Dutch victory; rebellion crushed
Diponegoro deported to Makassar
Commanders and leaders
Hendrik Merkus de Kock
Tentara Republik Indonesia
Korps Speciale Troepen (RST)
Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL)
Casualties and losses
15,000 dead (including 7,000 European soldiers)
20,000 dead in combat
200,000 total Javanese dead (including tens of thousands of
Dutch colonial campaigns
Cape Rachado (1606)
Banda Islands (1621)
Persian Gulf (1625)
Liaoluo Bay (1633)
Lamey Island (1636)
1st Bahia (1638)
2nd Bahia (1638)
New Netherland (1643–45)
2nd Colombo (1654)
New Netherland (1659–63)
Gold Coast (1782)
Cape Colony (1795)
Cape Colony (1806)
Gold Coast (1869–70)
Lombok and Karangasem (1894)
War with Japan (1941–45)
Indonesian Revolution (1945–49)
Java War or
Diponegoro War was fought in central
Java from 1825 to
1830, between the colonial
Dutch Empire and native Javanese rebels. It
started as a rebellion led by Prince Diponegoro, a leading member of
the Javanese aristocracy who had previously cooperated with the Dutch.
The rebel forces were held up by a siege at Yogyakarta, preventing
them from gaining a quick victory. This allowed the Dutch to raise and
ship in new troops. The rebels adopted guerilla tactics and held out
against Dutch forces for several years.
The war ended in Dutch victory when
Diponegoro was invited to a peace
conference, then betrayed and captured. Prompted by the cost of the
war, the Dutch colonial authorities implemented major reforms
Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies to ensure the colonies were
1 The cause
2 The war
3 End of war
The proximate cause was the Dutch decision to build a road across a
piece of Diponegoro's property that contained his parents' tomb.
Amongst other causes was a sense of resentment felt by members of the
Javanese aristocratic families at Dutch measures intended to restrict
the renting out of land at high prices. Finally the succession of the
Yogyakarta was disputed:
Diponegoro was the oldest son of
Hamengkubuwono III, but as his mother was not the queen he was not
considered to have the right to succeed his father. Diponegoro's rival
to the throne, his younger half brother, Hamengkubuwono IV, and then
his infant nephew Hamengkubuwono V, was supported by the Dutch.
Being a devout Muslim,
Diponegoro was alarmed by the relaxing of
religious observance at
Yogyakarta court, the rising influences of the
infidel Dutch in the court, as well as by the court's pro-Dutch
policy. Among Diponegoro's followers, the war has been described as a
jihad "both against the Dutch and the murtad or apostate Javanese."
The forces of Prince
Diponegoro were successful in the early stages of
the war, taking control of the middle of
Java and besieging
Yogyakarta. The Javanese population was supportive of Prince
Diponegoro's cause, whereas the Dutch colonial authorities were
initially indecisive. The Javanese peasantry had been adversely
affected by the implementation of an exploitive cultivation system,
which required villages to grow export crops to be sold to the
government at fixed prices.
Java war became prolonged, Prince
Diponegoro had difficulties
in maintaining the numbers of his troops. The Dutch colonial army,
however, was able to fill its ranks with indigenous troops from
Sulawesi, and later on with European reinforcements from the
Netherlands itself. The Dutch commander, General de Kock, raised the
Yogyakarta on 25 September 1825.
Diponegoro then began an extensive guerrilla war. It was not
until 1827 that the Dutch army were able to gain the upper hand
through the deployment of mobile detachments of colonial troops, based
in a number of small forts located throughout central Java.
It is estimated that 200,000 died over the course of the conflict,
8,000 of them Dutch.
End of war
The rebellion finally ended in 1830, after Prince
tricked into entering Dutch controlled territory near Magelang,
believing he was there for negotiations for a possible cease-fire. He
was captured through treachery and exiled to
Manado and then to
Makassar, where he died in 1855.
Because of heavy losses amongst the Dutch forces, the colonial
government decided to enlist African recruits in Gold Coast: the
so-called "Belanda Hitam" ("Black Dutchmen"), to augment its East
Indian and European troops.
Although the war had severely exhausted the Dutch finances, the
Java enabled the colonial government of Dutch East
Indies to implement
Cultuurstelsel ("The Culture System") in Java,
without any local opposition. Implemented in 1830 by the new governor
general, Johannes van den Bosch, this cultivation system requires 20%
of village land had to be devoted to government crops for export or,
alternatively, peasants had to work in government-owned plantations
for 60 days of the year. The policy brought the Dutch and their native
allies enormous wealth through the export of cash crops. It brought
Netherlands back from the brink of bankruptcy, and made the Dutch
East Indies a self-sufficient and profitable colony.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
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