Colonialism and Nationalism in Southeast Asia

Topics: Colonialism, Indigenous peoples, Nationalism Pages: 2 (929 words) Published: May 5, 2014
Q4. How effective were colonial responses to nationalist movements in Southeast Asia before the Second World War? Colonial powers in Southeast Asia (SEA) were generally unwilling to grant their colonies full self-rule as many did not planned to leave their colonies. As such, the colonial powers wanted to control nationalist movements to maintain colonial rule. They wanted to prevent the growth and radicalisation of nationalist movements to supervise the tempo of decolonization. Coercion, concessions, divide and rule are tactics employed by the colonial powers to control the nationalist movements. These responses were hugely effective as they manage to curb nationalist movements and protect colonial rule. Opposition to the colonial rule were silenced or stamped out. However, these responses can be argued to be the reason behind causing nationalist movements to become more radical as it made the indigenous population increasingly unhappy due to the lack of political advancement for the locals. This made them to call for the complete removal of the colonial powers and nationalist movements start to spiral out of control. Even so, I’m still of the view that the colonial responses to nationalist movements in SEA before the Second World War was effective to a large extent. Concessions were given to nationalist groups to satisfy them and prevent them from becoming more radical. In Dutch East Indies, the Dutch granted the locals some form of local political participation when nationalists groups starts to demand more local political involvement. The Volksraad, a parliamentary body and council was formed in 1918. Local leaders were elected into the Volksraad where they can give advices on state matters. Through concessions, nationalist groups will somewhat be satisfied to see some form of local political advancement and hence will not turn anti-colonial. Thus, it can be said that concessions help colonial powers maintain colonial rule as it help appease nationalists,...
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