Chp 4 How Did The British Govern Singapore Before Wwii

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Chp 4 How Did The British Govern Singapore Before Wwii

  1. 1. How did the British Govern Singapore Before WWII
  2. 2. 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**
  3. 3. 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>
  4. 4. How was Singapore ruled? <ul><li>British Government in London (Colonial Office) </li></ul><ul><li>Governor of the Straits Settlements </li></ul><ul><li>The Executive Council > helped to run the Settlements </li></ul><ul><li>The Legislative Council > helped to make laws </li></ul>
  5. 5. Were the locals involved? <ul><li>Barely > only a couple of eminent locals > e.g. Dr Lim Boon Keng and Eunos Abdullah </li></ul><ul><li>They were in the Legislative Council > helping to make laws </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>
  6. 6. Problems dealing with law and order <ul><li>Chinese secret societies > involved in crime and violence </li></ul><ul><li>Ran opium houses, brothels and gambling dens </li></ul><ul><li>Abuse of immigrants > poor living and working conditions > owed huge debts </li></ul><ul><li>Women forced into flesh trade </li></ul><ul><li>Piracy > menace to lives, property and trade > upset the British as Europeans were not spared </li></ul>
  7. 7. Measures to improve law and order <ul><li>Improvement of the police force > increasing pay and better training > employing people who could speak local languages > setting up of Detective Branch (later CID) </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese Protectorate to address Chinese problem > William Pickering </li></ul>
  8. 8. Improvement of social services <ul><li>Why did the British realise the need of improving social services for the people? </li></ul><ul><li>Education > increasing demand for English trained personnel to run the office > grants provided to set up schools e.g RI </li></ul><ul><li>Queen’s Scholarship for top students to study in UK e.g. Dr Lim BK </li></ul><ul><li>Setting up of medical colleges e.g. King Edward VII College of Medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Double-standard in treatment of schools > Chinese schools less grant > thought to be anti-British > resentment </li></ul>
  9. 9. Health <ul><li>Death rate was high > might affect trade > set up Public Health Department to improve public health e.g. malaria health committee </li></ul><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>
  10. 10. 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>
  11. 11. 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>
  12. 12. Think!!! <ul><li>Why did the Europeans think that they were better? Based on what? </li></ul><ul><li>Many believed in Darwinism or simply ethnocentric> 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>
  13. 13. Cartoons on Darwinism
  14. 14. 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, Microsoft, etc. </li></ul>

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