British Malaya - Expansion of British Influence (19th Century)

Expansion of British Influence (19th Century)

Before the late 19th century, the British largely practiced a non-interventionist policy. Several factors such as the fluctuating supply of raw materials, and security, convinced the British to play a more active role in the Malay states.

From the 17th to the early 19th century, Malacca was a Dutch possession. During the Napoleonic Wars, between 1811 and 1815, Malacca, like other Dutch holdings in Southeast Asia, was under the occupation of the British. This was to prevent the French from claiming the Dutch possessions. When the war ended in 1815, Malacca was returned to the Dutch. In 1824 the British and the Dutch signed a treaty known as the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. The treaty, among other things, legally transferred Malacca to British administration. The treaty also officially divided the Malay world into two separate entities and laid the basis for the current Indonesian-Malaysian boundary.

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