Brief History of Brunei:Most of what we know about Brunei's history starts with the rule of the Brunei Sultanate and the Brunei empire. The empire was especially powerful during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Two powerful Sultans came to power during that time. First was Bolkiah who expanded the empire and second was Hassan who developed much of how the government and country still works today.
In the 1800's the English began to have an impact on the workings of the country. First came adventurer James Brooke. In 1839 he helped the Sultan put down an uprising. As a reward he became a leader and governor in the northwest. Later the British North Borneo Company would start to gain control over the area. In 1888 the British made Brunie a protectorate. Brunie would remain a British territory until January 1, 1984 when it became an independent country.
Today Brunei is a small but very wealthy country due to oil and natural gas exports.
The Geography of BruneiTotal Size: 5,770 square km
Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Delaware
Geographical Coordinates: 4 30 N, 114 40 E
World Region or Continent: Southeast Asia
General Terrain: flat coastal plain rises to mountains in east; hilly lowland in west
Geographical Low Point: South China Sea 0 m
Geographical High Point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m
Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy
Major cities: BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (capital) 22,000 (2009)
The People of BruneiType of Government: constitutional sultanate
Languages Spoken: Malay (official), English, Chinese
Independence: 1 January 1984 (from UK)
National Holiday: National Day, 23 February (1984); note - 1 January 1984 was the date of independence from the UK, 23 February 1984 was the date of independence from British protection
Religions: Muslim (official) 67%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs and other 10%
National Anthem or Song: Allah Peliharakan Sultan (God Bless His Majesty)
Economy of BruneiMajor Industries: petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction
Agricultural Products: rice, vegetables, fruits; chickens, water buffalo, eggs
Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, timber
Major Exports: crude oil, natural gas, refined products
Major Imports: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals
Currency: Bruneian dollar (BND)
National GDP: $21,030,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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