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Civilizing Pirates: Nineteenth Century British Ideas about Piracy, Race and Civilization in the Malay Archipelago
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. (Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1782-1572
2018 (English)In: HumaNetten, E-ISSN 1403-2279, no 41, p. 25-45Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates how British officials and observers of the Malay Archipelago in the nineteenth century explained the prevalence of piracy in the region, particularly in terms of race and civilization. The writings by, among others, Thomas Stamford Raffles, John Crawfurd, James Brooke and Peter Benson Maxwell on contemporary Malay piracy are analysed. Whereas there was broad agreement among these observers that the alleged lack of civilization on the part of the Malays was a major reason for the prevalence of piracy in the region, there was considerable disagreement about the Malays’ capacity for civilizational progress and improvement. The degree to which the Malays were deemed capable of civilization in turn influenced the policies and measures implemented by the British to suppress piracy, ranging from the promotion of free trade to the wholesale extermination of entire villages and communities of suspected pirates. Criticism from humanitarians and liberals in London against the brutality of the latter tactics, however, led to a more restrained British deployment of violence in the Malay Archipelago from the middle of the nineteenth century.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnéuniversitetet , 2018. no 41, p. 25-45
Keywords [en]
Piracy, Southeast Asia, Malay Archipelago, Great Britain, Race, Civilization, Colonialism, Violence
National Category
History
Research subject
Humanities, History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-79458DOI: 10.15626/hn.20184102OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-79458DiVA, id: diva2:1278437
Funder
Riksbankens JubileumsfondAvailable from: 2019-01-14 Created: 2019-01-14 Last updated: 2019-07-08Bibliographically approved

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Eklöf Amirell, Stefan

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf