1846 – 1949 Period
- Fight Against the Dutch
This era constituted with the period of fighting against the Dutch in Bali. These years were marked by the out break of various wars in Bali. The wars could be described as follows:
- Buleleng (1846)
- Jagaraga (1848-1849)
- Kusamba (1849)
- Banjar (1868)
- Puputan Badung (1906)
- Puputan Klungkung (1908)
When the Dutch won all the battles and the Klungkung kingdom fell down into their hands, Bali as was under the foreign influence.
- Dutch Colonization Period
When Buleleng fell down into the Dutch’s hands, the Dutch government began to intervene in the management of government in Bali, e.g., changing the name of the king as regional head to regent for Buleleng and Jembrana areas and placing P. L. van Bloemen Waanders as the first controleur in Bali.
The government in Bali remained ingrained in the traditional structure, i.e., continuing to activate customary leadership in running the government in the regions. For Bali, the position of the king constituted the highest holder of power which during the period of colonial government was accompanied by a controleur. In the matter of responsibility, the king reported directly to the Resident of Bali and Lombok which domiciled in Singaraja. Meanwhile for South Bali, the kings reported to the Assistant Resident that domiciled in Denpasar.
To meet the need for the administrative personnel, the Dutch government opened the first elementary school in Singaraja (1875) known as the Tweede Klasse School. Then another school named Erste Inlandsche School opened in 1913. Soon it was followed by the opening of another school named Hollandsche Inlandsche School (HIS) where students mostly came from the aristocratic and the wealthy families.
The Birth of the Movement Organization
As the result of educational influences, students and some people who had jobs in Singaraja initiated an organization called Suita Gama Tirta with the purpose of educating Balinese people in science through religious teachings. Unfortunately this organization did not last long. Then several teachers who were still hungering for religious education, founded an organization named Shanti in 1923. This organization published a magazine called Shanti Adnyana which was later changed to Bali Adnyana.
In 1925, an organization named Suryakanta was also founded in Singaraja and published a magazine called Suryakanta. Like the Shanti organization, Suryakanta also expected that Balinese would make progress in science and eliminate traditions which were no longer suited to the progress of the times.
In the meantime, in Karangasem, an organization called Satya Samudaya Buadana Bali Lombok was founded. The members were civil servants and the public. Their purposes were to raise and save money for study fund.
- Japanese Occupation Period
After going through several battles, the Japanese army landed on Sanur Beach on 18 and 19 February 1942. From Sanur, the Japanese army entered Denpasar without encountering any resistance whatsoever. Then, from Denpasar Japan controlled Bali entirely. At first, the party that established Japanese power in Bali was the Japanese Army (Rikugun). Later, when the situation was in a stable time, the power of government was handed over to a civilian government.
During the Japanese occupation, since the situation was in a conflict, all activity was focused on the war effort. Young people were trained to become Pembela Tanah Air (Country Defending soldiers), abbreviated PETA. In 1944 PETA was established where programmes and conditions of education were formed after the succession of PETA in Java.
On 23 August 1945, following the Proclamation of Independence, Mr I Gusti Ketut Puja arrived in Bali by bringing the mandate of his appointment as Governor of Sunda Kecil. It happened since his arrival in Bali that the Proclamation of Independence in Bali was spread throughout the villages. It was the time that preparations for the arrangement of government in Bali were made as the Sunda Kecil with Singaraja as its capital.
The first attempt to remove weapons from Japanese hands was carried out on 13 December 1945. However, the effort failed. For this reason, it was decided to seek assistance and weapons in Java. This was carried on by I Gusti Ngurah Rai and his people. After Ngurah Rai returned from Java, the entire struggle in Bali was merged into one principal force “Dewan Perjuangan Rakyat Indonesia Sunda Kecil” under the command of Komando Markas Besar Oemoem (MBO).
Since the landing of NICA in Bali, Bali had always been in a fighting arena. In the battle, the Indonesian forces used the guerilla system. Therefore, MBO as the mother force was always on the move. In order to strengthen the defence in Bali, Indonesian Navy assistance was sent from Java which later joined forces with those in Bali. Because of the frequent battles, the Dutch sent a letter to Rai to negotiate, but Balinese fighters refused and continued to strengthen their defense by involving the people.
To facilitate contact with Java, Rai applied the strategy for removing the Dutch attention to eastern Bali. On 28 May 1946, Rai sent his force to the east then it was known as “a Long March”. During this “Long March”, the guerilla force was often ambushed by the Dutch power so that battles frequently occurred. The battle that brought victory to the winners was the Tanah Arun battle, ie a battle that broke in a small village at the foot of Agung Mountain, Karangasem Regency. During the Tanah Arun battle which broke on 9 July 1946, many Dutch soldiers were killed.
After the battle, Ngurah Rai’s force moved to the west and they arrived in Marga Village (Tabanan). To save the energy because of limited weapons, some members of the force were ordered to fight with people altogether.Puputan Margarana
When MBO staffs were in Marga, Ngurah Rai ordered his force to take NICA police weapons in Tabanan. The order was carried out on 18 November 1946 (at night) and they made it finally. Several weapons and ammunition as well were taken and then a Nica police commandant joined with Ngurah Rai’s forces. After that, the force returned to Marga Village.
On 20 November 1946, by starting the violence at dawn, the Dutch force began to encircle Marga Village. The battle between Nica force and Ngurah Rai’s had occured for 10.00 hours. In the war, many members of the Dutch advanced force were killed. Therefore, the Dutch immediately asked for some helps from all of its forces in Bali and also the bombers which were sent from Makasar. In the serious battle which involved all members of Ngurah Rai force, were determined not to leave the war until the last drop of blood. It was here that Ngurah Rai force held Puputan so that all 96 members of the force were killed, including Rai himself.
On the other hand, about 400 members of the Dutch force were killed. To commemorate the event, a Hero Monument was constructed on the former battle ground.
The Denpasar Conference took place in Bali Hotel on 18-24 December 1946. The conference was opened by Van Mook with the purpose of forming the Eastern Indonesia State (NIT) with the capital of Makasar (Ujung Pandang).
With the formation of the Eastern Indonesia State, the structure of government in Bali was re-established during the periods of the kings. The such government was held by the king who was assisted by patih, punggawa, perbekel and also the lowest government which was called the kelian. Besides that, there was a council with the position that the king was one step behind it and it was called as the council of kings.
Transfer of Sovereignty
The first military aggression against the Indonesian government forces was carried out by the Dutch on 21 July 1947. The Dutch again did the second aggression on 18 December 1948. During the second aggression, continually efforts were being focused on Bali with the purpose of establishing the more effective guerilla fighting movements. In connection with this, in July 1948, a fighting organization called Gerakan Rakyat Indonesia Merdeka (GRIM) was formed. Then, on 27 November 1949 GRIM merged with the other fighting organizations called Lanjutan Perjuangan. Then the name was changed again into “Pemerintah Darurat Republik Indonesia (PDRI) Sunda Kecil.
During the RIS (Republik Indonesia Serikat) period, the East Indonesia Military Commission tried to settle the problem of freedom fighters in Bali, especially those who remained in the mountains. The commission tried to call the members of DPRI who remained in the mountains to be included in an army force called Arjuna (15 January 1950). On the other hand, KNIL (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger) was turned into the Army of the Republik Indonesia Serikat since June 1950. Meanwhile, the Round Table Conference (KMB) which was based on the agreement between Indonesian-Dutch Union was started at the end of August 1949. Finally, on 27 December 1949 the Dutch recognized RIS sovereignty. Then, on 17 August 1950, RIS was changed into the Republic of Indonesia.