History of Jakarta: From Sunda Kelapa, Jayakarta, Batavia to Jakarta

History of Jakarta – Jakarta is a metropolitan city as well as the capital of Indonesia located on the island of Java between West Java Province and Banten Province. The city has an area of about 664.01 km2 with a population of 9.9 million. Among all cities in Indonesia, Jakarta is one of the cities that ranks first in the area that has a population density.

This Glittering Metropolitan City is always eye-catching. In fact, not a few people are willing to go to Jakarta for a change. But behind the glitter and harshness of the city of Jakarta, of course, there is a lot of history that is not widely known. For example, like the history of the founding of this city that has never been quiet.

The History of Jakarta That Should Not Be Forgotten

Did you know? Before it was now called Jakarta, it turns out that this city has undergone a lot of name changes. Yes, the first name from Jakarta is Sunda Kelapa. One of the proofs that the name Sunda Kelapa is the name of Jakarta used to be proven by the existence of a Tugu Inscription embedded in North Jakarta.

The monument inscription is closely related to four other inscriptions that are believed to date back to the Hindu Kingdom era, namely the Tarumanegara Kingdom led by Purnawarman. The four inscriptions in question are the Ciaruteun inscription, the Kebon Kopi inscription, the Jambu inscription and the Lebak inscription.

While the name “Sunda” comes from the word Sunda Kelapa which appeared around the 10th century where there is an inscription Kebon Kopi II which is estimated to have existed since 932 AD. Around 1030-1579 a kingdom called Padjajaran was established in the West Java region. The existence of this kingdom is known precisely in the slate area which is now known as the city of Bogor.

The Arrival of the Portuguese to Sunda Kelapa

In 1513, the Portuguese arrived in Sunda Kelapa while the kingdom of Padjajaran was developing led by De Alvin. On this second trip the Portuguese came to Indonesia with the initial purpose of searching for the spices needed in the European region and to establish a trade fortress. The fort was then successfully built in 1522 after the Portuguese made a treaty called “Luso Sundanese Padrao” with the king of Padjajaran, Prabu Serawisesa.

After the treaty, the power of the Portuguese continued to develop which immediately made other kingdoms feel disturbed. Around 1526 – 1527, the kingdoms that are currently standing carried out an attack. The kingdom in question is the Demak Kingdom which was then assisted by the Kingdom of Cirebon under the leadership of Fatahillah.

From the attack, the Portuguese lost and Sunda Kelapa Fell to Prince Fatahillah. On June 22, 1527, the name of Sunda Kelapa was changed to Jayakarta on the proposal of Prince Fatahillah. Now on this date which is then commemorated as the Birthday of the City of Jakarta until now.

The Portuguese, who had lost the attack, were forced to leave Jayakarta. After the Portuguese’s departure from Jayakarta, the Dutch came under the leadership of Cornelis De Houtman. The Dutch came to Jayakarta as well as the Portuguese where they wanted to master spices and then trade them.

However, the trade that occurred at Jayakarta Port at that time was irregular, causing the Allies to lose to the British who both came to the Indies (Indonesian name at the time). This did not break the Dutch charcoal, they instead made a trade alliance strategy called the Verednigde Oostinidische Compagnie (VOC) around 1602.

The purpose of the founding of the VOC by the Dutch

The founding of the VOC was certainly not without reason. The VOC was formed with the aim of controlling the spice trade and seeking strength to avoid threats from the British-owned trade union, the East India Company (EIC).

The then VOC governor led by Pieter Both made Jayakarta for the administration and trade of the VOC at that time. In 1611, the VOC had the first task of building a house of wood with stones. The VOC built the house on approximately 1.5 hectares of land in the eastern part of the Ciliwung River.

In 1618-1623, a new Governor-General, Jan Pieterszoon Coen, was appointed who erected a building named Mauritius Hius. The building has high walls and stone walls around which a cannon is placed.

