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Dutch East Indies

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The History of Indonesia

1670 - 1800

Court Intrigues and the Dutch

Available period links :

  •   100 - 1500
  • Ancient Kingdoms and the Coming of Islam
  • 1500 - 1670
  • Great Kings and Trade Empires
  • 1670 - 1800
  • Court Intrigues and the Dutch
  • 1800 - 1830
  • Chaos and Resistance
  • 1830 - 1910
  • Dutch Imperialisme
  • 1910 - 1940
  • New Nationalism
  • 1940 - 1945
  • Perang Dunia II
  • 1945 - 1950
  • War of Independence
  • 1950 - 1965
  • The Sukarno years
  • 1965 - 1998
  • The Suharto years



    VOC establishes outposts at Bengkalis (across the straits from Melaka) and Perak, both for controlling the trade in tin.

    Balambangan in easternmost Java becomes independent of Balinese rule.




    Trunojoyo unites Madura under his control, drives out Mataram forces.

    (Note: throughout this page, VOC stands for Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or the Dutch East India Company. The VOC had been granted many of the powers of a sovereign state by the government of the Netherlands.)



    Gunung Merapi erupts in Mataram.

    VOC recognizes Arung Palakka as King of Bone.

    In 1672, Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands with 100,000 soldiers. The Dutch had to open the dikes and flood the fields to prevent Amsterdam from falling to the French. However, since travel and communication were so slow in the 1600s and 1700s, these events had little effect on the activities of the VOC, which had the power to govern itself in any case.



    Famine in Mataram.

    Bugis under Arung Palakka attack Toraja.

    Makassarese unhappy with Arung Palakka settle in East Java.




    Rebellion in Mataram, with help from Trunojoyo. Makassarese exiles attack ports on north coast of Java. Trunojoyo of Madura takes Surabaya. Rebels appeal to Islamic sentiments among the common people against both the court of Mataram and the VOC.




    Trunojoyo defeats Mataram army at Gogodog.




    February VOC promises help to Amangkurat I.

    May VOC pushes Trunojoyo out of Surabaya, but Trunojoyo moves on to loot the court of Mataram at Plered. Both loyal and rebellious members of the family of Amangkurat I flee. Trunojoyo takes the royal treasury and retreats to Kediri.

    Banten forces occupy Cirebon and the Priangan.

    July Amangkurat I dies. The crown of Mataram (which was recovered by a VOC officer) goes to Amangkurat II. Amangkurat II seeks VOC help against the rebels.

    Balinese from Karangasem drive Makassarese off of Lombok.

    VOC occupies Sangir islands.




    Amangkurat II, without money to pay his debts to the VOC, promises to give up Semarang, his claims to the Priangan, and fees from coastal ports until debts are paid.

    VOC and Amangkurat II march on Kediri and destroy Trunojoyo. Arung Palakka and his supporters fight for the BOC as mercenaries.

    Inayatullah becomes Sultan of Banjar on Kalimantan.

    Throughout this period, the rulers of Mataram borrowed money from the VOC, which turned out to be a bad deal for both. The rulers of Mataram lost power and sovereignty, but the debts to the VOC were never fully repaid, and the VOC lost money year after year.



    Trunojoyo is captured and executed.

    VOC and Arung Palakka drive the remaining Makassarese out of East Java.

    Banten retreats from Cirebon and the Priangan.

    VOC makes an alliance with Minahasans at Manado.



    VOC forces attack rebel areas in Mataram.

    Pangeran Puger continues to run a court at Plered against Amangkurat II. Amangkurat II founds a new court at Kartasura (guarded by VOC troops), then drives Puger out of Plered.

    Banten declares war on VOC. Sultan Ageng is replaced in coup by his son, Sultan Haji, who seeks help from the VOC.

    VOC forces invade Madura, supposedly on behalf of Mataram. Cakraningrat II, uncle of Trunojoyo, takes power in West Madura. VOC retains control of East Madura.




    Pangeran Puger builds new force and retakes center of Mataram, but not Kartasura. VOC forces push him back and defeat him.

    VOC intervenes in Roti, puts allies in power.

    Karangasem begins trying to take Lombok.




