Nationalism was undoubtedly the single most potent, dynamic, emotive element that altered the political configuration of Asia and Africa in the twentieth century. Recent nationalism has been in most cases a response to imperialism and the political and economic exploitation of the governed. In a certain sense, nationalist revolutions were the creation of Western colonial powers themselves. In fact, the political borders of some of the new nations of Southeast Asia were the product of the colonial era and have no history of a common political administration previously. This applies to Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and, to a lesser extent, Laos.