In February 1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles signed an agreement with one of the Malay princes on the establishment by the East India Company of a trading post in Singapore. The island remained a British colony until 1959. From 1963 to 1965 Singapore is part of the Federation of Malaysia, and since August 9, 1965. becomes a sovereign republic.
According to ebizdir, the island of Singapore, only 42 km long and 23 km wide, lies at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, on the main sea trade route between the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Spice Islands (Moluccas).
Long before the arrival of the British here, Singapore was the main trading center in the region, controlled by such maritime powers as the Shailanders of Sumatra, Majapahit, Siam and Malacca.
History of Singapore as part of the Javanese Empire (from the 9th century to 1819)
Starting from the 7th century politics and trade in Southeast Asia were ruled by the kingdoms of Sumatra and Java. These powerful powers at that time dominated the sea routes between India and China and controlled the trade in spices: pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, highly valued both in China and Europe.
In 1279, the Javanese empire of Majapahit united under its influence the islands of Sumatra, Java and Borneo, while the Malay Peninsula belongs entirely to Thailand.
In the records of the Yavan court from 1365, the settlement of Temasek is mentioned as its vassal state. By the end of the XIV century, the Majapahit empire began to weaken gradually falling into decay.
Around 1390, Iskander, the ruler of Palembang, who was expelled from his possessions, found refuge in Temasek, who managed to seize power in Singapore. However, over time, Iskander was also expelled from Temasek, probably by the Thais who invaded here, at that time, the Siamese rulers were a serious threat not only to their border neighbors, but were one of the most important players in Southeast Asia. Later, he founded the Malacca Sultanate, under the influence of which Temasek also fell at one time, apparently, for some reliably unknown reason, Temasek experienced not his best days during his reign.
The origin of the name “Singapore” has been variously explained. So, for example, in “Sejarah Melaya” it is suggested that Temasek renamed “Singapore” Sang Nila Utama, who was then the king of Sumatra. Having suffered a shipwreck, he ended up on an island unfamiliar to him, where he encountered a creature that he had never seen before sat down. Learning later that it was a lion, Utama dubbed the island “Singapore” or “Lion City”. Following the king, Europeans also appeared on the island, for whom the island became unknown and unseen in terms of realities and possibilities.
Appearance of Europeans in Singapore (1819 – 1826)
In the early 16th century, European powers sought to establish strongholds in Asia for the incredibly lucrative spice trade.
In 1511 the Portuguese captured Malacca. In 1641 This island (Singapore) passed to the Dutch, who in the same year subjugated the Indonesian Islands, which later became known as the Dutch East Indies. The defeated Malacca Sultanate continued, however, to maintain control over Singapore.
By the beginning of the XIX century. The dominance of the Dutch East India Company in the Indonesian Archipelago was undermined by the English East India Company. As a result of the victory of the British over the French and their allies, the Dutch, during the Napoleonic Wars, Great Britain withdrew Dutch possessions in Java.
Lieutenant Governor of Java was appointed one of the most far-sighted and ambitious employees of the British East India Company – Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.
Early in 1819, Raffles, with a small exploratory expedition, sailed from Penang down the Strait of Malacca. At that time, at the mouth of the Singapore River lived “orang laut” (“people of the sea”), subordinate to the Johor Sultanate.
British Ascendancy (1867-1942)
Raffles landed on the island and signed a treaty with the ruler of Johor on 6 February. Sir Thomas arrived in Singapore for a short time, but already in the first week he appreciated the seclusion and convenience of the bay and decided to declare Singapore a duty-free port. This fact predetermined his entire future fate and history.
The management of Raffles Island was entrusted to Colonel William Farquhar, and he himself took care of organizing the relocation of enterprising British to the island and sending merchant ships to the new port. A month later, Raffles again visited Singapore and developed accurate and detailed signs for builders, shaping the look of the old city.
Under the Raffles plan, each local community was given a zone to live in and provided with self-government. Similar enclaves still exist today: Chinese in Mandarin, Indian on Serangug Road, and Malay on Kampong Glam. The layout of the streets met the standards of the British East India Company – “at least five feet wide.” A shopping center quickly grew along the banks of the Singapore River, and warehouses for storing goods appeared.
In 1822, Raffles again came to Singapore and personally ruled the island for six months. After that, he leaves the East forever. July 5, 1826 Raffles dies in London.
News of the founding of a trading post by Raffles in Singapore did not reach London until six months later. The Dutch tried to prevent the implementation of Raffles’ plans, but the success of the Singaporean trade also encouraged the British authorities. Britain decided firmly not to cede its positions to the region. Finally, in 1824, an Anglo-Dutch treaty was signed, dividing the territory along the Strait of Malacca. According to it, the British East India Company got Penang (from which Raffles began his expedition to Singapore), Malacca and Singapore, united in 1836.
The influx of the first Immigrants
Singapore grew rapidly, the port attracted sailors, merchants and working people. If in 1819 the population of the island was only 1000 people, then in 1836 already 16000 lived here, in 1869. – 81,000 people, and in 1891 – 142,547 of them 90,000 Chinese, 25,000 Malays, 13,000 Europeans and 12,000 Indians; women make up only a quarter of the population. As statistics show, most of the immigrants were Chinese contract workers, but there were also European merchants and entrepreneurs, there were quite a few Indian soldiers and Malays who had lived on the island from time immemorial. These ethnic groups formed the core of Singaporean society, which is still culturally diverse to this day.
Singapore has become an outpost of maritime trade for the whole world. However, the British East India Company almost did not interfere in the internal affairs of the island. At that time, no one recognized the laws; pirates raged on the sea. Trade also developed unevenly. Despite all these and other problems, many settlers managed to get rich and establish their own companies in Singapore.
Beginning of Progress
Wooden buildings in Singapore gradually gave way to solid, solid buildings made of stone and brick. New private houses, huge warehouses and temples have grown. Chinatown and the area on the south bank of the river around Raffles Square filled with shops. And today you can see the old part of the House of Parliament built in 1826, the Armenian Church opened its doors in 1835, Caldwell House in Chisem and the Tien Hok Ken Temple, erected in 1841. The most successful entrepreneurs did not live in overcrowded Chinatown, but in vast estates on the surrounding mountains. The names of Orchard Road, Orange Grove Road and Nutmeg Road (Orchard Street, Orange Grove Street, Nutmeg Street) can be used to understand what crops were grown and cultivated here.
In 1877 The colonial authorities established a Chinese protectorate headed by William Pickering.
Port of Singapore
In the 1860s the era of prosperity in Singapore began. In 1867, the Strait Colonies received the status of British Crown Colonies. The opening of the Suez Canal in Egypt in 1869 strengthened Singapore’s position as the main port of the British Empire in the region. Singapore has colonial power. Harry S. George Ord was appointed as the first governor. The administration built impressive buildings for itself, such as the Supreme Court in Padang and the Government House (now Istana) are worth something.
In the last quarter of the XIX century. there was an incredible increase in trade. Timber, rubber, oil, copra and sugar replaced traditional goods and spices. English and Chinese capital prevailed. In 1902, on about. Buk built an oil storage facility, and Singapore became the main supplier of fuel for the Far East. Port facilities were expanded, and a new dock was built at Tanjong Pagar.