Retelling the story…
A Timeline (of Greed)
The expedition Dias undertook in 1486 turned back upon reaching Southern Africa. Then Columbus reached Central America on Oct 12, 1492 and proceeded to make a number of misassumptions. He believed that he was in the East Indies (Indonesia) since setting out to create a short cut for the spice trade. By the sixteenth century, the Portuguese and Spanish arrived and divided that part of the world between themselves.
Vasco de Gama sailed to India around Southern Africa during 1498. The Portuguese from Goa – their principal base in India, established a Portuguese commercial empire with important centres in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Malacca and the East Indies in the early sixteenth century.
By the time Marco Polo visited North Sumatra at the end of the 13th century, the first Islamic states were already established there. Thus, a strong Muslim empire had developed with its centre at Malacca on the Malay Peninsula. Its influence was shortlived and it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. The Dutch displaced the Portuguese and began making inroads into Indonesia.
Malacca was contolled as a colony of the VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie). The Dutch preferred Batavia (present day Jakarta) as their economic and administrative center in the region and their hold in Malacca was to prevent the loss of the city to other European powers.
European traders first arrived in the early sixteenth century seeking to monopolize the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in the Moluccas.
Jepara was an important port in early 1513. The Son of the King of Demak Sultanate, Pati Unus led an attack against the then Portuguese Malacca. His force is said to have been made up of one hundred ships and 5000 men from Jepara and Palembang but was defeated.
Magellan did not discover the Philippines but arrived in the Philippines in 1521. The country was named after King Philip II of Spain in 1543, twenty-two years before Spain established a permanent colonial presence.
In 1596, the first Dutch ships arrived in Indonesia. The Dutch seized the important port city of Jakarta on Java. They drove out all other Europeans and began to take control of other islands. The archipelago became a Dutch colony and was known as the Dutch East Indies.
To acquire control of the nutmeg trade, in 1619 the ruthless 31 year old Dutch Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen exterminated Banda’s indigenous population.
One of the worlds oldest and most famous shipwrecks that was lost without trace, was the ‘Batavia’ of the VOC (Dutch East India Company), on her maiden voyage to the Spice Islands in 1629.
The legendary Sultan Kudarat of Maguindanao maintained a stronghold in Lamitan town until the Spaniards under the command of Governor General Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera crushed it in 1637. Jesuit missionaries arrived a few years later.
The next great chapter in the spread of coffee around the globe was driven by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, which obtained seedlings and started cultivation in their Batavia colony (now Java, Indonesia).
VOC established a refreshment post between Europe and Batavia for passing ships at the southern most tip of Africa, calling it the “Cape of Good Hope” in 1652.
By the early seventeenth century, Dutch accounts of Sulawesi record the presence of large numbers of Bajau around Makassar. Following Makassar’s defeat by Dutch and Bugis forces in 1669, many of these communities are said to have dispersed to other islands in eastern Indonesia.
In the early 17th century, Kalimantan became a scene of conflict between the British and the Dutch colonial empires, which led to the present day division of Borneo between Indonesia and Malaysia.
Since the Dutch had introduced coffee to Indonesia, the French took coffee plants with them to Martinique and the Spanish established plantations in the Caribbean, Central America and Brazil.
Soybeans first grew in the United States in 1765 and were introduced in Korea, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, and northern India.
During the early 18th century, many secular Jews from the Netherlands arrived and became merchants and shop-owners. There were approximately 25000 Jews in Indonesia by 1770, as a result of persecution in parts of Europe.
In 1799, the VOC shamefully collapsed due to mismanagement and corruption, was declared bankrupt and dissolved.
In the 17th century, Malacca ceased to be an important port, the Johor Sultanate became the dominant local power in the region, due to the opening of its ports and the alliance with the Dutch.
The war between Acehnese and Dutch, which began in 1873, is striking in the war that wages today between Acehnese and the Indonesian army.
In the early part of the seventeenth century, the English came to power in Indonesia. The English abandoned Indonesia in 1824, and shifted their interest to Singapore since their conflict with the Dutch in Malacca.