South East Asia 1648 CE

Europeans are beginning to make their presence felt in this region.

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What is happening in South East Asia in 1648CE

On the mainland of South East Asia, Burma briefly conquered Siam and other neighbouring countries in the late 16th century. These conquests were short lived, and the Siamese have resumed both their independence and their regional dominance.

On the islands and coasts of the region, the numerous small Muslim sultanates have become home to a far-flung Malay culture, knit together by a shared religion and maritime trade. However, a new political and commercial presence has appeared in the form of European sailors, traders, soldiers and missionaries. First the Portuguese, and then the Dutch, through the Dutch East India Company, have seized a handful of coastal bases, from which their seaborne trade is expanding. The Philippine islands, too, have been partially colonized by Spain.

Next map, South East Asia in 1789

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