History of Jakarta

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Image of Batavia, capital of the Dutch East Indies in what is now North Jakarta, circa 1780

Jakarta is Indonesia's capital and largest city. Located on an estuary of the Ciliwung River, on the northwestern part of Java, the area has long sustained human settlement. Historical evidence from Jakarta dates back to the 4th century CE, when it was a Hindu settlement and port. The city has been sequentially claimed by the Indianized kingdom of Tarumanegara, the Hindu Kingdom of Sunda, the Muslim Sultanate of Banten, and by Dutch, Japanese and Indonesian administrations.[1] The Dutch East Indies built up the area before it was taken during World War II by the Empire of Japan and finally became independent as part of Indonesia.

Jakarta has been known by several names. It was called Sunda Kelapa during the Kingdom of Sunda period and Jayakarta, Djajakarta or Jacatra during the short period of the Banten Sultanate. Under the Dutch, it was known as Batavia (1619–1949), and was Djakarta (in Dutch) or Jakarta, during the Japanese occupation and the modern period.[2][3]

Old Batavia refers to the original downtown area of Jakarta and some of its historic buildings.

Early kingdoms (4th century AD)

The coastal area and port of Jakarta in northern West Java has been the location of human settlement since the 4th century BCE Buni culture. The earliest historical record discovered in Jakarta is the Tugu inscription, which was discovered in Tugu sub-district, North Jakarta. It is among the oldest inscriptions in Indonesian history. The area was part of the Indianized kingdom of Tarumanagara.

In AD 397, King Purnawarman established Sunda Pura, located on the northern coast of West Java, as the new capital city for the kingdom.[4] The capital of Tarumanagara kingdom was most probably located somewhere between Tugu sub-district North Jakarta and Bekasi Regency West Java. Purnawarman left seven memorial stones across the area, including the present-day Banten and West Java provinces, consisting of inscriptions bearing his name.[5]

Kingdom of Sunda (669–1527)

Padrão of Sunda Kalapa (1522), a stone pillar sealing the Sunda–Portuguese treaty, Indonesian National Museum, Jakarta.

After the power of Tarumanagara declined, its territories became part of the Kingdom of Sunda. According to the Chinese source, Chu-fan-chi, written by Chou Ju-kua in the early 13th Century, the Sumatra-based kingdom of Srivijaya ruled Sumatra, the Malay peninsula, and western Java (known as Sunda). The port of Sunda was described as strategic and thriving, with pepper from Sunda renowned for its supreme quality. The people of the area worked in agriculture and their houses were built on wooden piles.[6]

One of the ports at the mouth of a river was renamed Sunda Kelapa or Kalapa (Coconut of Sunda), as written in Hindu Bujangga Manik, manuscripts from a monk's lontar and one of the precious remnants of Old Sundanese literature.[7] The port served Pakuan Pajajaran (present day Bogor), the capital of the Sunda Kingdom. By the fourteenth century, Sunda Kelapa became a major trading port for the kingdom.

Accounts of 16th century European explorers make mention of a city called Kalapa, which apparently served as the primary port of a Hindu kingdom of Sunda.[1][dead link] In 1522, the Portuguese secured Luso Sundanese padrão, a political and economic agreement with the Sunda Kingdom, the authority of the port. In exchange for military assistance against the threat of the rising Islamic Javan Sultanate of Demak, Prabu Surawisesa, king of Sunda at that time, granted them free access to the pepper trade. Portuguese who were in the service of the sovereign made their homes in Sunda Kelapa.

Banten Sultanate (1527–1619)

Jayakarta in 1605 prior the establishment of Batavia.

To prevent Portuguese gaining a foothold on Java, Fatahillah, on behalf of the Demak attacked the Portuguese in Sunda Kelapa in 1527 and succeeded in conquering the harbour on June 22, after which Sunda Kelapa was renamed Jayakarta.[1][dead link][8][not in citation given] Later, the port became a part of the Banten Sultanate, located west from Jayakarta.[citation needed]

By the late 16th century, Jayakarta was under the rule of the Sultanate of Banten. Prince Jayawikarta, a follower of the Sultan of Banten, established a settlement on the west banks of the Ciliwung River, erecting a military post to control the port at the mouth of the river.[9][not in citation given]


Dutch East India Company (1610–1800)

Dutch mercantile activity to East Indies commenced in 1595. Over the next 25 years there was contention between the Dutch and British on the one hand, and between the Sultanate of Banten and Prince Jayawikarta on the other.