    Sultan Ageng's supporters, including much of the population, retake Banten against his son. VOC reacts by taking Banten with superior firepower. VOC expels English and other European traders from Banten, and begins to control Cirebon, the Priangan, and Lampung. Syekh Waliyullah, Islamic scholar and enemy of the Dutch, is exiled to the VOC post in Ceylon.



    Surapati, a former slave and outlaw, now employed as a VOC soldier, attacks a VOC column, escapes, and is given refuge by anti-VOC members of the court of Mataram at Kartasura.

    VOC takes monopoly on pepper from Lampung.




    Post is founded at Bengkulu by English traders who had been forced to leave Banten.

    VOC forces treaty on Sultan of Riau.

    Sa'dillah becomes Sultan of Banjar.



    VOC sends an embassy to the Mataram court at Kartasura. Amangkurat II stages a fake attack on Surapati's residence, then turns to cut down VOC representatives and soldiers. The remaining VOC presence at court leaves for Jepara.

    Surapati leaves Kartasura for Pasuruan; begins building new kingdom.

    Amangkurat II sends secret letters to Johore, Minangkabau, English East India Co, even Siam trying to find help against VOC.




    Local leader on Bangka (claimed by Palembang) asks for VOC protection.




    Plot against VOC in Batavia fails; rebels flee to Kartasura.




    Amangkurat II attacks Surapati, but fails.

    VOC abandons outpost at Perak.




    VOC begins contacts with Bataks around Lake Toba, Sumatra.




    Sultanate of Asahan is founded on Sumatra, as a dependency of Siak.




    Arung Palakka, King of Bone, passes away.

    Sultan Muhammad Syah of Indrapura abdicates. VOC gains influence in the absence of a ruler there.




    King of Buleleng in Bali takes Balambangan on Java and returns it to Balinese rule.




    Surapati takes areas around Madiun.

    VOC introduces coffee cultivation to Java.

    VOC increases influence around Kutai on Kalimantan.

    Sultan Mahmud II of Riau is assassinated; civil war breaks out.




    Tahlilillah becomes Sultan of Banjar.




    Three years of confusion in the VOC ensue over the post of Governor-General.

    Sultan of Banjar tries to eject the British post there by force, but fails.




    Amangkurat II sends secret representative to VOC, hoping for help in the face of court intrigues.

    Antonio Coelho Guerreiro arrives as the first official governor of Portuguese Timor.

    During the 1700s, the Portuguese on Timor were limited to outposts along the northern coast only.



    Amangkurat II dies. Amangkurat III faces opposition from Pangeran Puger.




    Puger leaves the court of Mataram at Kartasura for Semarang, seeking VOC help. Puger gets support from Cakraningrat II of Madura. VOC accepts Puger as Susuhunan Pakubuwono I; their army takes Demak, other coastal areas.



    October 5 Pakubuwono I makes deal with VOC: Mataram debts to VOC are wiped out; East Madura goes to VOC control; Semarang is officially a VOC city after years of occupation; Cirebon is officially a VOC protectorate; VOC gets extensive trade rights; Javanese sailors must stick to their home waters; Mataram must deliver rice on demand to the VOC at a price set by the VOC.

    Army of Pakubuwono I with VOC help takes the court of Mataram at Kartasura. Amangkurat III flees to Surapati with the pusaka (emblems or heirlooms of the house of Mataram). Four years of warfare begin.

    VOC warehouse and docks in the Netherlands, from an old engraving.



    Surapati is killed, but the war on Java continues.

    Muhammad Mansur Jayo Ing Lago becomes Sultan of Palembang.




    VOC and Pakubuwono I of Mataram take Pasuruan; Amangkurat III flees to Malang.

    Cakraningrat III takes power in West Madura.

    Banjar finally throws out the British.



    Amangkurat III surrenders and is sent into exile by Dutch.  



    Dewa Agung (high king) on Bali moves court from Gelgel to Klungkung.

    VOC opens tin mines on Bangka.

    Around this time, many Bugis, who had been wandering as mercenaries or refugees due to the wars involving Makassar and Bone, began to settle on and around the Malay peninsula.



