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The coming of Europeans in Indonesia

The Arrival of Europeans in 15th century

The coming of Europeans to Indonesia took apart in shaping the country during the centuries soon after Islam came.The European sailed to Asia had traveled and reached Asia and especially Indonesia (wasn’t called Indonesia, yet) in 15th century for trading.  Attracted by the spices of the Far East, the Portuguese found their way to the spice islands of Maluku in 1509 and established trading posts. Their profits encouraged other European traders to come to the region. While the English explored the Malayan peninsula and the Spanish in the Philippines, the Dutch arrived in Indonesia.

In 1596, four Dutch ships arrived at Banten in Maluku after a difficult 14-month voyage during which more than half the crew members died. The few spices they took back to Europe caused so much excitement that, over the next 10 years, 65 more Dutch ships came to Indonesia in search of the spice trade.

The Dutch soon established a strong foothold in Jayakarta (today i’ts called Jakarta), which they renamed Batavia. They started sinking the ships of any other country found in Indonesian waters, forcibly took over the spice islands of Banda, and, after more bitter, bloody fighting, controlled as Sulawesi today. By the end of the 17th century, they controlled not only the spices but also monopolized the production of the coffee, sugar, indigo, pepper, tea, and cotton on several islands.
powerful Dutch East India Company (VOC in Dutch initials) was established to manage this trade and the huge profits made. ‘

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch expanded their control over all of Indonesia, which became known as the Dutch East Indies. The entire island of Java was run as a forced-labor camp, much like the 19th-century slave plantations of the southern United States. However, this domination was achieved at great military expense, and the constant resistance from the local people that the Dutch army experienced finally proved too costly. By 1799, the VOC went bankrupt in what was perhaps the largest commercial collapse in history. For a short time between 1811’and 1886,. Indonesia came under British rule, but then reverted to the Dutch.

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