In 1602, the Dutch government granted a monopoly on Asian trade to the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC); literally[10] United East Indian Company).[11]:26[12]:384–385 In 1603, the first permanent Dutch trading post in Indonesia was established in Bantam, West Java. In 1610, Prince Jayawikarta granted permission to Dutch merchants to build a wooden godown and houses on the east bank of the Ciliwung River, opposite to Jayakarta. This outpost was established in 1611.[13]:29

The rivalry was ultimately resolved in 1619, when the Dutch established a closer relationship with Banten and militarily intervened at Jayakarta, where they assumed control of the port after destroying the existing city.[14] The new city built on the site was officially named as Batavia on January 18, 1621,[14] from which the Dutch East Indies eventually ruled the entire region.[citation needed] Batavia was under VOC control until the company went bankrupt in 1800.

Dutch East Indies (1800–1942)

Batavia in 1840, showing the growth of the city to the south of old Batavia.

After the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) went bankrupt and was dissolved in 1800, the Batavian Republic nationalized its debts and possessions, expanding all of the VOC's territorial claims into a fully-fledged colony named the Dutch East Indies. Batavia evolved from the site of the company's regional headquarters into the capital of the colony. The city gradually expanded to the south.

Map of Batavia in 1897

Japanese occupation

Sketch of the Japanese entry into Batavia

On March 5, 1942, Batavia fell to the Japanese. The Dutch formally surrendered to the Japanese occupation forces on March 9, 1942, and rule of the colony was transferred to Japan. The city was renamed Jakarta (officially Jakarta Tokubetsu Shi, Special Municipality of Jakarta, in accordance with the special status that was assigned to the city). The economic situation and the physical condition of Indonesian cities deteriorated during the occupation. Many buildings were vandalized, as metal was needed for the war, and many iron statues from the Dutch colonial period were taken away by the Japanese troops.[citation needed]

To strengthen its position in Indonesia, the Japanese government issued Act No. 42 1942 as part of the "Restoration of the Regional Administration System". This act divided Java into several Syuu ("Resident Administration" or Karesidenan) that were each led by a Bupati (Regent). Each Syuu was divided into several Shi ("Municipality" or Stad Gemeente) that were led by Wedanas ("District Heads"). Below a Wedana was a Wedana Assistant ("Sub-district Head"), who, in turn, oversaw a Lurah ("Village Unit Head"), who, in turn, was responsible over a Kepala Kampung ("Kampung Chief").

A Schichoo ("Mayor") was superior to all of these officials, following the law created by the Guisenken ("Head of the Japanese Imperial Administration"). The effect of this system was a "one-man rule" structure with no councils or representative bodies. The first schichoo of Jakarta was Tsukamoto and the last was Hasegawa.[15]

In 1943, the Japanese Imperial administration slightly revised the administration of Jakarta by adding a special counseling body. This agency was composed of twelve local Javanese leaders who were regarded as loyal to the Japanese; among them were Suwiryo and Dahlan Abdullah.[15]

National revolution era

The first ceremony of raising the flag of Indonesia in Jakarta

After the collapse of Japan in 1945, the area went through a period of transition and upheaval during the Indonesian national struggle for independence. During the Japanese occupation and from the perspective of the Indonesian nationalists who declared independence on August 17, 1945, the city was renamed Jakarta.[16] After the war, the Dutch name Batavia was internationally recognized until full Indonesian independence was achieved on December 27, 1949 and Jakarta was officially proclaimed the national capital of Indonesia.[16]

Following the surrender of the Japanese, Indonesia declared its independence on August 17, 1945. The proclamation was enacted at Jalan Pegangsaan Timur No. 56 (now Jalan Proklamasi), Jakarta, with Suwiryo acting as the committee chairman. Suwiryo was recognized as the first mayor of Jakarta Tokubetsu Shi. The position was soon altered to Pemerintah Nasional Kota Jakarta ("Jakarta City National Administration").

