Southeast Asia 1400


Map Code: Ax02223

Kublai Khan conquered, but did not occupy, Burma, preferring to leave it weak and fragmented. The Shan hilltribes exploited the resultant instability, raiding constantly before strong successor states emerged in the late 14th century: the Ava kingdom of Upper Burma and the Hanthawaddy kingdom in Pegu. The poetically named ‘Kingdom of a Million Elephants and a White Parasol’ flowered at the same time in Laos, defeating Sukothai in northern Siam and supporting the Chinese Ming in their annexation of Annam (1407–27). The Khmer Empire had collapsed after the repeated sacking of their capital Angkor by Ayutthaya. But Ayutthaya’s southward expansion into the Malay peninsula would be blocked by the rise of powerful city-state sultanates in the 15th century. In Indonesia, the Majapahit dynasty reached its peak under Hayam Wuruk (r. 1350–89), with a trading empire across the archipelago, but had to share their Javan base with the Sundan Kingdom of Pajajaran.

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