How would relations between Europe and a surviving Majapahit Empire go?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by GauchoBadger, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. GauchoBadger Gang Weeder (in a society)

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    So, assume that the Majapahit Empire doesn't collapse, and/or that Indonesia stays more-or-less united under the hegemony of one island state till, say, the late 16th century.
    How would this affect relations between Europe and the East Indies? What happens to Portuguese history? With more bargaining power to the East Indies, how will the spice trade be affected? Will the Europeans instead decide to focus on America and India?
     
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  2. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    If Majapahit survives the Spanish would not even be able to gain Luzon/Saludong, I think an alliance between Portugal and Majapahit is possible against muslims.
     
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  3. Namayan Well-Known Member

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    The Europeans and Islam will have a hard time converting/colonizing in ATL.

    Europeans I suspect merely transitions to trading instead of monopoly. Europeans had to accept dominance of powerful Asian states at their home turf much like OTL China or Japan or even OTL India during Mughal times. ATL Majapahit would be no different.

    Europeans would still dominate the high seas though. There is still money trading for spice as much as in OTL trading for Chinese silk. Difference would be European states wont monopolize the market like OTL for a certain period of time.

    Eventually unless Majapahit advances the same pace as Europe, Europe will carve up the empire like China or India.
     
  4. RogueTraderEnthusiast Winner: WillamOfOckham "Most AH.com Title" 2018

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    I tend to agree.

    I also expect that you'd see quite a lot of shipcraft-exchange between both sides. After all, Majapahit could well have better ships than Europe.

    What really throws me is the balance of relationships between the Naval Majapahit, and a frankly navy-weak Ming, and a disunited India. With Europe as a market for Indonesian Goods, and their already substantial naval strength, it isn't implausible IMO for Portugal to take control of something like Christmas Island, or be given rights to trade, but have effective control over the eastern half of the trade that Portugal started preying on.

    I don't think it is unreasonable that Portugal doesn't go further than Goa, and concentrates on Africa - simply because they can act as the intermediary between Majapahit and Western Europe, and Majapahit may well bring a strong navy to bear on any Europeans who they disapprove of. (Heck, we could even have the Majapahit attacking a Trade-Averse China).
     
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  5. GameBawesome Well-Known Member

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    I would think they would loss Territory from the Dutch, specifically the VOC.
     
  6. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    Majapahit would ally with Portugal..
     
  7. Pauh the federalist Well-Known Member

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    given how large the population of the Indonesian islands is today, they could be a strong colonizer if they were to modernize off of europian trade (in a similar way that happens in between 1400AD-1700AD inJapanese wanks off of Portuguese, and dutch traders) easy locations for colonization would be Australia, the Pacific islands, indo china, Hainan, Taiwan, the Philippian islands or even Japan if they modernize before Japan. this could make them an empire of islands like Japan would become but with a population large enough to properly colonize a lot of it in a way Japan never could. an advantage that may come out of this is that there will be less pressure on them to conquer China outside of there eastern and southern islands but if somehow they did get compiled to conquer China (which again I don't think is terribly likely but not impossible if conquering china is your thing I guess) I would think they would at most go for the Cantonese speaking areas of China and the greater southern Chinese languages zones and there non Han naboring areas
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Huehuecoyotl Reinar es Agridulce

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    Indonesia doesn't have much in the way of coal, does it? Most of it was submerged or hadn't taken shape yet during the major coal-forming epoch of the Carboniferous, though to my knowledge there are some small deposits in Irian Jaya/West Papua and Borneo. I wonder if it would have enough to fuel a major industrialization like what we're discussing without imports - maybe from West Bengal? And what about steel production?
     
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  9. Pauh the federalist Well-Known Member

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    to start them off there seems to be at least one major source of iron in Indonesia located on the island of Sulawesi that can later be supplemented with the Philippine supplies and that of northwestern Australia. also, they have an ungodly amount of copper on western Indonesian islands that then snake up indo china for later copper expansion
    [​IMG]
    There also do seem to be coal deposits as you were saying in Indonesia that look like they can be supplemented from surrounding territories in Australia and New Zealand long-term
    [​IMG]
    They also appear to have an ok supply of oil in western Indonesia (they rank in the top 25 largest producers of oil according to Wikipedia) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_production
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  10. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    They already had Luzon/Selurong and Sulu IOTL..their problem is preventing the rise of Brunei.
     
  11. Pauh the federalist Well-Known Member

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    There Wikipedia article suggests they were a subject/vessel of some type to Majapahit if they can keep them as a vassal that should stop there rise which may be done in the following article that mentions what appears to be a devastating attack that was Brunei had to be bailed out by there overlord but if things went differently enough damage may have been done to keep them a dependent vassal which seems to be within reach if you see the ending Chinese account "In the 14th century, Brunei seems to be subjected to Java. The Javanese manuscript Nagarakretagama, written by Prapanca in 1365, mentioned Barune as the vassal state of Majapahit,[9] which had to make an annual tribute of 40 katis of camphor. In 1369, the Sulus attacked Po-ni, looting it of treasure and gold. A fleet from Majapahit succeeded in driving away the Sulus, but Po-niwas left weaker after the attack.[10] A Chinese report from 1371 described Po-ni as poor and totally controlled by Majapahit." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruneian_Empire
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  12. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    Sulu were a loose vassal of majapahit, prevent a marriage of Sulu and Brunei or at least the ruler of Majapahit aids against the sacking of Tondo by Bolkiah..they can wait till they recover..their power projection.
     
