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1595 AD - Really the Netherlands began to colonize the archipelago

Penjajah / Invader (Ilustrasi)
Jakarta (DreamLandLibrary) - Colonialism (imperialism) is a policy of expanding control or power over a foreign territory / body / state / kingdom (which is colonized), as a means of acquisition and / or maintenance by the kingdom, or a country (superior / colonialist), both directly through territorial conquest, or indirectly through the method of implementing control in the political and / or economic fields of a kingdom / state / government.

The history we have received at school tells us clearly, that the Indonesian state (Nusantara) was colonized by the Dutch state for 350 years. If ordered from the year of independence of RI, 1945, it means that the Dutch state has colonized the Indonesian state since 1595 (1945 minus 350).

To answer whether it is true that history said that during the time that the Indonesian state was colonized by the Dutch state, it would be better if we took a sneak peek at the historical journey back, roughly, what happened in that year (before, a moment and after), both in the Netherlands itself and in Indonesia. Briefly and briefly will be presented below.

VOC (Before) Period

Republic of the Seven Nederlanden States (Period 1588-1795)

The Netherlands itself was previously part of the Kingdom of Spain, or called the Habsburgse Nederlanden region which consists of 17 provinces based in Brussels, and is coordinated by a staten-general (a kind of governor general). Each province itself is led by a governor (staat houder), although there are several provinces led by one governor.

The background of the formation of the Republic of the seven Nederlanden states (hereinafter referred to as the Dutch Republic) itself was due to the 80-year war (1568-1648), between the Kingdom of Spain (Filips II), and seven provinces, out of the 17 provinces of the Habsburgse Nederlanden region which wanted to secede from the kingdom of Spain. This struggle was led and led by Willem van Oranje, governors of the provinces of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht.

The war itself took place, because the governor general of the Spanish kingdom, Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, imposed a taxation system (Tiende Penning) which was very burdensome to the 17 provinces under his power. Seven of his 17 provinces felt unhappy about the enactment of this policy, and decided to rebel followed by a breakaway war. Although this war itself lasted 80 years, but diplomatic relations between the warring parties were interrupted for 12 years thereafter.

After the war was over (80 years), European history also noted that throughout the course of the Dutch Republic, the Republic was still at war with several neighboring countries (regions), as shown below:

1. United Kingdom: 1652-1654; 1665-1667
2. France: 1672-1678; England, Munster, and Cologne: 1672-1674
3. France: 1688-1697
4. Spain: 1701-1714
5. Austria: 1740-1748
6. United Kingdom: 1780-1784

Meanwhile, in the 15-16th century, the spice trade in Europe was dominated by the Portuguese and Spanish (united). The Dutch Republic who fought with Spain had to find and support its own needs for the spices.

Finally, the three Dutch traders, Jan Huyghen van Linschoten and Cornelis de Houtman, discovered the "secret route" of Portuguese shipping, which brought Cornelis de Houtman's first voyage to Banten, the main port on Java in 1595-1597.

In 1596 four expedition ships, led by Cornelis de Houtman, sailed towards the archipelago (Indonesia), and were Indonesia's first contact with the Dutch. The expedition reached Banten, the main port of pepper in West Java, where they were involved in a feud with the Portuguese and the local population.

Houtman sailed again eastward through the north coast of Java. They were attacked by local residents in Sedayu, resulting in the loss of 12 crew members. They were also involved in a feud with local residents in Madura causing the killing of a local leader.

After losing half of the crew, it was in 1597 that they decided to return to the Dutch Republic but the spices they brought were enough to make a profit.

VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie), 1602-1798

Is this VOC? History clearly notes that VOC is a trading company. Although many had the privilege of the government of the Dutch Republic at the time, the VOC was neither a state nor a government.

The VOC itself was only formed on March 20, 1602. The reason for the formation of this company was purely, because of trade competition with other companies from other countries, both from countries that were at war / war, or not. Call it, for example the company The Britisch East India Company which was founded in December 31, 1600, based in Calcutta, India.

