Southeast Asian Varieties

  • Fritjof Tichelman
Part of the Studies in Social History book series (SISH, volume 5)


Vietnam and the Philippines differed from the model of Indianized Southeast Asian social formations in that both proved to be less stagnant and more receptive to external impulses. Vietnam represented an Asiatic variety but Filipino society stood quite apart, its evolution having deviated from all other important pre-capitalist societies in Asia. It was no pure coincidence that the Spaniards were so early and so easily able to push through and establish themselves in this least-developed area of Southeast Asia which, prior to the Spanish conquest, had not experienced any clear state-forming development and substantial class differentiation. Contact with Islam came too late to initiate political developments of any significance, while Chinese and Japanese trade as well as piracy led only to limited contact with those countries. In this case great inequality in power relations enabled the West to transform local primitive socioeconomic structures in the Philippines far more profoundly than was elsewhere possible in Southeast Asia.1


Communist Party Land Reform Mekong Delta Village Community French Colon 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers bv, The Hague 1980

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  • Fritjof Tichelman

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