JC History Tuition Online - How did the Dutch influence the Indonesian economy

How did the Dutch influence the Indonesian economy?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

Historical Context
In the 19th century, the Dutch established the cultivation system known as the cultuurstelsel. The origin of the system can be traced to the early 1800s, in which the Dutch colonial government had struggled to engage private cultivators to raise crop production for export. Under the leadership of the Dutch Governor-General, van den Bosch, he switched to a different method to cultivate export crops.

In particular, the Dutch identified individual villages and instructed the people in each village to grow specific crops, such as rice, coffee and sugar. In the 1830s, export production from Java increased significantly due to the efforts put in by the Chinese merchants and indigenous Javanese ruling class and the Dutch officials.

The emergence of economic nationalism: Limitations of the Ethical Policy
Yet, the Dutch cultivation system was not deemed by all local natives as beneficial. Within the indigenous Indonesian community, some viewed economic participation by the Chinese merchants as a threats to their interests.

Influential merchant groups in urban Java, such as the Sarekat Dagang Islam, resented competition from the Chinese. The better-off farmers in Java, who controlled irrigated rice land, resented the enforced renting of land to the sugar companies. Most of those involved in the growing nationalist movement, including growing numbers of indigenous business people, would probably have agreed with the judgement of a later economist that ‘the developmental effort under the ethical system was too little and too late to be effective in raising levels of living of the Indonesian people’.

An excerpt from “Economic Change in Modern Indonesia: Colonial and Post-colonial Comparisons” by Anne Booth.

The Sarekat Dagang Islam (Islamic Trade Union) was initially formed as a Javanese traders’ cooperative to support textile traders against Chinese competitors. In 1912, it was renamed as Sarekat Islam as the organisation evolved into a mass political party.

The Dutch Ethnical Policy (Ethische Politiek) was identified as the root cause of the unequal economic opportunities that generated resentment towards the Chinese immigrants and the colonial power. The policy was guided by its slogan: ‘irrigation, education and emigration’.

The Dutch colonial administration aimed to enhance the irrigation facilities to increase agricultural productivity. However, the intended growth target was not realised. As a result, the poor living standards had fueled the growth of Indonesian nationalism instead.

The Ethical Policy sought to protect the ‘poor’ and ‘unenlightened’ Javanese peasant against the oppression by feudal Javanese overlords and ruthless Chinese. Its formulated lofty goal was to raise the prosperity of the indigenous population through direct state intervention in economic life.

[…] The economic downturn of the early 1920s and 1930s started a period of consolidation and eventually deterioration of the Ethical Policy. The political will to initiate ethical programs waned as the administration embarked on a policy of expenditure cuts to balance the budget.

An excerpt from “Dutch Commerce and Chinese Merchants in Java: Colonial Relationships in Trade and Finance, 1800-1942” by Alexander Claver.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the significance of economic challenges in influencing government intervention in post-independence Southeast Asian economies.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about colonial-era policies and their impacts on the Paths to Economic Development. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What was Dag Hammarskjöld's Summary Study

What was Dag Hammarskjöld’s Summary Study?

Topic of Study [For H1/H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 2: Political Effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security

Historical context
Following the outbreak of the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956, the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Dag Hammarskjöld deployed the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to supervise the “cessation of hostilities” involving the armed forces of France, Israel and the United Kingdom, as well as to “serve as a buffer between the Egyptian and Israeli forces”.

The Summary Study
On 9 October 1958, Hammarskjöld submitted to the General Assembly a report known as the “Summary Study of the Experience Derived from the Establishment of the United Nations Emergency Force“.

A reference table on the comparison between ‘Chapter VII’ (use of collective security) and the peacekeeping concept. [By Norrie MacQueen]

Also known more commonly as the “Summary Study” in short, the UNSG reported his reflections on the pioneer peacekeeping mission. His purpose was to institutionalise peacekeeping at the international level.

At the outset of the Summary Study, Hammarskjöld noted that peacekeeping did not involve ‘the type of force envisaged under Chapter VII of the Charter’. Without this legal base, the activity had to be an elective one.

There were two senses to this. First, there could be no deployment on a state’s territory ‘without the consent of the Government concerned’. Second, it followed that if Chapter VII was not to be used as the basis of a peacekeeping action then Article 43, with its obligations on member states to ‘make available to the Security Council, on its call’ whatever military forces were deemed necessary, could not be invoked. They could only be freely offered by contributing states in response to a request from the UN. These principles would ‘naturally hold valid for all similar operations in the future’.

An excerpt from “Peacekeeping and the International System” by Norrie MacQueen.

As described by MacQueen, the UNSG had envisaged peacekeeping as a concept that required consent from the host-state. Also, operational support to form the peacekeeping force had to be carried out on a voluntary basis. The second requirement proved to be costly and problematic later on, as observed in the United Nations Mission in Congo (ONUC).

