The History of Singapore
Singapore’s history extends back many centuries, but the beginnings of the state we see today have their origins at the turn of the nineteenth century – when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, an official of the British East India Company, concluded a treaty with the Sultan of Johor in 1819, to use Singapore for British interests. The small settlement rapidly expanded to become a substantial colonial port, which attracted immigrants from many countries. Initially the development of the settlement proceeded along ethnic lines – the Europeans in their area, the Chinese in their own quarter, and the Hindus, too, had a separate part of town. However, the port only received the status of a British colonial seaport in 1867.
During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by the Japanese from 1942 until 1945, and only received the status of an independent country in 1965. Under the leadership of its first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, the country achieved an economic breakthrough which is often called the “Singapore economic miracle”. Today’s Singapore is a country with a highly advanced economy, and one of the highest net per capita incomes in the world.