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The History of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate

The establishment of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate was the impact of the prolonged conflict occurred in the Sultanate of Islamic Mataram, which established since the 16th century. Its first central government was located in Mentaok, later on it was moved to Kotagede (Yogyakarta). During the reign of Amangkurat I (1645-1677), precisely in 1647, its central government was moved again from Kotagede to Plered (Bantul Regency). Then, Amangkurat II (1680-1702), founded a new Palace in eastern side of Yogyakarta, precisely in Wonokarto forest and immediately renamed to Kartasura (Sukoharjo District, Central Java). The construction of new Palace was made because the one that located at Plered was being in rebel-held and considered to be no longer worthy as its central government. So, the new Palace in Kartasura that started to be built since 1679 now is known as Kartasura Hadiningrat Sunanate.  The successors of Amangkurat II in Kartasura Hadiningrat Sunanate respectively are Amangkurat III (1703-1708), Pakubuwono I (1704-1719), Amangkurat IV (1719-1726), until Pakubuwono II (1726-1749).

a.The Dissension of Mataram Dynasty

In the reign of Pakubuwono II (1741-1742), a resistance known as "Geger Pecinan" occurred and led to the destruction of Kartasura Palace. Therefore, Pakubuwono II built new central government in Sala village (Solo) near to Solo River in 1744. This area is then called Surakarta. As the new Palace was built in Surakarta, it also indicated Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate was arisen. The administration under the first leadership of Pakubuwono II was still colored by an internal polemic. Pakubuwono II's step brother, Prince Mangkubumi demanded the throne of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate but Pakubuwono II appointed his son instead, Raden Mas Suryadi as his successor.  Clearly Prince Mangkubumi did not accept that decision so he left the Palace in 1746 and built a rival government in Yogyakarta.

Prince Mangkubumi joined with Raden Mas Said or also known as Prince Sambernyowo, the Prince of Mataram who born in Kartasura and been waging against Pakubuwono II since the resistance of "Geger Pecinan". By joining with Raden Mas Said, Prince Mangkubumi’s side was increasingly more powerful. On December 12, 1749, Prince Mangkubumi, under the full support of Raden Mas Said, set himself as the King or Sultan of the new rival government he built in Yogyakarta. Raden Mas Said himself was appointed as adipati (Prime minister) as well as the warlord and held the title of “Pangeran Adipati Mangkunegoro Senopati Panoto Baris Lelono Adikareng Noto”. In addition, Prince Mangkubumi also married of Raden Mas Said with his daughter, Raden Ayu Inten.

In the late 1749's, Pakubuwono II was very sick and made the sovereignty of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate handed over to the Dutch, VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie). Since then, the coronation of the Kings of Mataram Sultanate should be made under the Dutch’s permission. On December 15, 1749, Baron von Hohendorff as the representative of VOC inducted the Crown Prince, Raden Mas Suryadi, as the successor of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate entitled His Majesty Pakubuwono III (1749-1788). On December 20, 1749, Pakubuwono II was died of illness that getting worse.

Meanwhile, the Dutch began worrying regarding the regions conquered by Prince Mangkubumi which increasingly extending. The Dutch then tried to make an agreement known as “Giyanti Agreement” on February 13, 1755. Generally, the contents of the agreement are to divide Mataram into two territories, which are Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate under the leadership of His Majesty Pakubuwono III and Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate under the leadership of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I (1755-1792). Nevertheless, Hamengkubuwono I and Raden Mas Said were in quarrel which led to fight again his own father in law beside Pakubuwono III in Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate. VOC had always intervened on this issue worrying over Raden Mas Said’s actions. Nicholas Hartingh, the person in charge of VOC in Semarang, urged Pakubuwono III immediately to seek for peace until it made an agreement called “Salatiga Agreement” on March 17, 1757 took place in Wonogiri, Central Java. This agreement was further reducing the area of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate. Furthermore, Raden Mas Said got a dominion in some areas of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate that called Praja (kadipaten) Mangkunegaran and charged as its ruler entitled Kanjeng Gusti Prince Adipati Arya Mangkunegara I or Adipati Mangkunegara I (1757-1795).