In his Summary study, the Secretary-General held, with regard to the principle of freedom of movement, that an agreement as to what should be considered an area of operations of the force would be needed in future operations.

[…] In the Congo operation (1960-1964), secessionist movements exercised control from time to time over large tracts of the Congolese territory. The Secretary-General was therefore more or less forced to negotiate with those movements rather than use force to enter the territory. The UN also concluded cease-fire agreements with forces not under the control of the central Congolese government.

An excerpt from “Protection of Personnel in Peace Operations: The Role of the ‘Safety Convention’ against the Background of General International Law” by Ola Engdahl.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view the the United Nations Secretary-Generals have played a vital role in the maintenance of international peace and security.

Join our JC History Tuition to recap on the United Nations topic. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - How was the Asian Financial Crisis resolved

How was the Asian Financial Crisis resolved?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 2: Asian Financial Crisis

Find out how ASEAN sought to contain the shocks created by the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 [Video by ASEAN Plus 3 Macroeconomic research Office – AMRO]

An overview of the Crisis
In the early 1990s, many member nations of ASEAN pegged their exchange rates to the US dollar (USD). Given the dominant position of the Americans in the global economy, the peg instilled strong market confidence. Over time, the economic expansion in the region led to increased foreign capital inflows. By June 1997, cross-border flows in Southeast Asia totaled US$173 billion.

Greater access to capital had encouraged the provision of private loans. In turn, firms and household investors had ploughed funds into the real estate market. As a result, an asset bubble was formed. When the bubble burst, the Bank of Thailand declared its inability to prop up the largest finance company, Finance One, triggering fears of an impending market crash.

The anticipation of loan defaults resulted in the withdrawal of funds by short-term loan creditors. On the other hand, the gradual recovery of the Japanese economy resulted in the appreciation of the Yen and an interest rate hike. This led to shift of capital from Southeast Asia to Japan markets. The Bank of Thailand struggled to maintain the peg, such that nearly of its reserves were lost, forcing them to float the baht on 2 July 1997.

The unpegging of the Thai baht from the U.S. dollar in July 1997 and the baht’s subsequent collapse are commonly regarded as the triggers of the Asian crisis. The floating of the baht was made necessary by the exhaustion of Thai foreign exchange reserves, after months of futile efforts to stave off necessary policy adjustments and financial sector reforms. The crisis was preceded by an investment bubble, especially in real estate and stock markets, by widespread structural and prudential problems in the financial sector, and by a very rapid buildup of short-term foreign debt liabilities.

An excerpt from “The Asian Financial Crisis: Lessons for a Resilient Asia” by Wing Thye Woo, Jeffrey Sachs and Klaus Schwab.

Concerted efforts for crisis management
In view of the Asian Financial Crisis, governments in Southeast Asia sought solutions to dampen the adverse impacts. On 28 February 1998, finance ministers in ASEAN had gathered in Jakarta to set up a “mutual monitoring system. They agreed to seek technical support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to enhance the development of the system. Later, this system was known as the ASEAN Surveillance Process (ASP).

Ideally, the monitoring system will function as an early warning system, so that the affected member nations can intervene before the economic setback escalates into another crisis.

Before the Asian financial crisis, there were no surveillance mechanisms that functioned to detect irregularities in regional finance markets, either in ASEAN or in East Asia. In that respect, these two mechanisms were formed to address the same problem. However, while the ASEAN Surveillance Process oversees the ASEAN member states, the ASEAN+3 Surveillance Process addresses all East Asian countries.

An excerpt from “ASEAN as a Method: Re-centering Processes and Institutions in Contemporary Southeast Asian Regionalism” by Ceren Ergenç

ASEAN Plus Three: The Chiang Mai initiative
In 1999, the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) [or ASEAN+3] Summit was held, involving ASEAN members and three external powers – China, Japan and South Korea. In 6 May 2000, the APT met in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to derive a regional solution to avert another Asian Financial Crisis.

The Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) became the first regional swap arrangement to address short-term liquidity difficulties in the Asia.

The CMI functioned on two branches:

  1. ASEAN Swap Arrangement (ASA) among the ASEAN member nations
  2. Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) among ASEAN+3 countries

An important feature of the CMI was that crisis-affected members requesting short-term liquidity support could immediately obtain financial assistance up to an amount equivalent to 10 percent (later raised to 20 percent) of the maximum amount that could be borrowed, and that the remainder was to be provided to the requesting member under an IMF program. […] Essentially, the CMI was intended to be used for crisis lending and hence required conditionality.

An excerpt from “Monetary and Financial Cooperation in East Asia: The State of Affairs After the Global and European Crises” by Masahiro Kawai, Yung Chul Park and Charles Wyplosz.

