Port of Jambi
Review and History

The Port of Jambi (also spelled Djambi) lies about 80 kilometers from the sea on the Batanghari River in Sumatra, Indonesia. Jambi city is the capital of Jambi province, where mountains in the west are covered by temperate evergreen forests. The tidal rivers in the east support mangroves.

Agriculture is the primary economy, and major crops include rubber, palm oil, tobacco, rice, copra, maize, and resin. The Port of Jambi’s industries make products based on the agricultural output, including products made with timber from the mountain forests. In 1995, over 385 thousand people lived in the Port of Jambi, and over 2.3 million lived in the province.

Port History

The Port of Jambi was the center of the great Buddhist Srivijaya Empire from the 7th to the 12 Century AD after Chola pirates from south India destroyed the earlier capital of Palembang. During its height, the ancient Port of Jambi engaged in trade through the Strait of Malacca with nearby kingdoms, including China.

During the 16th Century, Islam began to spread throughout the region, and Jambi was established as a separate Muslim state. The sultan cooperated with the Dutch when they arrived in the 17th Century. When Europeans were only traders (not colonial powers) in Southeast Asia, the Jambi sultanate maintained profitable trade in pepper with the Dutch. By 1770, that trade had declined, and for about 60 years, the sultanate had little contact with their future Dutch rulers.

By 1833, the Dutch were entrenched in Palembang, and their eyes turned toward the Port of Jambi. While they granted Sultan Facharundin nominal independence, they continued to increase their presence and their control over trade. They invaded the Port of Jambi in 1858, meeting little resistance. Sultan Taha escaped inland up river, and the Dutch found a puppet ruler in the lower region.

The independent Taha held onto his sultanate in the inland region for another forty years. Through political negotiations and marriage relationships, Taha extended his influence further south into Dutch-controlled territory.

Consolidating their control over the archipelago, the Dutch captured and killed Taha in 1904. By 1906, they controlled all of the province of Jambi. In 1917, the Port of Jambi was brought under Dutch rule after a long difficult revolt. Throughout the early 20th Century, Dutch rule was firmly entrenched in Jambi.

During World War II, the Japanese occupied the Port of Jambi and the province. After the war, Jambi became part of the Republic of Indonesia in 1950.

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