Assess the validity of the view that "the true achievement of colonial expansion of colonial expansion in the period 1870 - 1939 was the creation of the modern Southeast Asian state".
When the Europeans powers came to Southeast Asia, their main interest was for their own economic gain, to exploit the resources of the Southeast Asian colonies. However, the traditional administrative system at that time was unable to facilitate their motive. Therefore, they introduced changes to the traditional system so as to strengthen their control of their system. As these changes were there for the better, it was, in one way or another, the path towards modernization. However, the above assertion seem to mean that the colonial powers came to Southeast Asia with the main intention to modernize Southeast Asia, which is an unfair assessment of colonial rule. Rather, there were certain areas in Southeast Asia, which did not become a modern sate but rather remained as it was in the traditional past. Therefore, though colonial rule brought modernization to Southeast Asia, it would be too extreme to consider it as a true achievement.
We have to observe that colonial expansion had modernized Southeast Asia in several ways, leading to the creation of the modern Southeast Asian state. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a foundation of European-style state administration, replacing the ancient and tradition system in Southeast Asia. Centrally controlled and functionally organized bureaucracies began to govern regions whereas previous system was personalistic and quasi-feudal complex of arrangements. Bureaucracies grow enormously in size with the management requirements of the new order. This was partly because the number of European civil servants expanded, which would result in more efficiency. In Indochina, the number of civil servants doubled in four years after 1907 as a result of Governor-General Doumer's creation of the Indochina state.