In 2004, an expanded framework was proposed, known as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM). The CMIM would involve all ten members of ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea, with a combined size of US$240 billion worth of foreign exchange reserves. Five years later, the CMIM was founded.

Structure of the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) [Source: Ministry of Finance, Japan]

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the responses to manage the Asian Financial Crisis were adequate and effective?

Join our JC History Tuition to recap on the Asian Financial Crisis topic. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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What happened in the Abyssinian crisis?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 1: Formation of the United Nations

Watch the animated summary of the historical event. [Video by Simple History]

Historical Background
The Abyssinian crisis involved two key parties. In 1922, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini rose to power. He heavily armed the nation and sought to assert greater influence in the rest of the world.

On the other hand, Abyssinia (now called ‘Ethiopia’) was ruled by Emperor Haile Selassie. It was situated in the middle of two Italian colonies, Eritrea and Somaliland and the lands were well-endowed with natural resources.

The invasion & the League’s muted response
On 3 October 1935, Mussolini mobilised troops and launched a full-scale invasion, crossing the Abyssinian border. Selassie sought the League of Nations (LON) for assistance.

The League Council issued a report in response to Selassie’s pleas for help. After a three-day debate, fifty out of fifty-four members agreed with the Council’s report. The report stated that the imposition of economic sanctions, in terms of exports of key commodities to Italy, should be carried out.

The task of overseeing the implementation of sanctions was charged to a co-ordination committee, which began work on 11 October – known as the Committee of Eighteen, chaired by the Portuguese diplomat, Vasconcellos. Its work was divided into five sections: placing an embargo on exporting arms to Italy, withholding loans and credits, prohibiting the import of Italian goods, a ban on the export of parts for industrial plants, and to minimize the economic effects on the sanctionist states of the imposition of these sanctions.

An excerpt from “Collision of Empires: Italy’s Invasion of Ethiopia and its International Impact” by G. Bruce Strang.

However, the lack of unanimity had stalled the League’s efforts to put the report into action.

A clash of interests: Enter Great Britain and France
Although economic sanctions eventually took effect in November 1935, they were futile in halting Mussolini’s occupation of Abyssinia. The sanctions did not ban the sale of oil. Furthermore, the British did not close the Suez Canal, which allowed open access of commodities, including oil.

As other members of the LON pressured the Council to step up the sanctions on Italy, Great Britain and France made a secret arrangement with Italy.

In December 1935, British Foreign Secretary Samuel Hoare and French Prime Minister Pierre Laval proposed the Hoare-Laval Pact that offered to partition Abyssinia, thereby giving much of the territories to Italy. In return, Italy must agree to end the war.

Then, the Pact was leaked to the press, sparking public outcry. The Pact was not signed and both the British and French ministers were removed from office.

Why British decision makers elected to let Mussolini off the hook engendered controversy at the time, which has continued ever since. When furore erupted over the Hoare-Laval Pact, which flew in the face of the government’s electoral promise that foreign policy was predicated on preserving the sanctity of the League, Stanley Baldwin resorted to the argument that his lips were sealed by national security considerations, a stance that prompted cartoonists to mock the Prime Minister and perplexed supporters and critics alike.

An excerpt from “Collision of Empires: Italy’s Invasion of Ethiopia and its International Impact” by G. Bruce Strang.

In May 1936, Italy annexed Ethiopia. The sanctions had failed to forestall the Italian victory, thus the League Assembly lifted sanctions.

A costly mistake: Impact on the League of Nations
The League’s inaction had diminished its credibility even though the Covenant had stated that all member states should adhere to the collective security system.

The Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League. In case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.

Article 10 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Some even observed that the League’s failed attempts to prevent the Italian invasion of Ethiopia may have emboldened Hitler to carry out similar acts of aggression later in Czechoslovakia and Poland.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the United Nations was built on the foundations of the failed League of Nations?

Join our JC History Tuition to grasp the key concepts and events covered in the topic of the United Nations. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Singapore Economic Development Board

What is the Singapore Economic Development Board?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

Historical Context
In 1961, the Dutch economist Albert Winsemius made a trip to Singapore to assess the economic situation as a representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) team. Then, he proposed that the Singapore Government should embark on industrialisation to address the high levels of unemployment.

On 26 April 1961, the Minister of Finance Dr. Goh Keng Swee oversaw the tabling of the Economic Development Board (EDB) bill at the Legislative Assembly. The proposed EDB was meant to replace its predecessor – the Singapore Industrial Promotion Board (SIPB). The SIPB was formed in 1957 for industrial development, but it lacked the capacity to scale up domestic production.