The dissension of Mataram dynasty continued and affected to Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate. In 1813, Prince Natakusuma, the son of Hamengkubuwono I or the uncle of the King who was ruling in Yogyakarta, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono III (1810-1811 and 1812-1814) demanded the division of territory. British colonial administration under the leadership of Governor Thomas Stamford Raffles replacing the occupation of the Dutch granted that demand. On March 17, 1813, Praja Pakualaman was ruled by Prince Natakusuma entitled Kanjeng Gusti Prince Adipati Paku Alam I (1813-1829). The Palace or temple of Pakualaman was built near from Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate Palace. Kadipaten Pakualaman territories consist of Kemantren located in Yogyakarta (now called Pakualaman District) and Karang Kemuning or Adikarto located in the southern of Kulon Progo Regency, Yogyakarta.

b.Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate in the Colonial Period

Different with Pakubuwono III who was rather obedient to the VOC, the next successor of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate, His Majesty Pakubuwono IV (1788-1820) was the figure who hated the invaders and full of ambitions and courage. In November 1790, there was an incident called Pakepung, the siege of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate Palace by the alliances of VOC, Hamengkubuwono I, and Mangkunegara I. This siege occurred over Pakubuwono IV’s sensibility in kejawen belief (old Javanese mites) to get rid of Royal officials who disagree with him. The Royal officials who were excluded asked VOC to face against Pakubuwono IV. This was an opportunity for VOC who indeed concerned to the activities of Pakubuwono IV, who held the belief of kejawen, eventually allied with Hamengkubuwono I and Mangkunegara I to siege Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace. Inside the Palace, the Royal officials who actually disagreed with Pakubuwono IV also helped the siege in order to push aside the spiritual advisers who have the same faith with the King. On 26 November 1790, Pakubuwono IV was finally defeated and handed his advisers over the VOC to be exiled.

In the reign of Pakubuwono IV, a negotiation initiated by VOCs occurred between Pakubuwono IV, Hamengkubuwono I, and Mangkunegara I jointly signed an agreement whose contents explain that Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate, Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate, as well as the Duchy Mangkunegaran have equal status and sovereignty so they should not attack to each other. However, Pakubuwono IV was apparently still ambitious to unite all regions of Yogyakarta into Surakarta territories. When the British occupied the Dutch East Indies, Pakubuwono IV was exchanging letters with the King of Yogyakarta, Hamengkubuwono II, and suggesting that the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta should fight against the British. Pakubuwono IV had hoped that Yogyakarta will be destroyed on their fight but apparently, the British attacked the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta first and were assisted by Mangkunegara II. Consequently, in June 1812, Hamengkubuwono II was arrested and exiled to Penang, Malaysia. Nevertheless, the British were well aware of the exchanging letters between Pakubuwono IV with Hamengkubuwono II. The British might not make Pakubuwono IV fell from his throne, but they managed to seize some areas belong to Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate.

Pakubuwono IV has not been surrendered to conquer Yogyakarta yet. Precisely in 1814, Pakubuwono IV cooperated with the Sepoy Forces, Indian mercenaries brought by the British, to fight against the British and to occupy Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate at the same time under the leadership of Sultan Hamengkubuwono III (1810-1811 and 1812 -1814). However, this alliance was failed and 70 soldiers of Sepoy Forces were arrested and sentenced to death by the British in 1815, while the rest were repatriated to India. In addition, a Prince of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate was also arrested since He has been charged in inciting Pakubuwono IV. The King of Surakarta himself escaped from punishment when the government in East Indies was returned to the Dutch since 1816. However, in addition to expert in the administration and political system, Pakubuwono IV is also known as a competent writer. One of his famous works is Serat Wulangreh containing the teachings of the improvement in the moral of Javanese nobles. Ranggawarsita, a great poet of Surakarta had studied the humanities and magical power during his youth from Pakubuwono IV.

On October 2, 1820, Pakubuwono IV died and replaced by the crown prince, Raden Mas Sugandi. The son of Pakubuwono IV and the empress Raden Ayu Handoyo, the daughter of Adipati Cakraningrat (Regent of Pamekasan), was crowned on February 10, 1820 entitled His Majesty Pakubuwono V (1820-1823). He is known as a King who has the soul of art. One of His phenomenal literature works is Serat Centhini or also known Suluk Tambangraras written based on His personal experience. His writing has already done before crowned as the King of Surakarta, precisely since 1814. Some of His art works are dhuwung or the heritage Kris of Kyai Kaget, the boat of Kyai Rajamala, the dance of Beksan Serimpi and Beksan Penthulgendhing Ludiramadu and gendhing Loro-loro, and many others. However, the reign period of Pakubuwono V only lasted for 3 years since he died on September 5, 1823.

