empire of Japan. It represented the desire to create a self-sufficient "bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers"...

), which ultimately led to defeat and the loss of all its overseas territories after World War II (see Japanese expansionism and Japanese nationalism
Japanese nationalism
encompasses a broad range of ideas and sentiments harbored by the Japanese people over the last two centuries regarding their native country, its cultural nature, political form and historical destiny...

).

Decolonisation and the rise of nationalism in Asia


In the aftermath of World War II, European colonies, controlling more than one billion people throughout the world, still ruled most of the Middle East, South East Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. However, the image of European pre-eminence was shattered by the wartime Japanese occupations of large portions of British, French, and Dutch territories in the Pacific. The destabilisation of European rule led to the rapid growth of nationalist movements in Asia — especially in Indonesia, Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

, Burma, and French Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

.

The war, however, only accelerated forces already in existence undermining Western imperialism in Asia. Throughout the colonial world, the processes of urbanisation and capitalist investment created professional merchant classes that emerged as new Westernised elites. While imbued with Western political and economic ideas, these classes increasingly grew to resent their unequal status under European rule.

British in India and the Middle East


In India, the westward movement of Japanese forces towards Bengal during World War II had led to major concessions on the part of British authorities to Indian nationalist leaders. In 1947, the United Kingdom, devastated by war and embroiled in economic crisis at home, granted British India its independence as two nations: India and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. The following year independence was granted to Burma and Ceylon.

In the Middle East, the United Kingdom granted independence to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 in 1946 and two years later ended its mandate of Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, an action that led to the creation of the state of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and decades of bitter wars between this new nation and the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 world, which continues to this day. (see Arab-Israeli conflict)

Dutch East Indies


Following the end of the war, nationalists in Indonesia demanded complete independence from the Netherlands. A brutal conflict ensued, and finally, in 1949, through United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 mediation, the Dutch East Indies achieved independence, becoming the new nation of Indonesia. Dutch imperialism moulded this new multi-ethnic state comprising roughly 3,000 islands of the Indonesian archipelago with a population at the time of over 100 million.

The end of Dutch rule opened up latent tensions between the roughly 300 distinct ethnic groups of the islands, with the major ethnic fault line being between the Javanese and the non-Javanese.

United States in Asia


In the Philippines, the U.S. remained committed to its previous pledges to grant the islands their independence, and the Philippines became the first of the Western-controlled Asian colonies to be granted independence post-World War II. However, the Philippines remained under pressure to adopt a political and economic system similar to their old imperial master.

This aim was greatly complicated by the rise of new political forces. During the war, the Hukbalahap
Hukbalahap
The Hukbalahap , was the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines , formed in 1942 to fight the Japanese Empire's occupation of the Philippines during World War II. It fought a second war from 1946 to 1954 against the pro-Western leaders of their newly independent country...

(People's Army), which had strong ties to the Communist Party of the Philippines
Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines is a leading communist party in the Philippines. It remains an underground political organization since its founding on December 26, 1968 and has been operating in clandestine manner since its founding...

 (PKP), fought against the Japanese occupation of the Philippines and won strong popularity among many sectors of the Filipino working class and peasantry. In 1946, the PKP participated in elections as part of the Democratic Alliance. However, with the onset of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, its growing political strength drew a reaction from the ruling government and the United States, resulting in the repression of the PKP and its associated organisations. In 1948, the PKP began organizing an armed struggle against the government and continued U.S. military presence. In 1950, the PKP created the People's Liberation Army (Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan), which mobilised thousands of troops throughout the islands. The insurgency lasted until 1956, when the PKP gave up armed struggle.

In 1968, the PKP underwent a split, and in 1969 the Maoist faction of the PKP created the New People's Army
New People's Army
The New People's Army is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. It was formed on March 29, 1969. The Maoist NPA conducts its armed guerrilla struggle based on the strategical line of 'protracted people's war'.The NPA exacts so called "revolutionary taxes" from business owners...

