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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2021

20. Treaties in Asia

Peter Borschberg

Abstract

Treaty- and peacemaking between European and Southeast Asian parties during the early modern period is approached first, by looking at five sets of opposites and addressing two basic questions. The objective is to explore, as far as possible, both the European and Southeast Asian side of negotiations. The five sets of opposites are: the hierarchy of rulers vs the nominal equality of sovereigns; the emphasis of Southeast Asian rulers on peoples vs land; monopoly vs free trade; the conduct of honest trade vs piracy; and the conclusion of treaties vs making verbal or written promises. The discussion of these opposites allows us to address two overarching questions. First, with whom were the European and Southeast Asian agents making treaties, or with whom did they think they were forging treaties? Second, what was the nature of the agreement struck, or into what kind of an agreement did the parties think they were entering?

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