Contesting urban space between the Dutch and the sultanate of Yogyakarta in nineteenth-century Indonesia

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This article focuses on the historical construction of what has recently been understood as the urban space of Indonesian colonial cities. Although studies on this topic have been carried out within various contexts, scholars generally take the concept of urban space for granted as a means to expand their arguments. Moreover, since the historical evidence shows that the domination of colonial power is contingent on several conditions including the economy, military actions, and local politics in the colonies, it becomes necessary for academics to reconceptualize Indonesian colonial urban histories. In this matter, the reconceptualization calls for more explanation of how colonial urban space was created during early colonial times in which the socio-political foundations of colonialism took place. This study traces the history of the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in the nineteenth century, and examines the transformation of urban space during the colonial conflict between the Dutch and the Kingdom of Yogyakarta. Economic, military, and political conditions shaped the development of urban space of Yogyakarta. The city was deeply influenced by Dutch colonial policies, including the introduction of colonial norms and values in an engineered urban space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-83
Number of pages38
JournalCanadian Journal of History
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Colonial segregation
  • Colonialism
  • Indonesia
  • Javanese history
  • Political power
  • Prince Diponegoro
  • Urban space
  • Yogyakarta


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