From Prominent 17th Century Colonial Dutch Settlements to Modern Indonesian Urban Centers? The Different Destinies of Banten, Ambon, Jakarta, and Malacca and their Cultural Heritage

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Abstract

The Dutch arrived in the islands that now compose Indonesia in the 17th century, settling first in Banten (1600) and Ambon (1605) before establishing Batavia (1619) and taking over Malacca (1641) from the Portuguese. Referring to this network of strategic bases throughout the Nusantara region, this paper uses the element of urban cultural heritage to examine these four major trade hubs experienced very different destinies as a result of Dutch decisions. It also explores how shifts in political power after Indonesia’s independence influenced Jakarta’s dominance in modern-day Indonesia. The paper suggests that Dutch opportunism and strategic visions underpinned the decision to make Jakarta the center of colonial power in the 17th century century. It also concludes that Jakarta’s continued importance in political control and policies explains why it retained its position after Indonesia’s independence, and these have been supported by recent policy measures. Finally, this paper concludes that, despite its Dutch origins, urban cultural heritage has been embraced by Indonesians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-138
JournalJournal of East-Asian Urban History
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 30

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