On September 29, 1945, Anglo-Dutch troops arrived in Jakarta to disarm and repatriate the Japanese garrison. They also planned on reasserting control over the colony.[17] On November 21, 1945, Suwiryo and his assistants were arrested by members of the Netherlands Indies Civil Administration.[15]

During the Indonesian National Revolution, Indonesian Republicans withdrew from Ally-occupied Jakarta and established the capital in Yogyakarta. Urban development continued to stagnate while the Dutch tried to re-establish themselves.

In 1947, the Dutch succeeded in implementing a set of planning regulations for urban development—the SSO/SVV (Stadsvormings-ordonantie/Stadsvormings-verordening)—that had been devised prior to the war. On December 27, 1949, the Dutch recognized Indonesia as an independent country and sovereign federal state under the name of "Republic of the United States of Indonesia". At this time, the Jakarta City Administration was led by Mayor Sastro Mulyono.


Monas, or the national monument, symbolizing the fight for Indonesian independence.

In 1949, construction began according to the Kebayoran Baru urban plan designed by Moh. Soesilo. It was completed in 1955. Kebayoran Baru is considered the first urban planning design that was created by an Indonesian.[citation needed]

In 1950, the Dutch left and their residences and properties were taken over by the Indonesian government in 1957. Once independence was secured, Jakarta was once again made the national capital.[18]

In the mid-1950s, driven by a sense of corruption and disproportionate government expenditure in Jakarta, there were proposals to relocate the capital. Those in support included Takdir Alisjahbana, who was unflattering in his depiction of the city. However, by 1957, these proposals were abandoned. Instead, the city's boundaries were expanded, and it became the Daerah Khusus Ibukota (DKI, Special Capital Territory), one of the provinces of Indonesia.[19]:201

The departure of the Dutch caused a massive migration of the rural population into Jakarta, in response to a perception that the city was the place for economic opportunities. The kampung areas in Jakarta swelled as a result.

Indonesia's founding president, Sukarno, envisaged Jakarta as a great international city and instigated large government-funded projects that were undertaken with openly nationalistic architecture—a newly independent nation's pride was on international display.[20] To promote nationalist pride among Indonesian people, Sukarno infused his modernist ideas into the urban planning initiatives that he approved for the capital city.

Some of the notable monumental projects of Sukarno are: the clover-leaf highway, a broad by-pass in Jakarta (Jalan Jenderal Sudirman); four high-rise hotels, including the Hotel Indonesia; a new parliament building; a stadium; the largest mosque in Southeast Asia; and numerous monuments and memorials, including The National Monument.


Since 1970, the national development policy has been focused primarily on economic growth and achievement. This situation encouraged the emergence of a large number of private housing projects, but government housing schemes have also been implemented to cope with the growth of urban populations. During this period, kampung improvement programs have been reintroduced to improve conditions in existing areas. The Kampung Improvement Programme of Jakarta, enacted by Ali Sadikin, the governor of Jakarta (1966–1977), was a success; the program won the Aga Khan Award for architecture in 1980. Sadikin was also responsible for rehabilitating public services, banning rickshaws, and clearing out "slum dwellers" and "street peddlers".[18] Despite the perceived success of this policy, it was discontinued for its over-emphasis upon the improvement of only physical infrastructure.[21]


During the 1980s, smaller land sites were acquired for high-rise projects, while larger parcels of land were subdivided for low-key projects, such as the building of new shophouses. This period also saw the removal of kampongs from the inner-city areas and the destruction of many historical buildings.[21] One infamous case was the demolition of the Society of Harmonie and the subsequent construction of a parking lot.

