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Forum LockedIntegrating Southeast Asia into World His

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flyingzone View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11-Nov-2006 at 20:11
There is a thread entitled "Why Indian History is neglected?" I don't really think Indian history is THAT neglected, at least in the framework of world history as Indian civilization is universally acknowledged to be one of the earliest and richest civilizations.
 
It is the history of region of Southeast Asia - especially prior to 1500, that has really been neglected - both in the framework of world history and even here at AE.
 
In the frameworks of most of the available history texts, Southeast Asia is practically invisible before the 19th century. If it does appear in a few brief paragraphs, it's usually in the context of nationalism, decolonization, and the Cold War. As pointed out by Lockard (1995), there is virtually "no mention of the probable pioneering by neolithic Southeast Asians of some early technologies, or of the classical civilizations that were very much comparable to their contemporary European counterparts, or of the region's key role in the great premodern trading networks, or of the dynamism of the various trading states facing determined European competition from the 16th to 18th centuries, among other themes. The attitude toward Southeast Asia and its peoples seemed to be similar to that once expressed about African history by renowned British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper: "the unrewarding gyrations of the barbarous tribes in picturesque but irrevelant corners of the globe."
 
Lockard (1995) pointed out several sites, states, or patterns in premodern Southeast history that played prominent roles prior to the 16th century:
 
1. Ban Chiang (the major prehistorical site)
2. Funan (the first major Southeast Asian polity)
3. The great Cambodian emprie of Angkor
4. The classical Burman kingdom of Pagan
5. The sinization, florescence and nation-building of Vietnam
6. The great maritime empire and trading centre based at Melaka
7. The process of "Indianization"
8. The role of Southeast Asia in Asian maritime commerce
 
Lockard (1995) pointed out the reasons for the neglect of Southeast Asia:
1. The region's history (especially the premodern compoent) is not widely known - few colleges or universities teach courses in the field (except for the Vietnam war)
2. General Eurocentrism or Americocentrism of the historical profession in North America
3. Those with no experience in the region may consider it little more than an extension of China or India, civilizations whose vast scale, ancient roots and huge populations compel even Eurocentric historians to consider their place in the "mainstream" of civilization.
 
 
Reference
 
Lockard, C.A. (1995). Integrating Southeast Asia into the framework of workd history: The period before 1500. The History Teacher, 29(1), 7-35.   


Edited by flyingzone - 11-Nov-2006 at 20:12
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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Nov-2006 at 03:45
I think one of the biggest reasons that South-East asian history is neglected is that it didn't affect any other regions. What happened in South East asia stayed in South-East asia.

Trade has always occured of course, but ideas and armies tend to travel to the SE rather than out of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Nov-2006 at 08:48
South East Asia has had quite an impact and importance on world history, so it is strange it's so neglected. when one thinks of Vietnam War, Indonesia, Malay Border War, Philipines ect.....
 
But the lesser known areas omitted I find amazing.............The Burmese Empire successfully invaded eastern India defeating the Maharathas and then fought off a Chinese invasion. Making it for a short period, the most powerful military on earth.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Nov-2006 at 05:27
Quote The Burmese Empire successfully invaded eastern India defeating the Maharathas and then fought off a Chinese invasion. Making it for a short period, the most powerful military on earth.

Wow! I really have to improve my knowledge in this field
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