Academic Vocabulary
Southeast Asia's waterways, a natural transportation network,
have brought waves of immigrants. The subregion's dominant
• dynamic
• interdependence
religions--islam, Buddhism, and Christianity--were brought by
Content Vocabulary
zone between more powerful states. In addition, all of the
immigrants from other parts of the world. Some of these waves of
immigration are the result of Southeast Asia's position as a buffer
countries of Southeast Asia, except Thailand, experienced
• shatter belt
• buffer zone
• emerging market
• freeport
History and Government
history of Southeast Asia?
European colonization.
GUIDING QUESTION How have conflicts between powerful neighbors affected the
,and Details
IDENTIFYING As you read aboutthe
luman geography of Southeast Asia,
graphic organizer like the one
identifi/examples of how
history, population, culture, and
,e worked together to
st Asia of today.
Early Cultures and European Conquest
Southeast Asia
Population ICulture
The mainland countries of Southeast Asia are positioned near two
countries that have been historical centers of power: India and China.
This position alone made the region a shatter belt, as larger and more
powerful countries invaded. When Europe began to colonize the area,
Southeast Asia was caught between powerful European powers as well. A
shatter belt, though, can also serve as a buffer zone, a neutral area
separating powerful nations from each other, and thereby reduce conflict.
At the time,of European contact in the 1500s, Southeast Asia was a
patchwork of small kingdoms, principalities, and sultanates. The Dutch
colonized Indonesia. Portugal colonized part of eastern Timor. The British,
exp,anding from their empire in India, colonized Burma (now Myanmar),
Malaysia, and several islands in the South China Sea. The French colonized
what was once known as French Indochina and divided it into regions
based on the boundaries of the cultural groups already living there. Today
these regions are the countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Spain
colonized the Philippines, which became a territory of the United States
after the Spanish-American War in 1898. In some cases, European powers
Southeast Asia 787
$ Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
united hundreds of ethnic groups into one countr)ÿ The British united
nine sultanates with the indigenous groups of northern Borneo.
2A describe human and physical
colonized indigenous people on hundreds of islands who s[
characteristics of the same regions
The colony became Indonesia. Thailand remained an inde[
Siam because it served as a buffer zone between the British and the Fren,
at different periods of time to
evaluate relationships between
past events and current conditions
SA analyze how the character of a
place is related to its political,
economic, social, and cultural
11C assess how changes in
climate, resources, and infrastructure (technology, transportation,
and communication) affect the
location and patterns of economic
17C compare economic, political,
or social opportunities in different
cultures for women, ethnic and
religious minorities, and other
underrepresented populations
18,8, analyze cultural changes in
specific regions caused by
migration, war, trade, innova-
tions, and diffusion
Independence and' Movements for Change
The era of European colonialism did not last. The first independence
began in the Philippines. Following the Spanish-American War, the
revolutionaries targeted the U.S. military. In World War II the
invaded by Japan. World War II ended in 1945, and the Philippines
independent in 1946. The last U.S. military base in the Philippines was
1992 following the eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano.
The end of World War II started the independence movement in Sÿ
Asia. Britain's colonies in the region gained independence: Myanmar
Malaysia and Singapore in the 1960s. Indonesia declared independence
French Indochina had a strong colonial administration
movements. After 1946 the colonies of France became flash points for
between groups supporting either democratic or communist leaders.
Independence from colonial powers did not always lead to peace.
became independent in 1953. In the 1970s it fell to the Khmer Rouge,
shatter belt a region where
political alliances are constantly
splintering and fracturing based on
buffer zone a neutral area
serving to separate powerful
countries or those that are hostile to
each other
regime that murdered at least 1.5 million Cambodians. In Vietnam,
to keep control until it was finally defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
divided between communist forces in the north and a U.S.-supported
in the south. U.S. support for the democratic Republic of Vietnam
In 1976 North and South Vietnam were unified under a communist
Cambodia and Vietnam were not the only countries in the region to
internal conflicts. Thailand had a military coup in 2006, followed by mass
in the streets from 2008 to 2010. When Thailand held elections in 2011,
new government began reforming the Thai constitution to
Independence 0
After decades or even centuries of
colonization, Southeast Asian
countries won their independence,
but liberation brought problems of
its own.
Dutch colonists begin to
settle Indonesia in order
to control spice trade
2. Comparing How were the
experiences of colonization and
independence similar in Laos and
• Party in ;i
• Vietnam. -,ÿ
eeeee ooeooee coo oeeoooeeee•
• First Spaniards arrive
•ein what they later
• name the
• Philippines in honor
• ofthe heirto the
• Spanish throne.
• Communist ,i
I. Describing How did the
United States gain territory in
Southeast Asia?
