Suez canal, Egypt: Global impact
1869 was a big year for access. Not only did it see the connecting of the American East and West Coasts with the opening of the Transcontinental Railroad (to a large extent built by Chinese), it was also the year that the Suez Canal opened up. The Suez canal suddenly made Asia much more accessible for European ships as they no longer needed to circle all of Africa.
European commercial expansion
The result was a massive Europe-driven process of commercialization throughout Asia. In order to satisfy European demand, southeast Asian exports to Europe grew exponentially. Meanwhile, a flood of farmers and merchants from Fujian and Guangdong left their homes for new opportunities in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Aside from the commercial impact, the opening of the Suez canal facilitated the export of Western modernization, technologies, law, and importantly, nationalism to Asia. Some 40 years later, Sun Yat-Sen would become the father of the new Republic of China after the success of his nationalist Xinhai Revolution, a revolution that was made possible by financing from the Chinese overseas.
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