Impact of Colonization on Indonesia
The establishment of the Dutch colonies in Indonesia was deeply resisted by the local people.
So many islands of the archipelago were won only by force of arms that it brought about disquiet among at least some back in Europe.
The conquest of southern Bali, which was only completed in the early twentieth century, was achieved by notable slaughter: the Balinese followed their tradition of puputan – a form of deliberate mass suicide.
On the 20th September, 1906, Dutch troops advanced with their guns on the King of Badung. The King, the court and his people, had no answer to the technology of the Dutch invaders and did the only thing they though that they could do: they advanced towards the Dutch en masse, ignoring orders to halt.
Eventually, at point blank range, the Dutch troops massacred some 1,000 unarmed Badungese, including the king.
Another 300 people were killed in the same way when the Dutch seized the remaining independent state on Bali, Klungkung.
However, the Dutch colonies in the so-called East Indies proved to be highly profitable.
The resources extracted from the islands were such that the huge Dutch budget deficit at the end of the eighteenth century was converted into a surplus in the early decades of the next century.
The Cultivation System introduced in the islands was intended to make sure that every colony turned a profit.
This was affected through ensuring that each village and higher level community would pay 20% of all of its wealth, including labour, to the colonial masters.
The canals, railroads and military installations of the Netherlands were built by the forced labour of Indonesians.
The Cultivation System ultimately failed because there was so much scope for abuse from those drafted into it.
Village heads and colonial officials, granted the power to determine the power to decide who would meet the taxation burden and who would escape were, inevitably perhaps, corrupted.
Famines followed and this led to widespread and uncontrolled migration as the dispossessed sought better opportunities for themselves and their families.
Social cohesion was negatively affected and this reduced the ability of the state (the Dutch colonialists) to control the collection and division of spoils.
A new plan was brought into operation which featured development of the infrastructure to create a colonial state which would encourage more participation by those colonized who might benefit from the situation.
Building schools, therefore, had the effect of producing an elite class which owed its privileges to the colonists, not to their own people or culture.