• founds Indoÿi
• Chinese
• French colonial
• rule established
O0 • in Indochina;
I • United States
• wins Philippines
Lrl • from Spain
The country also struggles with an armed separatist revolt in its southern
provinces, where the population is ethnically Malay rather than Thai. In Burma,
a military coup overthrew the government in 1988 and renamed the country
Myanmar. A military junta has ruled ever since, although democratic elections
were held in 1990. After the election, the junta put the leader of the winning
opposition party, Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest. In 2007 the junta killed
13 people and arrested thousands more who participated in protests led by prodemocracy activists and Buddhist monks. Elections were held in 2010, and
Myanmar is now slowly reforming its government.
Several Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines have
guerrilla independence movements. The Philippines has struggled to achieve a
peace accord with an ethnic group called the Moro in the south and is threatened
by Maoist guerrillas throughout the entire country. Indonesia madepeace with its
separatists in 2005, though it still faces an independence movement in Papua.
East Timor is an example of a local independence movement that succeeded. East
Timor was invaded by Indonesia after declaring independence from Portugal in
1975. Over the next 24 years, hundreds of thousands of East Timorese died
fighting for independence. In 1999 a majority of East Timorese voted for
independence in an election supervised by the United Nations (UN). The
Indonesian military violently retaliated, however. Later that year, Australian-led
UN peacekeeping troops stopped the bloodshed. In 2002 East Timor became
independent. East Timor continued to struggle with a rebel group for several
more years, but most rebels surrendered in 2008 after unsuccessfially trying to
attack East Timor's president and prime minister.
Today, Southeast Asia's political map is diverse. The subregion includes
communist governments, emerging democracies, and recent military
dictatorships. There is also a sultanate (Brunei) and a city-state (Singapore).
Explaining How did European colonialism affect the countries of Southeast Asia?
As you learn about the history
and government of Southeast
Asia, raise your hand for help
when somebody says a word you
do not know. Then use the word
often when you speak until you
are comfortable with its meaning.
• Japan invades and
• oct:upies most of
• Southeast Asia
• during World War II.
• After independence,
• civil war occurs in Laos;
• France reimposes protectorate
over Indochina; communist
• I
19400 .
• guerrillas rise up against the
• French inVietnam
• United States
ÿ •
•• creates plan for
ÿ "•
• Philippine
• independence,
0"ÿ •
Burma becomes • Cambodia becomes
• eventually
independent;U Nu • independent, led by
• granted in 1946
becomes first
King Norodom
prime minister •
• Vietnam divided at
• the 17th parallel,
• followed bywar
• ,q:l"
Population Patterns
GUIDING QUESTION How has Southeast Asia's physical geography influenced
population patterns?
Southeast Asids mainland countries are not densely populated. The
volcanic islands tends to be more productive than soil in the re
River valleys and flood plains of major rivers, such as the
exception with rich alluvial soft. Islands and river plains are where the
density is greatest. Southeast Asia's largest population center is
an island in Indonesia. Almost 150 million people live on this one
country that is entirely made up of islands. More than half of all Indonc
on Java, and more than half of the people on Java work as farmers.
Despite Indonesia's agrarian economy, it is the fourth most populous ÿcl
in the world. After Indonesia, the next most populous country in
is the Philippines. Southeast Asia is becoming more urban as it
Each country has at least one large city: L umpur in Malaysia;
Thailand; Manila in the Philippines; Yangon(Rangoon) in Myanmar;
Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam; and the city-state of Singapore. All
have become a thriving part of the global economy.
AngkorWat is a Cambodian temple
complex built in the twelfth century. It
was built as a Hindu temple, but was
later turned into a Buddhist temple.
1. Drawing Conclusions Why do
you think that the Angkor Wat
temple continued to be important
to Cambodians even after local
religious traditions had changed?
2. Hypothesizing Why do you think
an image of Angkor Wat appears on
the Cambodian national flag?
Explaining What parts of Southeast Asia have the highest population
Society and Culture Today
GUIDING QUESTION Why is Southeast Asia one of the world's most culturall)
Southeast Asia encompasses hundreds of different ethnic groups. Most
groups have their own language. The greatest ethnic diversity is found
island countries. For example, Indonesia's ethnic groups include
Madurese, Sundanese, and Balinese. In addition, while Malays
Malaysia, they have also emigrated to nearby areas. As a result, there
of Malay minorities throughout Indonesia, and Indonesia's official
modified form of Malay.
The borders of Southeast Asia's
countries match the locations of
majority ethnic group. In Myanmar,
' ÿ ÿ also called Burma, Burmans form
The Thaidominate Thailand.
population is mostly Khmer, and
population is primarily Vietnamese.
these countries has other, smaller ethnic
that live in the mountains. In addition
indigenous ethnic groups, Southeast
countries are home to minority ethnic
that originally emigrated from other
For example, Malaysia and Singapore
large Indian communities. However, the
minority ethnic group in the region
About 32 million Chinese live in
Asia, primarily in urban areas. Nearly
fourth of Malaysia's population is Chinese.
population of Singapore is about 77
Southeast Asia's religions reflect the waves of
immigration that have reached this-subregion. The
most common religion in Southeast Asia is Islam.