    British begin building Fort Marlborough at Bengkulu.

    Sultan of Tidore cedes claim on Irian Jaya to VOC.

    Komaruddin becomes Sultan of Palembang.

    After this time (especially after the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which ended 13 years of war between the European powers and their colonies) the Dutch and the VOC began to lose prominence, and Britain became the dominant colonial and naval power in the world.



    King of Mengwi becomes most powerful king on Bali.

    Surabaya rebels against Mataram with help from Bali.




    VOC takes Surabaya from rebels. Some rebellions continue in east Java.

    Cakraningrat III of Madura is killed by VOC soldiers while travelling to talks; Cakraningrat IV takes power.




    Amangkurat IV takes rule in Mataram. Court rebellion breaks out almost immediately; rebel princes flee eastward. Several more years of war continue.




    Rumors of a conspiracy against the VOC spread. Peter Erberfelt and several others are tried and executed.




    Bugis take over Riau and the entire Sultanate of Johore. Johore remains under Bugis influence for many years.

    VOC receives a monopoly on tin from Bangka and Belitung from the Sultan of Palembang.




    Rebel princes and Surapati's descendants in East Java are subdued by VOC forces.

    VOC begins compulsory coffee production in Priangan.

    For the next century, coffee from Java would dominate the world market.



    Badaruddin becomes Sultan of Palembang.




    Pakubuwono II takes power in Mataram.

    Bugis prince Arung Singkang takes Pasir and Kutai in Kalimantan.




    Court intrigues in Kartasura result in Pangeran Mangkunegara being sent into exile by Dutch.




    King of Roti becomes a Christian.




    Gov.-Gen. Durven and several other high officials are ordered to return to the Netherlands by the Heeren XVII for financial misdeeds.




    Malaria epidemic sweeps Batavia.




    Arung Singkang attacks Banjar.

    Mengwi defeats forces of Buleleng on Bali.

    Pakubuwono II agrees to heavier debt service payments to VOC; has minister Danureja sent into Dutch exile.




    Pakubuwono II transfers his claim to Balambangan to VOC. Balambangan, however, remains under Balinese influence.

    Official VOC archives in Batavia are founded.




    Plague in Batavia.

    Official VOC archives in Batavia are founded.




    VOC tells Pakubuwono II to exile Pangeran Purbaya.




    Arung Singkang attacks Bone and Makassar, but VOC drives him back.




    VOC begins a campaign to have "superfluous Chinese" deported to Sri Lanka or South Africa. Rumors spread that the Chinese, once aboard ship, will be killed at sea. Some Chinese begin arming themselves to resist. Anti-Chinese riots break out in Batavia in response to the perceived rebellion. 10,000 or more Chinese are killed, and the Chinese district is burnt down.

    Kingdom of Karangasem on Bali takes Lombok.




    Escaping Chinese from Batavia attack Semarang and Rembang; the VOC leaves Demak.

    Pakubuwono II changes sides, sends a force to attack VOC at Semarang, and destroys the VOC garrison at Kartasura.

    Cakraningrat IV declares allegiance with the VOC, starts taking East Java.

    Rival Governor-Generals of the VOC struggle in Batavia: Valckenier arrests Van Imhoff and sends him back to Europe. The Heeren XVII in the Netherlands names Van Imhoff as Governor-General. Valckenier is himself eventually arrested and jailed.




    Negotiations begin between VOC and Pakubuwono II as VOC and Cakraningrat IV spread their power. A popular rebellion under Sunan Kuning against VOC and Mataram takes hold in the countryside, then takes Kartasura.

    Cakraningrat IV retakes Kartasura from the rebels. VOC is suspicious, and orders Pakubuwono II to be put back on throne.




    Rebellion continues under Pangeran Mangkubumi, Pangeran Singasari, and Pangeran Mas Said.

    November 11 Pakubuwono II gives VOC Surabaya, Rembang, Jepara and claims to easternmost Java and West Madura. VOC receives a say in court appointments.

    Mixed-Portuguese locals attack VOC post at Kupang on Timor; VOC solidifies control of western part of Timor.

    VOC takes Bawean island.




    February 17 Pakubuwono II moves into the Kraton Surakarta.

