History, Expansion of Colonialism and imperialism in Banten – After taking over Jayakarta and changing its name to Batavia, VOC tried to expand its territory. This made the Sultan of Banten furious because the area around Batavia belonged to Banten. Banten Sultanate, which was led by Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa strengthened its forces by recruiting Makasar people in Banten to be soldiers. This made Banten a lot of stronger, so VOC was unable to defeat it.
Realizing they could not defeat Banten by military power, VOC used another way, the ‘devide at impera’ or divisive policy. The target of the divisive policy was the family of Banten sultan that was undergoing an internal conflict.
Sultan Haji, one of the sons of the sultan of Banten was supported by VOC to take control of Banten, while Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa who reigned Banten with the support of almost strongly opposed VOC.
Due to VOC’s support, Sultan Haji’s troops could take over the power from Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa. Yet the success had to be repaid by signing an agreement which became quite advantageous to VOC in that Banten a subject of VOC, it granted trade monopoly to VOC, and the VOC was permitted to build a fort in Banten. By signing the agreement, Banten lost its independence and sovereignty in its relations with other countries.
Meanwhile, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa fled to the mountains and continued the struggle together with his men. However, in March 1683 Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa surrendered and was then imprisoned in Banten, after that he was moved to Batavia where he died in 1695.
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