Godert Alexander Philip Gerard van der Capellen
Godert Governor General van der Capellen
Born 15 December 1778(1778-12-15)
Died 10 April 1848 (aged 69)
De Bilt
Allegiance Flag of the Netherlands.svg Kingdom of the Netherlands
Years of service 1816-1826
Rank Governor General of the Dutch East Indies

Godert Alexander Gerard Philip, Baron van der Capellen (December 15, 1778 – April 10, 1848) was a Dutch statesman from Utrecht.

Van der Capellen was the son of a cavalry colonel. He was made Prefect of Friesland in 1808 and soon thereafter Minister of the Interior and a member of the Privy Council. At his advice, King Louis Napoleon abdicated the throne in 1810 in favor of his son, Louis II. Van der Capellen did not serve Napoleon I. Wilhelm I, King of the Netherlands, appointed him Colonial Minister and sent him as Secretary of United Kingdom of the Netherlands to Brussels.


Van der Capellen was a member of the ancient noble family Van der Capellen. He was a son of Alexander Philip van der Capellen (1745-1787), colonel of cavalry, and Mary Taets van Amerongen (1755-1809) and, after the death of his father raised by the Walloon Pastor Pierre Chevallier, whom he successively Zwolle, Harderwijk and after 1795 Amsterdam lived. Royal Decree of May 1, 1824 for him and his descendants became the title of baron recognized. He married in 1803 with Jacoba Elisabeth Baroness of Tuyll of Serooskerken (1781-1866); this marriage was childless.

Napoleonic era

Van der Capellen studied right to university of Utrecht and was promoted to in law, while at the college of Göttingen include the lessons of George Friedrich von Martens and Johann Friedrich Blumenbach attended, with whom he was until the end of his life in correspondence. In April 1803 he was appointed Secretary of Departmental Court Utrecht, appointed in August 1805 as a member of the Board of Finance and on May 8, 1807 by Louis first and assessor of bailiff and on 10 May 1807 to Secretary-General of department promoted Utrecht. In February 1808, he was with Van Hooff and Bangemann Huygens as commissioner to East Frisia sent to take possession of that when the Kingdom of Holland added Region and the glories Jever, Varel and Knyphausen. Then Van der Capellen was appointed bailiff on the newly formed department of East Friesland. He knew that with many policies and temperance the transition from the old institutions of the country to the new organization, according to which the Kingdom of Holland, gradually to take place. Also, it was mainly through his efforts that the original East Frisian advanced load of two million dollars to the half was reduced.

In December 1808, Van der Capellen was by King Louis to State Council and appointed on May 27, 1809 Minister for Religious Affairs and Interior. He wrote in his' Souvenirs biographiques' 'that in that respect with the majority of ministers, including Krayenhoff and Appelius, the King would have recommended the transition of the rivers to the French Army to prevent by force; he was among the ministers who does not act forcefully against the rising demands of Napoleon recoiled. During French rule he would not take public concerns; he also asked Governor-General Lebrun not to qualify him for the Commander Cross of Reunion, which he could claim. In the middle of 1811, he moved to Grätz, where he remained for over a year through his company the life of the retired King Louis tried as much as possible to sweeten which family business called him back to Holland . Van der Capellen was so embittered by the French domination that he went in September 1813 to Mannheim, of which he, however, when he learned of the revolution in Holland, directly to his homeland returned. At the request of King Louis to join him in Basel come he did not respond because he suspected that the King him the protection of its interests in the allied powers wanted to dedicate while he was of the opinion that a complete restoration of the independence of Netherlands, the House of Orange there had to be restored to his dignities.

Career in Dutch service

Van der Capellen was for his return to the motherland on December 17, 1813, appointed Commissioner General of the Department of Zuiderzee, and on April 6, 1814 he was appointed secretary of state the matters of commerce and colonies; this regard he could only briefly observe because sovereign prince him in May 1814 for Brussels sent to the Commissioner for the Netherlands there too operate with Governor General Vincent, which in the name of the associated Powers performed authority over the South Dutch provinces.