Singapore’s rapid GDP growth to the mid-1960s was chiefly due to expansion in the manufacturing and construction sectors. The former depended principally on import-substituting industries encouraged by the formation of Malaysia; increased construction reflected economic planning which concentrated on investment in infrastructure. The Economic Development Board (EDB), as the government’s agent, was set up as ‘the spearhead for industrialisation by direct participation in industry’ and building necessary infrastructure.

An excerpt from “The Economic Growth of Singapore: Trade and Development in the Twentieth Century” by W. G. Huff.

Then, the Permanent Secretary Hon Sui Sen assumed the role of Chairman in the newly-established EDB. Notably, there were four divisions:

  • Finance Division
  • Projects Division
  • Industrial Facilities Division
  • Investment Promotion Division

1960s: Jurong Industrial Estate, JTC and DBS
The Industrial Facilities Division took the lead in shaping Jurong into an industrial estate. Factories were built to support the production of low-value-added goods such as wigs, toys and garments. The EDB had envisioned a production base to prepare Singapore for export-oriented industrialisation (EOI) in the future.

After the Separation from Malaysia in August 1965, plans for export promotion were accelerated. In 1968, the Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) was set up to oversee industrial estate development. In the same year, the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) was formed to take over the EDB’s role of industrial financing.

Industrialization was government-driven and approximately 85 percent of the industrial land was developed by government bodies. As a key engine driving the industrialization program, the Economic Development Board (EDB) was set up in 1961 and was instrumental in the birth of the Jurong Industrial Estate. In 1968, the Jurong Town Corporation was created as a full-fledged statutory board of the EDB to undertake planning, development, leasing and management of all industrial estates.

An excerpt from “Spatial Planning for a Sustainable Singapore” by Tai-Chee Wong, Belinda Yuen and Charles Goldblum.

1970s: Gearing up for export-driven industrialisation
The EDB then intensified its efforts to raise the skills proficiency of the labour in Singapore. The Board facilitated the formation of joint government-industry training centres and provided access to training grants.

For instance, the Skill Development Fund was set up in October 1979 to finance manpower training, upgrade business operations and retrain displaced workers. Also, it promoted the expansion and diversification of local industries, so as to position Singapore as a business hub.

With strong government support, Singapore’s reliance on entrepôt trade had declined from 43 percent in 1960 to 16 percent by the early 1970s. In contrast, it was precipitated by the increase in manufacturing activities from 11 percent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1960 to 20 percent in 1970. By then, unemployment rate hovered around 3 percent by the early 1970s.

The EDB’s export strategy was backed by wage control measures. In 1972, the National Wages Council (NWC) was formed to set national wage policies and create annual wage guidelines to regulate wage increment.

The modest wage increase in Singapore from the mid-1970s onwards was a boon to labor-intensive manufactured exports; it also held back the natural adjustment process of economic upgrading in terms of moving towards more capital-intensive activities. Furthermore a low-wage economy creates its own vicious cycle: low wages tend to encourage firms to use labor inefficiently which in turns results in low productivity and, hence, low wages. This actually happened in Singapore in the late 1970s, as labor productivity in 1979 dipped to an all-time low of 2.6 percent amidst full employment and a very tight market.

An excerpt from “Economic Development in East and Southeast Asia: Essays in Honor of Professor Shinichi Ichimura” by Seiji Naya and Akira Takayama.

In view of this economic setback, the Government embarked on its ‘Second Industrial Revolution‘ in 1979 to undergo economic restructuring. It can be understood by its three-pronged approach:

  • Wage increments to incentivise more efficient firms to raise productivity through automation
  • Fiscal incentives in the form of taxation and subsidies to promote expansion, automation and R&D spending
  • Manpower training to cultivate a pool of highly-skilled and literate labour force

Now, [the government] decided that a series of substantial wage increases was the best way to force less productive industries and companies to upgrade, close down, or relocate to countries with cheaper labour costs. These industrial restructuring efforts, driven by a clear government commitment to raise the wage of Singaporean workers , came to be known as Singapore’s ‘Second Industrial Revolution’ in contrast with the earlier industrialisation efforts that had been focussed on solving the unemployment problem.

An excerpt from “Singapore’s Productivity Challenge: A Historical Perspective” by Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– To what extent was government intervention most crucial in explaining the economic development of Singapore?

Join our JC History Tuition to comprehend the topic on Paths of Economic Development in independent Southeast Asia. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What are the Seven Sisters Oil Companies - Global Economy Notes

What are the Seven Sisters Oil Companies?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Reasons for growth of the global economy

Learn more about the history of oil to understand its impacts on the global economy [Video by Geo History]

What are the ‘Seven Sisters’?
It refers to a group of integrated international oil companies that dominated the global oil markets from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s. In the 1950s, the head of the Italian state-owned company Eni Enrico Mattei dubbed these companies as the ‘Seven Sisters’.

