Kuala Lumpur was founded by Chinese settlers in 1857 as a tin-mining camp. In Malay, Kuala Lumpur means Muddy Estuary. By the 1860's, the landing place was a flourishing village. It was a violent time with fierce rivalries over mining claims and water rights which led to civil wars. Feuds, murders, gang wars all combined with the threat of devastating fires and pestilence made it a turbulent settlement.
It expanded under British rule (1873-1957) as a centre of tin and rubber production and became the capital of the British-protected Federated Malay States in 1895. A rail line from KL to Klang, connecting the capital to the sea, was opened in 1886.
With the city's establishment as State Capital of Selangor, more
and more people from surrounding villages moved there. It rapidly
developed into an administrative centre and hub of business and
trade. In 1946, it became the headquarters of the Federation of
Malaya. After independence in 1957, KL progressed further, and by
1974, it was formally detached from the State of Selangor and made
into a Federal Territory. Today, KL is the seat of government in
Malaysia, with its own administration headed by a minister of cabinet
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