The Acquisition of Singapore by the British

4058 Words Aug 15th, 2010 17 Pages
The Acquisition of Singapore by the British.

The description of the Island of "Pu Luo Chung" is the original and earliest written trace or record of Singapore which was a Chinese account of the 3rd century, probably a paraphrase of the Malay Pulau Ujong, "island at the end" . The Sejarah Melayu contains a tale of a prince of Srivijaya, Sri Tri Buana ,also known as Sang Nila Utama, who landed on the island sometime during the 13th century. Catching sight of a strange creature that he thought was a lion, he decided to found a settlement called Singapura, which means "Lion City" in Sanskrit. It is unlikely that there ever were lions in Singapore, though tigers continued to roam the island until the early 20th century.
Current excavations
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In late 1818, Lord Hastings, the British Governor General of India , appointed Lieutenant General Sir Stamford Raffles to set up a trading station at the southern tip of the Malay peninsula. The British were extending their authority over India and their trade with China was growing. They saw the need for a port of call to "refit, revitalize and protect their merchant fleet" as well as to prevent any advances made by the Dutch in the East Indies.
After surveying other nearby islands in 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles and the rest of the British East India Company landed on Singapore, which was to become their strategic trading post along the spice route. When Raffles arrived, the two sons of its previous sultan, who had died six years earlier, were in dispute over the throne. Raffles backed the claim of the elder brother, Tunku Hussein Mohamed Shah, and proclaimed him sultan. Offering to support the new sultanate with British military strength, Raffles persuaded him to grant the British a lease allowing them to establish a trading post on the island in return for an annual rent; within a week the negotiations were concluded, a later treaty ceded the island outright to the British. Within three years the fishing village, surrounded by swamps and jungle and populated only by tigers, 200 or so Malays, and a scattering of Chinese, had become a boomtown of 10,000 immigrants, administered by 74 British employees of the East India

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