There were seven members:

  • Anglo-Iranian Oil Company
  • Gulf Oil
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Standard Oil Company of California
  • Standard Oil Company of New Jersey
  • Standard Oil Company of New York
  • Toxaco

Some of these members took on more familiar names, partly due to mergers. For instance, Gulf Oil and Texaco are part of Chevron. Notably, among these companies, most were owned by the Americans, including the well-known Rockefeller (Standard Oil).

By 1949, they occupied 82% of the discovered oil reserves outside the United States. The main role of the Seven Sisters was to keep oil prices stable so as to prevent the problematic ‘price collapse’ that frequently haunted the oil industry.

Price setting
The Seven Sisters established a system to ascertain the pricing of crude oil. Between the 1920 and the early 1970s, there were two markets: the US and the non-US. In the US, crude oil prices were set in free markets.

Outside the US, major oil producers had greater influence on production, which affects supply. Producers used a ‘basing point’ price system to prevent the occurrence of price wars.

The goal of the basing point price system was to discourage cheating through transparency and to prevent price wars. The cement and steel industries had operated similar systems. The bane of cartels, after all, had been cheating by members tempted to illicitly sell below the price established by the cartel but still high enough to earn the clandestine seller a juicy profit. Since the base price was published for all to see and freight charges were jointly agreed, all producers could be confident they weren’t being undercut by a rival.

An excerpt from “Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices” by Robert McNally.

A new age: Enter OPEC
In the Middle East, governments in oil-rich countries began to organise themselves.

In April 1951, the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh nationalised the nation’s oil assets, angering the owners of British Petroleum (BP). In retaliation, the Seven Sister members boycotted Iranian oil exports, forcing its output to fall to almost zero. In August 1953, Mossadegh was overthrown, resulting in the reversal of the nationalisation policies.

In 1958, two anti-Western uprising took place in Iraq and Venezuela, eventually leading to the diminished influence of the Seven Sisters in the global crude oil industry. In January 1958, a revolution had toppled the military regime under General Pérez Jiménez. The new Venezuelan government requested a lawyer Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo (later known as the ‘Father of OPEC’) to form a national oil company. In six months later, Iraqi forces led a military coup against King Faisal II and the pro-Western Nuri al-Said.

In September 1960, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia gathered in Baghdad and set up the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). By then, OPEC had occupied more than four-fifths of the world’s oil exports.

Libya made the first move to challenge the dominance of the Seven Sisters. In September 1969, a military coup against King Idris I resulted in the rise of the leader Muammar Qaddafi. Qaddafi successfully demanded a hike in the per barrel price of oil. Subsequently, other OPEC members followed suit, setting off a frenzy.

Fearful of being picked off one by one, the seven majors, Total, and eight independents banded together in a united front to bargain with OPEC.

[…] The Shah played on western officials and companies’ fears, warning the former that if oil companies resisted, “the entire Gulf would be shutdown and no oil would flow,” and admonishing that the “all-powerful Six or Seven Sisters have got to open their eyes, and see they they’re living in 1971, and not in 1948 or 1949.” Washington—terrified above all of a supply cut off it no longer had ample spare capacity to offset— sided with the Shah and against oil companies, supporting OPEC’s demand for two regional negotiations.

An excerpt from “Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices” by Robert McNally.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that oil was the most significant factor that influenced the development of the global economy in the post-war years.

Join our JC History Tuition to grasp the topic on the Global Economy, namely the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’ and the ‘Crisis Decades’. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - ASEAN - What caused the Sino-Vietnamese War

What caused the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Topic of Study [For H1 History Students]:
Essay Questions
Theme II Chapter 2: The Cold War and Southeast Asia (1945-1991): ASEAN and the Cold War (ASEAN’s responses to Cold War bipolarity)

Learn more about how the Sino-Vietnamese War occurred in 1979, affecting the Indochinese region. [Video by The Gulf War Channel]

Historical context: The Sino-Soviet split
On 17 February 1979, Chinese forces entered the northern border of Vietnam, sparking off a war between the two. Although the war only lasted for a month, it had significant impacts in the 1980s, such as increased involvement by the regional organisation ASEAN during the Third Indochina War.

Before the war, China and the Soviet Union were at odds with one another. During the Vietnam War, the two Communist powers offered aid to North Vietnam in hopes of isolating the other party and assuming leadership in the ideological bloc. Initially, Hanoi sided with China to resist the American forces in Vietnam.

The deteriorating Sino-Soviet relationship during the latter part of the 1960s eventually derailed Chinese-Vietnamese relations. While the Soviet Union did indeed use its support for North Vietnam in an attempt to win influence in Hanoi, China did so as well, hoping to coerce the Vietnamese into endorsing Beijing’s hard-line anti-Soviet revisionist position. Especially after suffering significant military losses during the 1968 Tet Offensive, the Vietnamese, who needed help from both socialist nations, were greatly annoyed by China’s increasing intractability, particularly the PRC’s growing perception of the Soviet Union, not the United States, as the primary threat to China’s national security in early 1969. Perhaps even worse, Beijing began to withdraw Chinese troops from Vietnam, although leaders promised that the forces would return if the Americans came back.

