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dMAC Digest Volume 5 No 3 ~ Djakarta Journal # 1


[Djakarta Journal # 1
**]to 1811 CE

Volume 5 ~ N  3

Welcome to dMAC Digest
dMAC designed to protect your family’s health & enrich a sense of history

Edited by
Duncan MacDonald

15 October 2015

Dedicated to my darling wife Shinta

Copyright 2015 Duncan MacDonald

[Shakespir Edition, License Notes
**]Thank you for downloading this free e-book. This book remains the copyrighted property of the editor, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this e-book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

Cover page image – Plan of Batavia, by Jansson van Waesberg, 1681

Table of Contents

akarta Journal # 1

Early Man

1st Century BCE

5th Century CE

Hindu Temples

Sunda Kalapa



The Portuguese

The Dutch


Chinese Massacre

The French Revolution

The Dutch-Napoleonic Era

Why is Indonesia the world’s largest Muslim county


About the Editor

Discover other titles by Duncan MacDonald

Djakarta Journal # 1

Duncan MacDonald

Jakarta 15 October 2015

Batavia 1726 ~ ~ Copper engraving by Valentijn

Jakarta in its various guises – at times under the influence of Indians, Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japanese, dates back over two thousand years. This is a snapshot of some the main events up to the year 1811 CE (Common Era [also Current Era or Christian Era] abbreviated as CE, is an alternative naming of the calendar era Anno Domino [Latin – in the year of the/our Lord, abbreviated to AD], that led to the modern, thriving, cosmopolitan city it has become.

Early Man

One of the earliest fossils found in Indonesia was the Java Man or Solo Man, Homo erectus soloensis, who walked the earth between 550,000 and 143,000 years ago (as re-dated in 2011). The first true man (Homo sapiens) came to Indonesia about 40,000 years ago. They led a nomadic life, then vanished a long time ago, like the shadows of the wayang puppets, beyond the edge of history.

Java Man (Homo erectus soloensis) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Prehistoric life as depicted by Sangiran Museum (Solo) ~ ~ ~

The fossils of Java Man, (a tooth, a skullcap and a thighbone) were discovered by a Dutch team led by Eugène Dubois in 1891 and 1892, on the banks of the Solo River in East Java. The fossils have been housed at the Naturalis Museum in Leiden, Netherlands since 1900.

The last Great Ice Age ended about 12,000 years in the distant past. As the earth grew warmer, the ice retreated north, the seas rose, fragmenting the land of Indonesia into many islands, large and small. The Indonesian archipelago today consists of about 3,000 islands.

Newcomers sailed down along the coasts of South Asia, to find fresh lands and to start a new life. They came in dug-out canoes with outriggers, and some crossed the shallow and narrow seas between islands on rafts to Irian and Australia, and beyond.

New botanical and archaeological evidence prove that men in the forests of tropical South-East Asia had developed agriculture at least a thousand years earlier than in the Middle East. It is now believed that at least in 10,000 BCE (Before Common Era), forest clearing and shifting cultivation had already taken place in tropical South-East Asia. Even today, this ancient form of agriculture is still practised by about two million people in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and other islands. Regrettably it has transformed millions of hectares of virgin forests into denuded areas, and each year creates choking haze affecting northern Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

1st Century BCE

It was once held that when the Chinese, the Hindus and later the Arabs, came to the archipelago to trade, the Indonesians led a rather passive role. But this view has now been revised to show that Indonesians, having both the navigational skills and adventurous spirit, must have also played an active role in the expansion of trade with neighbouring countries. In fact Indonesians had crossed the Indian Ocean and established colonies in Madagascar by 1 CE.

An established Hindu settlement was in place at the mouth of the Ciliwung River. Trade beads and a dish from southern India show trade with India was established as early as 150 BCE (National Museum Jakarta).

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5th Century CE

In the year 132 CE, according to Chinese annals, the King of Ye-tiao sent a delegation to pay tribute to the Chinese emperor. ‘Ye-tiao’ may well be the Chinese version of ‘Yawadwipa’ which refers to Java in Sanskrit.

Prasasti Tugu: A stone called ‘Prasasti Tugu’, erected by King Purnawarman, recording the construction of a canal, was excavated near the present village of Tugu, which is just south of the modern harbour Tanjung Priok.

According to this stone, the king ruled over a river basin kingdom called Taruma or Tarumanegara. The characters on the stone indicate a Hindu influence.

The Tugu inscription is one of the early 5th century Tarumanagara inscriptions discovered in Batutumbuh hamlet, Tugu village, Koja, North Jakarta, in Indonesia. The inscription contains information about the irrigation and water drainage project of the Candrabaga River by the order of Rajadirajaguru, and also the water project of the Gomati River by the order of King Purnawarman in the 22nd year of his reign. The digging project to straighten and widen the river was conducted in order to avoid flooding in the wet season, and as an irrigation project during the dry season.

The inscription was carved on a round egg-like stone measuring about one meter in height.

The Tugu inscription was written in Pallawa script , consisting of five lines that run around the surface of the stone. Just like other inscriptions from the Tarumanagara kingdom, the Tugu inscriptions do not mention the date of the edict. The date of the inscriptions was estimated and analysed according to paleographic study which concluded that the inscriptions originated from the mid-5th century.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Prasasti Tugu ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Batu – Tulis Ciaruteun (Stone Inscription)

Batu –Tulis Ciaruteun (Stone Inscription): An inscribed stone written in the Sanskrit language, is also a relic of the Tarumanegara kingdom during the reign of King Purnawarman in the mid 5th Century CE. One of the oldest kingdoms of Indonesia, it was probably located near Bogor. In the area a number of inscriptions have been found, under them, this remarkable one, which still can be seen in Ciampea, 15 km west of the city, approximately two kilometers southwest of the Botanical Gardens It’s a big stone in a riverbank, which contains several lines of Indian style inscriptions, and , which could have been from the conqueror and King Purnawarman, an important Hindu-king. This inscription is in Sanskrit language.

Java was well known to Indian and Chinese scribes from the beginning of this period. The trading ships that came from India helped the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Chinese records show that an Indonesian kingdom called Ho-lo-tan, sent missions to China in 425 CE. Historians have suggested this kingdom was Tarumanegara ruled by King Purnawarman.

