The Contest for North Sumatra

Anthony Reid
2017. University of Malaya Press
Softcover, 23 cm x 15.3 cm, 306 pages
ISBN 9789831008843


First published in 1969, The Contest for North Sumatra describes the painful transition of North Sumatra from a number of independent states to a part of Netherlands India (present day Indonesia). It is seen not as a simple conflict of Netherlands imperialism and Indonesian parochialism, but as a three-sided contest in which the independent commercial interest of the Straits Settlements played an integral role. Aceh and Oostkust van Sumatra were the last to resist Dutch influence because they were almost exclusively the commercial preserve of Britain. It was not until the end of the century that the Netherlands overcame this difficulty and established her claim over the whole area, giving way to the demands of British commerce in the East Coast but ignoring them in the case of Aceh.


  1. The Contest for the East Coast of Sumatra 1858-1865
  2. The Sumatra Treaty of 1871
  3. War and Blockade 1870-1874
  4. Acehnese Diplomacy 1873
  5. Hopes of Peace 1874-1878
  6. Civil Government 1878-1883
  7. The Nisero Question 1883-1885
  8. The End of the Acehnese Nation 1885-1898

About the author: Anthony Reid is a New Zealand-born historian of Southeast Asia. Professor Reid was Professor of Southeast Asia history at University of Malaya (1965–1970) and Australian National University (1970–1999). He became the founding director of the Southeast Asia Center, University of California, Los Angeles, 1999–2002, and then the founding director of Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), 2002-2007. He was Professor of Southeast Asian History and Research Leader at NUS from 2007-2009. Currently, Professor Reid is Professor (Emeritus) at the Australian National University.

Weight 450 g
Dimensions 23 × 15.3 × 1.5 cm

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