The period between the late-1980s and the mid-1990s saw a massive increase in foreign investment as Jakarta became the focus of a real estate boom. The investment of overseas capital into joint-venture property and construction projects with local developers brought many foreign architects into Indonesia. However, unlike the Dutch architects of the 1930s, many of these expatriate architects were unfamiliar with the tropics, while their local partners had received similarly Modernist architectural training. As a result, downtown areas in Jakarta gradually resembled those of the large Western cities; and often at a high environmental cost: high-rise buildings consume huge amounts of energy in terms of air-conditioning and other services.[21]

The economic boom period of Jakarta ended abruptly in the 1997 Asian financial crisis and many projects were left abandoned. The city became a center of violence, protest, and political maneuvering, as long-time president, Suharto, began to lose his grip on power. Tensions reached a peak in May 1998, when four students were shot dead at Trisakti University by security forces; four days of riots ensued, resulting in damage to, or destruction of, an estimated 6,000 buildings, and the loss of 1,200 lives. The Chinese of the Glodok district were severely affected during the riot period and accounts of rape and murder later emerged.[18] In the following years, including several terms of ineffective Presidents, Jakarta was a center of popular protest and national political instability, including a number of Jemaah Islamiyah-connected bombings.

Since the turn of the century, the people of Jakarta have witnessed a period of political stability and prosperity, along with another construction boom.

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "History of Jakarta". Jakarta.go.id. 8 March 2011. Archived from the original on June 8, 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. See also Perfected Spelling System as well as Wikipedia:WikiProject Indonesia/Naming conventions
  3. Lesson: Old Indonesian Spellings. StudyIndonesian. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  4. Sundakala: cuplikan sejarah Sunda berdasarkan naskah-naskah "Panitia Wangsakerta" Cirebon. Yayasan Pustaka Jaya, Jakarta. 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. The Sunda Kingdom of West Java From Tarumanagara to Pakuan Pajajaran with the Royal Center of Bogor. Yayasan Cipta Loka Caraka. 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Dr. R. Soekmono (1988) [1973]. Pengantar Sejarah Kebudayaan Indonesia 2, 2nd ed (5th reprint ed.). Yogyakarta: Penerbit Kanisius. p. 60.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Bujangga Manik Manuscript which is now located at the Bodleian Library of Oxford University in England, and travel records by Prince Bujangga Manik.(Three Old Sundanese Poems. KITLV Press. 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>)
  8. "History of Jakarta". BeritaJakarta.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "History of Jakarta". BeritaJakarta.com. The Jakarta City Administration. 2002. Retrieved August 16, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Liebenberg, Elri; Demhardt, Imre (2012). History of Cartography: International Symposium of the ICA Commission, 2010. Heidelberg: Springer. p. 209. ISBN 978-3-642-19087-2. The United Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch, literally "United East Indian Company")...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Drakeley S. The History of Indonesia. Greenwood, 2005. ISBN 9780313331145
  12. de Vries J, van der Woude A. The First Modern Economy. Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy, 1500–1815. Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN 9780521578257
  13. Ricklefs MC. A History of Modern Indonesia since c.1200. MacMillan, 2nd edition, 1991ISBN 0333576896
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Batavia". De VOCsite (in Dutch). de VOCsite. 2002–2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Jakarta Dalam Angka – Jakarta in Figures – 2008. Jakarta: BPS – Statistics DKI Jakarta Provincial Office. 2008. pp. xlvii–xlix. ISSN 0215-2150.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 Waworoentoe 2013.
  17. Jessup, John E. (1989). A Chronology of Conflict and Resolution, 1945-1985. New York: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-24308-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Vaisutis, Justine; Martinkus, John; Batchelor, Dr. Trish (2007). Indonesia. Lonely Planet. p. 101. ISBN 9781741798456. Retrieved December 11, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Cribb R, Kahin A. Historical Dictionary of Indonesia. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2nd edition ISBN 9780810849358
  20. Schoppert, Peter et al. (1997). Java Style, p. _.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Gunawan Tjahjono, ed. (1998). Architecture. Indonesian Heritage. 6. Singapore: Archipelago Press. p. 131. ISBN 981-3018-30-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Blusse, Leonard. An Insane Administration and Insanitary Town: The Dutch East India Company and Batavia (1619–1799) (Springer Netherlands, 1985).
  • Ricklefs, Merle Calvin (1993), A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, Stanford: Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-2194-7<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  • Schoppert, Peter; Damais, Soedarmadji & Sosrowardoyo, Tara (1998), Java Style, Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, ISBN 962-593-232-1<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  • Witton, Patrick (2003), Indonesia, Melbourne: Lonely Planet, ISBN 1-74059-154-2<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.

External links