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The Chronological History of the Dutch in Bali

by Tri Setiya

Bali was recorded to become one of the colonialized islands during the Dutch rule in Indonesia. The colonial system of the Dutch in Indonesia was so cruel and greedy. Although Bali is a small island with a narrow area, but the island has several kingdoms such as the Kingdom of Buleleng and Karangasem so that the Dutch government wants to control some of the kingdom’s territory.

The Dutch desire to control Bali began in 1841 and all kings in Bali were forced to sign an agreement which contained the king in Bali to acknowledge and persuade the Dutch government. This arbitrary Dutch attitude got resistance from the people of Bali. To see more about the story, here we provide the history of the Dutch in Bali.

  1. The arrival of Dutch in Bali (1846 – 1949)

During this period Dutch intervention began in Bali in the context of “pasification” of the entire archipelago. In a process that unintentionally aroused this sentiment of Indonesian nationalism, areas that had not been handled by the Batavian administration were tried to be controlled and put together under administration.

The Dutch entered Bali due to a number of things: some royal rules in Bali that were considered to interfere with Dutch trade interests, Bali’s refusal to accept the monopoly offered by Batavia, and requests for assistance from Lombok Islanders who felt treated unfairly by their rulers (from Bali).

Read also: Effects of Dutch Colonialism in Indonesia

  1. Bali Resistance to the Netherlands in 1846-1908

This period was a time of resistance to the arrival of the Dutch in Bali. These resistancse were marked by the eruption of various wars in the Bali region. It can be described as follows:

  • War of Buleleng (1846)
  • Jagaraga War (1848–1849)
  • Kusamba War (1849)
  • Banjar War (1868)
  • Puputan Badung (1906)
  • Puputan Klungkung (1908)

With the victory of the Netherlands in the entire war and the fall of the Klungkung kingdom in the hands of the Dutch, it means that Bali has completely fallen to the Dutch.

Read also: History of Dutch Colonization in Indonesia

  1. The agreement between Dutch and Bali

The Dutch desire to control Bali has always been unsuccessful because Bali was still conservative (still in force or tradition), namely the right to grasp coral which is considered by the Dutch to be very detrimental. In 1844, Dutch ships were stranded on the Buleleng Coast and subjected to coral reef laws. The Dutch refused and showed disrespect, which always interfered with royal affairs in Bali by filing demands.

All claims filed by the Dutch government against the people of Bali were rejected so that in 1846 the Dutch attacked the North Bali region and forced the King of Buleleng to sign a peace agreement.

Read also: History of Slavery Indonesia

4. Bali under the Dutch Collonialism

Since the kingdom of Buleleng turned to the Dutch, the Dutch government began to intervene in the matter of governance in Bali. This was carried out by changing the name of the king as the regional ruler with the regent name for the Buleleng and Jembrana regions and placing P.L. Van Bloemen Waanders is the first controleur in Bali.

The structure of government in Bali is still rooted in the structure of traditional government, which is still activating traditional leadership in carrying out governance in the regions. In the area of ​​Bali, the position of king is the highest authority, which at the time of the colonial government was accompanied by a controleur.

In the field of accountability, the king is directly responsible to the Resident of Bali and Lombok, which is based in Singaraja, while for South Bali, the kings are responsible to the Resident Assistant based in Denpasar. To meet the needs of administrative staff, the Dutch government opened a first low school in Bali, namely in Singaraja (1875) known as Tweede Klasse School.

In 1913 a school named Erste Inlandsche School was opened and then followed by a Dutch school with the name Hollands Inlandshe School (HIS) whose students mostly came from noble and wealthy children.

Read also: Prohibition In Bali Island

  1. Bali People’s Movement Organization

As a result of the influence of education obtained, young students and several people who had obtained a job in the city of Singaraja took the initiative to establish an association with the name “Suita Gama Tirta” which aims to promote Balinese society in the world of science through religious teachings.

Unfortunately this association is not long. Then a number of teachers who were thirsty for religious education established an association named “Shanti” in 1923. The association had a magazine called “Shanti Adnyana” which later changed to “Bali Adnyana”. In 1925, Singaraja also established an association named “Suryakanta” and had a magazine called “Suryakanta”.

Here is the Short Chronology of Bali’s resistance to the Dutch

  • A Dutch fleet was prepared consisting of 23 warships and 17 other ships, the force consisting of 1,280 soldiers and armed with 115 rifle muzzles. Then on June 20, 1846, the fleet was dispatched under the direction of Rear Admiral Engelbertus Batavus van den Bosch to Besuki, Bali and a week later to Buleleng, Bali.
  • The fleet was brought to the ship with a force of 1,700 soldiers, among them 400 European soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Gerhardus Bakker.
  • Then the King in Bali was given an ultimatum 3 times in 24 hours, which was issued on June 17. But the day when the expedition to Buleleng happened, it just passed.
  • The following day the Dutch fleet arrived under the leadership of officer Abraham Johannes de Smit van den Broecke under the protection of a sea rifle.
  • More than 10,000 Balinese soldiers prevented the landing but failed and attack troops advanced to the rice fields which had been surrounded by Buleleng troops.
  • The force was available to 3 under the leadership of Major Cornelis Albert de Brauw, Major Boers and Captain J.F. Lomon.
  • All resistance work was carried out and the following day Dutch troops advanced to the capital of Singaraja, Bali and conquered the city.
  • The Balinese people numbered around 16,000, including 1,500 people armed with firearms under the leadership of I Gusti Ketut Jelantik.
  • After the Dutch landed the Balinese people withdrew to their position in Jagaraga which was only about 4 kilometers away from the initial position.
  • The Dutch then attacked the enemy in Jagaraga despite the intense heat.
  • Balinese people strike back and drive out Dutch troops where on the Dutch side there have been around 200 deaths, so they have to board the ship again.
  • After this defeat, the Dutch returned to the next expedition in 1849 with a greater force of around 4,177 troops.
  • The War of Jagaraga II lasted for 2 days and 2 nights (April 15-16, 1849) and showed the heroic spirit of the struggle of the Balinese in expelling the Dutch colonization.

Those are the history of the Dutch colonialism in Bali. No matter what, the struggle of Balinese people had given the deep role toward the struggle for against the colonialism. It could be seen from the war that were conducted in Bali.

Read also: History of Bali Architecture

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