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Kaur A. Highways and Railways. 2004.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/2616
Highways and Railways
Prior to the nineteenth century, the forested terrain of much of Southeast Asia severely restricted overland communication, and the rivers and seas provided the main means of cultural and commercial contact. Land transport was slow, expensive, difficult, and dangerous. Colonialism and the creation of new states in Southeast Asia represented new departures within the region. These new states had precisely delineated boundaries and a permanency that indigenous states had lacked, a new style of administration and institutional structures to oversee the various aspects of government, and intensity in governance not hitherto experienced in the indigenous states. Few changes were as striking as those in transportation, as governments created physical and economic infrastructures to make colonies profitable. Railways and roads both enhanced and modernized communication links and promoted a closer involvement with the world economy. They also facilitated an expansion in agricultural and mineral production and the transformation of Southeast Asian states into export-oriented economies.