An excerpt from “Deng Xiaoping’s Long War: The Military Conflict Between China and Vietnam, 1979-1991” by Zhang Xiaoming.

However, Hanoi allied with the Soviet Union in the mid-1970s, as seen by its admission to the Council of Mutual Economic Cooperation (COMECON) in August 1978. Also, the two nations signed the Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation in November 1978. In return, Vietnam received extensive military support from the Soviets.

From then on, China-Vietnam relations had soured.

Chinese engagement with Thailand
After Vietnam signed the treaty with the Soviet Union, Deng met Thai Prime Minister General Kriangsak Chamanan, offering to withdraw support for the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) and strengthen Thai border security. This was to assure the Thai authorities that the looming Vietnamese threat would be pre-empted.

On 25 December 1978, nearly 220,000 Vietnamese troops invaded Kampuchea. By January 1979, the pro-Beijing Khmer Rouge was forcibly removed from power. Instead, a Vietnamese puppet government known as the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation (FUNSK) was established and helmed by Heng Samrin.

Increased Chinese hostility: Teach Vietnam a lesson
On 7 January 1979, the Chinese government wrote a letter to the United Nations, accusing Vietnam on invading Kampuchea by force and seeking to create an “Indochinese Federation” with the help of the Soviet Union. Deng remarked in a meeting with the US President Jimmy Carter that they should “put a restraint on the wild ambitions of the Vietnamese and to give them an appropriate limited lesson”.

Afterwards, the Sino-Vietnamese War began in February 1979. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) mobilised 400,000 troops, an extremely large undertaking ever since their intervention in the Korean War. During the clash, both sides suffered significant losses. On 16 March 1979, the Sino-Vietnamese War came to an end.

However, the PLA were willing to absorb heavy losses, as long as the conflict achieved its strategic goals. The PLA believed these goals had been achieved, and that the war had succeeded in ‘exposing Moscow’s inability or unwillingness to back Vietnam’. While the use of force against Vietnam had been condemned by the US, albeit ambiguously, and raised the suspicions of regional states such as Indonesia and Malaysia, ultimately there was very little backlash, regionally or internationally.

An excerpt from “ASEAN Resistance to Sovereignty Violation: Interests, Balancing and the Role of the Vanguard State” by Laura Southgate.

After the war, Beijing stated five reasons to explain why they attacked Vietnam:

  1. Vietnam had become a hegemonic power, claiming to be the world’s third military superpower.
  2. Hanoi refused to respect China’s borders and repeatedly made incursions.
  3. Mistreatment of the Chinese in Vietnam.
  4. Oppression of the Vietnamese people.
  5. The Soviet Union’s expansionist policy in Southeast Asia to undermine China.

Consequences on the Kampuchean conflict
Yet, the month-long clash had failed to halt Vietnam’s occupation of Kampuchea. Open hostilities between China and Vietnam had persisted even after.

The two viewpoints expressed above bring to light the fact that both Hanoi and Beijing were at odds with each other principally because they were competing for influence in the region and feared what would happen if the other succeeded. Thus, for the Chinese, border problems, ethnic Chinese problems, and other problems could not be separated from Vietnam’s overall ambitions in Indochina because they reflected Hanoi’s expansionist tendencies.

An excerpt from “Dragons Entangled: Indochina and the China-Vietnam War” by Steven J. Hood.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you u agree that the Sino-Vietnamese War was key in explaining Chinese involvement in the Third Indochina War?

Join our JC History Tuition to study the Cold War. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to find out more.

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JC History Tuition Online - What are the five regional groups of the United Nations General Assembly

What are the five regional groups of the United Nations General Assembly?

Topic of Study [For H1/H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 2: Political Effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security

Learn more about regional groups like the Group of 77 to understand their contributions to the General Assembly [Video by the United Nations]

Historical context
When the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was tasked to choose members to fill the non-permanent seats on the Security Council (UNSC), it then led to the creation of five groups:

  1. African states
  2. Asia-Pacific states
  3. Latin American and Caribbean states
  4. Eastern European states
  5. Western European and Other states

These groups were formed based on geography. Initially, these regional groups were affected by changing political conditions, such as the decolonisation of the Third World nations from 1954 to 1960. For instance, British colonies that gained independence had joined groups based on their geographical proximities rather than being in the Commonwealth.

The only explicit provisions of the Charter on geographical distribution concern the election of the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council (Article 23, para. 1) and the recruitment of the staff of the Organization (Article 101, para. 3).

