The colonization of Asia by the Europeans commenced in the 16th century. By the 19th century, every Southeast Asian land was forced under the jurisdiction of European global players except one. There was a region situated between British Burma and French Indochina called Siam; known presently as Thailand.
Colonialism is a very controversial topic. And although it has many bad sides, it has some good sides to it as well. Let’s list the good sides: Improved health care system, enhancement of civilization, restoration of women’s rights, infrastructural development, and literacy through education. Now, let’s list the bad sides: Constant wars and conflict, loss of culture and identity, heavy taxation, exposure to new diseases, tainted morality, slave trade, loss of land, and exploitation of natural resources.
Earlier this year, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranked the countries and regions in Asia in terms of wealth, and out of 52, Thailand emerged 9th. Frankly, this is very impressive. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place were occupied by the once colonized China, Japan, and India respectively. This shows that colonization has its perks. Regardless, I wonder, if Thailand could surprisingly be 9th of 52 without being colonized, what would it be like if none of these countries was ever colonized?