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Colonial rule in Indonesia summary

Maret 11, 2016 | Summary

Colonial rule in Indonesia – The development of science and technology encouraged European peoples to look for new territories lutside Europe. One of the territories was Nusantara.

Colonial rule in Indonesia – European peoples sailed to Indonesia to do trade. They were Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English peoples. The motto of the European peoples in looking for new territories was Gold, Glory and Gospel. ‘Reconquesta’ (reconquering) was the spirit to destroy or take a revenge on the Muslims and centers of Islam all over the world.

Colonial rule in Indonesia – Trade competition had caused European people to build trade associations. The Dutch founded VOC in 1602, whereas British people built EIC in 1600. VOC got privileges from the Dutch government that gave it power to take control of different areas in Indonesia. One of the strategies applied by VOC to take control of a region was by implementing a divisive policy called devide at impera.

Some of the kingdoms which were put under control of VOC were Banten, Ternate-Tidore, Makasar, and Matara. Under VOC’s authority, people’s life was miserable because they had to pay tribute to VOC by delivering their harvests.

The regents and other aristocrats who were controlled by VOC forced people to submit most of their harvests. Regents who were succesful in collecting harvest from the people were given a lot of money and more authority over land.

They lived a prosperous life at the cost of people’s misery. The people did not have enough courage to oppose the regents and aristocrats because they were supported by VOC’s military. The system of government praticed by VOC was and indirect system because of the limited number of capable people to implement a direct system of government.

After rulling for 200 years, VOC went bankrupt because of resistance in different areas and severe corruption within VOC itself. VOC was then taken over by the Dutch royal government on 1 January 1800 including its debts and territories.

Indonesian people were then colonialized by Holland’s colonial government in Indonesia, with Batavia as the center of government. Before Dutch colonial government had full control of Indonesia, this region bahd been controlled by France under Willem Dandels (1808-1811), and England under Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (1811-1816).


Deveide at Impera is : a divisive policy used by the Dutch to take control of a given area.

Aristocrat (ningrat) is : member of elite social class especially in Java.

Saragosa Agreement is : agreement between the Postuguese and Spanish to end hostility due to competition for territorial control in the East. According to the agreement, the Spanish had to leave Maluku and go to Philippines, while Portuguese people stayed in Maluku.

Tribute is : compulsary present that is similar to tax given to authorities.

Please read more articles in : When will the Europeans come to Indonesia?

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