Reason for the Founding of Singapore Essay

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I fully agree that the need for a port to compete against the Dutch in Southeast Asia was the main reason for the founding of Singapore, in that it was the fundamental factor and root cause that underlined the other factors that motivated the founding of Singapore, like humanitarian concerns and safeguarding against piracy. The main reason for the founding of Singapore was the need for a port to compete against the Dutch in Southeast Asia. The premise of this argument is that due to her ineffective presence in Southeast Asia at that time, the British founded Singapore to protect their economic security in the region, break the Dutch monopoly of the trade route and establish control over the Straits of Melaka. Let us first establish that the primary need for a port to compete against the Dutch in Southeast Asia was because the British needed to protect their economic interests and trade routes. The Straits of Melaka was of vital importance to the colonial powers. It was part of the trade route between India and China, which was extremely important to the British as the Straits of Melaka supported the lucrative opium trade that formed a bulk of the British trading income. Also, the Straits of Melaka also controlled the spice trade, which was an essential resource for food preservation during that time. Further increasing the need for competition against the Dutch was the fact that the Dutch monopolized the Straits of Melaka at that time, with them controlling plenty of major port locations in the region. The Dutch then used this monopoly to stifle British trade within the region. For example, the British were prohibited from operating in Dutch-controlled ports, with the exception of Batavia (now known as Jakarta), where unfavorable prices were imposed upon British merchants. The British did have two existing trading ports - Penang and Bencoolen. However, both

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