Singapore is really a city-state in Southeast Asia. Founded to be a British trading colony in 1819, since independence it is now one of by far the most prosperous countries and boasts earth’s busiest port.
Combining the skyscrapers and subways of your modern, affluent city that has a medley of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences and also a tropical climate, with tasty food, good shopping along with a vibrant night-life scene, this Garden City is really a great stopover or springboard in to the region.
The first records of Singapore go as far back to the second and third centuries certainly where an vague hitting the ground with its location is discovered in Greek and Chinese texts, underneath the names of Sabana and Pu Luo Chung respectively.
According to legend, Srivijayan prince Sang Nila Utama landed around the island and, catching sight of any strange creature that she thought was obviously a lion, chose to found a brand new city he called Singapura, Sanskrit for Lion City, c. 1299. Alas, there have never been any lions anywhere near Singapore (prior to the Singapore Zoo opened) or elsewhere on Malaya in historical times, therefore, the mysterious beast was more probably a tiger or wild boar.
More historical records indicate the island was settled at the very least two centuries earlier and was referred to as Temasek, Javanese for “Sea Town”, along with an important port to the Sumatran Srivijaya kingdom. However, Srivijaya fell around 1400 and Temasek, battered because of the feuding kingdoms of Siam along with the Javanese Majapahit, fell into obscurity.
As Singapura, it then briefly regained importance as being a trading centre with the Melaka Sultanate and then, the Johor Sultanate. However, Portuguese raiders then destroyed the settlement and Singapura faded into obscurity all over again.
The story of Singapore to be sure it today began in 1819, when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles developed a deal with a claimant on the throne in the Sultanate of Johor: the British would support his claim in exchange with the right to create a trading post around the island.
Though the Dutch initially protested, the signing with the Anglo-Dutch treaty in 1824, which separated the Malay world into British and Dutch spheres of influence (allowing the current Malaysia-Indonesia and Singapore-Indonesia borders), ended the conflict. The Dutch renounced their state they Singapore and ceded their colony in Malacca for the British, in exchange for your British ceding their colonies on Sumatra on the Dutch.
Well-placed in the entrance on the Straits of Malacca, straddling the trade routes between China, India, Europe, and Australia, Raffles’ master stroke would have been to declare Singapore a complimentary port, without duties charged on trade. As traders flocked to flee onerous Dutch taxes, the trading post soon grew into one among Asia’s busiest, drawing people from throughout the globe. Along with Penang and Malacca, Singapore became one with the Straits Settlements along with a jewel within the British colonial crown. Its economic fortunes received yet another boost when palm oil and rubber from neighbouring Malaya were processed and shipped out via Singapore.
In 1867, Singapore was formally split far from British India making into a directly ruled Crown Colony.
When World War II broke out, Fortress Singapore was seen being a formidable British base, with massive naval fortifications guarding against assault by sea. However, not merely did the fortress lack a fleet, as all ships were bound defending Britain in the Germans, though the Japanese wisely thought we would cross Malaya by bicycle instead!
Despite hastily turning the guns around, it was something the sea-focused British commanders hadn’t considered, and so on 15 Feb 1942, with supplies critically low after only a week of fighting, Singapore was instructed to surrender. The British prisoners of war were packed to Changi Prison. Tens of thousands perished within the subsequent brutal Japanese occupation. The return on the British in 1945 to one among their most favoured colonies was triumphalist.
Granted self-rule in 1955, Singapore briefly joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 if your British left, but was expelled since the Chinese-majority city was seen to be a threat to Malay dominance. The island became independent on 9 August 1965, thus becoming the only real country to realize independence against a unique will within the history in the modern world!
The subsequent 4 decades rule by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew saw Singapore’s economy boom, using the country rapidly becoming one in the wealthiest and a lot developed in Asia despite its not enough natural resources, earning it a location as one from the four East Asian Tigers. Now led by Lee’s son Lee Hsien Loong, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is constantly dominate the political scene with 81 outside of 87 seats in Parliament. Societal restrictions are already loosened up recently though, together with the government seeking to shake off its staid image, and yes it remains to wear how the delicate juggling act between political control and social freedom plays out.