Realizing they could not defeat Banten by military power, VOC used another way, the ‘devide at impera’ or divisive policy. The target of the divisive policy was the family of Banten sultan that was undergoing an internal conflict.
Sultan Haji, one of the sons of the sultan of Banten was supported by VOC to take control of Banten, while Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa who reigned Banten with the support of ulamas strongly opposed VOC.
Due to VOC’s support, Sultan Haji’s troops could take over the power from Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa. Yet the success had to be repaid by signing an agreenment which was quite advantageous to VOC in that Banten became a subject of VOC, it granted trade monopoly to VOC, adn VOC was permitted to build a fort in Banten. By signing the agreenment, Banten lost its independence and sovereignty in its relations with other countries.
Meanwhile, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa fled to the mountains and continued the struggle together with his men. However, in March 1683 Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa surrendered and was then imprisoned in Banten, after that he was moved to Batavia where he died in 1695.
|Banten Mosque with its characteristic tower|
Next article : Expansion of Colonialism and imperialsm in Mataram