By M. C. Ricklefs
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Additional info for A History of Modern Indonesia: c. 1300 to the Present
His incompetent leadership caused much dissension on the expedition, however, and after undergoing great hardship and sickness, only three ships and eighty-nine men were to return to the Netherlands over two years later. In June 1596, de Houtman's ships reached Banten, the main pepper port of West Java. There the Dutch soon became involved in conflict both with the Portuguese and with Indonesians. De Houtman left Banten and sailed eastward along Java, causing insult and injury at each port of call.
In 1551 Johor again besieged Malacca, and in 1587 the Portuguese sacked Johor's capital. But after 1536 such hostilities were no longer the normal state of affairs. The Portuguese did not always discourage Johor's growth as a trade centre, and the Governors of Malacca themselves found it profitable to trade there sometimes. In due course, the arrival of the VOC would lead to a VOC--Johor alliance against the Portuguese, which ultimately resulted in the VOC conquest of Malacca in 1641. On the Indonesian side of the Straits of Malacca, Aceh was emerging as a major power just as the Portuguese arrived.
The Asian traders transferred much of their trade to other ports, and simply bypassed the Portuguese monopoly. 22 A HISTORY OF MODERN INDONESIA In the west of the archipelago the Portuguese fairly soon ceased to be such a revolutionary force. Their technological superiority consisted of navigational and military techniques which were quickly learned by their Indonesian competitors; Portuguese cannon were soon captured by Indonesian opponents. Portuguese Malacca became a part of a web of conflict in the Straits of Malacca, as J ohor and Aceh competed to defeat each other and the Portuguese and to become the true successor of Malacca (see chapter 4).
A History of Modern Indonesia: c. 1300 to the Present by M. C. Ricklefs