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John Cary map of the Indies
An 1801 map of the East Indies, prepared by John Cary for his New Universal Atlas, depicting all of Southeast Asia. In a restricted sense, the term East Indies refers to the area's islands, though it has also been used to include certain land-locked areas (mostly those under Indian cultural influence). European powers, beginning with the Portuguese, explored and colonized these regions in the late 15th century; the East Indies were not decolonized until the 20th century.Map: John Cary

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