Southeast Asia 1600


Map Code: Ax01903

Spain began colonization of the Philippines in the 1560s, and through Philip II’s annexation of Portugal (1580) effectively inherited the latter’s established East Indies trading network. Desperate to emulate Spanish colonial wealth, the British and Dutch moved into the region, both opening bases in Bantam (1602, 1603), centre of the pepper trade. The Sultanate of Mataram, the dominant power in the Javanese islands, frequently threatened Bantam and its southern neighbour, Cheribon. To the north, Aceh received war-galleys from the Ottoman sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, to defeat Johor; but later Johor struck back (1629) with Portuguese support, thus regaining control of the Malacca Straits. The Burmese warrior king Bayinnaug briefly conquered most of Indochina. But the Siamese struck back, and their king killed the Burmese crown prince in an elephant duel. By the time of Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715), French ambassadors were comparing the Siamese capital Ayutthaya in size and wealth to Paris.

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