Trade War: The Trade Blockade on German in the Federated Malay States, 1914-1918 ( ‘Trade War’: Sekatan Perdagangan Jerman di Negeri-Negeri Melayu Bersekutu, 1914-1918)

Mohd Shazwan Mokhtar, Mohd Samsudin

Abstract


This article examines the trade blockade on German and British enemies in Federated Malay States (FMS) by the Federal Council (FC). The British trade blockade in the FMS attempted to secure the state's position as a valuable world raw material exporter to prevent the enemies from getting their supplies for their armory development. The establishment of an FC in 1909, marked the British successful effort to gain more control over the state's administration and perform the blockade policy. The history methodology was used to analyse the important documents such as the F.M.S Shorthand Report, British High Commissioner files, F.O 371 and 372 and C.A.B 38. The British High Commissioner had an autonomous power in FC administration which was to transact the legislative and other business of the FMS, especially on the financial administration to develop colonial capitalism. It argues that the British economic interest in the FMS was protected by the FC during the First World War. The British’s failure to compete with the German economic growth at the international level was an important factor on the trade blockade. Furthermore, the trade blockade was also a war strategy by the British government to weaken German’s military strength through the economic war. The findings have shown that the trade blockade policy of the FC succeeds to weaken German economic interest in the FMS, and the FMS was directly involved as a British proxy in World War 1. This article concludes that the trade blockade policy has been a long-term strategy by the British to protect her economic interest since before the war.

 

Keywords: Economic history; trade blockade; Federated Malay States; German; World War 1


ABSTRAK

 

Artikel ini menganalisis usaha sekatan perdagangan oleh Majlis Mesyuarat Persekutuan (MMP) di peringkat persekutuan Negeri-Negeri Melayu Bersekutu (NNMB) terhadap aktiviti perniagaan dan perdagangan Jerman dan negara-negara musuh Britain. Pelaksanaan dasar sekatan perdagangan oleh British di NNMB merupakan usaha untuk melindungi kedudukan NNMB sebagai pengeksport bahan mentah penting dunia, agar pihak musuh gagal untuk mendapatkan sumber bahan mentah untuk pembangunan ketenteraan. Kejayaan British menguasai pentadbiran NNMB menerusi penubuhan MMP pada tahun 1909, telah membolehkan usaha sekatan perdagangan ini dilaksanakan secara sah mengikut enakmen NNMB. Metodologi kajian sejarah digunakan untuk menganalisis dokumen penting seperti F.M.S Shorthand Report, fail-fail Persuruhjaya Tinggi British, F.O 371 & 372 dan C.A.B 38. Persuruhjaya Tinggi British memiliki autonomi kuasa pentadbiran dalam MMP seterusnya telah membolehkan kerajaan kolonial mentadbir kewangan dan menggalakkan lagi pembangunan kapitalisme kolonial di NNMB. Pihak British menggunakan MMP sebagai alat penting bagi memastikan kepentingan ekonomi British tidak tergugat ketika era perang. Faktor penting usaha sekatan ekonomi ini dilakukan ialah kegagalan Britain untuk bersaing dengan kemajuan ekonomi Jerman di peringkat antarabangsa. Tambahan lagi, usaha sekatan perdagangan ini juga merupakan strategi peperangan British untuk melemahkan kekuatan militer Jerman menerusi ‘perang ekonomi’. Kajian mendapati usaha sekatan perdagangan ini merupakan strategi jangka panjang yang dilakukan oleh British untuk memelihara kepentingan ekonominya di seluruh dunia sejak era sebelum perang. Hasil kajian ini membuktikan keberkesanan dasar sekatan perdagangan oleh MMP berjaya melemahkan kepentingan ekonomi Jerman di NNMB, dan sememangnya NNMB telah terlibat secara langsung dalam Perang Dunia Pertama sebagai proksi British.

 

Kata kunci: Sejarah ekonomi; sekatan perdagangan; Negeri-Negeri Melayu Bersekutu; Jerman; Perang Dunia Pertama


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