By Colin Mason
The peoples of Asia now make up greater than half the world's inhabitants. they're more and more well-educated, and winning in each sector of contemporary alternate and know-how. Their effect within the remainder of the realm can also be changing into better. Colin Mason offers a readable and transparent advent to their heritage and traditions, from prehistory correct as much as the current day. This completely revised, up to date and multiplied re-creation contains the titanic adjustments and additions made useful through the fast-changing scene in Asia, quite China's expanding prominence in global affairs. There are new chapters on Afghanistan and Taiwan, and on international struggle and its importance in Asia, in addition to huge remodeling of the chapters at the countries of South Asia. Maps and illustrations now additionally enhance the textual content all through, making this the fundamental consultant to the background of a desirable continent and its peoples.
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Extra info for A Short History of Asia, Second Edition
These Sinhalese factions recruited large numbers of Tamil mercenaries. The Tamils gained control of more territory in the north, including the valuable and world-renowned pearl fishery. The decaying Sinhalese state was pushed southwards to a new capital at Kotte, near Colombo. The great irrigation works in the centre of the country were destroyed by rival armies or fell into disrepair, leaving an arid zone between the Tamil and Sinhalese kingdoms. Huge tracts of previously cultivated country reverted to dense jungle.
Sri Lanka was occupied by British forces during the Napoleonic Wars and became a British colony in 1802, largely on the insistence of the East India Company. The ancient kingdom of Kandy, involved in a series of rebellions, was subdued in 1818. Thereafter the colony faced considerable economic difficulties. When coffee was planted there the Sinhalese refused to carry out the hard and ill-paid work involved. The planters brought in Tamil labourers from India, and with them a further cause of the communal problems to come.
Chola certainly seems to have been the largest and most influential state in India around the end of the first millennium, especially during the long eleventh-century reign of King Rajendra. Much of its extravagant wealth, a great deal of which was devoted to ornamenting and maintaining the Tanjore temple, was obtained from marauding expeditions against Chola’s neighbours. This region’s exports – among them ivory, cotton cloth, pepper and other spices, diamonds, pearls, apes and peacocks – included a considerable trade with Rome, evidenced by numerous Roman coins found in south India.
A Short History of Asia, Second Edition by Colin Mason