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Buddhist ~ Hindu Temples

Borobudur Temple ~ ~ ~ ~ Borobudur ship ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Candi Prambanan 9th century Hindu temple

By the early 8th century the main political centre in Java shifted from the north coast to central Kedu and the wider basin of the Progo River. In 732 a local King Sanjaya raised an inscribed stone on a hilltop south of Merapi – the angriest volcano in central Java. It told of his rule over ‘a wonderful island beyond compare called Yava’. The general term for the area of Java over which he claimed control was Mataram; a name that had such a hold on Javanese imagination it would be revived by a line of Muslim sultans nearly a thousand years later.

Forty-seven years later the Sanjayas found themselves underlings to the shadowy Sailendras, the ‘Kings of the Mountain’. We know nothing about the Sailendras background. The source of their power is uncertain. For the most part Java seemed to embrace the Hindu religion, but from the middle of the 8th century a fully formed clan of orthodox Mahayana Buddhists materialised in Kedu and established supremacy over all Mataram. They used Malay instead of Javanese on some of their inscriptions, an indication they may have originally come from Palembang in South Sumatra.

Within a few years of setting themselves up in Kedu, the Sailendras embarked on the most ambitious building project that Java had ever seen. The structure – standing at the junction of the Progo and Elo rivers, – when finished would be the biggest Buddhist temple on earth. Its name was Borobudur.

The Borobudur Temple is located in Magelang, central Java. Construction started in 750. Over 1.5 million blocks of chiselled grey volcanic rock were hauled uphill from the Progo River over a period of some seventy years.

The men who built Borobudur worked without a single blue-print, and each generation of Sailendra kings made their own modifications and innovations. Borobudur is a stupa (a dome shaped monument used as a shrine by Buddhists ~ Sanskrit: stūpah, tuft of hair, crown of the head, summit).

The image of the Borobudur ship shows an 8th-century wooden double outrigger, sailing vessel of Maritime Southeast Asia depicted in some bas reliefs of the Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Indonesia. The ships depicted on Borobudur were most likely the type of vessels used for inter-insular trades and naval campaigns by the Sailendran and Srivijayan maritime empires that ruled the region around the 7th to the 13th century. The function of the outrigger was to stabilize the ship; a single or double outrigger canoe is the typical feature of the seafaring Austronesians vessels. It is considered by scholars to have been the most likely type of vessel used for their voyages and exploration across Southeast Asia, Oceania, and the Indian Ocean. This one of no less than 1,460 individual reliefs or panels, telling stories of Buddhist lore and local events.

There is a great deal of disagreement among scholars concerning the sequencing of panels. The current view is that panels lining the passages of Borobudur should be read in a clockwise direction. (Soekmono, dissertation, 1974, pp. 60-62)

The site was abandoned following the 14th century decline of Hindu kingdoms in Java and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the then British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians.

  • * * * *

The Sailendras vanished almost as abruptly as they had appeared. By the early decades of the 9th century their dynasty was in decline. That other regal linage, the Sanjaya, was making a comeback. Following aggressive action by Sanjaya Prince Rakai Pikatan, the last Sailendra king, Balaputra, turned tail and fled to Sumatra around 850 CE.

The spectacular architectural legacy of the now departed Buddhists overlords, seemed to have rankled Rakai Pikatan. If the Sailendras could build something as remarkable as Borobudur, then so would he; to mark Sanjaya resurgence in 856 he ordered the building of Prambanan.

Candi Prambanan or Candi Rara Jonggrang is a 9th century Hindu temple compound in Central Java, dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). The central temple is classic three-tiered Javanese style, 154 feet (47 meters) tall.

The temple compound, located approximately 17 kilometres northeast of the city of Yogyakarta, is one of the largest in Southeast Asia, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Sunda Kalapa

~Sunda Kalapa map 1632 ~ Coconuts or Kelapa ~ ~ ~ Sunda King, Sri Baduga Maharaja, popularly ~ ~ ~~ known as King Siliwangi (reigned 1482-1521) ~ ~

The earliest mention of what is now Jakarta, is in the 12th century, when referred to as Sunda Kalapa, because of its export of coconut, or kalapa.

It was the principal harbour for the Javanese Hindu kingdom of Sunda, the capital of which, Pakuan was located 60 km upstream at what is now Bogor (which gets its name from a now extinct palm – Bagor).

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The first European fleet, comprising four Portuguese ships from Malacca, arrived in 1513. The Portuguese after conquering Malacca in 1511, saw Sunda Kalapa as an ideal relay port from the ‘Spice Islands’ as the Malaccas were known.

In 1522 the kingdom gave the Portuguese permission to build a factory and godown (a warehouse or other storage place), mainly as protection against the growing influence from the Muslim Sultan of Demak in central Java.

The word ‘factory’ long used in Asia to describe trading settlements of Europeans, derives from the Portuguese ‘feitoria’ where trading goods were collected for distribution.

However a Sumatran Malay warrior from the Sultanate of Demak, Fatahillah, conquered Hindu Sunda Kalapa on 22 June 1527 – the day Jakarta now celebrates as its birthday.

He renamed the port Jayakarta which means ‘glorious victory’ in Sanskrit.

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Moslem merchants from Gujarat began visiting Indonesia in the ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Spread of Islam to South East Asia
13th Century and established trade links between this country & India ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Arab traders had been sailing to Java from Arabia and the West Indian port of Gujarat, well before the advent of Islam. According to some historians Islam may have originally come from southern India, whose Muslim traders arrived in this region before Gujarat came under Muslim rule in the 13th century.

As it developed in Indonesia, Islam became a force which unified the many peoples of the archipelago. In the end it became a powerful political force.

The ships brought not only Islam in Indonesia but brought greater contact between the different groups of people. The Malay language, which was the lingua franca, (a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.) became even more widespread in coastal places.

Great and decisive changes were taking place in Europe during the 15th and 16th century. These changes would shape the history not only of Europe and the Middle East, but also many other parts of the world. It would push the Europeans to sail beyond their old boundaries of mercantile, political military power.

The Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople in 1453. The Marmeluks in Egypt were vanquished by the Ottermans in 1512 and Mesopotamia was added to their empire. In August 1526, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent decisively defeated the forces of Hungary’s King Louis II and took control of South Eastern Hungary.

The siege of Vienna in 1529 by Suleiman was the first attempt to capture the capital city of Austria. The siege signaled the pinnacle of the Ottoman Islamic Empire’s power and the maximum extent of Ottoman expansion into Europe. Although the Ottoman attack against Vienna was repulsed, the fear of new invasions remained.

The Pope in Rome, in complete ignorance of the absurdity of his act, divided the world beyond Europe between the kings of Spain and Portugal as their reward.