. Maoist rebels re-launched an armed struggle against the government and the U.S. military presence in the Philippines, which continues to this day.
Post-war resistance to French rule

France remained determined to retain its control of Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

. However, in Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

, in 1945, a broad front of nationalists and socialists led by Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh , born Nguyễn Sinh Cung and also known as Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Marxist-Leninist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam...

 established an independent Republic of Vietnam, commonly referred to as the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
Việt Minh was a national independence coalition formed at Pac Bo on May 19, 1941. The Việt Minh initially formed to seek independence for Vietnam from the French Empire. When the Japanese occupation began, the Việt Minh opposed Japan with support from the United States and the Republic of China...

 regime by Western outsiders. France, seeking to regain control of Vietnam, countered with a vague offer of self-government under French rule. France's offers were unacceptable to Vietnamese nationalists; and in December 1946, war broke out between France and the Viet Minh. Meanwhile, the French managed to set up a puppet regime in Saigon in 1950. The U.S. then recognised the regime in Saigon, and provided the French military effort massive military aid.

The French were also forced to deal with resistance in Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

. In 1945, Cambodia declared its independence as the Kingdom of Kampuchea, with Sihanouk installed as monarch and Son Ngoc Thanh
Son Ngoc Thanh
Son Ngoc Thanh was a Cambodian nationalist and republican policitian, with a long history as a rebel and a government minister.-Early life:...

 acting as prime minister. The French wanted to reassert control, but were unable to act at the time. The United Kingdom supported France's efforts to reassert its control of Cambodia, but were unable to act. On October 8, 1945, the British arrived in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...

 with a detachment of Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

i Gurkhas. Thanh was arrested, and the government was overthrown, with the French put back in charge.

Later, anti-colonial militants retreated into the countryside and formed armed groups known as the Khmer Issarak
Khmer Issarak
The Khmer Issarak was an anti-French, Khmer nationalist political movement formed in 1945 with the backing of the government of Thailand. It sought to expel the French colonial authorities from Cambodia, and establish an independent Khmer state....

("Khmer Independence"). They operated initially along the border with Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 and were assisted by the Thai government. In the countryside, French forces fought the Khmer Issarak. However, the French were not able to fully regain their control of Cambodia. On 17 April 1950, the first national conference of the Khmer resistance was held and the United Issarak Front
United Issarak Front
The United Issarak Front was a Cambodian anti-colonial movement 1950–1954., organized by the left-wing members of the Khmer Issarak movement. The UIF coordinated the efforts of the movement as of 1950, and waged war against the French Union forces...

 was created, with Son Ngoc Minh
Son Ngoc Minh
Son Ngoc Minh , also known as Achar Mean, was a Cambodian communist politician whose first notable career achievement was in 1950 when he was appointed the head of provisional revolutionary government of the United Issarak Front organized at Hongdan...

 at the head. Sihanouk demanded sovereignty from the French and on 9 November 1953, Cambodia was granted independence.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam, the French war against the Viet Minh regime, begun in 1946, continued for nearly eight years. The French were gradually worn down by guerrilla and jungle fighting. The turning point for France occurred at Dien Bien Phu
Dien Bien Phu
Điện Biên Phủ is a city in northwestern Vietnam. It is the capital of Dien Bien province, and is known for the events there during the First Indochina War, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, during which the region was a breadbasket for the Việt Minh.-Population:...

 in 1954, which resulted in the surrender of ten thousand French troops. Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 was forced to accept a political settlement that year at the Geneva Conference
Geneva Conference (1954)
The Geneva Conference was a conference which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, whose purpose was to attempt to find a way to unify Korea and discuss the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina...

, which led to a precarious set of agreements regarding the future political status of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Postcolonialism and the Vietnam War

As France withdrew from Indochina, the U.S. moved into France's old role in supporting the pro-Western Saigon regime, leading to the Vietnam war
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.
Post-colonialism and war in Cambodia

The United States also became involved in Cambodia's domestic politics. The U.S. became increasingly unhappy with Sihanouk because of his non-aligned
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 stance in the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and the war between the Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

 and Saigon regimes in Vietnam.

U.S. armed forces then entered Cambodia from the Vietnam-Cambodia border. However, massive protest by students and workers in the U.S. forced the US to withdraw its land forces from Cambodia. Sihanouk declared Lon Nol
Lon Nol
Lon Nol was a Cambodian politician and general who served as Prime Minister of Cambodia twice, as well as serving repeatedly as Defense Minister...

