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Toward Cities, Seas, and Jungles: Migration in the Malay Archipelago, c. 1750–1850

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Chapter Summary

The chapter argues that new types of migration were increasing in the Malay Archipelago preceding the industrialization. It explains that the British Straits Settlements (Melaka, Penang, and Singapore) and Batavia received an increasing number of commercial and slave migrants in their urban quarters, and also labor and military migrants in their suburbs, starting from different years. The chapter discusses labor migration in tin mines in Bangka and gold mines in northwest Kalimantan respectively after 1750 and 1740. It describes "maritime migration", which Indonesian, Chinese, and other Asian migrants conducted in a small scale in search of marine and forest products, better protection from local rulers, and better locations for their trade and maritime raids throughout the Archipelago, at an increasing pace after the 1780s. The Straits Settlements and Batavia formed the largest urban communities in the Archipelago in the period in question.

Keywords: Asian migrants; labor migration; Malay Archipelago



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