VOC adalah perusahaan multinasional pertama di dunia. VOC juga adalah perusahaan pertama di dunia, yang mengeluarkan saham/stock. VOC disebut sebagai perusahaan multinasional, karena VOC sendiri adalah gabungan dari ke-12 perusahaan nasional yang telah berdiri sebelumnya di Republik Belanda pada saat itu, yaitu : Compagnie van Verre, de Nieuwe Compagnie, de Oude Compagnie, de Nieuwe Brabantse Compagnie, de Verenigde Compagnie Amsterdam, de Magelaanse Compagnie, de Rotterdamse Compagnie, de Compagnie van De Moucheron, de Delftse Vennootschap, de Veerse Compagnie, de Middelburgse Compagnie en de Verenigde Zeeuwse Compagnie.
The 12 companies are shipping trading companies that compete with each other. Considering the difficult situation in the Dutch Republic at that time because in addition to fighting against Spain, as well as trade competition from other countries / kingdoms, a meeting of all traders / shareholders / owners of the 12 companies above was held, to unite the ideas in forming one multinational company, namely the VOC.

The VOC could be big and glorious, indeed, it was not without the support of its own government at that time (anyway, all companies today in this world also, have the support of their own government, please help). What was the form of support for the Republican government at that time, as outlined in the Octrooi (Charter of the Charter), such as:

1. Monopoly rights to trade for 21 years

At that time, people were not familiar with the terms anti-monopoly law or anti-cartel law. In this super-modern era, humans still practice this kind of monopoly, just look like for example the OPEC oil cartel, or the monopoly of state companies on the grounds of the interests of the public / many people, etc.

2. The right to have soldiers / soldiers

This is only natural, apart from reasons for safety in shipping to sea pirates, also because at that time the situation in Europe was at war and in turmoil. Every ship that sails is equipped with war equipment and soldiers to guard against the possibility of war, if it meets a ship from a warring country, for example.

In this super modern era, we also often find companies using soldiers who are equipped with war equipment to secure the "area" of their business. For this, try to compare the reader yourself with Freeport, for example, who "owns" rented soldiers from both the Indonesian National Police and Indonesian Armed Forces.

3. The right to declare war

The VOC, on behalf of the Governor-General, was able to declare / carry out war, build a fortress that was initially motivated purely because of the situation at that time which was at war or at war with the Spanish-Portuguese nation. That is why in Indonesia there are so many historical relics of VOC strongholds equipped with cannons.

In this era, multinational companies can do the same thing even though the method is somewhat different of course. A multinational company can influence its own government, to "pressure" other governments in place of business.

Then try to see what is the safeguard of foreign multinational companies in Indonesia, even without cannons, large walls, high, and accompanied by barbed wires, even more sinister than the VOC's historical fortress itself.

In 1603, the VOC only obtained permission in Banten to establish its business in the archipelago. In 1605, in collaboration with the people of HITU (Maluku) expelled the Portuguese from the Moluccas. HITU residents at that time did not like the Portuguese. For this collaboration, the VOC obtained its permission to conduct clove monopoly trade in the Maluku region.

In the course of the VOC in the archipelago, the VOC tried to trade and enter into trade agreements with local kingdoms in the archipelago, naturally accompanied by competition with other European nations in the archipelago, such as: Portuguese, English, and Spanish, and even Chinese traders.

Trade competition between Europeans in the archipelago is also accompanied by war with one another. They conspired / allied with the local kingdom (Nusantara), entered into hostilities and fights with each other.

The archipelago itself both before and at the beginning of the entry of the VOC (and afterwards), consisted of splintered, united, and competing (warring) kingdoms with one another. After the glorious era of the Majapahit kingdom, the archipelago (from the Atjeh kingdom on the island of Sumatra, to the east of the kingdoms of Flores, Ternate and Tidore) consisted of small, powerful and divided kingdoms.

These divided kingdoms were not the political product and policy of the VOC in running its trading business in the archipelago, or even the result of the famous divide et impera politics. Even the local kingdom (the Archipelago) itself also made use of foreign powers (Europeans), in expelling foreign traders in its area, or even for the purpose of expanding its own kingdom.

As a trading company owned by capital owners, the VOC itself for the first time distributed dividends in 1610-1611. The VOC went bankrupt on 17 March 1798, due to many corrupt diseases in its body.

Earlier in 1795, after the Revolution in France, Napoleon and his army entered and occupied the Dutch Republic itself, which means the Dutch Republic, under French rule.

Period After VOC

French Occupation, 1795-1815

During this period the Dutch Republic itself underwent several name and government changes; in the period 1795-1801, the Dutch Republic was transformed into the Republic of Batavia, under the influence of French rule (de facto); then in the period 1801-1806 changed to Bataafs Gemenebest, the city / area of ​​the colony of the French Republic (de facto and de jure); after that in the period 1806-1810 became the kingdom of Holland, still under French occupation / power.

In this period the head of his own government was a king appointed by Napoleon, namely Lodewijk Napoleon Banaparte (Napoleon's own younger brother); finally in the period 1810-1815, the territory of the Dutch Republic itself was part of the territory of the French empire.

At the time the VOC went bankrupt, 1798, the Dutch kingdom which at that time had been transformed into the Republic of Batavia took over (nationalized) this company. From then on, all VOC debt and assets were the responsibility of the government of the Republic of Batavia.

It also means that all assets in the Archipelago belong to the Republic of Batavia, since the Batavian Republic at that time was finally under French rule, meaning that all assets owned in the Archipelago were also under French control. From the early 1800s it was known as the Nederlands-Indie, as the Batavian Republic (Dutch) colony in the archipelago.

In 1811, Britain (then war against France), defeated the power of the Republic of Batavia (part of the French Empire) in the Archipelago, and took control of the possessions and wealth of the Batavian Republic in the Archipelago, and appointed Thomas Raflles to be its governor general, 1811-1816.

Only after France lost the war (1814) from England, in accordance with the Vienna congress agreement (1815), France surrendered the sovereignty of Dutch territory back to the Dutch themselves. In accordance with the results of the Vienna congress, the Republic of Batavia was changed into the form of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (United Kingdom of the Nederlands), which consisted of several countries and autonomous regions, such as the present Kingdom of the Netherlands, current Belgium (until 1830), and part of the territory Luxembourg right now (or often we are familiar with the term BeNeLux).

Treasures in the archipelago that had been owned and controlled by the British were also handed over from England to the United Kingdom of the Nederlands, in 1816. The return of these assets and wealth was followed by the sending of massive military forces in the period 1816-1820 from the United Kingdom of the Nederlands, to the archipelago.

Cultuurstelsel, 1825

After experiencing war and revolution, the kingdom of the United Kingdom of the Nederlands needed huge funds to rebuild its destroyed territory, government and economy. Therefore, the governor general who at the time, ruled the archipelago (Nederlands-Indiƫ), Johannes van den Bosch proposed an idea to "drain" Java into a money / money making machine (profits), this proposal was set forth in Cultuurstelsel.

Javanese farmers were forced to plant sugar, coffee and indigo plants in an area of ​​1/5 of their land. Farmers do get wages from farm laborers, and not in the form of profits from the sale of agricultural products. Obviously the laborers' wages earned by farmers are very small when compared to the profit sharing system.

The Dutch government at that time agreed, and supported this program (cultuurstelsel), as well as stimulating its civil servants (ambtenaren) as well as indigenous regents (inheemse regenten), by providing a percentage of profits from the sale of agricultural products which happened to be at that time, the prima donna in trade import-export activities.

A very striking comparison between the provision of labor wages to workers (all landowners), with the percentage of profit sharing to government employees and indigenous regents, of course, causes feelings of hurt, jealousy, and lead to anger or rebellion. So it can be understood, if later in the course of history will arise resistance from the people at that time (due to injustice).

Conclusion and Conclusion

The author is not trying to discuss whether the VOC is a colonizer or not? Recorded in historical sources, that the VOC is a trading company owned by shareholders, operates and runs its business in a monopolistic manner. In today's business ethics, monopolistic actions are FALSE and are very "forbidden".

Even though in its trading practice, the VOC violated many human values, the author also did not try to refute this. Even if the form of alliance with local kingdoms in the archipelago to conquer and colonize other local kingdoms can conclude, that the VOC is a colonizer, the author also does not try to oppose this theory, please the reader concludes for himself whether the VOC is an invader or not.

The author can conclude, that the Dutch really existed for 350 years (from before independence) in the archipelago, since 1596, four expedition ships headed by Cornelis de Houtman sailed towards the archipelago (Indonesia), and were Indonesia's first contact with Netherlands.

The author can also conclude that the VOC is a trading company owned by the Dutch. The VOC does have special privileges, but it is not (like) the state, furthermore the VOC is not the government of the Dutch Republic or the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Therefore, the author can conclude, that: the Dutch colonial state itself in the archipelago only began to be carried out, around 1816, precisely when the VOC's assets that had been taken over by the Republic of Batavia, which had been controlled by the British before, were returned to the United Kingdom of the Nederlands. Now count yourself for how many years.


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