  • * * * *

Asia was also evolving at the same time. The Monghuls under King Barbur began the conquest of India in 1519, and by 1592 had consolidated their power in that sub-continent.

The Manchus began attacking the Ming Emperors in1594 and continued thereafter. The Japanese were stirring from their self-imposed isolation, making forays into the Chinese mainland (Ningpo in 1523 and Nanking in 1555). Burma and Siam carried out their own expansionist wars. In 1592 the Japanese attempted an invasion of Korea but were repulsed by China.

Indonesia itself was in the throes of change. The powerful empire of Majapahit was no more after 1520. The Muslim municipalities and trading city-states on the north coast of Java, were expanding their power inland. Other Muslim kingdoms were emerging, Bantam on the western end of Java, Palembang and Aceh in Sumatra, also Ternate Tidore, and Bone in South Sulawesi.

In West Java, the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran with its Hindu-Sundanese court, was holding on with its port in Sunda Kelapa, but soon it too disappeared, to be renamed Jayakarta, vanquished by the Mataram and Bantam kingdoms.

Indonesia was in a state of flux with the old structures imposed by the Hindu-Indonesian courts, being supplanted by fast spreading Islam.

One can only imagine what developments could have taken place in Indonesia and Asia, had not the boats from Europe arrived at this point in history.

But the ships from Europe came.

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The Portuguese

15th century Portuguese Caravel ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Portuguese Carrack ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Peppercorns ~ ~ ~
Nutmeg ~ ~ ~ ~

Trading among the Arabs, Chinese, Indians and Indonesians was peaceful. The products traded were diverse and in small volumes. It was only the intervention European privateers; Portuguese, Dutch and English, who introduced the element of monopoly, which led to aggression and war.

The ships which brought the first Portuguese to the Indian Ocean and the Indonesian archipelago, were men-of-war. They were heavily armed with cannons capable of destroying other heavily built ships and blasting fighting men off the decks of enemy vessels. The Europeans had also developed superior tactics, using the wind and sea to coordinate with the sails, weight and manoeuvrability of their ships. Their superior firepower was the key to their coming conquests of Asian lands and people.

When the Portuguese arrived in Indonesia, trade with China, South India and further west was already developed. Indonesia exports were mostly spices – pepper, cloves, nutmeg, mace – and sandalwood. Also exported were gold and tin, precious stones, medical products from plants, rice, birds, tortoise-shells and rhinoceros horns, highly valued by the Chinese as an aphrodisiac.

The fundamental indigenous pattern of trade, which had been established for centuries, was based on the feudal structure shaped by the Asian nobility and traders.

Before the Portuguese intrusion, trade in the Indonesian archipelago was relatively peaceful, except for the nuisance of piracy and the problems presented by harbourmasters and kings. Upon the Portuguese arrival, trade was no longer peaceful, for they brought with them an aggressive spirit backed by superior firepower. This gave them the edge over their Asian competitors. They used their military power to secure for themselves the infrastructure necessary for trade; stable ports; shipping routes and sources of trade goods. They – and later the Spaniards, Dutch and English – were determined to use their firepower whenever needed in the name of trade and profit.

European trade in Indonesia was to be stained with the blood shed by both Indonesian and Europeans.

The Portuguese intrusions were perceived with animosity by the Indonesians, Arab, Indian and Chinese traders. Here came foreigners in their ships from faraway lands, who did not hesitate to use violence to get what they wanted, and called it ‘trade’. Add to that, the newcomers happened to be Christians, the traditional enemies of the Muslims.

The Banda islands, in the centre of the Maluku islands were the world’s only source of nutmeg and mace, spices used as flavourings, medicines, and preserving agents, that were at the time highly valued. Both spices are from the nutmeg tree. They were sold by Arab traders to the Venetians then onto Europeans, for exorbitant profits. The traders did not divulge the exact location of their source and no European was able to deduce their location.

However in August 1511 on behalf of the king of Portugal, Afonso de Albuquerque attacked and conquered Malacca, (on the south-west Malay Peninsular) which was the hub of Asian trade. In November of that year, after having secured Malacca and learning of the Bandas’ location, Albuquerque sent an expedition comprising two ships and a caravel, led by his good friend Antoio de Abreu to find them. Malay pilots, either recruited or forcibly conscripted, guided them via Java, the Lesser Sundas and Ambon to Banda, arriving in early 1512.

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A Portuguese, Ferdinand Magellan, brought the Spaniards to the Moluccas. He approached the King of Spain after a falling out with his Portuguese king. The Spanish king outfitted a fleet for him and he sailed for the Spice Islands. After passing the straits at the southernmost point of South America, which was later named after him, and with only three of five original ships left in his fleet, Magellan arrived at the island of Mactan in the Philippines. There, he and sixty of his men were killed. The Spanish survivors burned one of the ships, and with the other two, sailed for the Moluccas. On 8 November 1521, they dropped anchor off Tidore. They were received with friendliness by the King of Tidore. The Spaniards bought cloves and sent one ship back to Spain. The other was leaking and had to be repaired.

  • * * * *

Upon hearing of the arrival of the Spaniards, the Portuguese began to reinforce their position in the Moluccas. The people of Ambon had already been divided into two warring factions between the Sultanates of Tidore and Ternate. The Ambonese requested help from the Portuguese at their fortress in Ternate. With the support of the King of Ternate, the Portuguese defeated Tidore in 1524.

The Spaniards returned to Tidore in 1527. But the Portuguese under Captain Henriques sank the Spanish ship in Tidore harbor. Other Spanish ships came to the Moluccas and the Portuguese were continually fighting the Spaniards and their respective Indonesian allies.

The Portuguese made things even more difficult for themselves through internal dissentions, treacheries and intrigues. The Portuguese were fighting against each other for profit in the spice trade.

In 1557 the Ternatean King and his nobles had a major falling out with their Portuguese allies. The Portuguese captain, Duarte d’Eca, broke an agreement which apportioned the clove production of Makian Island to the Sultan of Ternate. D’Eca demanded the whole harvest for the Portuguese alone. The entire population of Ternate took up arms against the Portuguese. Eventually Portugal relieved d’Eca of command and sent him to prison in Goa, India.

However even Tidore allied itself with Ternate against the Portuguese who were besieged in their fort on Ternate Island for six years before being forced to surrender. Sixty-four years after they first arrived in Ternate in 1512, the Portuguese struck their flag, expelled by the Ternateans after years of fighting.