    Cakraningrat IV wages war with the VOC and retakes much of Madura and East Java. He is eventually defeated by VOC, caught and exiled. Cakraningrat V takes title in West Madura.

    Gov-Gen Van Imhoff founds Buitenzorg (today's Bogor).

    Tamjidillah becomes Sultan of Banjar.




    Pangeran Mangkubumi, disgusted with capitulations to the VOC, announces full-scale rebellion. He is joined by Pangeran Mas Said.

    August 26 First VOC Post Office opened in Jakarta.

    VOC reestablishes presence in Perak.

    VOC receives Siak (across the straits from Melaka) from the Sultan of Johore.

    Bank van Leening founded by VOC to support trade.




    Bugis internal war begins over dissatisfaction with Arung Singkang.

    VOC decress that native law ("adat") will be in force in areas under its control outside of Batavia.




    Mangkubumi's rebel forces attack Surakarta.

    VOC sends Sultan of Banten into exile, makes his wife Ratu Sarifa regent but take direct control.



    December Pakubuwono II becomes sick, signs treaty giving full sovereignty in all Mataram to VOC. (Treaty is widely ignored.)

    VOC declares Pakubuwono III as heir to throne. Mangkubumi claims title for himself, rules from Yogya.

    Pakubuwono II dies.




    Mas Said attacks Surakarta for Mangkubumi.

    Rebellion in Banten against Ratu Sarifa and VOC. The rebels threaten Batavia and Lampung.

    Berau in east Kalimantan becomes independent.




    VOC forces destroy Banten rebellion; guerilla attacks continue against VOC plantations around Batavia.

    VOC extends control over Lampung.



    Mangkubumi considers negotiating with VOC, worries about possible disloyalty from Mas Said.

    Arung Singkang abdicates from power, continues guerilla attacks.



    Mangkubumi changes title from Susuhunan to Sultan, takes name Hamengkubuwono, is now Sultan Hamengkubuwono I.

    February 13 Treaty of Gijanti: Sultan Hamengkubuwono gets VOC recognition of title and lands.

    Hamengkubuwono I builds the Kraton at Yogyakarta.

    Mas Said, now without allies, attacks VOC force.

    Keraton Ngayogyakarta
    The famous Kraton of Yogya began construction in the 1750s.



    VOC signs treaty with chiefs on Savu.

    Mas Said attacks the new court at Yogyakarta.

    October Bugis begin a siege of VOC at Melaka.

    October 7 Hamengkubuwono I officially moves into the Kraton Ngayogyakarta.

    VOC sends a special ambassador to Banjarmasin. A trade agreement is reached.

    VOC makes agreements with local chieftains on Timor.




    February Reinforcements from Batavia force Bugis to end siege of Melaka.

    Mas Said agrees to negotiations. Overt hostilities end; Mas Said becomes Pangeran Mangkunegara I with his court also at Surakarta.

    The Courts of central Java as they were founded in the mid-1700s have continued down to the present day. There is still a Sultan of Yogya today, a Susuhunan of Surakarta, and a Pangeran Mangkunegara. The Sultan of Yogya still has special powers within the Daerah Istimewa or Special Area of Yogyakarta; the others retain their palaces and titles, but no special powers.



    January 1 VOC signs treaty with the Bugis.

    Najamuddin becomes Sultan of Palembang.




    VOC abandons fort at Linggi, near Melaka.




    VOC abandons fort at Siak.

    Kingdom of Karangasem on Bali defeats Buleleng.




    VOC expedition to Malang against descendants of Surapati captures Pangeran Singasari, who dies in custody.




    French expedition steals clove and nutmeg plants from Ambon, breaking the VOC monopoly.




    Chinese laborers in the Sambas area of Kalimantan revolt against the local Sultan and their Dayak overseers.

    English Captain James Cook visits Batavia.




    Last of Surapati's line is captured by VOC forces in Malang. Malang now falls under VOC control.

    VOC forces work to push Balinese out of Balambangan.

    Syarif Abdurrahman from Arabia founds Pontianak, becomes its first Sultan.



    Division of lands between Yogyakarta and Surakarta is formalized.  



