European Southeast Asia Encounters with Islamic Expansionism, circa 1500–1700: Comparative Case Studies of Banten, Ayutthaya, and Banjarmasin in the Wider Indian Ocean Context
- Journal of World History
- University of Hawai'i Press
- Volume 25, Numbers 2-3, June/September 2014
- pp. 229-262
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This paper addresses the importance of commercial expansionism and cultural exchange in maritime Southeast Asia as both were foundational to Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British encounters with Islamic traders and regional ports of trade circa 1500–1700. Portuguese conquest of the Islamic sultanate of Melaka in 1511 and their subsequent imposition of restrictions on Straits of Melaka transit set in motion the relocations of numbers of multiethnic Islamic, South Asian, Chinese, and Southeast Asian traders and seafarers to emerging regional Islamic and Buddhist ports of trade. Local conversions to Islam and alternative developments of networked Buddhist institutions paired with that era’s economic and political opportunities in support of functional regional polities (represented in case studies of Banten, Ayutthaya, and Banjarmasin), which negated initial European East India Company ambitions to dominate regional trade.