Prewar Nationalism in Southeast Asia

Topics: Nationalism, Colonialism, Anti-imperialism Pages: 10 (2891 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Final Words on Origins, Nature and Development of pre-WWII nationalism: achievements and limitations

You should know the factors for the development of nationalism Colonial factor (political, economic and social impact of colonial rule; colonial powers response to rise of nationalism) Nationalist factor (esp the impact of western education and role of leaders esp in the 1920s and 1930s) Inherent/contextual SEA factor (culture & religion)

External factor (impact of external events and foreign ideologies)

You should know the specific role of the different factors
Impact of colonial rule explains the initial impetus for native dissatisfaction which was due to the dislocation and marginalisation from the politics, economy and the traditional society. This alienation would continue throughout the colonial rule entrenching anti-colonial sentiments.

Role of Western education & leaders explains the influence of western political ideologies on nationalist movements. These ideologies were useful in mobilising and organising the native dissatisfaction. The rise of new leaders in 1920s who adapted these ideologies to the local needs and contexts to build nationalist movements that were more broad-based, inclusive, and secular with a political goal of achieving not only independence but an independent nation-state.

Colonial response to the nationalists (suppression, carrot and stick approach etc) explains the radicalisation of nationalism – in other words how nationalism became radical in terms of its methods.

Influence of Western political ideologies and events – explains how nationalist movements became more political in outlook

Influence of religion and culture : see below

Sample question: Ideology was more important than religion and culture in the growth of nationalist movements in the pre-WWII period. Discuss. Handles: Each was important in different way and in different stages of nationalist development. Religion and culture: provided a rallying point for early anti-colonial dissatisfaction; continued to be force for mobilisation of mass support across time. Ideology on the other hand – modernised movements with evolution of goals, means and organisation. Not just about which was more important but how each used was used by leaders. Argue that ideology was more important than religion and culture Ideology ethnic neutral and had the potential to unify diverse groups of people unlike religion and culture which was diverse. Had the potential to overcome the inherent divisions of SEA societies and to unify these groups. E.g. B: Dobama Asiayone attracted socialists, Marxists, students from the Rangoon university and even the religious elements the Pongyis. PNI in I – Sukarno’s call for national concept of ‘Indonesia’ as well as key nationhood symbols such as national flag, language – step forward for East Indies given the geographical diversity. In contrast to ideology, religion – exclude minority groups or cultures and obstacle to the formation of nationhood. E.g. Malaya: absence of unified coherent movements – instead movements targeted one another instead of colonial powers e.g. KMS vs SCBA vs CIAM. Ethnic rifts were exacerbated by religion and culture favouritism in Malaya instead of an encompassing (inclusive) ideology.

Ideology facilitated development of modern nationalism over time. Movements before 1914 largely based on religion and culture. They usually harked back to the past or focused on self-strengthening, which sought to reform traditional religions. In other words they were backwards. On the other hand ideology politicised the movements esp after WWI. Led to movements from traditional ones to forward looking modern movements with the goal of political independence as a nation. E.g. I: Budi Utomo vs. PNI in 1928 which focused on development of nationhood. B: YMBA to GCBA after WWI to DA in the 1930s.

Ideology provided movements with means of resistance and organisation. This...
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