History of Lampung

Lampung Province was born on March 18 1964 with the enactment of Government Regulation Number 31964 which later became Law Number 14 of 1964. Prior to that, Lampung Province was a Residency incorporated with South Sumatra Province.

Even though Lampung Province before March 18 1964 was administratively still part of South Sumatra Province, long before Indonesia became independent, this area had indeed shown enormous potential and its own cultural colors that could add to the treasures of cultural customs in this beloved archipelago. Therefore, during the VOC era, the Lampung area was inseparable from being targeted by Dutch colonialism.

When Banten was under the leadership of Sultan Agung Tirtayasa (1651-1683) Banten succeeded in becoming a trade center that could compete with the VOC in the waters of Java, Sumatra and Maluku. In his efforts to expand Banten’s territory, Sultan Agung encountered obstacles because he was obstructed by the VOC which was entrenched in Batavia. The son of Sultan Agung Tirtayasa named Sultan Haji was entrusted with the task of replacing the crown of the Banten sultanate.

The glory of the Sultan of Banten at that time of course did not please the VOC, therefore the VOC always tried to control the Sultanate of Banten. The VOC’s efforts were successful by persuading Sultan Haji to disagree with his father Sultan Agung Tirtayasa. In fighting against his own father, Sultan Haji asked for help from the VOC and in return Sultan Haji would hand over control of the Lampung area to the VOC. Finally, on April 7, 1682, Sultan Agung Tirtayasa was removed and Sultan Haji was crowned Sultan of Banten.

The negotiations between the VOC and Sultan Haji resulted in a charter from Sultan Haji dated 27 August 1682, the contents of which stated, among other things, that since then the supervision of the spice trade in the Lampung area had been handed over by the Sultan of Banten to the VOC, which at the same time obtained a trade monopoly in the Lampung area. .

On 29 August 1682 a convoy of VOC and Banten fleets anchored at Tanjung Tiram. This fleet was led by Vander Schuur with a mandate letter from Sultan Haji and he represented the Sultan of Banten. Vander Schuur’s first expedition turned out to be unsuccessful and he did not get the pepper he was looking for. It seems that the direct trade between the VOC and Lampung that he initiated failed, because apparently not all rulers in Lampung immediately submitted to the power of Sultan Haji who was allied with the Company, but many still recognized Sultan Agung Tirtayasa as the Sultan of Banten and considered the Company to remain an enemy.

Meanwhile, doubts arose from the VOC as to whether Lampung was really under the authority of the Sultan of Banten, then it was discovered that Banten’s control over Lampung was not absolute.

The placement of representatives of the Sultan of Banten in Lampung, called “Jenang” or sometimes called the Governor, was only to look after trade interests in agricultural products (pepper).

Meanwhile, the original Lampung rulers who were scattered in each village or city called “Duke” were hierarchically not under the coordination of the Governor’s Jenang control. So the Sultan of Banten’s control over Lampung is only in terms of the coastline in order to control the monopoly of the outflow of agricultural products, especially pepper, so it is clear that the relationship between Banten and Lampung is one of mutual need for each other.

Then, when Raffles came to power in 1811, he occupied the Semangka area and did not want to give up the Lampung area to the Dutch because Raffles thought that Lampung was not a Dutch colony. However, after Raffles left Lampung only then in 1829 was appointed Dutch Resident for Lampung.

Meanwhile, since 1817 Radin Inten’s position had become stronger, and therefore the Dutch felt worried and sent a small expedition led by Assistant Resident Krusemen which resulted in an agreement that:

1. Radin Inten received financial assistance from the Netherlands in the amount of f. 1,200 a year.

2. Radin Inten’s two brothers will each receive assistance in the amount of f. 600 every year.

3. Radin Inten was not allowed to expand his territory any further apart from the villages which until then had been under his influence.

However, Radin Inten never complied with this agreement and he continued to fight against the Dutch.

Therefore, in 1825 the Dutch ordered Leliever to arrest Radin Inten, but Radin Inten was cleverly able to storm the Dutch fort and kill Liliever and his men. However, because at that time the Dutch were facing the Diponegoro war (1825 – 1830), the Dutch could not do anything about that incident. In 1825 Radin Inten died and was replaced by his son Radin Imba Kusuma.

After the Diponegoro War ended in 1830 the Dutch invaded Radin Imba Kusuma in the Semangka area, then in 1833 the Dutch attacked the Radin Imba Kusuma fort, but failed to occupy it. It was only in 1834 after the Assistant Resident was replaced by a Dutch military officer and with full authority, that Fort Radin Imba Kusuma was captured.

Radin Imba Kusuma fled to the Lingga area, but the residents of the Lingga area captured him and handed him over to the Dutch. Radin Imba Kusuma was then exiled to Timor Island.

Meanwhile, the people in the interior continued to fight. The “Smooth Way” from the Dutch by giving gifts to the leaders of the Lampung people’s resistance turned out to be fruitless. The Dutch still felt insecure, so the Dutch formed a mercenary army consisting of Lampung people themselves to protect Dutch interests in the Telukbetung area and its surroundings. The people’s resistance which was driven by Radin Imba Kusuma’s own son named Radin Inten II continued, until finally Radin Inten II was arrested and killed by Dutch soldiers specially brought in from Batavia.

Since then the Dutch began to freely set foot in the Lampung area. Plantations began to be developed, namely planting of Kaitsyuk, tobacco, coffee, rubber and oil palm. For the purposes of transporting plantation products, a railway line was built from Telukbetung to Palembang in 1913.

Up until Indonesia’s independence on August 17, 1945 and the period of physical struggle that followed, Lampung’s sons did not miss being involved and feeling how bitter the struggle against colonial oppression was one after another. So that in the end, as stated at the beginning of this description, in 1964 the Lampung Residency was upgraded to the Level I Region of Lampung Province.