Western Influence In Siam

2105 Words9 Pages
Although Britain had already participated in informal trade with India prior to the 19th Century, India did not actually become an official British colony till 1858. There has therefore been a strong British presence in India over this period of time. As a result India became formally colonial state. In contrast Siam had no European presence prior to the 19th Century, Siam’s main trade was with China and its other surrounding neighbours. Siam is argued by Wyatt to be an independent state that defended itself against imperial powers. On the other hand Marxists point out that Siam was heavily influenced by western imperial powers and so in this sense it was semi-colonised. I believe that although there was a great deal of western influences upon Siam , they modernised of their own choice, not only for the kings own selfish reasons, but also for the good of the nation. I am going to look at the differences between the direct physical western influence in India and the indirect influences in Siam. There was a great demand for spices, especially at fairer prices, from European traders. This was because prices for pepper and other spices were very expensive and unfair. The British wanted access to spices that were not controlled by the Dutch and so found their own ports in India. Although the initial British interest in India was spices, they soon found other products to trade. In Siam early trade was done with China, natural produce being their goods, one of the main produce
Open Document