The Socio-Political Conditions of Indonesia during Dutch Imperialism

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Iqbal Ahmed Qureshi


Europeans penetration in Indonesia Islands began with the invasion of Portuguese in the 16th century. They entered the strategically located Islamic regions and trading Centre of Malacca in 1511. After maintaining the naval and commercial control of Malacca, they went on to extend their suzerainty to Moluccas. From the very beginning Portuguese had concentrated their major resources to maintain their dominance in these Islands to extract the maximum benefits out of it. They had "involved themselves in the constant conflict between the two major and rival Sultanates of Ternate and Tidore in Moluccas." Later on Spaniards had entered in Philippines, continued their attempt to gain a foothold in Indonesia but Portuguese forces defeated them decisively in 1545. In spite of the external threats to their rule, Portuguese established trading posts in these areas. The downfall of Portuguese began when they murdered the Sultan of Ternate in 1570. This act provided an opportunity to Spaniards to intervene the Indonesian Islands against the Portuguese. The six years bitter war ended with the virtual elimination of the Portuguese from the Moluccas Island. When Portuguese fell under Spanish rule, their holdings in Indonesia were "reduced to the eastern half of the Islands of Timor and Malacca which were later on captured by the Dutch forces."

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