Ten days after Pakubuwono IV’s death, the Crown Prince, Raden Mas Sapardan, ascended to be entitled His Majesty Pakubuwono VI (1823-1830). He was the son of Pakubuwono V and Sosrokusumo Raden Ayu, a descendant of Ki Juru Martani or also known as Kyai Adipati Mandaraka who once served as the Governor in the period of Islamic Mataram Sultanate, and still he has a blood of Majapahit.  Pakubuwono VI who crowned on September 15, 1823, was supportive of Prince Diponegoro's struggle against the Dutch colonialists resulted the Java War (1825-1830). However, Pakubuwono VI could not clearly declare his support as Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate has been under political contract with the Dutch. There were some secret meetings between Pakubuwono VI and Prince Diponegoro. Sometimes, Pakubuwono VI secretly visited the hideout of Prince Diponegoro, and Prince Diponegoro senaked into Surakarta Palace conversely. In this case, Pakubuwono VI acted as a double agent pretended to help the Dutch to send Royal troops, but underneath he assisted the army of Prince Diponegoro who fought a guerrilla.

c.Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate Before and After Indonesian Independence

After Prince Diponegoro was captured, the Dutch began to suspect Pakubuwono VI for refusing to give up some territory in Surakarta. Some of his confidants arrested and forced to divulge the relationship between Pakubuwono VI with Prince Diponegoro. Although there was no discovered evidence, the Dutch remained indicted and convicted him. On June 8, 1830, Pakubuwono VI along with his family were exiled to Ambon even the empress was on her pregnant. According to the Dutch East Indies colonial government official, the ship contained the group of Pakubuwono VI had an accident that caused the death of the King, while the empress survived and gave birth a child who named Raden Mas Duksino on December 22, 1830. When transferred from Ambon to Imogiri in 1957, on the forehead of the Pakubuwono VI’s skull was found a hole that matched the size of the type of firearm bullets Baker Riffle. Over this discovering alleged that Pakubuwono VI's death was not an accident. Under his services and sacrifices, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 294 of 1964, dated 17 November 1964, His Majesty Pakubuwono VI is designated as a national hero.

On June 14, 1830, the Dutch appointed Pakubuwono VI’s uncle to continuo the throne of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate entitled His Majesty Pakubuwono VII (1830-1858). Under the original name of Raden Mas Malikis Solikin, Pakubuwono Pakubuwono VII was Pakubuwono Pakubuwono IV’s son who was born from Raden Ayu Sukaptinah or Queen Kencanawungu. There was no Crown Prince appointed to be the next successor after the death of Pakubuwono VII on July 28, 1858. The one who crowned as the next King of Surakarta was Pakubuwono VII’s older brother (same father but different mother), Raden Mas Kusen entitled His Majesty Pakubuwono VIII (1859-1861).  Pakubuwono IV’ son from the concubine Mas Ayu Rantansari crowned at the age of 69 years old on August 17, 1858. The reign of Pakubuwono VIII only lasted three years since he died on December 28, 1861.

Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate’s next successor was Raden Mas Duksino, Pakubuwono VI's son, who has not born yet when his father exiled to Ambon. On December 30, 1861, Raden Mas Duksino crowned and entitled His Majesty Pakubuwono IX (1861-1893). This reign of Pakubuwono IX’s era is called “crazy times” by Ranggawarsita written in his work entitled Serat Kalatida. In his work, he praised Pakubuwono IX as a just and wise King, but the King was surrounded by sycophants who seek their own advantage. Furthermore, Pakubuwono IX was replaced by the Crown Prince, Raden Mas Malikul Kusno who was born from the empress Kustiyah Raden Ayu. Raden Mas Malikul Kusno ruled Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate since March 30, 1893 entitled His Majesty Pakubuwono X (1893-1939) filled with greatness and as well as a new face of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate preparing to enter the modern era of the 20th century. In addition, the political stability in the reign of Pakubuwono X has also been unforgotten. Although the Dutch always tried to pressure, but the King was still able to maintain the royal authority, and even participated in a national movement to support Sarekat Islam (SI) in Surakarta.

The successor of Pakubuwono X was the son of the empress Ratu Mandayaretna, named Raden Mas Antasena who was crowned on April 26, 1939, entitled His Majesty Pakubuwono XI (1939-1945). In 1942, Japanese occupation troops replaced the Dutch. However, Pakubuwono X was died just a few moments before the Independence Day of Indonesia and succeeded by his son, Raden Mas Suryaguritna, who was born from the empress Kuspariyah Raden Ayu. On June 11, 1945, Raden Mas Suryaguritna ascended to be entitled His Majesty Pakubuwono XII (1945-2004), two months before the Independence Day. Although some believe that Pakubuwono XII did not give an important role in the early days of the Republic of Indonesia, but the King of Surakarta is still considered as the one whom being protective of Javanese culture and respected by many national figures. Pakubuwono XII, who is the King of Surakarta with the longest reign, died on June 11, 2004.

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Comment Form

gusdikdo April 09, 2012 12:02

Sangat bermanfaat sekali untuk mengetahui perkembangan sejarah di tanah Jawa.

riska September 18, 2012 13:09

Dapat tugas buat drama Kasunanan Surakarta. Tapi bingung buatnya gimana?