Monday, September 5, 2011

Singapore after Raffles

In case you guys were wondering, this is the first comic with Kiat but without the author. Yeah, that’s all, wasn’t that good to know?
Anyway, Singapore’s trade increased greatly after Raffles and Farquhar. The population also increased enormously. If you don’t really know what trade is, then think of it as giving something in exchange for something else. Usually trading means a fair exchange. To have a fair exchange, you must be trading 2 things that are about the same value. For example, you could give an expensive car in exchange for a lifetime’s supply of dog biscuits because they roughly cost the same (well, roughly.) You could give a yo-yo for a book. In fact, when you buy something, like a carton of milk, you’re actually trading money for the milk.
But then why was Singapore so successful in getting trade? Well, advertising from Britain helped, but what made it so attractive to traders?
  1. It was a port that followed free trade. Most other countries would need people to pay for trading inside the country, but they would not need to pay money to trade in Singapore. Because of this, lots of people from all other countries came to trade there, instead of other countries that needed payment
  2. It was on the main trading route. If you read any of the previous posts, you would know what the main trading routte is. It is a imaginary line running through Africa and South Asia. It shows where people will most likely want to sail if they were travelling on a boat. The main trading route is not actually the shortest way through the sea, but it’s the best way. For example, if your ship had sprung a leak somewhere in the ocean, you could just quickly sail to the nearest port to get it fixed. However, if you were on the ‘less’ safe path (shown below in diagram in green) All you could do was panic and say your prayers and wish that you paid more attention to your swimming classes. Also, most sea journeys to foreign countries can take months, it is difficult for the food you packed to last you the whole journey (and you can’t pack too much or the ship will sink), so being on the main trading route, you could stop to refill whenever you wanted. Since, Singapore is on the main trading route, all sea travellers (sea travelling was popular in the 19th century because they didn’t have aeroplanes) would pass by there to trade food, and some of them might even become permanent residentsThy Trading Routev2
  3. Singapore was very popular. Why? Because of the 2 other reasons above. This might seem a bit dumb, but it is important. If you were a trader looking to trade something with your top-quality cloth, you wouldn’t want to trade somewhere where there were very few people trading (Let’s call it Country A). Country A’s traders might not have something of equal value to exchange with you. Even if they did, these may not be things you want. For example, you might be a sailor travelling to India, and the journey would probably take a month, and there was a shortage of food. So, you take your ship and sail to Country A. A precious mineral, even if it’s the same value as your cloth, wouldn’t be the best thing to trade. However, if there were lots of people in Country A, there is a high chance that someone has something you want that you could trade for.

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