Key Historical Port

Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
1
53
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Trip End Jun 22, 2008


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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Our next stop south was the historical city of Malacca, which based on its key location was a major trading port for the many nations. Because of continued changes in control of the city, you find many old buildings with different kinds of architectural to them (Portuguese, Dutch, English, Malya and Chinese). There is a very strong Chinese community in the city, which still live in houses built 200 years ago. The pictures include our walk around the city (we stayed in Chinatown), with its interesting shapes and colors; from dragons on temples to old dry goods.

Below is some history of the city:

In April 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships. It became a strategic base for Portuguese expansion in the East Indies. Sultan Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Malacca took refuge in the hinterland, and made intermittent raids both by land and sea, causing considerable hardship for the Portuguese. Finally in 1526, a large force of Portuguese ships, under the command of Pedro Mascarenhas, was sent to destroy Bintan, where Sultan Mahmud was based. Sultan Mahmud fled with his family across the Straits to Kampar in Sumatra.

It soon became clear that Portuguese control of Malacca did not mean they now controlled Asian trade that centered around it. Rather than achieving their ambition of dominating Asian trade, the Portuguese had fundamentally disrupted the organization of the network. The centralized port of exchange of Asian wealth exchange had now gone, as was a Malay state to police the Straits of Malacca that made it safe for commercial traffic. Trade was now scattered over a number of ports amongst bitter warfare in the Straits. 

In 1641 the Dutch defeated the Portuguese to capture Malacca with the help of the Sultan of Johore. The Dutch ruled Malacca from 1641 to 1795 but they were not interested in developing it as a trading center, placing greater importance to Batavia (Jakarta) in Indonesia as their administrative center. 

Malacca was ceded to the British in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in exchange for Bencoolen on Sumatra. From 1826 to 1946 Malacca was governed, first by the British East India Company and then as a Crown Colony. It formed part of the Straits Settlements, together with Singapore and Penang. After the dissolution of this crown colony, Malacca and Penang became part of the Malayan Union, which later became Malaysia.
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