  13. Pauh the federalist Well-Known Member

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    It seems like they were fine in doing what appears to have resulted in the vassals to looking for help elsewhere according to this wiki article that says "A civil war, called the Paregreg war, is thought to have occurred from 1405 to 1406.[8](p18) The war was fought as a contest of succession between the western court led by Wikramawardhana and the eastern court led by Bhre Wirabhumi. Wikramawardhana was victorious. Wirabhumi was caught and decapitated. However the civil war drained financial resources, exhausted the kingdom, and weakened Majapahit's grip on its outer vassals and colonies." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majapahit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paregreg_war

    Here is a 10 year before and after
    this is 1400
    upload_2018-11-30_23-50-33.png
    this is 1410
    upload_2018-11-30_23-53-41.png
    A pod that prevents this civil war which was a succession crisis (so it requires small groups of individuals to not be born, better negotiations, or better succession planning to begin with,) which means, because we are not dealing with a normal civil war this will be a easier fix because it does not need to come at a top-down societal level.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  14. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    And at least have them stop the spread of Islam..Islam further spread during the POD..
     
  15. Pauh the federalist Well-Known Member

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    I did not assume that was necessary if it was really that negative you could butterfly away Islam, but if you wanted to keep it we may have the Islamic world face a crisis that puts a more violent end to there golden age (Crusader, Mongol allice anyone?) or if we wanted something more simple we could have Islam stick interested Indian (and Subsaharan African) trade to a greater degree over Indonesian trade which should limit Islam's effect in the area but may expand Islams reach in mainland India which may make a later Islamic empire like the Mughal empire (if it still exists with butterflies) be more stable. According to this Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spread_of_Islam_in_Indonesia

    "The history of arrival and spread of Islam in Indonesia is unclear. One theory states it arrived directly from Arabia before the 9th century, while another credits Sufi merchants and preachers for bringing Islam to Indonesian islands in the 12th or 13th century either from Gujarat in India or directly from the Middle East.[1] Before the arrival of Islam, the predominant religions in Indonesia were Buddhism and Hinduism (particularly its Shaivism tradition).[2][3]
    Initially, the spread of Islam was slow and gradual.[4] Though historical documents are incomplete, the limited evidence suggests that the spread of Islam accelerated in the 15th century, as the military power of Melaka Sultanate in Malay Peninsular today Malaysia and other Islamic Sultanates dominated the region aided by episodes of Muslim coup such as in 1446, wars and superior control of maritime trading and ultimate markets.[4][5] By the time European merchants such as Portuguese and Dutch traders began actively trading in Indonesia in the 16th century, Buddhism and Hinduism were extinct in the major islands of Indonesia, except for pockets such as Bali which became the refuge for the Hindus from other Indonesian islands after Muslim Sultanates and Hindu kingdom wars in the 15th century.[6][7][4]"

    So a crusader pod should kill it after initial contact but before it matures (assuming it did not come from Gujarat India) because we are presumably trying to catch it before the 15th-century acceleration which at that point requires having made Majapahit strong enough to beat the Melaka sultanate or prevent its existence from happening in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  16. GameBawesome Well-Known Member

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    Is the majapahit still majority Javanese Hindu or are most of the empire converted to Islam?
     
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  17. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    Muslim claimants destroyed the Majapahit empire.
     
  18. GameBawesome Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. If the Majapahit is majority Muslim under Hindu monarch rule, there would be some rebellions and muslim kingdoms that want to throw off Majaphit Rule. A European Power, or possibly even the Ottomans (Cough* Aceh* cough) could support a Muslim Rebellion and take over, weakening the Majapahit, or help the Majapahit.
     
  19. Frrf Well-Known Member

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    Aug 11, 2011
    I wonder, would a majority Hindu Indonesian Archipelago be considered part of the wider Indian region? Would it make Hinduism more prominent as a world religion and less tied to India in the minds of Westerners? Assuming limited butterflies, and that a) Euro-American history stays roughly the same until major contact, would there be greater interest on the part of Britain, France and Spain in the region, given that there'd be a major native power that might be swayed to favour them over their rivals? Or might the VoC kill the Majapahit Empire with a thousand cuts, like the British EIC killed the Mughals? The VoC, and then the Netherlands, might then elect to exploit the caste system to reinforce their rule.

    Something unrelated, but still interesting, without wide adoption of Islam, the languages of the Archipelago (Bahasa Melayu, Javanese, Sundanese, Balinese, etc.) would probably look and sound more Indian. They'd lack the Arabic stratum that provides most of the words in the domains of religion and law, and would probably use an expanded Sanskrit/Pala stratum, much like Thai. They would also probably still use their older Indic scripts.
    Architecturally, the islands would lack typically Islamic features like elaborate geometric designs, copious domes and minarets. Borobudur and Prambanan would probably not fall out of use, and so could have enduring influence on architecture. Wilwatikta might also survive to the modern day.
     
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  20. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    The only power that could resuscitate Majapahit against a Muslim power would be the Portuguese or Venetians.
     
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