Thomas Stamford Raffles

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Raffles, Thomas Stamford


Born July 5, 1781, in Port Morant, Jamaica; died July 5, 1826, in Highwood, near Barnet, Hertfordshire. British colonial figure.

Raffles belonged to the left wing of the Whig Party. He worked for the British East India Company and in 1805 was sent to Malaya. He played a role in the seizure in 1811 of Dutch possessions in Indonesia. From 1811 to 1816 he was governor of Java and several territories on Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan (Borneo), and the Lesser Sunda Islands. He was governor of the British possessions in West Sumatra from 1818 to early 1824. In 1819 he set in motion the seizure of the island of Singapore by British colonialists and the conversion of the city of Singapore into a major trading port.

Raffles’ reforms in Java included the abolition of taxes in kind and feudal obligations, limitation of the rights of feudal landlords, and introduction of a uniform land tax. These reforms were basically aimed at converting the colony into a market for British industry. After the restoration of Dutch rule in Indonesia, Raffles’ reforms were nullified. Raffles is the author of The History of Java (vols. 1–2, 1817).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
McKenna was taken to the Police Court and remanded into custody by the Stipendiary magistrate Thomas Stamford Raffles.
In particular, she adapts the postcolonial discourse of Edward Said and Linda Nochlin to shed light on Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles's intentions in establishing British influence and presence in the region, his wider political agenda, and the reasons for his failure to convince the government and the East India Company to establish their power in Java.
In 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founded which colonial state?
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The British government's decision to hand Java back to the Dutch after the Napoleonic Wars was opposed by many of the senior colonial officials who had served in Java, with Thomas Stamford Raffles and John Crawfurd being the leading literary advocates for retaining Java for the British.
To acknowledge that the island has a history prior to the landing of Thomas Stamford Raffles and the English East India Company in 1819 would open the door to numerous contestations that do not fit neatly into the dominant state narrative of a small, insignificant fishing village that British guidance and the modern developmental state has willed into modernity, and has been largely ignored in official accounts and textbooks in the nation-state until recently.
He says he is considering a digitization project on the life and times of the founder of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.
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Formally founded in 1819 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, whose name is stamped on the best hotel on the island and much else besides, Singapore was from the start a multi-cultural city.
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