Some time later, Jan Pieterszoon re-ordered his army to build a wall with a height of 7 meters until the building became a fortress. After the construction was completed, the Dutch attacked Jayakarta. They grounded the city and eventually the Dutch managed to take Jayakarta from the kingdoms.

After controlling Jayakarta, Governor Coen finally changed the name of Jayakarta to Batavia which had previously come up with the idea with the name Nieuwe Hollandia.  Governor Coen also made a motto as the motto of Batavia, namely “Dispereet Niet” which means “Don’t Despair”.

On March 4, 1621, Jayakarta officially changed its name to Batavia which at the same time underwent a lot of changes. Batavia was originally located in the middle of the caste with very high walls and a moat. In the 17th century, a border was formed between Batavia and banten territory with the existence of the Angke river and the Cisadane River.

But the border makes it unsafe outside the fortifications as well as the walls. In 1659-1684 there was also a joint agreement where Banten and Mataram established the Cisaden area and also Citarum. But the glory of the VOC did not last long, in 1799, the VOC was officially dissolved due to bankruptcy, internal problems and corruption. The dissolution of the VOC was a welcome to the Kingdom of the Netherlands led by King Louis Napoleon.

In 1808 a new Governor-General, Willem Daendels, was appointed, who was very famous for his discipline. During the reign of Willem Daendels, many developments were carried out ranging from the weapons factory located in Batavia, the highway to the construction of fortifications.

Batavia Japanese Residency Period

Dutch rule ended in 1942 and cemented its power to the Japanese. The arrival of the Japanese to Indonesia certainly added to the suffering experienced by the Indonesian people at that time. The Japanese controlled Indonesia in a short but painful time. In history it is written that the Japanese colonized Indonesia in 1942-1945.

During its colonial period, Japan voiced propanda 3A with such tactics as to pretend to embrace the people in order to make its power acceptable. Japan trained young Indonesians to be ready for war by forming an organization called PETA.

Japan also promised independence by forming BPUPKI on March 1, 1945. Batavia, which had been established during the Dutch Rule, also underwent a name change to Jakarta. At that time Japan also decided to get involved in World War II.

The Role of Jakarta in Indonesian Independence

Japan’s involvement in World War II became a boomerang for the Country of the Rising Sun. In 1945, the allies dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities on August 6-9. The state of the country that is currently devastated has resulted in a vacuum in Japanese rule in Indonesia.

This of course made the young men insist on immediately proclaiming their independence. At that time, tensions had occurred with the old class. After going through a lot of events that occurred finally on August 17, 1945 on Jl. Pengangsaan Timur Number 56, Jakarta precisely at Soekarno’s house, the proclamation of independence was read.

The proclamation of independence was read by Soekarno who at that time was accompanied by Moh. Hatta. After the reading of the text of the proclamation was completed, the ceremony continued with the raising of the Red and White Saka.

Historical Figures of Jakarta

The establishment of Jakarta cannot be separated from the role of Jakarta’s historical figures  , including scholars. Many scholars in Jakarta played a role in defending the homeland, not even a few of them entered the battlefield against the Dutch and Japanese. Some of Jakarta’s famous historical figures from among scholars are Abdul Hanna Said, Ali Bin Abdurrahman Al Habsyi, Alwi Shahab, Maulana Kamal Yusuf, KH.

In addition to historical figures, the establishment of Jakarta is also inseparable from the role of cultural figures such as Abdul Hamid, Annisa Dia Sitawati, Abdulah Ruly, Benyamin Sueb, Dedy Mizwar and Biem Benyamin. But long before that, Prince Fatahillah was also one of the most important figures who had fought to seize Jakarta from the Portuguese hands.

The history of Jakarta does hold many memories for all Indonesians, especially the indigenous people of the capital city. Now Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia led by Governor Aniesh Baswedan under the leadership of Presidents Joko Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin. That’s a glimpse of Jakarta’s history briefly, hopefully useful!