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Sec 2 History Chapter 4: British governance


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Sec 2 History Chapter 4: British governance

  1. 1. Chapter 4: How did the British govern Singapore before World War 2?
  2. 2. Objective <ul><li>You will learn about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The British system of government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The system of law and order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The British treatment of Asians </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. We love the royal wedding… On 29 th April 2011, millions around the world tuned in to catch what is dubbed the wedding of the century. Putting aside our fascination with the royal couple, a good portion of the world is closely tied to the British monarchy.
  4. 4. Extent of the British empire 1.Pink: colonies held by 1945 2.Orange: Dominions 3.Pink in Orange: colonies of Dominions 4.Dark Red-Brown: areas lost by 1920 5.Light pink: areas occupied in world war II * 6.Purple: Princely States (in India) and other Protectorates 7.Lavender: areas lost by 1705 (England only) 8.Hachured: sphere of influence (click image for better resolution) 9.Salmon: areas of defeated Axis occupied 1943-1955**
  5. 5. Queen Victoria <ul><li>24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901 </li></ul><ul><li>The Victorian era was at the height of the Industrial Revolution, a period of significant social, economic, and technological progress in the United Kingdom. Victoria's reign was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire; during this period it reached its zenith, becoming the foremost Global Power of the time. </li></ul><ul><li>Singapore became a full Crown Colony in 1867 under the flagship of the Straits Settlement. </li></ul>
  6. 6. How was Singapore ruled? British Government in London (Colonial Office) Governor of the Straits Settlements The Executive Council > helped to run the Settlements The Legislative Council helped to make laws
  7. 7. Were the locals involved? <ul><li>The locals were hardly involved as the non-official members (consisting of a few Europeans and Asian merchants) were outnumbered by the official members </li></ul><ul><li>They were in the Legislative Council > helping to make laws </li></ul><ul><li>There was only a couple of eminent locals e.g. Dr Lim Boon Keng and Eunos Abdullah </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Lim wanted to ban opium smoking </li></ul><ul><li>Eunos Abdullah wanted more land to set up Malay village </li></ul><ul><li>Their words carried little weight most of the time. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Problems dealing with law and order <ul><li>Chinese secret societies were involved in crime and violence. They also ran opium houses, brothels and gambling dens </li></ul><ul><li>Immigrants were abused and had bad living and working conditions. They also owed huge debts. </li></ul><ul><li>Women forced into flesh trade </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Piracy was a menace to lives, property and trade. It greatly upset the British as Europeans were not spared. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Measures to improve law and order <ul><li>Improvement of the police force </li></ul><ul><ul><li>increasing pay and better training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>employing people who could speak local languages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>setting up of Detective Branch (later CID) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>William Pickering set up the Chinese Protectorate to address Chinese problem. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Improvement of social services <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Due to the increasing demand for English trained personnel to run the office, grants were provided to set up schools e.g RI. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Queen’s Scholarship for top students to study in UK e.g. Dr Lim Boon Keng </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Improvement of social services <ul><ul><li>Setting up of medical colleges e.g. King Edward VII College of Medicine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, there is double-standard in the treatment of schools. Chinese schools received less grants because they were thought to be anti-government. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Improvement of social services <ul><li>Health </li></ul><ul><li>The Public Health Department was set up to improve public health and address the issue of high death rates which affect trade. </li></ul><ul><li>Establishment of General Hospital, leper camp, lunatic asylum and outpatient clinics. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Improvement of social services <ul><li>They also aimed to improve living conditions such as reducing overcrowding in Chinatown </li></ul><ul><li>Quarantine Law was passed to separate disease carriers in St John Island </li></ul>
  15. 15. British attitudes towards the Asians <ul><li>Preferential treatment for the whites </li></ul><ul><li>Skin colour mattered </li></ul><ul><li>Not meritocratic </li></ul><ul><li>Europeans given better treatment than Asians. </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination in public places </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: “To Kill a Mockingbird” or Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech </li></ul>
  16. 16. White Men’s Burden <ul><li>Orientals and Africans always regarded as the white men’s burden because it was always deemed that Asians and Africans could not rule and take care of themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>It was the colonizers’ belief and justification for their colonization of the ‘savages’. </li></ul><ul><li>Why was this so? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Think!!! <ul><li>Why did the Europeans think that they were better? Based on what? </li></ul><ul><li>Many believed in Darwinism > some cultures and societies were more superior than others and therefore they should rule over them. </li></ul><ul><li>How true was this? Or could it be just a question of steamships and gun powder? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusion <ul><li>Was colonization truly bad? </li></ul><ul><li>Think of the legacy that the British left behind!!! </li></ul><ul><li>If not the British, would we be better off under the Dutch, French, German or Belgian? </li></ul><ul><li>In this post-colonial world, are we still living under the shadow of the West, i.e. neo-colonialism? E.g. Consumption of McDonald’s, Nike, IBM, etc. </li></ul>