Muslim traders who traveled to the region in the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries introduced the
religion to Southeast Asia. Islam is the dominant
religion in Southeast Asia's largest country, Indonesia.
About 90 percent of Indonesian people are Muslim.
So are most Malaysians. Malaysia's South Asian
minority, though, tend to-be Hindu, while Chinese
Malaysians are mostly Buddhist. Buddhism
predominates in the following mainland countries as
well: Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia. Vietnam
historically served as a religious crossroads for
Buddhism, Catholicism, Daoism, Confucianism,
and ancestor worship. In the last census, however,
more than 80 percent of the people of Vietnam, a
communist country, claimed no religion. In the
Philippines, where Spanish missionaries accompanied colonists, most people are Catholic.
Family and the Status of Women
Women in Southeast Asia have traditionally been
responsible for raising families but are also a major
part of the workforce. This produces a double burden for women who must both work outside the
home and still keep up with the daily household
responsibilities. In rural areas, women often work as
farmers. In cities, women frequently work in factories, especially in industries such as textiles, food processing, and electronics.
Increasingly, Southeast Asian women are rising to positions of leadership as
activists for change. In Myanmar, activist Aung San Suu Kyi leads a democratic
opposition party that often winsnational elections. But Aung San Suu Kyi has
not become president of Myanmar. Instead, she has spent much of her life under
house arrest because of her outspoken opposition to the military government.
She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her work to bring democracy
to Myanmar. After the government liberalized policies, she was elected to the
lower house of the Myanmar parliament in 2012.
In 1991 a young Indonesian woman and law student, Dita Sari, began leading
factory workers to strike for higher wages and better working conditions. She
was jailed and beaten, but was later released as-Indonesia became more
democratic. Today Sari is still a union leader, but instead of leading strikes, she
lobbies Indonesids parliament for labor law reforms.
The Arts
The arts in Southeast Asia have been heavily influenced by religion, which can
be seen through the architectural style of Buddhist and Hindu temples and
This woman is selling produce in a
market in Bukittinggi on the
Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Originally the site of a Dutch foit and
now an important commercial center,
the town reflects a multiethnic
I. Drawing Conclusions How do
you think that people of many
different ethnic groups, speaking
many different languages, are able
to coexist peacefully and conduct
transactions with each other in
urban markets?
2. Considering Advantages and
Disadvantages What are some of
the advantages and disadvantages
of Indonesia's ethnic diversity?
monuments. Chinese and Indian styles are prevalent in Southeast Asian ceramics
and bronze, as well as architecture. Elaborate Chinese-style pagodas and Indianstyle wats, or temples, dot the landscape. Traditional crafts such as weaving and
other textile techniques such as batik are still practiced.
What are the dominant religions of Southeast Asia?
Southeast Asia 791
Economic Activities
GUIDING QUESTION How have Southeast Asia's location and nt
resources contributed to its economic development?
Southeast Asia is as diverse economically as it is
one of the world's most prosperous cities, Singapore, and aÿ
sultanate, Brunei. The subregion also includes some
are among the world's poorest,
the industrializing countries,
boom. This boom was based on advantages of location,
resources, inexpensive labor, and increased foreign
Some countries that did not have strong economies in theÿ;ÿ
such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam--are
be emerging markets, ripe for foreign investment.
Today agriculture remains Southeast Asia's leading
activity. Most people in the subregion make
More than half of the subregion's arable land is used to
Thailand and Vietnam are among the world's top exporters
Indonesia and Myanmar are also two of the region's
producers. Farmers in Southeast Asia also grow cassava,:
corn, bananas, sugarcane, coffee, coconuts, and spices.
Workers are drilling in preparation for
the construction of a railroad that will
run from China into several Southeast
Asian mainland countries.
I. Identifying Cause and Effect
Why do you think Southeast Asian
countries are cooperating with
Chiria to build a railroad? How do
you think the new railroad will
affect trade networks in the region?
2.MakingConnections What
characteristics of Southeast Asia's
geography make the construction of
railroads a challenge?
Indonesia, and Malaysia--the world's "rubber belt"--have
rubber plantations. Palm off, a product of oil palm trees
important cash crop in Malaysia and Indonesia. Forestry and logging
become important in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.
include teak and ebony trees, which are very valuable. The high
illegal logging and export to other countries. Along the coasts and rivers,
people make a living by fishing.
Resources, Power, and Industry
Southeast Asia is rich in mineral resources. Thailand, Malaysia, and
are three of the world's leading producers of tin. Iron ore is mined in
and the Philippines. Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia also produce oil.
once exported much of its oil. Now that it is industrializing, however, it
begun to import more oil than it exports. Malaysia uses some of its resources
industries such as manufacturing electronics, cement, chemicals, and
foods. Indonesia's industries focus on textile and garment manufacturing.