  • * * * *

Events in the distant Iberian Peninsula then decided the course of history of the Moluccas. King Philip of Spain came to the throne of Portugal in 1500, and in 1582 a Spanish force arrived in Tidore.

The English privateer, Francis Drake, sailed to Ternate in 1579 and was received by Sultan Baab-Ullah. Another English buccaneer, James Lancaster, also anchored of Ternate in 1592 and captured a number of richly-laden Portuguese ships.

While the Portuguese position in the Moluccas slowly crumbled, and with the Manila based Spanish attempt to take control too feeble, the Dutch appeared on the scene.

The defeat of the Portuguese by the Dutch in 1605 put an end to Portuguese missionary work in Indonesia. Only the Spaniards were left on Ternate, Tidore, Sangir Islands and North Sulawesi. Within the next few decades the Dutch also dislodged the Spaniards from these islands.

  • * * * *

During the 17th century the Portuguese used Makassar, in South Sulawesi, as a commercial center for silk, cloves, textiles, sandalwood and diamonds. In the 1620s regularly there were as many as 500 Portuguese merchants, who frequented the port of Makassar. They traded here in safety and the Sultans who were fluent in Portuguese, gave aid and comfort to them. The friendly relations between Makassar and Portugal were strengthened by their common attempts to stop the Dutch power in the Moluccas and Sunda Islands.

The prosperity of Makassar greatly increased after the fall of Malacca into Dutch hands (1641), when many Portuguese merchants immigrated to Makassar. In the 1650s the Dominicans founded a church in Makassar. In 1660 there were about 2,000 Portuguese residents in the town. They lived in their own residential area called the Portuguese quarter.

In June 1660 a strong Dutch fleet comprising 31 ships and 2,600 men attacked Makassar and stormed the fort of Panakkukang in the port. The main aim of the Dutch for this attack was to expel the Portuguese from Makassar. A treaty between the Makassars’ and the Dutch was signed and finally ratified on 2 December 1660. The terms were: The Portuguese should be expelled from Makassar within one year.

The Portuguese departure would have led to the complete ruin of the Makassar Kingdom. For this reason the Sultan openly attempted to delay their departure. The terms of the treaty were not respected and the Portuguese stayed in Makassar for several years more. However slowly they relocated to Flores (Larantuka), Solor, Macau, Timor, Siam and Batavia. Finally in 1665 the last Portuguese merchants were forced to leave due to Dutch pressure.

The Portuguese succeeding in holding only East Flores, until 1859, and East Timor, until it became part of the Republic of Indonesia in 1976, then gained full Independence in 2002.

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The Dutch

The first Dutch ships sailed around the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean, and arrived at the Bay of Bantam, in west Java, on 23 June 1596 after a voyage of 13 months. They were not much different from the Portuguese ships which came earlier. The Dutch were ready to fight and perhaps more skilled in warfare due to their protracted conflict with Spain, fighting for their independence from1568 to 1648. They had also battled at sea with the English, and thus had developed considerable skills in maritime warfare.

Initially several small Dutch companies equipped fleets of ships to trade in the Far East. In 1596 many arrived in Jayakarta to trade spices. However this ‘tramp trading’ led to internal competition. The parties were eventually amalgamated under one banner – the VOC (Vereenigde Oostandische Compagnie ~ East India Trade Association) on March 20, 1602.

~ The Dutch East India Company – VOC ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ Heeren XVII or Gentlemen Seventeen

In those days, there was competition between European countries, namely Portuguese, Spanish English, French and Dutch, to fight for the trade in order to control East Asia. To face the problem, by authority of ‘Staaten Generaal’ (Dutch Parliament) in the Netherlands, the VOC was authorized to have its own army. In addition, the Company also had an agreement for governing the state and declared war against a country. This authority resulted in trade associations such as the VOC acting as a nation.

The company was managed by Heeren XVII or Gentlemen Seventeen. It was given sweeping powers, including the license to establish colonies, declare and sign peace treaties with indigenous rulers, establish fortifications, call for financial support and requisition the military or navy for defence purposes.

The VOC was the first company to issue stock to shareholders. Its shareholders were obliged to invest in the VOC itself, not in individual expeditions – an innovation designed to bring an end to the destructive get-rich-quick motivation of earlier voyages.

The British East India Company’s first voyage in 1602 commanded by Sir James Lancaster, arrived in Aceh and sailed to Bantam. The British were given approval to build a trading post which became the centre of British trade in Indonesia until 1682.

In 1611 the Dutch were given permission to build a godown in the Chinese quarter of Jayakarta, on the eastern bank of the Ciliwung River. The Dutch reneged on their agreement and fortified the godown into Kasteel Jacatra in 1618 (The Dutch and the English continued to mispronounce Jayakarta.) The architect of this action was the newly appointed VOC Governor-General for the Moluccas, thirty one years old Jan Pieterszoon Coen.

The British were also allowed to build houses directly across from the Dutch in Jayakarta in 1615 by the Sultan of Banten, Prince Jayawikarta.

Coen had decided that Jayakarta with its sheltered location and accessible river channel would make a better alternative to the then Dutch headquarters in Ambon, which was deemed to be too far from other key trading posts.

The long established Banten meanwhile, was still bristling with rival trading factions and a base there was always dependant on the goodwill of its Sultan Abu al-Mafakhir. Meanwhile, Jayakarta’s Prince Wijayakrama was seen as not behaving as befitting a deferent vassal of Banten. Also Abu al-Mafakhir was not sure of allowing a major Dutch out-post to develop on the fringes of his realm.

Turning to the time-honoured tradition of getting someone else to do your dirty work, the Sultan encouraged the English to send a naval fleet then harboured in Banten, down the coast, unseat Wijayakrama and evict their Dutch rivals.

Meanwhile Coen had been making great efforts to eliminate the English outpost on the islet of Run and banishing them from the Archipelago altogether.

England’s Admiral Dale found his motives mirrored those of the Sultan. He headed for Jayakarta. The fleets of Dale and Coen sparred around each other before the outnumbered Dutch departed abruptly for Ambon in search of reinforcements. Dale teamed up Wijayakrama to besiege the remaining Dutch VOC defenders.

The Dutch’s Jayakarta outpost was tiny and was now only defended by a few soldiers and traders. After a month of little action, they were ready to surrender. However a new army suddenly appeared from the west.