[…]

The members of certain regional groups also use the groups for discussion and consultation on policy issues. Moreover, since groupings of Member States by geographical region have evolved as an informal arrangement for a number of practical purposes, different groupings are sometimes used for different purposes, or in the context of different United Nations bodies.

An excerpt from the United Nations Juridical Yearbook 1996 (Letter to the Senior Legal Adviser of the Universal Postal Union).

Apart from the consideration of these five regional groups, it is important to look at the formation of other groupings that affected the voting behavior of member nations in the UNGA.

Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
The NAM was formed during the Cold War by the Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. It was established for countries that sought to stay neutral, refusing to align either with the United States or the Soviet Union. During the Bandung Conference in April 1955, the concepts for the NAM were created.

There were four key aims in the Conference:

  1. To promote goodwill and cooperation among the nations of Asia and Africa, to explore and advance their mutual as well as common interests, and to establish and further friendliness and neighbourly relations;
  2. To consider consider social, economic and cultural problems and relations of the countries represented;
  3. To consider problems of special interest to Asian and African peoples;
  4. To view the position of Africa and Asia and their peoples in the world of today and the contribution they can make to the promotion of world peace and cooperation.

In 1961, the NAM was founded in Belgrade (during the Non-Aligned Conference) under the leadership of Marshall Tito, Jawaharlal Nehru and Gamal Abdel Nasser. 25 Arab, Asian and African countries attended the Summit that marked its founding. Members in the NAM had objected to foreign intervention in the Middle East (such as the Suez Canal Crisis), labelling Western interference as ‘acts of imperialism’.

The African Group at the UN was created in 1958 and soon made its presence felt on decolonisation and anti-apartheid issues, eventually ostracising South Africa at the UN and maintaining pressure for the liberation of Rhodesia-Zimbabwe and Namibia. NAM states led the expansion of the UN Security Council and the Economic and Social Council by the mid-1970s. During this period, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was agreed; a committee on decolonisation was established; and the special committee against apartheid was created.

[…]

Due to the pressure of a determined Southern majority, the People’s Republic of China took its permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 1971 in the teeth of US opposition. Western disenchantment with the global South’s dominance of multilateral diplomacy eventually led to the creation of the Group of Seven industrialised advanced nations in 1975.

An excerpt from “Bandung Revisited: The Legacy of the 1955 Asian-African Conference for International Order” by Amitav Acharya and See Seng Tan.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the importance of regional groups in influencing the effectiveness of the United Nations General Assembly.

Join our JC History Tuition to study the role of the United Nations and its principal organs. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - Why did Albania leave the Warsaw Pact - Sino-Soviet Split

Why did Albania leave the Warsaw Pact?

Topic of Study [For H1 History Students]:
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II: Cold War in Asia [1945-1991] – Superpower relations with China (1950-1979)

Historical context: The Warsaw Pact
After the Berlin Blockade of 1948, the Western military alliance, known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was formed in 1949. Afterwards, the Soviet Union signed the Warsaw Pact, a collective defense treaty in 1955, with seven other Eastern bloc nations. The Warsaw Pact functioned as a counterweight against NATO.

During the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in February 1955, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivered his speech of that sent shockwaves across the Communist bloc. To some, Khrushchev’s speech of ‘de-Stalinisation’ and ‘Peaceful Co-existence’ were considered revisionist, including the Albanian leader Enver Hoxha.

Let us take the question of the criticism of Stalin and his work. Our Party, as a Marxist-Leninist one, is fully aware that the cult of the individual is an alien and dangerous manifestation for the parties and for the communist movement itself. … Looking at it from this angle, we fully agree that the cult of the individual of Stalin should be criticized as a dangerous manifestation in the life of the party. But in our opinion, the 20th Congress, and especially Comrade Khrushchev’s secret report, did not put the question of Comrade Stalin correctly, in an objective Marxist-Leninist way.

An excerpt from a speech by Enver Hoxha delivered at the meeting of 81 Communist and Workers’ Parties in Moscow, 16 November 1960.

Switching sides
During the third Romanian Party Congress in Bucharest, all communist parties were present in June 1960 to exchange views on matters pertaining to the Communist and workers’ parties of the world. Khrushchev had intended to unite his Communist allies to challenge the Chinese. Yet, Hoxha was absent.

After the Bucharest debacle, Khrushchev withdrew economic aid for Albania, which pushed other Eastern European allies to do the same.

Thus Khrushchev had ironically undermined his own position by inadvertently weakening the pro-Khrushchevite faction and enabling the Sino- Albanian friendship. This friendship was mutually advantageous: Mao had gained a cheap and loyal ally, and Albania had found such a distant protector, that it would not ‘become a puppet of its protector but rather would increase its own degree of independence of maneuver in foreign and domestic affairs’.