Economic Integration
Southeast Asia has long been the crossroads of major ocean trade routes.
emerging market an
economy that may not have been
very strong in the recent past, but
most shipping between Europe and East Asia passes through the Strait
Malacca, near Singapore. The city-state of Singapore was originally fo
British trading colony. Not only does Singapore have a strategic location
that is in transition to becoming a
crossing of trade routes, but it has a large, deep natural harbor.
stronger market
harbor was used by British warships to displace the economic dominance
free port a place where goods
can be unloaded, stored, or
reshipped free of import duties
Dutch in the region. Today, its location enables Sirigapore to prosper as a
port, a place where goods can be unloaded, stored, and reshipped free of import:
duties. Its port is the largest container port in the world. These large
containers may be stacked on ships for crossing oceans, and then carried
or truck after theyreach ports. Singapore has also attracted foreign "
especially in technology, consumer electronics, and pharmaceuticals. Sin
efforts to build its economy have paid off. Its population has the highest standard
of living in the subregion, and its per-capita income levels are comparable to i
those of the United States and Switzerland:
In contrast, the countries of Indonesia and the Philippines have much larger
populations, but less than one-tenth of Singapore's per-capita income. Singapore
is both a city and a country; which makes ita city-state. Of all the countries in the
subregion, Singapore has the most dynamic economy. Because it is small,
Singapore also tries to promote peaceful interdependence and international
cooperation in the region. Other regional ports include Haiphong in Vietnam,
--AHa/y'zl q
"To collaborate more
effectively for the greater
Bangkok in Thailand, Jakarta in Indonesia, and Manila in the Philippines.
utilization of their
In 2010 several Southeast Asian countries signed a free trade agreement with
China. They hope to cooperate to improve trade networks. Now work is underway
to build railroads from the city of Knnming in Chinas Yunnan Province into Laos.
From there, railroads ÿ11 extend into Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia,
the expansion of their
and Singapore. From Singapore goods can be shipped to world mÿkets by sea.
communication facilities
In recent decades, Southeast Asian countries have become more
agriculture and industries,
trade.., the !mprovement
of their transportation and
interdependent. Based in the Philippines, the Asian Development Bank (ADB)
and the raising of the
living standards of their
was founded in 1966 to promote regional economic development. The Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed in 1967 to promote regional
The ADB provides internationalloans to aid the economies of Asian member
countries. ADB's loans support agricultural, transportation, and industrial
development projects. For example, in Indonesia, ADB funds are being used to
improve infrastructure such as transportation networks. ADB is also currently
working to develop financing and loans that are compliant with Islamic law.
ADB is attempting to be more culturally sensitive to countries that have a high
percentage of Muslims, such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand are ASEAN's
founding members. ASEAN's mission is to promote regional economic growth.
Brunei joined in 1984. In 1992 ASEAN's member nations agreed to form the
ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). This meant that ASEAN members agreed to
cooperate economically by opening trade between member countries and by
reducing tariffs on nonagricultural products. By the late 1990s, Vietnam,
Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar had all become members. Growth is increasing
in these countries, but it is slowing in Indonesia because of political instability.
-- Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN),
Bangkok Declaration, 1967
Why are transportation and
communication important areas
in which to collaborate? How do
you think the transportation and
communication networks in one
country might affect the people
of another country?
dynamic energetic,
characterized by constant change
and progress
In 2004 ASEAN's members signed a trade agreement with China. Now ASEAN's
members hope to develop a regional trading market by 2015 that could operate
interdependence a
as one interdependent unit, much like the European Union.
condition in which people or groups
rely on each other, rather than only
relying on themselves
Drawing Conclusions How has Southeast Asia's location along trade routes affected
the histories and economies Of countries in the subregion?
g Vocabulary
I. Identifying Write a paragraph explaining how Southeast Asia has
historically functioned both as a shatter belt and a buffer zone.
Your Notes
• Summarizing Use your graphic organizer on Southeast Asia's
human geography to write a paragraph explaining why Southeast
Asia is one of the world's most ethnically diverse regions. 5A
g the Guiding Questions
How have conflicts between powerful neighbors
!!,affected the history of Southeast Asia? 18A
4. Identifying Now has Southeast Asia's physical geography
influenced its population patterns?
5, Summarizing Why is Southeast Asia one of the world's most
culturally diverse areas? 18A
6. Explaining How have Southeast Asia's location and natural
resources contributed to its economic development?
Writing Activity
7. Informative/Explonatory In a paragraph, discuss how life in
small towns might be affected if transportation and communication
networks in Southeast Asia are expanded to reach more rural areas.
5outheast Asia 793