Beginning of Dutch Colonialism
against the Dutch
the Dutch had started their quest for Indonesia spices
to sell on the European market at big profit. For
the purpose of more efficient and better-organized
merchant trade they established the Dutch East India
Company (VOC) in 1602. To protect the merchant's
fleet from frequent pirate attacks on the high seas,
Dutch warships were ordered to accompany it. After
the nationalization of the VOC in 1799, the Dutch
Government had a firm grip on the vital territories
of the country. People in those territories were forced
to surrender their agricultural produce to the Dutch
merchants. It was the beginning of Dutch colonialism
in Indonesia. Sunda Kelapa was renamed Batavia.
Meanwhile, the Hindu Kingdom of Mataram converted
to Islam and was ruled by the Muslim, Sultan Agung
Hanyokrokusumo. He developed the political power of
the state and was a keen patron of the arts and culture.
In 1633 he introduced the Islamic Javanese calendar.
Sultan Agung was a fierce enemy of the Dutch. In 1629
he sent his troops to attack Batavia, but they were
repulsed by the troops of Governor General Jan Pieterszoon
After the seizure of Ambon in the Moluccas in 1605
and Banda Island in 1623, the Dutch secured the trade
monopoly of the Spice Islands. A policy of ruthless
exploitation by "divide and rule" tactics
was carried out. In this way indigenous inter-island
trade, like that between Makassar, Aceh, Mataram and
Banten, as well as overseas trade, was gradually paralyzed.
Indonesia was reduced to an agricultural country to
supply European markets. At the some time, the Dutch
adopted a so-called open- door policy toward the Chinese
in order that they could serve as middlemen in their
trade with Indonesia.
War against the Dutch
Hasanuddin of Goa waged a war against the Dutch in
1666. But was defeated and Goa became a vassal state
of the VOC under the treaty of Bunggaya of 1667. Prince
Trunojoyo of Madura also fought the Dutch. He was
defeated and killed in 1680. To reinforce their spice
monopoly in the Moluccas, the Dutch undertook their
notorious Hongi expeditions, whereby they burned down
the clove gardens of the people in an effort to eliminate
overproduction, which brought down the prices of cloves
on the European markets. In these outrageous expeditions
countless atrocities were committed against people
who defended their crops.
In 1740 the Dutch suppressed a rebellion in Jakarta
that was sparked by dissatisfied Chinese, who were
later joined by Indonesians. Ten thousand Chinese
were massacred. The Kingdom of Mataram began to see
its downfall after it was divided by the VOC into
the Principalities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. However,
mismanagement and corruption forced the VOC into bankruptcy
and on December 31, 1799, all its territories in Indonesia
were taken over by the Dutch Administration in Batavia.