Batavia

Batavia
Item# NAGASAKIDEJIMA014

Product Description

Jakarta in Indoneshia

The first mention of Jakarta in the historical records was during the 4th century; at this time it was a Hindu settlement and port. Since this time, the city had been variously claimed by the Indianized kingdom of Tarumanegara, the Hindu Kingdom of Sunda, the Muslim Sultanate of Banten, the Dutch East Indies, the Empire of Japan and finally, Indonesia.

Jakarta has been known under several names: Sunda Kelapa, during the Kingdom of Sunda period; Jayakarta, Djajakarta or Jacatra, during the short period of the Banten Sultanate; Batavia, under the Dutch colonial empire; and Djakarta, or Jakarta, during the Japanese occupation and the modern period.

The Dutch fortress garrison, along with hired soldiers from Japan, Germany, Scotia, Denmark and Belgium, celebrated its triumph[citation needed], while the godowns of Nassau and Mauritius were expanded with the erection of a new fort extension to the east on March 12, 1619, overseen by Commander Van Raay. Coen wished to name the new settlement "Nieuw-Hoorn" (after his birthplace, Hoorn), but was prevented from doing so by the central government of the Netherlands East Indies[clarification needed], the Heeren XVII; instead, Batavia, became the new name for the fort and settlement. The name was derived from the Germanic tribe of the Batavi and it was believed that the tribe's members were the ancestors of the Dutch people during that time. Jayakarta was then called "Batavia" for more than 300 years.

The Javanese people were made to feel unwelcome in Batavia from the time of its foundation in 1619, as the Dutch feared an insurrection. Coen asked Willem Ysbrandtszoon Bontekoe, a skipper for the Dutch East India Company, to bring 1000 Chinese people to Batavia from Macao;[citation needed] however, only a small segment of the 1000 survived the trip. In 1621, another attempt was initiated and 15,000 people were deported from the Banda Islands to Batavia; on this occasion, only 600 survived the trip.[citation needed]

On August 27, 1628, Sultan Agung, king of the Mataram Sultanate (1613–1645), launched his first offensive on Batavia. He suffered heavy losses, retreated, and launched a second offensive in 1629. The Dutch fleet destroyed both his supplies and ships, located in the harbours of Cirebon and Tegal. Mataram troops, starving and decimated by illness, retreated again. Later, Sultan Agung pursued his conquering ambitions in an eastward direction and attacked Blitar, Panarukan and the Blambangan principality in Eastern Java, a vassal of the Balinese kingdom of Gelgel.

Following the siege, it was decided that Batavia would need a stronger defense system. Simon Stevin, a Flemish mathematician and military engineer, was employed to design a walled city. Stevin responded with a design representative of a typical Dutch city, criss-crossed with canals that straightened the flow of the river Ciliwung. Jacques Specx developed the design further, by creating a moat and city wall that surrounded the city; extensions of the city walls appeared to the west of Batavia and the city became completely enclosed. Only the Chinese people and the Mardijkers were allowed to settle within the walled city of Batavia.

In 1656, due to a conflict with Banten, the Javanese were not allowed to reside within the city walls and consequently settled outside Batavia. In 1659, a temporary peace with Banten enabled the city to grow and, during this period, more bamboo shacks appeared in Batavia. From 1667, bamboo houses, as well as the keeping of livestock, were banned within the city. Meanwhile, the city progressively became an attraction for many people and suburbs began to develop outside the city walls.

The area outside the walls was considered unsafe for the non-native inhabitants of Batavia. The marsh area around Batavia could only be fully cultivated when a new peace treaty was signed with Banten in 1684 and country houses were subsequently established outside the city walls. The Chinese people began with the cultivation of sugarcane and tuak, with coffee a later addition.

The large-scale cultivation caused destruction to the environment, in addition to coastal erosion in the northern area of Batavia. Maintenance of the canal was extensive due to frequent closures and the continuous dredging that was required. In the 18th century, Batavia became increasingly affected by malaria epidemics, as the marsh areas were breeding grounds for mosquitos. The disease killed many Europeans, resulting in Batavia receiving the nickname, "Het kerkhof der Europeanen" ("the cemetery of the Europeans").[13] Wealthier European settlers, who could afford relocation, moved to southern areas of higher elevation. Eventually, the old city was dismantled in 1810.

Batavia was founded as a trade and administrative center of the Dutch East India Company; it was never intended to be a settlement for the Dutch people. Coen founded Batavia as a trading company, whereby a city's inhabitants would take care of the production and supply of food. As a result, there was no migration of Dutch families and, instead, a mixed society was formed.

There were few Dutch women in Batavia. Relationships between Dutch men and Asian women did not usually result in marriage, as the women could not return to the Dutch Republic. This societal pattern created a mixed group of mestizo descendants in Batavia. The sons of this mixed group often travelled to Europe to study, while the daughters were forced to remain in Batavia, with the latter often marrying VOC officials at a very young age. The women's position in Batavia developed into an important feature of the social network of Batavia; they were accustomed to dealing with slaves and spoke the same language, mostly Portuguese and Malay. Eventually, many of these women effectively became widows, as their husbands left Batavia to return to the Netherlands, and their children were often removed as well. These women were known as snaar (“string”).

As the VOC preferred to maintain complete control over its business, a large number of slaves was employed. Batavia became an unattractive location for people who wanted to establish their own businesses.

Most of Batavia's residents were of Asian descent. Thousands of slaves were brought from India and Arakan and, later, slaves were brought from Bali and Sulawesi. To avoid an uprising, a decision was made to free the Javanese people from slavery. Chinese people made up the largest group in Batavia, with most of them merchants and labourers. The Chinese people was the most decisive group in the development of Batavia. There was also a large group of freed slaves, usually Portuguese-speaking Asian Christians, that was formerly under the rule of the Portuguese. The group's members were made prisoners by the VOC during numerous conflicts with the Portuguese. Portuguese was the dominant language in Batavia until the late 18th century, when the language was slowly replaced with Dutch and Malay. Additionally, there were also Malays, as well as Muslim and Hindu merchants from India.

Initially, these different ethnic groups lived alongside each other; however, in 1688, complete segregation was enacted upon the indigenous population. Each ethnic group was forced to live in its own established village outside the city wall. There were Javanese villages for Javanese people, Moluccan villages for the Moluccans, and so on. Each person was tagged with a tag to identify them with their own ethnic group; later, this identity tag was replaced with a parchment. Reporting was compulsory for intermarriage that involved different ethnic groups.

Within Batavia's walls, the wealthy Dutch built tall houses and canals. Commercial opportunities attracted Indonesian and especially Chinese immigrants, with the increasing population numbers creating a burden upon the city. Tensions grew as the colonial government attempted to restrict Chinese migration through deportations. On October 9, 1740, 10,000 Chinese were massacred and, during the following year, Chinese inhabitants were moved to Glodok, outside the city walls.

In the 18th century, more than 60% of Batavia's population consisted of slaves working for the VOC. The slaves were mostly engaged to undertake housework, while working and living conditions were generally reasonable.[citation needed] Laws were enacted that protected slaves against overly cruel actions from their masters; for example, Christian slaves were given freedom after the death of their masters, while some slaves were allowed to own a store and made money to buy their freedom. Sometimes, slaves fled and established gangs that would roam throughout the area.

From the beginning of the VOC establishment in Batavia, until the colony became a fully-fledged town, the population of Batavia grew tremendously. At the beginning, Batavia consisted of approximately 50,000 inhabitants and, by the second half of the 19th century, Batavia consisted of 800,000 inhabitants. By the end of the VOC rule of Batavia, the population of Batavia had reached one million.