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Singapore Old History

 

Singapore had a small Malay population when the British colonized the island in the late 18th century and the British East India Company set up a trading station there. Trade attracted people from different parts of the world. In 1867, Singapore became a British crown colony. From 1942 to 1945 Singapore was occupied by Japan, but after the end of the war, the British returned. In 1965, Singapore became an independent nation.

The island of Singapore in the 600s was one of the outposts of the kingdom of Srivijaya, which was the first of several empires that linked ports and cities in the Malay island region. A Javanese chronicle from the 13th century refers to the island under the name Tamasek, a kingdom founded in the late 13th century, and depicts how the city of Singapore was established there in 1299. Singapura, meaning the lion city in Sanskrit, then became the name of the island.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Singapore, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

At the end of the 13th century, Singapura was drawn into fighting between Siam (present-day Thailand) and the Java-based empire of Majapahit. The city was destroyed and the island remained almost deserted for four centuries.

At the end of the 18th century, Singapore became interesting to the British who colonized India and increased trade with China. In 1819, an official of the British East India Company, Thomas Stamford Raffles, was granted permission to establish a trading station on the island. Indian, Arabic, European, Chinese, Thai and Javanese merchants anchored in the excellent port to exchange goods. Singapore quickly became a successful free port with free immigration. Above all, men came from China, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, Indonesia and the Malacca peninsula to make money. The population grew explosively.

Old History of Singapore

The Straits Settlement

In 1826, the East India Company formed the administrative unit the Straits Settlement of Singapore and two other British settlements on the Malacca Peninsula: Penang and Malacka. When the company lost its monopoly on trade with China about ten years later, interest in Singapore declined. However, immigration continued and European traders in place became increasingly impatient with the ineffective regime. In 1867 the area became a British crown colony directly under the government of London.

When the Suez Canal opened in 1869, maritime traffic increased significantly between Europe and Asia. Around the turn of the century, Singapore, with its strategic location, was a commercial and financial center for the entire region. Prosperity grew, but the distribution was skewed.

When the depression hit the world in 1929 it hit hard on Singapore. For the first time, immigration was restricted, and quotas from Chinese men were introduced. However, the restrictions did not apply to women, which led to increased family formation. Natural Population growth accelerated.

Japanese occupation

During World War II, Singapore was occupied by Japan, from the beginning of 1942 to August 1945. After the end of the war, the residents welcomed the return of the British, but the attitude to colonial rule had changed. When the United Kingdom formed a Malay federation in 1946, which included Penang and Malacka but not Singapore, protests grew. The first political party, the Malaysian Democratic Union (MDU), was formed in 1945 and the demands for independence grew.

In 1958, the parties had agreed that Singapore would gain internal autonomy. Britain would continue to pursue defense and foreign policy and retain the right to repeal the Constitution. In May 1959, a first election was held under a new constitution. The People's Action Party (PAP), which at that time was a leftist party, won 43 of the 51 seats in the Assembly and formed government with party leader Lee Kuan Yew as prime minister.

The new government felt that Singapore must become less dependent on trade by building its own industry. A large industrial area was built and investors were attracted to it with low taxes. Above all, the government wanted to invest in labor-intensive industry to combat high unemployment and raise money for much-needed investments in housing, education and social services.

Malay Federation

PAP also wanted to expand the domestic market through a merger of Singapore and Malaysia. This was also intended to prevent communist forces within the party from gaining too much influence. In 1962, 75 percent of Singaporeans voted in a referendum to join the Malaysian Federation, which also happened.

But problems soon arose in relation to the federal government. Accusations were exchanged for undue interference in each other's affairs. In 1964, crowds broke out between Malays and Chinese in Singapore. The following year, Singapore was forced to leave the federation and thus became an independent state - officially against the will of its own political leaders.

 
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