- Batavia, Dutch East Indies
Batavia was the name of the capital city of the
Netherlands Indiesfrom 1619to 1942. Its name is now Jakarta, the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia.
Before the Dutch
In the 15th century AD there was, at the mouth of the
Ciliwung Riverin the western part of Java Island, a harbour called Kalapa. It was one of the sea ports of the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaranwhose capital, Pakuan, was situated on the location of the modern city of Bogor, some 60 km upstream on the river.
The Portuguese, who had conquered
Malaccain 1511 and wanted to set foot in the Moluccas, the famed " SpicesIslands", were looking for a relay harbour on Java. Kalapa was attractive to them, all the more so since Pajajaran, which was still a Hindupolity, could make an allied against Muslims who dominated the regional trade at that time. In 1522, the Portuguese signed with Pajajaran a treaty.
In 1527 Fatahillah, a prince from the
Banten kingdom, attacked the Portuguese garrison. Banten had just freed itself from the overlordship of Pajajaran. On the ruins of the Portuguese fort, he founded the town of Jayakarta ("victorious act" in Sanskrit).
1595, Amsterdammerchants had set up an expedition to be sent to the Indonesia archipelago. Under the command of Cornelis de Houtman, the expedition arrived in Banten in 1596. The goods it brought back to the Netherlands only produced a modest profit to the merchants who had set up the expedition.
1600the Dutch set up the Dutch East Indies Company, "Vereenigde Oostindie Compagnie" in Dutch or VOC. In the Moluccas, the Dutch took a first Portuguese fort in 1605. Jan Pieterszoon Coenwas appointed the VOC governor general for the Moluccas. He too wanted to set up an establishment in Java. He took Jayakarta in 1619. On the ruins of the Javanese town, he founded Batavia, which he named after the ancestors of the Dutch people, the Germanic tribe of the Batavians.
In 1613, prince Rangsang became king of
Mataramin Central Java. The following year, he attacked the principality of Surabayain the east. The man who would be remembered as Sultan Agunghad started a series of successful campaigns against rival kingdoms and principalities on Java. In 1625, in addition to Central Java, Mataram was in control of central and eastern parts of the island's northern coast, called the " Pasisir". Now Agung wanted to take on Banten and Batavia.
Agung launched a first offensive on Batavia in 1628. Having suffered heavy losses, he had to retreat. he launched a second offensive in 1629. The Dutch fleet destroyed his supplies and his ships in the harbours of
Cirebonand Tegal. Mataram troops, starving and decimated by illness, had to retreat again.
However, Agung pursued his conquering ambitions to the east. He attacked
Blitar, Panarukanand the Blambangan principalityin Java's eastern salient, a vassal of the Balinese kingdom of Gelgel. Agung died in 1646. His son succeeded him under the title of Susuhunan Amangkurat.
*Lombard, Denys, "Le carrefour javanais"
*Ricklefs, M. C., "A History of Modern Indonesia since c. 1300"
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