By Bastiaan Wielenga

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Hindus and Chinese. During the long centuries when the Indonesians were laying the foundations of their distinctive culture, they were shut off from the outer world. Then, about the beginning of the Christian era, world changes, which accompanied the foundation of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Han dynasty in China, broke in ripples on the shores of the archipelago, and brought in foreign traders, Hindu and, probably somewhat later, Chinese. Both presumably came in search of spices. The Chinese had an easy journey from their home ports in the adjacent mainland; but the Hindus, coming from a distant base in the far west, found it necessary, like the Portuguese and Dutch long afterwards, to secure their position in the Straits of Malacca, and to seek harbours in the archipelago where they could refresh themselves with rice and water.

But the station at Jacatra was an open challenge to a direct trial of strength, and its significance was emphasized by the establishment at the same time of posts in Sumatra, not only at Tiku and Jambi along the north coast, but at Achin, a vital spot in the line of communications between Bantam and the West. Coen, then Director at Bantam and Jacatra, and rightly honoured as the founder of the Dutch Empire in the East, took up the challenge, and warned the home authorities in the letter quoted above that they must be prepared to fight.

65; Dr G. W. R. Drewes in Schrieke, Western Influence, p. 135; Colenbrander, Geschiedenis, ii. 242. 2 CHAPTER II T H E EAST I N D I A COMPANY, 1600-1800 i. The Coming of the Dutch. When, for a second time, it seemed that political and economic power in the archipelago would pass to Islam, the course of events was changed by the arrival of the Dutch. The Dutch never wanted to come East; they were forced to come by the policy of Philip, who profited by his succession to the throne of Portugal in 1580 to close the Portuguese harbours to his rebellious Dutch subjects.

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