's government illegitimate and formed a government-in-exile in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 known as the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea (GRUNK) and a political coalition in Cambodia known as the National United Front of Kampuchea
National United Front of Kampuchea
The Front uni national du Kampuchéa, also called Front uni national khmer , often abbreviated as FUNK, was an organisation formed by the deposed King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk in 1970 while he was in exile in Beijing.-History:The front was supposed to be an umbrella organization of forces that...

 (FUNK), which in turn was aligned with the Cambodian People's National Liberation Armed Forces (CPNLAF). The U.S. Air Force attacked the base of the CPNLAF, the Cambodian countryside, dropping hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs, killing many people. By 1975, the CPNLAF had defeated Lon Nol's army and on 17 April 1975 the CPNLAF entered Phnom Penh and ousted Lon Nol's regime. However, the loose coalition behind CPNLAF proved unable to establish itself as a stable postcolonial regime. The ensuing Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
The Cambodian Civil War was a conflict that pitted the forces of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and their allies the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Viet Cong against the government forces of Cambodia , which were supported by the United States and the Republic of Vietnam The Cambodian...

 resulted in decades of political turmoil and the emergence of the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

, making Cambodia the stage to one of the bloodiest conflicts in the 20th century.

List of European colonial acquisitions in Asia

  • British Burma (1824–1948, merged with India
    British Raj
    British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

     by the British from 1886 to 1937)
  • Ceylon (now Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

    ):
Portuguese Ceylon (1505–1658)
Dutch Ceylon (1656–1796)
British Ceylon
British Ceylon
British Ceylon refers to British rule prior to 1948 of the island territory now known as Sri Lanka.-From the Dutch to the British:Before the beginning of the Dutch governance, the island of Ceylon was divided between the Portuguese Empire and the Kingdom of Kandy, who were in the midst of a war for...

 (1815–1948)
  • Portuguese Timor
    Portuguese Timor
    Portuguese Timor was the name of East Timor when it was under Portuguese control. During this period, Portugal shared the island of Timor with the Netherlands East Indies, and later with Indonesia....

     (1702–1975, now East Timor
    East Timor
    The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

    )
  • British Hong Kong
    British Hong Kong
    British Hong Kong refers to Hong Kong as a Crown colony and later, a British dependent territory under British administration from 1841 to 1997.- Colonial establishment :...

     (1842-1997)
  • Colonial India
    Colonial India
    Colonial India refers to areas of the Indian Subcontinent under the control of European colonial powers, through trade and conquest. The first European power to arrive in India was the army of Alexander the Great in 327–326 BC. The satraps he established in the north west of the subcontinent...

     (includes the territory of present day India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    , Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     and Bangladesh
    Bangladesh
    Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

    ):
Portuguese India
Portuguese India
The Portuguese Viceroyalty of India , later the Portuguese State of India , was the aggregate of Portugal's colonial holdings in India.The government started in 1505, six years after the discovery of a sea route to India by Vasco da Gama, with the nomination of the first Viceroy Francisco de...

 (1510–1961)
French India
French India
French India is a general name for the former French possessions in India These included Pondichéry , Karikal and Yanaon on the Coromandel Coast, Mahé on the Malabar Coast, and Chandannagar in Bengal...

 (1769–1954)
Dutch India
Dutch India
Dutch India is a term used to refer to the settlements and trading posts of the Dutch East India Company on the Indian subcontinent. It is only used as a geographical definition, as there has never been a political authority ruling all Dutch India...

 (1605–1825)
Danish India
Danish India
Danish India is a term for the former colonies of Denmark, and until 1814 Denmark–Norway, in India. The colonies included the town of Tranquebar in present-day Tamil Nadu state, Serampore in present-day West Bengal, and the Nicobar Islands, currently part of India's union territory of the Andaman...

 (1696–1869)
British India (1613–1947)
British East India Company
Company rule in India
Company rule in India refers to the rule or dominion of the British East India Company on the Indian subcontinent...

