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1- Southeast Asia

I) A Long History of Diversity

A) Early History
a) China ruled the region from about 111 BCE to 939 CE
(i) Chinese art, technology, political ideas, and ethics shaped the region
b) Hinduism and Buddhism from India spread to the region and shaped religion and art
c) Southeast Asia also kept some of their old customs, like treating women better than
the Chinese (not quite equal, but close)
d) the region didn’t develop set borders like other countries
(i) their states were mandalas, which are spheres of influence around a central court
1 often mandalas would overlap control with others, and many formed alliances
to avoid conflict
2 the largest and most powerful mandala was the Khmer Empire from the 800s
to about the 1400s in present-day Cambodia
B) Powerful States
a) 1300-1800 5 powerful states, like mandalas, ruled the region and expanded trade
(i) they also began to create large cities and urbanize
(ii) today, these states are Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Java, and the Malay
II) Colonialism and its Aftermath
A) European Control
a) in the early 1500s, many Europeans came to the area looking for spices to trade and
make huge profits
(i) only the Spanish cared about colonizing at this time, but their colonies remained
b) by the 1800s, Europe was focusing on taking over the region through business rather
than military, and by the 1900s had control of all but the region of Siam (Thailand)
c) colonialism led to three things:
(i) colonial rulers set up centralized, bureaucratic governments like Europe
(ii) they forced the colonies to produce goods to sell in Europe (sugar, rice, tea, etc)
(iii)the region began to develop national identities, and after learning in European
schools about self rule they began to unite against European rule
B) Independence
a) Japan claimed to be taking “Asia for Asians” and took over the region during WWII
(i) Japan, unlike the Europeans, put locals in charge of running affairs
1 despite this, Southeast Asians resented Japanese rule
b) after WWII, a few nations successfully gained independence without violence
(i) Indonesia fought from 1945-1949 to push the Dutch out
(ii) Indochina, the region of French control that included Cambodia, Laos, and
Vietnam, continued to suffer under renewed European rule
1 in 1954, the Vietnamese successfully pushed the French out, winning
independence for Cambodia, Laos, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam
2 North Vietnam developed into a Communist state, and wanted to take over
Capitalist South Vietnam, so the US became involved and stationed troops in
the region
 a series of escalating situations led to the Vietnam War (1957-1975), much
of which involved guerilla style warfare against the US
 the US withdrew troops in 1973, and by 1975 Vietnam was united
under Communist rule
 Communists then took over Cambodia and Laos
III) An Uneven Economy
A) Traditional Economies
a) Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam rely on agriculture for their economy
(i) rice is the primary crop
b) Myanmar also produces much of the world’s teak, a wood valued for it’s pretty color
and durability
B) Industry and Finance
a) Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand have more
developed economies and industries in the region
(i) these are the original members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian
1 similar to NAFTA or OPEC, promoting trade, economic growth, and peace
b) the region didn’t begin to industrialize until the 1960s, but the economies quickly
grew, and today they are developing increased service industries
(i) Singapore is a center of finance
c) Brunei gets most of its wealth from petroleum and natural gas
IV) A Rich Mosaic of Culture
A) Religious Diversity
a) lots of religions dominate different countries
(i) the Philippines is mostly Catholic (left from Spanish rule)
(ii) Indonesia and Brunei are mostly Muslim
(iii)Malaysia, Indonesia, Fiji, and Singapore are mostly Hindu
(iv) the rest are mostly Buddhist or follow traditional local religions
B) Art
a) sculpture and architecture reflect Buddhist and Hindu influences
b) performing arts include poetry and richly costumed dancers acting out stories
V) Changing Lifestyles
A) The Villages
a) in smaller communities, people usually live in houses raised on stilts to protect
against flooding
(i) the roofs are usually made of thatch or tin
b) the center of the community is usually a Buddhist temple
B) The Cities
a) some cities have towering skyscrapers and modern business districts
(i) most people live in apartments
b) as with all cities, many people move looking for jobs and end up homeless
(i) these will generally make shacks to live in, but they are not safe or stable, and
often disease or flooding will kill many people

2- Oceania
I) A History of the Islands
A) First Islanders
a) special canoes (catamarans) were developed to carry people further into the ocean,
allowing many to spread to far away islands
b) for hundreds of years people sailed East and West, as far as Hawaii and Madagascar
c) these people then developed in isolation
(i) Geographers group these people based on physical geography and culture
1 Micronesia- tiny islands
2 Melanesia- black islands
3 Polynesia- many islands
B) Contact with the West
a) during the 1500s, Europeans began exploring the Pacific
(i) the most famous was the British captain James Cook
1 he was the first to visit many of the islands
b) by the 1800s, Christian missionaries tried to convert people, traders came for Pacific
goods, sailors hunted whales, and settlers began plantations to grow coconuts, coffee,
pineapples, and sugar
(i) as a result, the island population declined from diseases brought by Europeans
1 Western culture began to replace traditional customs
2 eventually, Europe and the US took control of regions and turned them into
C) Recent History
a) many islands were the sites of battles between the Allies and Japanese
b) post WWII, some islands were nuclear test sites for many countries, especially the US
II) A Traditional Economy
A) Agriculture
a) high islands, created by volcanic activity, have good enough soil to support
(i) due to the climate, the best crops include bananas, sugar, coffee, cocoa, etc
B) Other Economic Activities
a) tourism has been on the rise in the region due to the natural beauty
(i) while this brings in money, it also harms the environment, and infrastructure is
required to handle the people (hotels, roads, taxis, stores, etc)
b) a few islands have enough resources to support a mining industry
III) Culture of the Islands
A) Language and Religion
a) about 1,100 languages are spoken in the region
(i) Papua New Guinea alone speaks 823
(ii) English is the most common second language
b) the most common religion is Christianity from the work of missionaries and colonial
B) Arts
a) most art is in the form of baskets, mats, masks, etc
(i) these are sold to tourists
IV) Island Life
A) Traditional Life
a) Polynesia
(i) most people live in villages with wooden houses and thatched roofs
1 the villages are led by a chief
(ii) in the past, most cultures in this region were warlike
b) Micronesia
(i) tended to live peacefully with their neighbors and live in extended family groups
(ii) mostly survived on fishing and farming
c) Melanesia
(i) most people live near the coast for fishing
(ii) some are still hunter-gatherers
B) Recent Change
a) since most islands are small, very few can support large cities, however those that can
have seen population growth beyond what they can handle
(i) this leads to shantytowns, poor sanitation, etc
b) modern communication has allowed many islands to unify when before they were

3- Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica

I) History: Distant European Outposts

A) The Original Inhabitants
a) around 40,000 years ago, Aboriginal people migrated to Australia
(i) since they lived by hunting and gathering, the British who found them decided
they weren’t using the land, so they took it for their own uses
(ii) at the time there were about 500 groups of Aborigines speaking 200 dialects in a
complex society with religious beliefs and social structures
b) about 1,000 years ago, Polynesians called the Maori settled New Zealand
(i) originally peaceful, the Maori became a warrior-centric society after a series of
natural disasters killed many of their people
B) Early Explorers
a) Captain James Cook discovered both New Zealand and Australia, and he found a few
islands off the coast of Antarctica, but didn’t see the mainland
(i) the first to see the mainland of Antarctica was a Russian expedition
C) European Settlement
a) Early Days:
(i) Britain settled Australia in 1788 and originally named it New South Wales
1 it was set up as a penal colony for debtors because Britain’s prisons were too
2 it also was a good spot for Pacific naval bases
(ii) New Zealand was populated by hunters and whalers from Europe, the US, and
(iii)Antarctica was not settled, and today only a few scientists live there consistently
b) Taking Over:
(i) British colonists violently took lands from the Aborigines, who died as a result of
warfare and infection from European diseases
(ii) in 1840 the British and many Maori tribes signed the Treaty of Waitangi
1 this gave Britain control of New Zealand in their words, but the Maori thought
it meant governorship, which would mean the Maori still owned the land
 this would lead to wars in the 1840s and 1860s that the British won
 many Maori also died from disease
c) in the 1850s and 60s gold was discovered in Australia and New Zealand, leading to
an explosion of population
(i) few miners ever struck it rich, though
II) Modern Nations
A) Rights and Land Claims
a) both Australia and New Zealand became independent countries in the first decade of
the 1900s
(i) in 1893, New Zealand became the first country to grant women the right to vote
1 also the first to provide government pensions for seniors
b) native people in both countries generally have less education and higher rates of
(i) in the last 30 years, Aborigines and Maori descendants have petitioned for the
return of former lands
B) Issues
a) Australia and New Zealand have had mass shootings (New Zealand in 2019), and
both put bans on multiple types of weapons to prevent future mass shootings
b) both countries are also part of the British Commonwealth (ties to Britain, but they are
not formally ruled by Britain)
c) Antarctica remains unsettled and undeveloped
(i) in 2000, 18 countries had scientific research there
(ii) seven countries currently claim land, but these claims are not recognized by the
UN (required these days)
III) Economy: Meat, Wool, and Butter
A) Agriculture
a) Australia cannot support large farms due to being mostly arid, but the land supports
large numbers of sheep and makes Australia the largest exporter of wool in the world
b) New Zealand supports large amounts of ranching and can grow some crops
(i) they are the leading exporter of kiwi
(ii) a 1998 census showed livestock outnumbered people 15 to 1
B) Mining
a) Australia is the world’s top producer of diamonds, zinc, opals, and lead
(i) they also mine bauxite, coal, copper, gold, and iron ore
b) most of the deposits are in the outback, making mining dangerous and difficult
(i) building roads and infrastructure is expensive, so Australia must rely on outside
investors, who then take profits out of Australia
C) Manufacturing and Service
a) despite both being developed countries, neither focuses on manufacturing very much
(i) this is in large part due to their proximity to many Asian countries who already
manufacture much of what the world buys
IV) Distinctive Cultures
A) Australia’s Culture
a) most Australians are British descendants, but the ratio is changing with increased
migration from Greece, Italy, and Southeast Asia
(i) less than 1% are Aborigines
b) since most are British descendants, they follow British customs
(i) they drive on the left, drink tea, most are Christian, and they speak English
1 like the US, Australia has adjusted English to fit their style
B) New Zealand’s Culture
a) most are British or other European descendants
(i) they are called pakehas, the Maori word for white people
(ii) about 15% are Maori descendants
b) New Zealand is a combination of British and Maori cultures
(i) English and Maori are official languages
(ii) Christianity is the primary religion, but some churches mix Christian teachings
with Maori traditional faiths
c) New Zealand gained popular status with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, as
they were shot entirely in New Zealand
V) Modern Life
A) City and Country
a) both countries are almost entirely urbanized
(i) 89% of Australians and 87% of New Zealanders live in cities
1 Australian cities are like the rest of the world- crowded, polluted, etc
2 New Zealand cities are relatively quiet, uncrowded, and pollution free due to
the overall small population
 even with 87% of people, that’s 87% of about 5 million
b) in both countries, ranchers live far from the cities
(i) in New Zealand, they have good roads that make travel easy
(ii) in Australia, wealthy ranchers employ private planes to move over the vast
B) Recreation
a) with warm climates, many people spend a lot of time outside
(i) sports include rugby, soccer, tennis, etc
b) New Zealand also has skiing and mountain climbing