Socio-Economic History

Vol. 73, No.3
Formation of the Kingdom of Thailand

The history of the Kingdom of Thailand may be considered as an interaction among three distinct regions, namely (1) ‘annathai’, a group of small kingdoms in the intermountain basins, constituting part of a much larger area extending from south-western China to north-eastern India via Burma, (2) ‘muang nua’, northern countries, extending from Burma on the west to Cambodia on the east, and (3) the port-polities along the Bay of Thailand. In the 13th and14th centuries, Ayutthaya, one of these port-polities, flourished thanks to its location as an entrepot on the trade route between the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea and succeeded in incorporating the hinterlands to the north, to eventually establish the geo-political unit of the present Kingdom of Thailand.


Katsuhiko KITAGAWA
Regional integration and economic history: Europe and East Asia

There has been a recent tendency to draw stark contrasts between regionalism in Europe and East Asia. The main goal of the plenary session of the seventy-fifth annual conference of the Socio-Economic History Society, organized by Katsuhiko KITAGAWA, was to consider regional integration between the two by examining the evolution of economic history to date.

Peter MATHIAS presented a historical survey of Anglo-European economic relations from the past of ‘long-term engagement’ to the future of ‘reluctant marriage’. Hisashi WATANABE, by noting the capacity of Europe to accommodate changes in interregional relations, indicated that integration movement in Europe developed from the stage of ‘Europe of the Nation-States’ to ‘Europe of the Regions’ to the most recent ‘European Region’. Heita KAWAKATSU suggested that Japan, which has accomplished its predominance in East Asian economy and catch-up to Atlantic economy, can serve as a model of decentralization based on environment-friendly eco-nationalism and contribute to the making of an East Asia community in the global shift of the international economic centre.

Commenting on these presentations, Takashi OKUNISHI raised some doubts on the prospect of regional integration in East Asia because of the diversity of its institutions. Shigeru AKITA emphasized that critical attention should be paid on the interconnectedness of regional integration in Europe and East Asia. Chieko OTSURU indicated that the United States, seeking its national interests and open-door globalization, approached regional integration in Europe through the framework of NATO and in Asia through the concept of Asia-Pacific regionalism and the framework of APEC.


Tadakazu SAITO
Where are the soldiers going?: an aspect of the enlistment system in the Northern Song dynasty from the viewpoint of the security system for regular army soldiers

It is well known that the Northern Song regular army [chinchün] was based on an enlistment system [mupingchih], but the lives of people in military society, the very foundation of mupingchih, remains vague. In addition, the fact that the Song dynasty was a great military power has not been fully recognized. The subject ‘where soldiers come from’ has been examined to some extent, but the only study on ‘where soldiers go’ is my thesis on reserve duty and other enlistment classifications [shêngyuan taichiashengyüan] and public cemeteries [loutseyüan].

In this report, I study the security system for the chinchün soldiers who died in battle, were injured, or became ill. A generous system existed, although not for all soldiers, for the Northern Song chinchun in which provisions were made for the military recruitment of the children and nephews of the war dead, burial and memorial services, and pensions for the injured, dead, and sick soldiers. In other words, the Northern Song dynasty provided lifetime employment for soldiers, at least for high-ranking chinchün. Thus a lifetime employment system actually existed and was maintained much as a modern standing army, far beyond the level of employment of mercenaries.


Establishment of a specialized health administration through plague control in the Dutch East Indies, 1900-1925

This article focuses on the plague epidemics in Java starting in 1911 and the establishment of a specialized health administration in the same year. It analyzes the interaction between the health administration (BGD, Civil Medical Service), general internal administration (BB), and the population. Since the plague spread mainly in the rural interior area, control centred on the indigenous population. Lacking in decisive intervention methods, the measures taken by BGD, whether emergency ones, such as perforating the spleen for diagnostic purposes to identify and isolate possible cases, or preventive ones to render houses rat-free, were received with much skepticism and criticism. Consequently, BGD, which operated on the principle of universal territorial management, reoriented itself from a universal approach to a more pluralistic research-oriented approach to take into account each failed measure and differences among areas. This change in stance, accompanied by the transfer of most of the executing authority to BB, enabled BGD to establish its legitimacy in the face of continuing opposition from the population, and to underscore the importance of preventive measures. This success was apparent in BGD’s name change to ‘Public Health Service’ and in its budget allocations.


Yasufumi TOYOOKA
Activities of maritime people on the Cantonese coast in mid-Qing China, 1785-1815

From the late 18th to the early19th century, the south coast of China was plagued with an unprecedented surge of incidents of piracy. The victims of these attacks filed damage reports that contained information about the day-to-day lives of the victims. This study outlines the economic activities of the lower class on the Cantonese coast in mid-Qing China through an analysis of the damage reports on piracy incidents collected in Liketiben, Jiucanchufenlei (Routine materials of the Ministry of Civil Office related to impeachment of officials), held in the First Historical Archives of China.
According to an examination of the reports, much of the coastal activity in Canton was in inshore fishery and regional shipping operations, whose scale of running capital was 0.01-0.1% of the average scale of capital of international trade. In many cases, the shippers did not purchase the cargo but were hired by small traders to transport goods, and the boats themselves were small, with five to ten crew members.

In conclusion, it was found that the pirates, who used small boats themselves, targeted the small boats operated by the lower class, and the influence of piracy on interregional or international trade was not significant.