Back in Banten Abu al-Mafakhir had realised that the end result of the action in Jayakarta was likely to be either an emboldened Wijayakrama or a minor Dutch fort replaced by a major English one. So he sent his army to sort things out. Both Dale and Wijayakrama reacted predictably; the English took to their boats and bolted; the Javanese took their court and fled to the mountains. And the Dutch remained, more or less besieged.

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Little happened for the next three months. The Dutch eked out their days in the fort getting drunk and dying of malaria. On the 12 March 1612, however, one of the unnamed defenders roused himself sufficiently to come up with a new name for the place, in honour of a Roman-era Germanic tribe, called the Batavi, ancestors of the Dutch people.

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When Coen returned in May with a fully armed fleet, all fired up for victory, he found the English had gone, the Bantenese had largely lost interest, and that Jayakarta was now called Batavia.

He needed only to come ashore, burn the palace, the mosque and every Javanese building in sight, and thus the Dutch were in possession of both a location and a name for their grand East Indies capital.

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Thus was created the headquarters of the VOC in the Indies. A company town which was the hub of the very lucrative Dutch trade and commerce with trading posts reaching from Africa to Japan.

Jan Pieterszoon Coen has a tarnished reputation. He was stern man with angry eyes. He was born in the in the Dutch coastal town of Hoorn and brought up in the strictest Calvinist tradition. He went out to Asia early and quickly rose to the top of the VOC.

He was present in 1607 when dozens of Dutch traders were killed in an uprising by the inhabitants of Bandas – the tiny Malukan archipelago that was the world’s sole source of nutmeg. He was no friend either to the Netherland’s English rivals.

Even before he was appointed Governor-General, he was in the habit of sending outrageous belligerent letters to the Seventeen Gentlemen, sneering at their weak policies and demanding more aggression toward competitors. Before the opening of the Suez Canal it could take up to two years to get a message from Europe to Southeast Asia and receive a reply.

He was a hot-head whose doctrine was ‘no trade without war, no war without trade’. He no doubt overstepped the mark and kick-started the slow but inevitable descent of the VOC into bankruptcy. Coen was capable of ruthless and sadistic decisions including the enslavement and forcible transplanting of native peoples.

He advocated populating Batavia with European (read Dutch) colonists who could be commandeered in times of need. However he was bitterly disappointed in the calibre of the Europeans who heeded his call. He felt they were a ‘deficient and despicable lot, addicted to drink’ and prompted by the lure of personal gain.

No doubt he was a patriot and instrumental in the Dutch gaining supremacy over other Europeans in the East.

Batavia 1629 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Batavia 17th century

Batavia was known as ‘the Queen of the East’. At the head of the town stood a stocky, four cornered fort with cannon-lined ramparts. Behind this was a grid of smooth-flowing canals flanked by heavyset buildings with whitewashed walls. For a place with a feverish climate occupied largely by slaves and the kind of Dutchmen Coen himself described as ‘the scum of the earth’, it was rather pleasant.

Between 1614 and 1618, Coen secured a clove monopoly in the Moluccas and a nutmeg monopoly in the Banda Islands. The inhabitants of Banda had been selling the spices to the English, despite contracts with the VOC, which obliged them to sell only to the VOC, at low prices.

In 1621, Coen led an armed assault of Banda using Japanese mercenaries, taking the island of Lonthor by force after encountering some fierce resistance, mostly by cannons that the natives had acquired from the English. Many thousands of inhabitants were massacred and replaced by slave labour from other islands, to make way for Dutch planters. Of the 15,000 inhabitants it is believed only about a thousand survived on the island. Eight hundred people were deported to Batavia.

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The VOC found that even these measures were not effective enough to maintain their monopoly. Other traders continued to trade for Moluccan spice. By 1650 the VOC felt strong enough to introduce more drastic measures. They launched their infamous, ‘search and destroy’ mission. Every year, parts of the nutmeg plantations on the islands were destroyed. The destruction of the nutmeg trees left the Moluccans with no source of income. Whole islands were impoverished and devastated. On many islands not a single nutmeg tree was left standing. Arnold de Vlamingh who oversaw these operations was one of the most ruthless Dutch commanders.

All the islands of the Moluccas became, in the words of the people themselves, tani mati (dead land). Within a period of 36 years after Coen was appointed Governor, the population was decimated and the once prosperous Moluccas was totally devastated and impoverished. Even today the Moluccas has not quite recovered from the VOC’s savage annihilation of its economic base. The Moluccas is still an economic backwater in Indonesia.

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From this little pocket of tropical Europa the Dutch consolidated their control of trade in the Archipelago. Within a year of founding Batavia, the last English redoubt in the Banda Islands had been wiped from the map; in 1641 the Dutch ousted the Portuguese from Melaka; and by 1682 the VOC was powerful enough to press an advantageous treaty on the once feared Banten court ordering all English traders to be kicked out for good.

But this does not mean the Dutch were the supreme power in Indonesia. It should be noted how very little of the Archipelago they actually controlled in the late 17th century. They were at this stage simply a trading power of the hub-and-spoke model.

Although they held sway in much of the northern and central Maluku, elsewhere they were usually a token presence at best. Sumatra, Borneo and Nusa Tenggara (Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba, and Timor) were independent. Even in Java, Dutch possessions amounted only to an arrow-shaped area around Batavia. There were other Dutch outposts in all the major ports on Java’s north cost, but most of the island was firmly under the sway of indigenous Kings – Banten in the west and Sultan Agung’s mighty Mataram reigning over the rest.

Jan Pieterszoon Coen ~ ~ ~ ~Sultan Agung of Mataram ~ ~ ~ Sir James Lancaster ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sultan Agung tried to squeeze the tiny colonial base out of Batavia, but he failed to eject the Dutchmen out into the Java Sea. For all their territorial insignificance, the Dutch had one all-powerful advantage – the factor that had carried them seven thousand miles to Indonesia in the first place: maritime mastery.

Mataram first besieged Batavia in 1628. Sultan Agung had already overwhelmed Surabaya and all the other city-states along the coastal zone, and he had an army of some 160,000 men. Batavia should have provided no great challenge. But the Dutch base was 300 miles (480 kilometres) from the Mataram court and the roads were terrible. It took months to get the attacking army in place and it proved near-impossible to keep them fed and watered once they were there.

The Dutch meanwhile, were free to come and go as they pleased, by sea. After a lengthy stalemate the Mataram commanders were executed by their own troops for incompetence, and the Javanese army trudged back home over the hills.

