Rise and Fall of the Southeast Asian “Charter” Kingdoms

Geoffrey C. Gunn

in History Without Borders

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083343
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882208988 | DOI:
Rise and Fall of the Southeast Asian “Charter” Kingdoms

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This chapter traces the rise and fall of the major “charter” polities of Southeast Asia. Having described intra-Asian state diplomacy as part and parcel of an Asian Tributary Trade System, it seeks to offer a series of snapshots of these mostly mainland Southeast Asian royal centers as they existed prior to or on the cusp of their “discovery” by European agents. The story is also one of the rise and fall or reconstitution of the Southeast Asian “charter” or foundation kingdoms. Lieberman (2003) has offered a useful tripartite delineation of the mainland states: western, central, and eastern. He also makes an important distinction among the charter states, often foundering; the newer states, which proliferated c. 1250–1440; and the period of state consolidation, more or less contemporaneous with Tokugawa Japan.

Keywords: charter polities; Southeast Asia; intra-Asian diplomacy; Asian Tributary Trade; Tokugawa Japan

Chapter.  10440 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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