Anti-imperialism in the 19th century : a contemporary critique of the British invasion of Java in 1811
Farish A. Noor
Date of Issue2014
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Postcolonial historians in Southeast Asia have sometimes described the colonial encounters of the past in dislectical terms, lending the impression that Western colonial intervention in Asia received widespread support back in Europe. This paper looks at one of the most vocal critiques of the British invasion of Java in 1811 that came from William Cobbert, a radical Tory writer and pamphleteer, whose critism of the Java invasion was complex and nuanced. It shows how the British invasion of Java at the time was not so widely supported as assumed by some, but is also shows how anti-war activism has a long history that dates back to the 19th century. Reading Cobbert's critique of the Java invasion today is instructive for scholars of international relations as parallels can be found in his criticism of the converging interests of both capital and militarism, and his warnings of the long term consequences of such colonial adventurism and imperial overreach.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science
RSIS Working Papers, 279-14