The Portuguese and the Straits of Melaka, 1575-1619
Power, Trade and Diplomacy
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: NUS Press Pte Ltd
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List of Illustrations
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As the age of imperialism and the painful process of decolonization fade into a more distant horizon, the study of European presence in Asia is experiencing something of a renaissance. Students and researchers are subjecting source materials to fresh scrutiny, shaping a fresh image of the colonial era and capturing experiences across different strata of society...
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Much work still remains to be done on the history of the Portuguese presence in the Orient. Despite the plethora of several recent studies about Southeast Asia, important lacunae still persist, especially with regard to the period from the end of the 16th century onwards. Portuguese historiography has suffered from two ills—fortunately overcome in recent times...
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Chapter 1: Melaka and the Estado da Índia: The Economic Backdrop
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The union of the crowns of Portugal and Castille under the same king in 1581 had consequences in Asia, namely in the anti-meridian of Tordesillas. As the Spanish already had a presence in the Philippines, midway between Melaka and the Far East, their relations with the Estado da Índia underwent some alterations with this new development...
Chapter 2: Melaka and the Estado da Índia:The Political and Military Framework
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The Estado da Índia was the official structure created by the Portuguese in Asia as they established themselves in the East. It underwent a gradual process of decline throughout the 16th century, once the fundamental axes had been established, from Mozambique in East Africa to Macao and Japan in the Far East. The Estado da Índia witnessed an intensification...
Chapter 3: Melaka and the Geopolitics of the Straits
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The strategic importance of the Straits of Melaka and the surrounding region far surpasses a simple recognition of that geographical area as a crossroads that connects various trade routes and links the Asian continent and the Archipelago and the Indian and Chinese civilisations. This small region, which broadly extends from the extreme northern point of Sumatra...
Chapter 4: Portuguese and Malays
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For a better understanding of the integration of Portuguese Melaka in its surrounding environment, one must understand the way in which the city adapted itself to local ways of politics and war. The politico-military balance of the Malay World did not consist of a mere inventory of guns, cannons or soldiers, and the victories that the Portuguese stubbornly...
Chapter 5: The City of Melaka
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The history of Melaka is not limited to a political or economic approach at the level of regional geopolitics or that of the entire Indian Ocean. One must also consider its local history, the result of power play by the city’s authorities in which royal officials (with the captain at the forefront), the bishop, the casados as well as the various Asian communities played...
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The work presented in the preceding pages represents an attempt to approach the history of the city of Melaka in concentric circles or successive convergences between two fundamental watersheds: the end of the cycle of the three successive sieges to which the sultanate of Aceh subjected the city between 1573 and 1575 and the foundation of Batavia by the VOC in 1619...
Annex 1: The Sultanate of Johor:Genealogical Questions and Problems
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The genealogy of the sultans of Johor during the 16th century is still quite confused and controversial. The available sources manifest a great many lacunae and, above all, contradictory information. Portuguese sources could shed some light on this nebulous period despite their deficiencies. Therefore it would be of interest to compare the information they...
Annex II: The Sultanate of Aceh: Genealogical Questions and Problems
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The genealogy of the sultans of Aceh is less confused than that of Johor during the period under study. Also, another advantage is the greater attention that this sultanate and its political history have received from scholars. However, some doubts remain, especially with regard to the dynastic crisis of the years between 1586 and 1589. Anyway, the...
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Page Count: 408
Illustrations: 6 maps, 14 images
Publication Year: 2012