Shaun Lim (18) 5I
"Western colonisation contributed more to the advancement of nationalist goals in Southeast Asia than the Japanese Occupation." Do you agree? Explain your answer.
Advancement nationalist goals is seen as any form of progress – in terms of its creation, extensiveness, maturity and means – from the nascent stages of nationalism to the road to independence. Indeed, both western colonization and Japanese occupation played their respective roles in different stages of advancement; I disagree that any one factor is more important than the other. Both Western colonization and the Japanese Occupation are equally responsible for the advancement of nationalist goals. Western colonization is responsible for laying the ground for their advancement, by preparing the elite with education and sparking nationalistic feelings among the locals. The Japanese occupation allowed for the politicizing of such feelings, provided a military means to achieve their goals, as well as the consolidation of previously fragmented aims into a unified movement.
Western colonization laid the ground for the advancements of nationalist movements by means of preparing the people and nationalist leaders.
Western colonization was brought about with the blatant removal of traditional structures, which incited an emotional reaction from the people that provided a driving force for the support of nationalist goals. In Burma, direct rule imposed by the British meant the abolishment of the traditional monarchy. Burma’s entire ruling structure was overhauled and replaced by British structures. Also, the British ignored local Burmese traditions, disrespecting Burmese temples and places of worship. The disregard for local traditions during western colonization then brought about an emotional reaction from the people, as evident in the widespread protests about the shoe controversy in Burma, where citizens demanded British compliance in respecting temple rules and regulations. The...