Here is Episode 29 for your listening pleasure! This episode covers the part of the Spanish-American War that was fought in the Philippines. In doing so we will say goodbye to Spain, and meet the last colonial power to come to Southeast Asia, the United States. In the past the narrative could cover centuries of events with one episode, but this time almost everything happened in one year, 1898.
The latest episode went up two days ago, and because I was busy in the real world, I didn’t get around to announcing it here until now. I also took an extra day to get the recording and editing finished. The end result is the longest episode this podcast has produced so far, So I think you will find it was worth the wait. For the first time in seven months, we will look at the Philippines. Here you will hear how Spain lost its tight grip on the islands, and the development of Southeast Asia’s first modern nationalist movement. The narrative will cover events in the 1700s and most of the 1800s, and end right before the United States got involved in the Philippines, the topic of the next episode. And for the first time, you will hear my wife make a contribution!
I’m afraid I broke a promise. A month ago, I predicted that future episodes would cover shorter time periods, but today, to get Siam done in one episode, I covered a 157-year time span, from 1782 to 1939. That means this episode will be the longest so far in the podcast series, but fortunately it is still less than an hour; you won’t have to set aside a day to listen, like you would for Dan Carlin’s history podcast. Here you will learn how Siam modernized, why it was the only Southeast Asian country that did not become a European colony, and why it changed its name to Thailand at the end of the period.
Here is a map of Siam in the early 1800s, when the kingdom was at its greatest size. These borders lasted until 1863, when Britain and France started taking parts of the kingdom for themselves. The core territory they left behind became present-day Thailand in 1939.
The latest podcast episode finishes what the previous episode started, covering the French conquest of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, from 1867 to 1907.
Episode 25 is available! Actually it has been up since July 16. I didn’t announce here it until now because I was not happy with the sound quality, after I uploaded it. For some reason my computer added static in some places. Also, after uploading I discovered that one of the sources I used for Cambodia was in error. Therefore I re-recorded the episode, with the static gone and the error corrected. If you already listened to the episode, go ahead and download and listen to it again; it won’t cost you anything, after all. And sorry for the inconvenience.
Anyway, for this episode the podcast moves to the east side of the Southeast Asian mainland. This is the first in a two-part series on how the French conquered Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. If you are interested in what I may say in the future about the twentieth-century Vietnam War, this episode is an important stepping stone, setting the stage for that conflict by bringing in the French.
Okay, since the latest episode went up today, we are back on schedule. And that’s not all; today the podcast is one year old. This time we look at the history of Burma/Myanmar from 1782 to 1890, when Britain conquered the country and made it part of British India. You will also hear me read a poem by Rudyard Kipling; listen and enjoy!
After taking a bit of a break last month, the podcast is ready to resume the narrative, with the first episode covering events in the nineteenth century. This time we will see how the Dutch conquered all of Indonesia, or as they called it after they took over, the Dutch East Indies.