Singapore from Colonialization to Independence

George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University; Distinguished Visiting Professor of English, National University of Singapore, 1998-1999

1786 British establish trading post in Penang
1796 British capture Malacca from Dutch.
1818 Lord Hastings, Governor-General of India, tacitly approves trading station at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula.
29 January 1819 Sir Stamford Raffles, Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen, arrives in Singapore.
30 January 1819 Raffles concludes preliminary treaty with Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman to set up a trading post.
6 February 1819 Raffles makes a formal treaty was with Sultan Hussein of Johor and the Temenggong.
1820 Singapore prosducing revenue for East India Company.
1823 Profitability surpasses that of Penang.
March 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty: the Dutch agree to British occupation of Singapore.
August 1824 treaty with Sultan Hussein and Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman cedes Singapore to British for cash payments and pensions.
1826 Singapore, Malacca and Penang become the Straits Settlements.
c. 1832 Singapore becomes the centre of government for Straits Settlements.
1860 Population reaches 80,792 (Chinese 61.9%, Malays 13.5%, and Indians 16.05%, Europeans and others 8.5%.
1 April 1867 Straits Settlements became a Crown Colony under the jurisdiction of the Colonial Office in London.
1869 Suez Canal opens, and Singapore becomes a major port of call for ships plying between Europe and East Asia.
1870s Singapore becomes world's chief rubber sorting and export center.
8 December 1941 Japanese bomb Singapore.
February 1942, Japanese occupy Singapore, which they rename Syonan (Light of the South).
September 1945 British return after Japanese surrender, and Singapore comes under British Military Administration.
March 1946 Military administration ends and Straits Settlements dissolved.
1 April 1946 Singapore becomes a Crown Colony. Penang and Malacca become part of the Malayan Union in 1946.
1948 Malayan Union becomes Federation of Malaya.
July 1947 Separate Executive and Legislative Councils created.
20 March 1948 Singapore's first election (for Legislative Council).
June 1948 State of emergency declared after Communists try to take over Malaysian government.
1953 British Government appoints Sir George Rendel to head commission whose recommendations provide basis for new constitution.
1955 Automatic voter registration expands polls from 75,000 to 300,000. The Labour Front wins 10 seats; People's Action Party (PAP), which fielded four candidates, wins three seats. David Marshall becomes Singapore's first Chief Minister on 6 April, with a coalition government made up of his own Labour Front, the United Malays National Organisation, and the Malayan Chinese Association.
June 6, 1956 Marshall resigns on breakdown of constitutional talks in London on attaining full internal self-government. Lim Yew Hock, Marshall's deputy and Minister for Labour, became the Chief Minister.
March 1957 Lim Yew Hock's constitutional mission to London successfully negotiates new Singapore Constitution.
28 May 1958 Constitutional Agreement signed in London.
May 1959 The PAP wins 53.4% of the total vote and 43 of 51 seats in Singapore's first fully elected Legislative Assembly.
June 3 1959 Governor Sir William Goode, who becomes the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara (Head of State) proclaims new Constitution making Singapore a self-governing state.
June 5 1959 Self government arrives: The first Government of the State of Singapore sworn in on June 5, with Lee Kuan Yew as Singapore's first Prime Minister.

Based in part upon Singapore-based site.

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