History of Malaysia

The History of Malaysia is an integral part of the history of the ancient Malay-Indonesian peninsula. The History of Malaysia is inseparably connected with the culture and the heritage of the entire peninsular region. It is mainly due to the geographical position of Malaysia that it is greatly influenced by many of its neighboring countries.

While the Malay world constitutes of present day Malaysia, East Timor, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei and Indonesia. While India, Middle East and Europe lie on its west, China and Japan are located to its north- east. It is mainly because of the strategic location that the History of Malaysia is largely influenced by these places.

For better understanding, the Malaysia History can be divided into 4 phases. The first stage marks the influence of the Hindu dominated India. Buddhism came from India which gained immense popularity in the reign of the great Srivjiya civilization. This was followed by the Islamic influenced in the 10th century. The third phase saw the arrival of the European colonial powers. The Portuguese captured the Malay Peninsula in 1511 followed the Dutch and the British. The last phase in the History of Malaysia is marked by the mass scale immigration of the Chinese and the Indian workers.

The Indian influence started as early as in 3rd century BC. On one hand there was the great influence of both Buddhism and Hinduism while on the other, the there great trade relations between the traders of the region. The popularity of Hinduism and Buddhism diminished to a certain extent with the influence of Islam. Within a few years many people of the Malay Peninsula adopted Islam and the Raja too became a Sultan. Islam practiced in this region was largely different from the popular traditions as in Middle East. It was much more liberal than that of the Islamic world.
In the mean time the European powers in order to extend their trade looked to the south East Asia. After the son of the last Sultan of Meleka fled the entire fled the entire Malay Peninsula was broken into several smaller states. These states continuously kept on quarrelling with one another. By late 16th century Portuguese captured Malaku. In 1571, Spaniards gained control over Manila.

The Dutch who were against the Portuguese tried to evict them from what the-then East Indies. Soon they succeeded and established Batavia, present day Jakarta, as their capital. The following years were largely dominated by several blood Dutch- wars and the immigration of several people to their homelands.

The presence of the gold and the tines in addition to the spices brought flocks on foreign traders in the land. Soon the traders colonized their lands that continued for up to 200 years. In late 18th century the British East India Company posed as a great threat to the Maleka peninsula. The Anglo-Dutch Treaty established the British hegemony. In 1891, the borders of the present day Malaysia was somewhat determined. After much struggle Malaysia formally came into existence on 16th September, 1963.

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