    Bahauddin becomes Sultan of Palembang.




    Tahmidillah becomes Sultan of Banjar.

    Gunung Api on Banda erupts.

    The Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen is founded. (Its collections would later form the basis of the National Museum and National Library.)

    Sultan of Pontianak accepts VOC protectorate in exchange for recognition by the VOC as a Sultan.




    War breaks out between the Netherlands and Britain. Extra troops are sent to Java.

    Plague in Batavia.

    Smallpox epidemic on Sumatra.

    Islamic reform movement grows in Minangkabau.




    British take the Dutch outpost at Perak.




    The VOC, short of cash, asks the Netherlands States-General for financial assistance.




    VOC attacks Riau to prevent the British from taking over.

    October 29 VOC defeats Bugis forces in Riau. Sultan of Riau dies without a successor; VOC takes complete control of Johore and Riau by treaty. VOC builds fort on Bintan.

    Treaty of Paris ends the war with Britain, and opens the VOC controlled Indies to free trade.




    Future Hamengkubuwono II of Yogya builds fortifications around the Kraton.




    British found Penang in Malaya.

    Sultan of Banjar cedes sovereignty to VOC.




    Pakubuwono III is succeeded by Pakubuwono IV.




    Rumors spread that Pakubuwono IV is planning a massacre of Dutch in Java, and takeovers of the Yogya and Mangkunegara courts. Forces from Yogya and VOC surround Surakarta. Pakubuwono IV orders his advisors to leave court; VOC sends them into exile.

    Gold rush begins in West Kalimantan.




    VOC withdraws from Pontianak.




    Hamengkubuwono I dies and is succeeded by Hamengkubuwono II.

    VOC declares that Mangkunegara title and possessions are hereditary.




    January Dutch revolutionaries and French troops declare the Batavian Republic in the Netherlands. The Stadhouder of the Netherlands flees to London. The new Republic finds itself in a state of war with Britain.

    February 7 The Prince of Orange, stadhouder-in-exile of the Netherlands, issues a letter to all colonial governors telling them to surrender to the British. (The VOC in Batavia do not comply.)

    August VOC surrenders Melaka to the British East India Company.

    First census on Java.

    In 1795, the Netherlands were remade into the Batavian Republic under the control of revolutionary France. From this time, Britain started to take temporary or permanent control of many Dutch colonies.



    March 1 Heeren XVII transfer administration of the VOC to a government Committee for East Indian Affairs.

    Mangkunegara II inherits court, but much of the treasury is stolen by the VOC resident at Surakarta.

    British occupy Padang.

    British occupy Ambon. Riots break out in Maluku between villages. VOC fortress at Ternate refuses to surrender.



    Nederlands Zendelinggenootschap or Dutch Missionary Society is founded.

    This was the beginning of heavy activity by Dutch Protestant missionaries in Indonesia, not only to Java and Sumatra but also to very remote areas, eventually even to Irian Jaya.



    Napoleonic Dutch government revokes charter of VOC, assumes its debts and assets.

    Sultan of Tidore sets up subsidiary Sultan of Jailolo on Halmahera.

    The VOC was losing money to corruption and political intrigues. By the end of the 1700s, it was fully bankrupt. On January 1st, 1800, it ceased to exist.



    April 27 Committee for East Indian Affairs sends a letter of instructions to Batavia, stating that the revolutionary ideas of the Republic (liberty and equality) could not be applied to the Indies.

    Dutch officers under siege at Ternate mutiny and surrender to the British.

    By 1799, the British had taken all the former VOC possessions and protectorates in the area, except for Java, Banjarmasin, Palembang, western Timor and Makassar. Most of these were returned to the Dutch in 1802, only to be reconquered by the British a few years later.

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    The automatic Tracking option of Copernic   found this excellent link.
    Together with all the connected links it includes more than 250 pages, describing the history of Indonesia. But I couldn't find any homepage or e-mail link. The last update was performed in April 1998, so I was afraid that in future maybe, all the information get lost, as I know from experience when returning to a site after some time.....
    So I decided to open a mirror site with only the text as is shown in the original link.

    Please give your  reaction  


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    Last update :

    16 June 2000