The Mataramese returned again the following year and spent a further two months outside the walls of Batavia. Again Dutch naval superiority made the siege ineffectual, and the Mataram forces gave up once more. Dutch losses were negligible, but the second siege did claim one important casualty.

On 20 September 1629, just twelve days before the Javanese pulled out for good,
Jan Pieterszoon Coen died, possibly as a result of a cholera outbreak in Batavia.

Even the Heeren XVII took an indulgent view of Coen’s excesses: ‘. . . the late Coen was rather too energetic in these matters.

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Chinese Massacre

While all this was happening, Batavia had continued to grow. In 1624 it had a total population of just 8,000; by 1670 the city was home to around 130,000 people, with 27,000 of them living inside the walls. No more than 2,000 of these were Europeans; the rest were a mix of immigrants, scheming opportunists and slaves from across Asia. There were also communities of Arabs and Indians.

The Dutch encouraged non-Javanese to settle as they were fearful of rebellion by the local natives.

Batavia was also home to thousands of Chinese. Jan Pieterszoon Coen had recognized the value of Chinese economic expertise from the very start. He encouraged the Chinese to come to his new capital, and allowed them to trade freely at a time when not even Dutchmen were permitted to set up private businesses. Before long the Chinese accounted to almost a quarter of Batavia’s entire population – the most productive quarter at that.

The Chinese were an industrious race providing the Dutch and the local people with an immense network of individual industry. They also fostered the unofficial interests of corrupt VOC officials by entering into illegal trading ventures. No labour was too hard for them, no service not profitable enough.

Batavia was ‘a Chinese Colonial town under Dutch protection’. (A History of Modern Indonesia Since c1300, Merle Calvin Ricklefs, 1993)

Since much earlier days, the indigenous community realising their worth, appointed Chinese as letter bearers and diplomatic brokers between kingdoms, and as respected advisers to the local ruling elite. Traditional Javanese law during the Mataram dynasty stated that a fine (Diya from Arabic, meaning ‘blood money’) for killing a Chinese was twice that for murdering a Javanese.

The Dutch initially allowed the Chinese to live inside the city walls, to ensure that their immense volume of trade could be easily taxed.

In the early 18th century increasing numbers of Chinese began arriving on the tea junks. The Dutch worried that such numbers posed a threat to security. They tried unsuccessfully to impose restrictions on Chinese migration. A glut in the sugar market led to the closure of several sugar mills, and many unemployed Chinese.

These unemployed workers began resorting to theft. The Governor-General decided in 1740 to enforce transportation of unemployed Chinese to Ceylon, to work in the cinnamon plantations. However rumour had it they were going to be dumped at sea, once over the horizon.

Frenzied bands of Chinese from outside the city, attacked. They were repulsed, but the wrath of the Dutch and Indonesians inside the city was turned on the Chinese living there. They burnt up to seven hundred Chinese homes and massacred over ten thousand Chinese.

Five hundred Chinese who were shut up in the Town Hall, were brought out and killed in cold blood.

Chinese quarter on the Grand Canal ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Chinese Massacre 1740

The trust between the Dutch and the Chinese was broken

Thereafter the Chinese lived south of the walled city, in the area now called Glodok or Chinatown.

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Batavia’s fame reached its peak in the early and middle 18th century when it was called the ‘Queen City of the East’. But financially the VOC was in trouble. The bottom had fallen out of the spice trade. Nutmegs and cloves were still regarded as pleasant flavourings in the kitchens of Europe, but they were no longer condiments that people would risk their lives for, or pay in gold to obtain.

Smuggling of seedlings out of Maluku meanwhile meant that Britain and France were now producing crops in their own Indian Ocean territories. But on a wider scale the economy of the entire region had slumped. Japan – a traditional market for tropical products from the Archipelago, had closed its doors to foreign trade.

Corruption had become endemic in the VOC. To obtain an administrative post, a junior Company merchant might be expected to pay an amount to the administration board, almost ninety times the value of his monthly salary. The death of one chief VOC cashier in Batavia revealed that a million guilders had disappeared from the treasury on his watch. By the late 18th century graft had become so normal that the Company staff were being formally taxed on their illicit incomes. One VOC official supposedly on a salary of sixty guilders a month, filed a self-assessed tax return for a staggering thirty thousand guilders.

Those who weren’t engaged in energetic graft, were either dying or depressed. The ‘Queen of the East’ had lost her glamour. Although new waves of Chinese had taken over the shop-houses left empty in the wake of the 1740 massacre, Batavia’s population had dwindled. Many corners of the city had been abandoned; the once smooth-flowing canals had become choked with sewage and rubbish. Indeed Batavia had become ‘one of the most unwholesome spots on the face of the globe’

Mortality was horrific. A new European arrival in Batavia, it was said, had barely a fifty percent chance of surviving his first year. For all its downsides however, Batavia was probably the most sophisticated European settlement east of Suez.

Between 1602 and 1795, the VOC sent some 5,000 ships from the Netherlands to the Archipelago, carrying a total of around a million Europeans; the vast majority were male. Inevitably these early generations of Dutchmen, like the foreign settlers before them, had availed themselves of local wives and concubines. As a result, Batavia and other VOC held cities became home to large populations of mixed-race Indo-Europeans. By the late 18th century this community was the standard source of colonial wives. These Java-born women were often illiterate. Most spoke pidgin Portuguese or Malay by preference. Many knew no Dutch at all.

All of this – the corruption and collapse of trade, disease, and the dearth of marriageable women – had combined to cast a pall of perpetual gloom over Batavia. Observers would be forgiven for predicting that the Dutch were set to go the same way as the Portuguese, who had come and gone before them.

Had things continued in this fashion, the Javanese might have been able to shake the Dutch off altogether, and reasserted outright sovereignty over all of Java, with the outer islands of the Archipelago following suit.

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The French Revolution

But 7,500 miles away from Java, on a July day in 1789, a mob of revolutionaries attacked a large fortification in Paris. The storming of the Bastille and the launch of the French Revolution, set in motion events that would change not only the political map of Europe; they would change the course of history in the Archipelago as well.

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At the end of 1794, a French army stormed across the Low Countries to invade the Netherlands. At the same time an internal republican revolution unseated the ruling Prince William of Orange. He fled across the channel to his royalist friends in England, and a Napoleonic government was set up in his place.

One of the first things the new administration of the Netherlands did, was to cast a critical eye over the accounts of the VOC. The results were unbelievable. The company had been cooking its books, to cover up internal corruption and maladministration, for the best part of two hundred years. An endless relay of short-term loans was used to pay the dividends demanded by the shareholders, and the whole enterprise had accumulated a staggering 134 million-guilder debt.

