|The East India Company founded Singapore in 1819, coming under the control of the British crown 6 years later. Its superior harbor made it an important port for trade in the area. The Japanese occupied Singapore during World War II but the British regained control in 1945. In 1945, it became a British colony. Fourteen years later, Singapore was declared a self-governing parliamentary democracy as part of the British Commonwealth. Independence was achieved in 1965. The same prime minister served from 1965 until his resignation in 1990 and he oversaw Singapore's growth to economic powerhouse status in Asia (and also its position as an enormously authoritarian country, strictly governed and maintained.)
Through a long history linked to the Czechs, Slovakia spent a millennium under Hungarian domination. In the 20th century, Slovakia became part of a newly-created Czechoslovakia prior to World War II. A brief 'independent' moment existed as the Nazis permitted 'Slovakia' to exist from early 1940. The country, led by Magr Tiso, allowed the expulsion and destruction of more than 60,000 Jews during World War II. In 1948, Czechoslovakia came under Communist domination, which would persist until the final break between the Czechs and the Slovaks in the early 1990s.