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THE WORLD CIVILIZATIONS AND INDIA , PART-72

INDONESIA ( SERIES -5 )

INDONESIA DURING COLONIAL PERIOD

EUROPEANS by 16th century started settling down in the EAST INDIES . The PORTUGUESE , SPANISH , DUTCH and ENGLISH MEN dominated the spice trade at its sources like KERALA in INDIA and MALUKU in INDONESIA . MALUKU or MOLUCCAS was also called ‘SPICE ISLAND’. Previously the ASIAN MUSLIMS specially ARABS used to carry on their spice trades to EUROPE through their VENETIAN outlets in the MEDITERRANEAN . Due to such monopoly of spice trades by the ARABS/ ASIAN MUSLIMS ( OTTOMAN TURKS ) the price of spices in EUROPE was quite high . As we know that before 16th century the EUROPE was not much advanced or dynamic market as such . And the EUROPEANS were busy in their renaissance and reforms after long years of CRUSADES and the continuous threat from the TENT EMPEROR CHENGIZ KHAN , a nomad king of MONGOLIA , who had shook up ASIA and EUROPE— both after becoming the GREAT KHAN/KAGAN in and around 1206 AD as such . And only major expansionist force of that time was ISLAM as OTTOMAN TURKS had conquered CONSTANTINOPLE in 1453 AD , while ISLAM had started spreading in INDONESIA and the entire EAST INDIES .

THE PORTUGUESE COLONIALISM IN INDONESIA

The PORTUGUESE were the first EUROPEANS who arrived in INDONESIA . NUTMEG , once one of the world’s most valuable commodities , drew one of the first EUROPEAN colonial powers to INDONESIA . The NUTMEG plant was native to INDONESIA’S BANDA Island . After conquering MALACCA in 1512 AD , the PORTUGUESE turned towards INDONESIA with only purposes : 1. TO DOMINAT THE SOURCES OF VALUABLE SPICES ; and 2. TO EXTEND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH MISSIONARY EFFORTS . Alliance with local Rulers and with military powers , the PORTUGUESE conquered MALUKU and established trading posts on the Islands of TERNATE , AMBON and SOLOR as such . However , the PORTUGUESE presence in INDONESIA was reduced to SOLOR , FLORES and TIMOR ( PRESENT DAY NUSA TENGGARA ) following their defeat at the hands of the indigenous TERNATEANS and the DUTCH in MALUKU . So , simple contributions of PORTUGUESE in the development of INDONESIAN history and culture were quite small and limited to : 1. THE ROMANTIC KERONKONG GUITAR BALLADS ; 2. A NUMBER OF INDONESIAN WORDS WHICH REFLECTED PORTUGUESE ROLE AS LINGUA FRANCA ; and 3. MANY FAMILY NAMES IN EASTERN INDONESIA such as da Costa , Dias , de Fretes , Gonsalves , etc . Thus , the PORTUGUESE impacts on INDONESIA were of two folds only : 1. the disruption and disorganization of the trade network in the region and 2. the first planting of CHRISTIANITY in INDONESIA .

THE DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY (VOC) IN INDONESIA

After the DUTCH parliament awarded the DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY (VOC) the monopoly of trade and colonial activities in the EAST INDIES region in 1602 AD , the VOC conquered the west JAVAN city of JAYAKARTA in 1619 AD . They founded the city of BATAVIA , presently known as JAKARTA , and made it its capital for operation of trade of spices as such . Apart from that , they started interfering in the internal politics of JAVA of that period . Simultaneously , they waged numerous wars with the leaders of MATARAM and BANTEN . They followed the PORTUGUESE’S inspirations , courage and strategies with better organization , superior financial backing , sofisticated weapons and grand ships . Despite that , though they failed to monopolize the spice trades of INDONESIA , yet they were much more successful than their predecessor like PORTUGUESE . They first exploited the factionalism of the small kingdom of JAVA . Then they established a permanent foothold in JAVA . And from there only grew a land-based colonial empire which once became the world’s richest colonial possession as such . In 1641 AD , the DUTCH captured MALACCA from PORTUGUESE and thus weakened the power of PORTUGUESE in ASIA . They also conquered SULAWESI city of MAKASSAR in 1667 AD , thus bringing its trades under their own control . By expelling PORTUGUESE in 1660 AD , they captured SUMATRAN’S various ports and kept them under their own control . To establish monopoly on spice trades , the DUTCH helped the son of the Ruler of BANTEN in overthrowing his father in 1680 AD . Simultaneously , they also drove away the BRITISH from there . And thus , the DUTCH established themselves firmly in the INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO by the 18th century . The VOC established their bases in some ports of JAVA , MALUKU , SULAWESI and the MALYAN PENINSULA also .

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NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .

TO BE CONTINUED ………….

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Published by arbind kumar

I had been a researcher. Presently in service.

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