An excerpt from “The Warsaw Pact Reconsidered: International Relations in Eastern Europe, 1955-1969” by Laurien Crump.

The Soviet Union continued to cut off economic support for Albania. In December 1960, the Soviets cancelled grants, cut off all trade and withdrew its advisers. Notably, the issue worsened when the Soviet-owned submarines withdrew in June 1961, leaving Albania’s security exposed.

Open Confrontation
During the 22nd CPSU Congress in October 1961, Khrushchev launched a series of criticisms at the Albanian leaders. In response, the Albanians spoke up against the Soviet leader. In 1962, Albania no longer resided in the Warsaw Pact. Consequently, Albanian turned to PRC for economic support, thereby widening the Sino-Soviet chasm.

As he sought to propel China towards a more radical path internationally, Mao Zedong sensed an opportunity in the growing Soviet-Albanian estrangement. Sino-Albanian solidarity was plainly emergent at the first open confrontation between Moscow and Beijing, at the communist-front General Council of the World Federation of Trade Unions in early June 1960.

… Internationally, both countries saw themselves in a two-front struggle against “imperialism” and “modern revisionism.” The Sino-Albanian “friendship” survived so long as the common struggle on the two fronts continued. Only in the wake of the Sino-American rapprochement in the 1970s did this close alliance unravel with the same fervor that had fostered its creation.

An excerpt from the Cold War International History Project Bulletin, Issue 16, titled “‘Albania is not Cuba.’ Sino-Albanian Summits and the Sino-Soviet Split” by Ana Lalaj, Christian F. Ostermann, and Ryan Gage.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the Sino-Albanian split was the main reason for the deterioration of Sino-Soviet relations?

Join our JC History Tuition to analyse factors affecting the superpower relations with China. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia

What is the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security)

Topic of Study [For H1 History Students]:
Ess
ay Questions
Theme II Chapter 2: The Cold War and Southeast Asia (1945-1991): ASEAN and the Cold War (ASEAN’s responses to Cold War bipolarity)

The document
On 24 February 1976, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) was signed. This peace treaty was formalised during the Bali Summit in Indonesia by the five founding members of ASEAN.

In their relations with one another, the High Contracting Parties shall be guided by the following fundamental principles :

a. Mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all nations;

b. The right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion;

c. Non-interference in the internal affairs of one another;

d. Settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful means;

e. Renunciation of the threat or use of force;

f. Effective cooperation among themselves.

An excerpt from the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, Chapter I: Purpose and Principles, Article 2, 24 February 1976.

Notably, this document was signed a year after the Vietnam War concluded, with the forces in North Vietnam unifying the Vietnam territory under Communist rule. It was an alarming development, considering that ASEAN was futile in keeping the region free from external interference, as seen by its use of the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) in 1971.

Application: Dispute resolution
To put the principles of the TAC into practice, ASEAN formed a ‘High Council’ that features a judicial dispute-settlement mechanism to resolve regional matters amicably. Yet, the High Council was only being referred to when Indonesia suggested to resolve the territorial dispute with Malaysia with regards to the Sipadan and Ligitan islands. Eventually, when Malaysia objected, this dispute was brought up to a globally-renowned International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The only time that resort to the dispute-settlement provisions of the TAC was ever considered was in the mid-1990s, when Indonesia proposed using the TAC’s High Council to help resolve its dispute with Malaysia over ownership of the Sipadan and Ligitan islands. Malaysia declined the proposal. Instead, Kuala Lumpur preferred, and President Soeharto eventually agreed, to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which has since ruled in Malaysia’s favour.

An excerpt from “Southeast Asia in Search of an ASEAN Community” by Rodolfo Severino.

Application: Extra-ASEAN engagement
In the post-Cold War phase, ASEAN re-positioned itself to maintain its relevance. The establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994 was meant to engage non-ASEAN countries, particularly the big powers like the USA and China, through peaceful talks.

The TAC was applied to enforce the need for proper code of conduct so as to de-escalate tensions and resolve disputes, such as the ongoing territorial clashes in the Spartly Islands.

In the early 1990s, ASEAN supplied an inclusive security dialogue forum to bring together all the major regional powers and players, something other actors were unable to do. Through this process all powers agreed to ASEAN’s TAC as a regional code of conduct, and to dialogue as a key aspect of regional strategic engagement, no mean feat considering the US’ and China’s scepticism and opposition to multilateralism in the initial post-Cold War years.

An excerpt from “Understanding ASEAN’s Role in Asia-Pacific Order” by Robert Yates.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the TAC was effectively applied in ASEAN’s response to the Cold War?

Join our JC History Tuition to analyse the political effectiveness of ASEAN in the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature thematic discussion, question application for essay and source based case studies. Receive summary notes and attempt diverse practices to get a head-start in your examination preparation.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more.