Friday, July 29, 2011

The founding of modern Singapore (The Story of Sir Stamford Raffles)– Part 1

Raffles Part 1

I apologize to all Raffles-fans out there if this comic makes Raffles seem money-hungry. In reality he probably wasn’t like that, but I shall remind you once again, it’s all in the name of humour. (I do love using that excuse)

Anyway, if you don’t really understand the comic, then it’s alright, because of the other viewers probably don’t either. Basically, Southeast Asia back then was ruled by two powers, the British (Britain) and the Dutch (Netherlands).

British Flags Dutch Flags

So the Dutch controlled almost everything, and all Britain had were two ports named Penang and Bencoolen.

Thy Trading Route

Penang and Bencoolen are the 2 orange dots on the map. (Penang is the higher dot, Bencoolen was the lower dot). Raffles was sent to Bencoolen to run the port. Also, did you spot the red line? (It’s a bit hard to miss) That’s the main trading route, which means they are the places that people are most likely to trade stuff. As you can see neither Penang and Bencoolen were on the main trading route, so both didn’t get much business. You might not think that’s such a big matter, but trading was SUPER important back then. The British didn’t have lots of stuff, for example tea leaves from China, or cloth from India. They had to rely on trade to get these stuff, so no wonder they were desperate for a nice port on the main trading route.

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