 (1757–1858)
British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 (1858–1947)
  • French Indochina
    French Indochina
    French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

     (1887–1953), including:
  • French Laos
  • French Cambodia
  • Annam (now Vietnam
    Vietnam
    Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

    )
  • Dutch East Indies
    Dutch East Indies
    The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

     (now Indonesia
    Indonesia
    Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

    ) – Dutch colony from 1602 – 1949 (included Netherlands New Guinea
    Netherlands New Guinea
    Netherlands New Guinea refers to the West Papua region while it was an overseas territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1949 to 1962. Until 1949 it was a part of the Netherlands Indies. It was commonly known as Dutch New Guinea...

     until 1962)
  • Macau
    Macau
    Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

     – Portuguese colony, the first European colony in China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     (1557–1999), longest European occupation in Asia, 442 years.
  • Malaya
    Malay Peninsula
    The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

     (now part of Malaysia):
Portuguese Malacca
Portuguese Malacca
Portuguese Malacca was the territory of Malacca that, for 130 years , was a Portuguese colony.- History :From the writing of the Portuguese historian Emanuel Godinho de Erédia in the middle of the 16th century, the site of the old city of Malacca was named after the Myrobalans, fruit-bearing trees...

 (1511–1641)
Dutch Malacca
Dutch Malacca
Dutch Malacca was the longest period of Malacca under foreign control. The Dutch ruled for almost 183 years with intermittent British occupation during the Napoleonic Wars . This era saw relative peace with little serious interruption from the Malay kingdoms due to the understanding earlier on...

 (1641–1824)
British Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

, included:
  • Straits Settlements
    Straits Settlements
    The Straits Settlements were a group of British territories located in Southeast Asia.Originally established in 1826 as part of the territories controlled by the British East India Company, the Straits Settlements came under direct British control as a crown colony on 1 April 1867...

     (1826–1946)
  • Federated Malay States
    Federated Malay States
    The Federated Malay States was a federation of four protected states in the Malay Peninsula—Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang—established by the British government in 1895, which lasted until 1946, when they, together with the Straits Settlements and the Unfederated Malay...

     (1895–1946)
  • Unfederated Malay States
    Unfederated Malay States
    The term Unfederated Malay States was the collective name given to five British protected states in the Malay peninsula in the first half of the twentieth century. These states were Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, and Terengganu...

Federation of Malaya
Federation of Malaya
The Federation of Malaya is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957...

 (under British rule, 1948–1963)
  • British Borneo
    British Borneo
    British Borneo means the two parts of the island of Borneo presently part of the Federation of Malaysia, during the British colonial rule: Labuan and what was called British North Borneo .-Catholic missions:In 1687 Father Ventimiglia, a Theatine, was commissioned by Pope Innocent XI to...

     (now part of Malaysia), including:
  • Labuan
    Labuan
    Labuan is a federal territory in East Malaysia. It is an island off the coast of the state of Sabah. Labuan's capital is Victoria and is best known as an offshore financial centre offering international financial and business services via Labuan IBFC since 1990 as well as being an offshore support...

     (1846–1963)
  • British North Borneo (1882–1963)
  • Colony of Sarawak (1946–1963)
  • Outer Manchuria
    Outer Manchuria
    Outer Manchuria , is the territory ceded by China to Russia in the Treaty of Aigun in 1858 and the Treaty of Peking in 1860. . The northern part of the area was also in dispute between 1643 and 1689...

     – ceded to Russian Empire
    Russian Empire
    The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

     through Treaty of Aigun
    Treaty of Aigun
    The Treaty of Aigun was a 1858 treaty between the Russian Empire, and the empire of the Qing Dynasty, the sinicized-Manchu rulers of China, that established much of the modern border between the Russian Far East and Manchuria , which is now known as Northeast China...

     (1858) and Treaty of Peking (1860)
  • Philippines
    Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

    :
Spanish Philippines (1565–1898, 2nd longest European occupation in Asia, 333 years),
Commonwealth of the Philippines
Commonwealth of the Philippines
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was a designation of the Philippines from 1935 to 1946 when the country was a commonwealth of the United States. The Commonwealth was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1934. When Manuel L...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 colony (1898–1946, excluding the Japanese occupation during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

)
  • Singapore
    Singapore
    Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

     – British colony (1819–1959)
  • Taiwan
    Taiwan
    Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

    :
Spanish Formosa
Spanish Formosa
Spanish Formosa was a Spanish colony established in the north of Taiwan from 1626 to 1642...

 (1626–1642)
Dutch Formosa (1624–1662)