The Heeren XVII, the Seventeen Gentlemen, who had presided over this charade, were unceremoniously evicted from their chambers. On the first day of January 1800, the VOC was declared bankrupt and formally dissolved.

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The Dutch-Napoleonic Era

The Dutch-Napoleonic Government nationalised the debts and possessions of the VOC. It was renamed the Dutch East Indies, but nobody knew what to do with it.

The most notable proposal came from a man named Dirk van Hogendorp, who had worked in both British India and Dutch Java. He concluded that the traditional VOC approach of indirectly extracting labour and payments from the peasants of the Archipelago through local middlemen ought to cease. Instead van Hogendorp suggested the villagers should be made individually responsible for the land they worked. This would allow a colonial government to extract taxes directly from the commoners without having to work through fossilised layers of a co-opted indigenous elite.

The political situation in Europe meant putting such ambitious plans into practice would prove challenging. The Napoleonic wars were in full swing, and the Netherlands had become a de facto enemy of Britain, meaning its overseas territories were fair game for English attack. Low-level naval warfare in the Indian Ocean was hampering communications between Amsterdam and Batavia, and colonial finances were uncertain.

In 1806 however, Napoleon installed his brother Louis on the throne of the Netherlands. Louis Bonaparte, original Italian Luigi Buonaparte, (born 1778, Ajaccio, Corsica – died 1846, Livorno, Italy), was Napoleon I’s third surviving brother. He was King of Holland from 1806 to 1810. Louis Bonaparte’s early career was spent in the army, and he served with Napoleon in Egypt. Louis had a poor mental condition at times, and supposedly suffered from periods of mental illness. Louis’s ‘poor mental condition’ may have been periods of depression caused by trying to hide his homosexuality. These periods of depression would plague Louis until his death.

One of King Louis first proclamations was to despatch a new Governor-General to the Dutch East Indies. His name was Herman Willem Daendels.

Dirk van Hogendorp ~ ~ ~ ~ King Louis of Holland ~ ~ ~ ~ Herman Willem Daendels ~ ~

Herman Willem Daendels was born in 1762 in Hattem in eastern Netherlands. He studied law at the University of Harderwijk. A fully paid-up adherent to Napoleonic ideals, he had been sent to the Archipelago with specific instructions – to shake the colony out of its corrupt lethargy, assemble a defence against any British intrusion, and liberalise the administration.

For the previous 200 years, every single governor-general had already served time in the Archipelago before his appointment. Some had started out as common soldiers in the VOC army, or as a cabin boy on a Dutch ship. But this new sixty-sixth governor-general was a high-flying executive, plunged directly from Europe on a mission to overturn age-old practices. In doing so, Daendels would demonstrate all of the uncompromising energy – and all of the fiery temper – of his long dead predecessor, Jan Pieterszoon Coen.

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He arrived in Batavia in the wet January of 1808, when the city was at its diseased and mud-splattered worst. But he lost no time in kicking the complacent inhabitants into line. Daendels ordered the crumbling, mosquito-filled fort at the northern head of the city be demolished at once, and set about building modern military living quarters in the less feverish fields to the south. The new barracks were filled with a rapidly expanded army of local recruits, plus Napoleonic regiments from Europe.

He improved the deteriorating sanitary conditions by filling in many of the canals in the old town, which were responsible for such exotic diseases as remitterende rotkoortsen (intermittent rotting fevers), and rood loope (red diarrhoea) and constructing a new hospital.

All this was enough to put plenty of noses out of joint in the old-established Dutch community. But worse was to come. Daendels had been ordered to ‘cure the abuses of the company’. He took a moral stand against the slavery that had been a feature of Archipelago life for centuries. (Although only when it served his purposes – at one point he ordered the purchase of 750 slaves from Bali to serve as soldiers.)

He also began to enforce the long-ignored anti-graft measures. None of this made him popular with the entrenched European residents, but it was the high-ranking Javanese who really over reacted against Daendels and his radical anti-feudalism.

The VOC had always farmed out the administration of its territories to local regents, drawn from mid-ranking Javanese aristocracy. These administrators had been allowed to behave as feudal lords. They made up the very layer that van Hogendorp had suggested be removed. It was inevitable that Daendels would look unfavourably upon them. They were aristocrats after all, and in the Napoleonic scheme of things aristocrats were generally for the chop. He was not able to actually send these regents to the guillotine, but he did begin to treat them as what they technically were – government employed civil servants.

Daendels even went so far as to regard the post-Mataram courts of Surakarta and Yogyakarta in a similar light. Daendels wanted no one to mistake who was in charge. He radically rewrote the rules for his residents at the royal courts. No more were they to take the role of Dutch ambassadors to a sovereign power – and no more were they to respectfully remove their hats when approaching the sultan. They were instead, he wrote ‘to give the rulers an impression of power and splendour of the present Royal Government in Holland and of the protection of the great Napoleon’.

Unsurprisingly, all this went down disastrously in central Java. For a long spell Dutch and Javanese teetered on the brink of outright hostilities.

But before he had time to really stir up the Javanese courts, the new Governor-General had to embark on the most ambitious engineering project Java had seen, since the temple building heyday of the Hindu-Buddhist era. He had instructions to build a modern road, so troops could move with speed, from one end of Java to the other.

It was certainly needed. The slow advance of the Mataram armies along atrocious mountain trails, had been one of the reasons that early Batavia had withstood the sieges of the 1620s. There had been little improvement since then. Almost all communications between Batavia, Semarang and Surabaya still went by sea. But with English frigates prowling the Java Sea from their outposts on the Straits of Melaka, an alternative was essential.

Daendels presided over the building of an 870 mile (1,400 kilometre) highway from Merak in the west, through Batavia, up to the mountains around Bandung, down to Cirebon, and then all the way along the coast to Panurukan in the east. It was called De Grote Postweg, the ‘Great Post Road’.

The road was completed in less than a year, and cut transport time from forty to six days. However Daendels was forced to abandon his haughty ideals about the ‘Rights of Man’ to see it through. His original job description had instructed him to ‘improve the lot of the common man and protect him from arbitrary treatment’. But now Daendels called upon the very Javanese regents he held in such distain, to organise forced labour for the Great Post Road project.

