History

A Brief History of Singapore

 

The first known written mention of Singapore's existence is in Chinese documents written sometime in the third century AD. Here the island is described as the “island at the end” - which is thought to refer to the Malay Peninsula.

History

Little is know about island for the ten centuries following this mentioning in Chinese documents. Then in the 13th century, Prince Srivijaya of the Sumatra island is said to have spotted a lion on the island. He then named the island Singapura, meaning Lion City in Sanskrit (a classical language of India). This is the root of the modern name of Singapore.

Singapore's importance in the modern world was first officially established on the 6th February 1819. A treaty between the British and locals was signed. One of the reasons the British founded a port on the island was to try and break the Dutch stranglehold on sea-trade in the Far-East. It quickly grew into a major port in Southeast Asia due to its prime location, resources, and its duty free status. During the early period of rapid growth, the population on the island exploded from a couple of hundred people in 1819 to over 10,000 in 1825. Most of the new population consisted of Chinese immigrants. The island's success under English's control continued to increase throughout the next century.

The island continued to prosper as a port and trading hub until 1942. The Japanese conquered the island during World War II. Their control lasted for three years and is a bloody period in the state's history. In 1945, Singapore was returned to British rule. However, the process of decolonialisation began shortly afterwards. Singapore was granted increasing levels of freedom and autonomy. This culminated with its union with the recently independent Federation of Malaysia in 1963. After the two nations merged, there were high levels of civil unrest; coming from both political differences and racial tensions due to the different ethnic makeups of the different states. Singapore became an independent nation in 1965. Since independence, Singapore has become the 31st wealthiest nation in the world (in terms of GDP per capita) and the average standard of living has massively increased.

Little is know about island for the ten centuries following this mentioning in Chinese documents. Then in the 13th century, Prince Srivijaya of the Sumatra island is said to have spotted a lion on the island. He then named the island Singapura, meaning Lion City in Sanskrit (a classical language of India). This is the root of the modern name of Singapore.

Singapore's importance in the modern world was first officially established on the 6th February 1819. A treaty between the British and locals was signed. One of the reasons the British founded a port on the island was to try and break the Dutch stranglehold on sea-trade in the Far-East. It quickly grew into a major port in Southeast Asia due to its prime location, resources, and its duty free status. During the early period of rapid growth, the population on the island exploded from a couple of hundred people in 1819 to over 10,000 in 1825. Most of the new population consisted of Chinese immigrants. The island's success under English's control continued to increase throughout the next century.

The island continued to prosper as a port and trading hub until 1942. The Japanese conquered the island during World War II. Their control lasted for three years and is a bloody period in the state's history. In 1945, Singapore was returned to British rule. However, the process of decolonialisation began shortly afterwards. Singapore was granted increasing levels of freedom and autonomy. This culminated with its union with the recently independent Federation of Malaysia in 1963. After the two nations merged, there were high levels of civil unrest; coming from both political differences and racial tensions due to the different ethnic makeups of the different states. Singapore became an independent nation in 1965. Since independence, Singapore has become the 31st wealthiest nation in the world (in terms of GDP per capita) and the average standard of living has massively increased.

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