For over centuries, Indonesian ancestors have struggled to their most terrible experience under colonization. It is reported in our history book that Indonesia was colonized six times before getting the sentence of freedom declaration.
Based on the history book, there were so many people hurt, tortured, slaved, killed, and even raped during the colonization time. Most of the countries that colonized Indonesia did those brutal and cruel things at that time which are true and not only about the popular Indonesian folktales.
That left a deep mark of sadness to whoever heard the Indonesian ancestor story while struggling with their life during the colonization era. Speaking of colonizing Indonesia, here we have six countries that colonized Indonesia cruelly. Let’s check them out below!
In around 1511, the Portuguese started to explore Indonesia by the Malacca strait after conquering Goa, India. They lead by Alfonso de Albuquerque, which brought the Portuguese to the first country that colonized Indonesia.
What brings Albuquerque comes to Indonesia? The history recorded about Europe’s crisis of spices and herbs after the fallen of Constantinople. Malacca becomes the most popular spices market around the 15 century and was heard by some European, including the Portuguese.
History recorded that the Portuguese colonized Indonesia within more than 90 years in around 15 centuries. They played a bad trick to control Indonesian herbs and spices that they found in the Banda Islands, Maluku.
At that time cloves, nutmeg, and pepper become the main commodity in Indonesia. Portuguese want them all with the lowest price, then they do whatever it takes by conquering the country cruelly and spreading their territory up to Java Island.
Spain becomes the second country that colonized Indonesia around the 15 century. It was led by Sebastian Del Cano that arrived in the Maluku islands around the year 1521. At that time, the Portuguese already conquering some areas of the islands in Indonesia.
Years after years, Spain and Portuguese were in conflict that triggered a war between them until the year about 1529. The war ended with the Saragosa agreement, which make Spain should leave Indonesia and go back to the Philippines.
3. The Netherlands
The Netherlands becomes one of the longest countries that colonized Indonesia. It is recorded in Indonesian history that Netherland colonized Indonesia for three and a half centuries that making Indonesia has the traditional Dutch-Indonesian food. They win over the Portuguese, England, and Spain troops around the 16 century.
At around 1602, Netherland started to conquer Batavia with their most phenomenal trading company of the VOC. By applying the Devide et Impera political system, years after years made the Netherlands conquer most of the Indonesian islands. They control the trade of herb and spices in Indonesia with the lowest price and slavering most Indonesian.
The cultivating system or Tanam Paksa becomes one of the most terrible things the Netherland do while colonizing Indonesia. They made locals cultivate so many herbs and spices to be farming in Indonesia, then they bring the harvest as a tax for the Netherlands that becomes one of the effects of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia.
During World War II, the Netherlands was controlled by Nazi Germany. That makes the country suffer the most and lose so many things. Two years after that, in 1942, the Netherlands was defeated by Japan and left Indonesia colonized by Japan.
France becomes one of the countries that colonized Indonesia, which happen around 1806. At that time, the country was already colonized by the Netherlands. Around that time, VOC reach their bankruptcy by the corrupted Dutch in most of the VOC segment so that France can easily defeat them.
France knows well about the VOC crisis and defeated Netherland during that time. That doesn’t make Netherland leave, but make the government in Indonesia was led by France within that time.
Under France’s colonialization led by Daendels, Indonesia specifically Java islands parted as per residential for the one to another area. They made the easiest way to control the island with the dictator system, which was led by Governor in every residential.
The slavery and Tanam Paksa that pioneered by Dutch colonialism are continuing with more cruel and dictator ways. Later in around 1811, England has come to Batavia and they defeated France. That becomes the end of the era of France colonizing Indonesia.
England becomes one of the countries that colonized Indonesia after defeating France. They continue to divide the area of Java Island into 16 residencies led by one Governor.
England even makes some changes to the slavery, Tanam Paksa, and trade system that makes Netherland refuse and argue it. That triggered a war between Netherland and England. The war was ended by the agreement around 1816 that bring Netherland to re-colonize Indonesia.
Japan becomes one of the countries that colonized Indonesia after the Netherland surrender to the Kalijati agreement between Japan and the Netherland in around 1942. Once Nazi Germany defeated Netherland, it affected the Netherland colonialism in Indonesia.
Different from the Dutch colonialism that builds some oldest train stations in Indonesia, Japan colonialism era even almost destroy them. They even use some of them to function as a prison for Indonesian who make suffer the most inside the prison.
Japan is popular with its brutal colonized system that made most Indonesian suffer and tortured the most. Based on Indonesian history, Romusha becomes the hardest part for Indonesian to struggle with Japanese colonialism.
Gladly, in around 1945 after Hiroshima was bombed attacked by the Nazis, Indonesia finally win over the Japanese troops by sentencing the freedom declaration. That becomes the most important moment for Indonesian as they were finally free from the suffering of Japan and other countries that colonized Indonesia.
So, six countries colonized Indonesia cruelly based on Indonesian history. Most of them bring suffer the most to the Indonesian ancestor from the way they tortured and hurt them for more than centuries.