Tollgates were erected along the completed sections, and leased to the most profit minded Chinese and European usurers (a person who lends money at unusually high interest rates). Government lands were sold off to rapacious private investors to raise construction funds. The death toll was enormous – labourers died in their thousands as they hacked their way over jungle hillsides or through malarial flatlands.

The Great Post Road was an engineering triumph. But Daendels had made endless enemies amongst the old guard, His methods of implementation were often harsh. They were based on the unfortunate view (shared by many of his compatriots) that the Javanese were inherently apathetic and lazy. When word of his apparent megalomania (delusional fantasies of power) reached Europe, his masters became rather nervous. In 1810 they ordered his removal on the grounds of ‘rapacity, brutality and incompetence’, although officially the reason given of his recall was of ‘ill-health’.

Upon returning to Europe Daendels had a meeting with Napoleon in Paris. He then joined Napoleon’s army and fought in the disastrous 1812 invasion and retreat of Russia. After Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in 1815, and the Netherlands regained its independence, Daendels offered himself Holland’s King Willem I. The King was not fond of the former Patriot and revolutionary figures in general, but nevertheless, he was offered a job as Governor-General in Ghana. Daendels died at Elmina Castle, in Ghana, aged 55 as a result of malaria, on 8 May 1818.

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Daendels Java replacement in 1811, was another Napoleonic officer, Jan Willem Janssens. But Janssens would survive a little more than three months before the baton that had been thrown down by Daendels would be picked up by an ambitious English civilian by the name of Thomas Stanford Raffles.

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Why is Indonesia the world’s largest Moslem country?

As mentioned earlier, Java was well known to Indian and Chinese scribes from the beginning of the 5th century. The trading ships that came from India helped the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism. According to some historians Islam may have originally come from southern India, whose Muslim traders arrived in this region in the 13th century.

The kings and political leaders of Indonesia seemed ready to convert to the religious beliefs of the latest traders to come to town, and their followers were gradually forced to followed suit.

The Portuguese and Spaniards governments actively promoted their Roman Catholic faith wherever they traded. How is it that the Dutch (who were predominantly Calvinists or Protestants), did not do likewise?

[* Currently Indonesia is home to 12.7% of the world’s Muslims, followed by Pakistan 11%, India 10.9% and Bangladesh 9.2%. *]

The Eighty Years’ War or Dutch War of Independence (1568 – 1648), was fought between Catholic Spain and the mainly Calvinist Dutch. Spain attempted a policy of strict religious conformity for the Catholic Church, within its domains, and enforced it with the Inquisition.

The Reformation meanwhile produced a number of Protestant denominations which gained followers in the Netherlands Seventeen Provinces. These included the Lutheran movement of Martin Luther, the Anabaptist movement of the Dutch reformer Menno Simons, and the Reformed teachings of John Calvin.

During the Twelve Years’ Truce (between 1609 and 1621) in the Eighty Years’ War, the Netherlands experienced a civil war along religious lines, between orthodox and liberal Calvinists. The orthodox Calvinists won, and the head of state of the County of Holland Johan van Oldebarnevelt was executed. Calvinism became the de facto state religion and political offices could only be occupied by Calvinists (and in some cases, Jews). Other Christian religions were mostly tolerated, but were not permitted to practice their religion in public. Judaism was allowed in public; Lutheranism only in larger cities on the condition of maintaining Calvinist church interior styles without crucifixes, as known in Scandinavian cathedrals.

In 1648 the Independence of the Netherlands was recognised by the Treaty of Westphalia. The Netherlands included the seven relatively independent Protestant provinces, but also included two Northern provinces (currently North Brabant and Limburg) which were Roman Catholic.

The Netherlands became known among Anglicans, many Protestants and Jews for its religious tolerance and became a refuge for the persecuted and a home for many of these migrants. The proportion of first-generation immigrants from outside the Netherlands among the population of Amsterdam was nearly 50% in the 17 th and 18th century. Jews had their own laws and formed a separate society; many Jews, especially from Antwerp, migrated to Amsterdam.

The Netherlands also hosted religious refugees, including Huguenots from France and Puritans from England (the most famous of the latter being the Pilgrims who migrated to America).

We can infer that as a result of the religious wars in the Netherlands, a separation of Church from State was imposed in its outlying colonial dominions ~ that is why Indonesia remains mainly Muslim instead of Protestant.

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This first edition covers the history of Djakarta, Indonesia, from the earliest human habitation, up to the days of the Dutch, circa 1811 CE. Our next edition will illuminate the period from the British occupation to the Declaration of Independence in 1945.



1. Indonesia: Land under the Rainbow, Mochtar Lubis, Oxford University Press, Singapore, 1990

2. A Brief History of Indonesia, Tim Hannigan, Tuttle Publishing, Singapore, 2015

3. Some Architectural Design Principles of Temples in Java, Parmono Atmadi, Gadjah Mada University Press, Yogyakarta, 1988

4. Early Mapping of South East Asia, Thomas Suárez, Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd, Singapore, 1999

Duncan MacDonald[
__]founder of dMAC Group in Asia [

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Thank you for reading my dMAC Digest. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to leave me a review at your favourite e-retailer.

Best regards
Duncan MacDonald

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About the Editor

Photo by Melbourne The Photographer

Duncan MacDonald is an Australian currently living in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is married to Shinta Dewi Sanawiya, muse, mate, motivator and President Director of the business he founded in 1993, dMAC Group in Asia.

Duncan believes the best way to improve the wellbeing of any community is to concentrate on Education and Health. This Digest endeavors to present an easily read summary of historical items which you may find educational, coupled with the latest information to improve and protect your family’s health.

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Discover other titles by Duncan MacDonald

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More information on Duncan MacDonald is available on: www.dmacdigest.com

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dMAC Digest Volume 5 No 3 ~ Djakarta Journal # 1

Jakarta, Indonesia, in all its various guises - at times under the influence of Chinese, Indians, Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japanese, dates back over two thousand years. This is a snapshot of some the main events that led to the modern, thriving, cosmopolitan city it has become. This first edition covers the history of Djakarta, from the earliest human habitation, up to the days of the Dutch, circa 1811 CE. Our next edition will illuminate the period from the British occupation, to the Declaration of Independence in 1945

  • ISBN: 9781311167118
  • Author: Duncan MacDonald
  • Published: 2015-10-16 08:35:13
  • Words: 10106
dMAC Digest Volume 5 No 3 ~ Djakarta Journal # 1 dMAC Digest Volume 5 No 3 ~ Djakarta Journal # 1