Map of the Island of Java, 1700
In 1700, Java was part of a Dutch colony that had been administered through the Dutch East India Company (VOC) for almost one hundred years. The VOC controlled much of the spice trade in the area of what is today Indonesia and beyond that. Batavia (today known as Jakarta) was established as the VOC headquarters in 1619. Based on agreements with the native kingdoms on Java, only Dutch ships were allowed to trade in the archipelago and so the VOC became the dominant ruler in the area. The Dutch sent close to a million people to Indonesia in the 17th and 18th centuries to further strengthen its control over the region.
“Europe and a wider world, 1415–1715” by the British historian J. H. Parry comprehensively covers the Dutch colonial era in Indonesia.
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