South East Asia: The Relationship between Locals and Europeans during Colonization

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The relationship between the locals and the Europeans was very important in Southeast Asia during the time of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The local rulers that were established had maintained a grip on their territory and had to be consulted before setting up trading posts. Any Europeans that ventured down to this region must have been prepared for what they would be encountering on its shores. Whether it was the Dutch from the Netherlands, the English country traders, the Portuguese or anyone else, they had to learn to co-exist with the locals in order to be successful in what they wanted to do. The Portuguese had done a very good job in maintaining a relationship with the locals wherever they went and were therefore successful. But the fate of the Europeans lied in the decisions of the local rulers. The rulers played the different Europeans against one another and this shows how powerful they really were. The locals played a large role in the European expansion in trade and without them they could not have achieved as much as they had. The relationship between the Europeans and the Locals of Southeast Asia is very different from anywhere else in the world during the 16th century and on. The first dominant presence of Europeans that we see in Southeast Asia is the Dutch. At first, the Dutch did not come to Southeast Asia to colonize. Their intentions were to search for spices and other exotic goods that were very expensive and rare in the Western world. They wanted to dominate the Southeast Asian trade and impose a monopoly on the spices so that they could become rich and powerful. Their main goal was to become the largest supply the West with these rare and important items. The difference between Southeast Asia and other places that the Europeans ventured to was that this region had already had its own established trading system. It was trading native plants and items to places all over the archipelago as well as India and China. Local rulers in...
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