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HistoricalDeterminants of Growth

Thepurpose of this paper is to elucidate particular issues which arebulging in discussions on the notion of economic growth in Singapore.It will cover topics such the historical importance of economicgrowth in recent years, colonization of Singapore, implications ofimperialism on the economy of Singapore and its effect on economicgrowth.

Historyhas a variety of impacts on today’s world, the most important beingthat it gives you a sense of the importance of context. The empiricalliterature is looking into how history and current economicdevelopment relate has developed considerably in the past couple ofyears. From this empirical literature, we derive the fact thathistory matters immensely. Certain historical events have hadimperative effects on long-term economic development even in recentyears.

Singaporewas under the imperial powers of the British. Sir Thomas StamfordRaffles. Sir Thomas was a governor of the British reserve ofBencoolen and also a representative of the British East IndiaCompany. He arrived in Singapore in the year 1819 and on arrival, hedecided to establish a trading post through the authorization of thelocal Malay official. It was after a couple of years that he decidedto name the place Singapore after its ancient name. During themid-19th century, Japan was a weak country because it could defenditself against the United States. The United States took advantage ofthe situation and through the US Navy, they entered into trade withthe USA. They, however, started to modernize themselves, and theybecame one of the major Asian powers around the 20th century. China,on the other hand, had its first Opium War with the British in 1839.Unlike Japan, the same could not be said for China, therefore, mostof the 20th century they didn’t modernize and remained weak

Colonialismaffected Singapore profoundly. Some of the changes were negative andothers positive in nature. The port in Singapore, which wasestablished by the British, became significant as a focus for theIndian-China Trade. The British imperialism had various remunerationsfor the people of Singapore. For example, the trading port which wasestablished during the colonization era is still used today, servingworld markets and major corporations. Better railroads were developedwhich had a very significant effect on the economic development ofSingapore. Imperialism also had negative impacts on Singaporeincluding heavy taxes imposed on the inhabitants by the colonizer. Bythe 20th century, Singapore had become the center for European goodsin the area. Singapore due to its rapid development grew inpopulation and consequently, the environment was adversely affectedin the form of depletion of resources and pollution.

Singaporeexperienced steady growth in its GDP as seen from the Angus Maddisondatabase especially during the 1970s and 1990s. It was at this momentthat Singapore was called one of the “Four Tigers” of Asianeconomic affluence along with Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. TheAsian economic crisis of 1997 to 1998 brought inconsistent growthrates to Singapore but luckily it did not impact a lot unlike how itwas for other Southeast Asian nations.

Inconclusion, imperialism had both positive and negative effects on thegrowth of Singapore as seen in its impact on the Asian economy,forming one of the four Asian Tigers. Today the port of Singapore isthe world`s busiest port by the sheer amount of shipping. Despite thebenefits derived from imperialism, Singapore’s environment wasnegatively impacted.


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