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The Congress of Vienna, where Van der Capellen was today.

As governor of those provinces was dedicated to William I on August 1, 1814, Van der Capellen was 12 August with the title of secretary of state at the head of the board placed there and added to him a ministry, but he was already in September, after August 28, 1814 to a member of the knighthood in Province of Utrecht to be nominated, appointed Governor General of the Dutch East Indies and, with Elout and Buyskens, to Commissioner General, for The East India possessions from the hands of the British to take over. Van der Capellen left in October to Hague, where he first to Vienna was in the position of extraordinary plenipotentiary, where when a Congress was held with command, Netherlands do join the secret treaty between France, England and Austria closed so the intrigues of Russia and Prussia counter to go. The aim of his mission was indicated by the King because there already present deputy From Spaen and Von Gagern to the House of Orange-Nassau ensure preservation of the German erfstaten. The secret mission was accomplished with the desired outcome, but in the public service remit negotiators were dismissed. To compensate the Nassau Serbian principalities one had to accept the Luxembourg; Van Capellen managed merely to ensure that a Duke cathedral was elevated. He returned in March and became the message of Napoleon's return directly back to its previous relating to Brussels sent into France. Here he showed in the memorable days on 15-18 June, there fortitude and courage by remaining steadfast in his post, despite many fled from Brussels, and he also prudently archives and the treasury to Antwerpen had sent because during his administration in Belgium the reluctance of the majority of the notables to the proposed Constitution had met, he suggested diligent, though fruitless efforts to persuade William I, not to defy public opinion.

Dutch Indies


Van der Capellen departed on October 18, 1815 with a warship to India to take up his new post of governor-general there. He came on May 11, 1816 in the colony but only on August 19, 1816 took over the management of the British governor Raffles. On January 16, 1819 the general commissioners resigned and Van der Capellen remained as governor-general employed. In order to familiarize themselves more with land and people he made a trip over Java; on that trip during which he also Courts of Solo and Djokja donned, he came to believe that the Javanese regents existed dissatisfaction and fear of withdrawal of their duties. He therefore issued a resolution in which their rights, obligations and titles as the heads of the indigenous population were described in May 1820.

File:Fort in Sambas, built in 1823.jpg

Fort to Sambas, built in 1823

Except for some incidents (riots in Bantam and act susuhunan Solo, through the action of a gang of robbers in Kedoe) was the first years after the departure of the commissarissen- General Java quiet. Only cholera - epidemic ravaging whole Java in 1821 and demanded that year 110,000 victims; in 1822 caused a eruption of the Galoengoeng enormous devastation. In 1822 Van der Capellen again undertook a trip through Java and particular attention was given by him to the increase of land lease in the Vorstenlanden. He accepted this land leases for various reasons (mostly because of the danger of oppression of the native population) and did an investigation. After letting countries was provisionally banned the decision was issued on May 6, 1823, in which not only all the leases for more than three years, more than six months in advance were banned, but also existing. This decision brought great displeasure caused not only the tenants but also the princes and lords who were now forced advances, mostly already digested, to give back. It is very likely that this matter has worked on the outbreak, a few years later, the great revolt on Java. There were also made provisions (1820, 1821 and 1823), making the movement of Europeans and Chinese was very complicated in the interior. These measures were intended the buyers of the population grown coffee - by whom, in the opinion of Van der Capellen, the native was penalized surreptitiously - to hinder their efforts and thereby also to encourage the purchase of coffee by the government .


Not long after Van der Capellen the board had accepted he had in Palembang facing serious difficulties. There did sultan Mahmud Badroedin, who had ascended the throne for the third time in 1818, after a claim of Muntinghe commissioner to explain his behavior, because it was shown that there is a uprising was brewing, in June the garrison attacks. The attack was repulsed, but in vain attempted to | to get Kraton (palace) Kraton. Palembang was subsequently abandoned by the Dutch and strengthening Banka was awaited. After it arrived, was a squadron with landing troops tried in vain to penetrate through Palembang. When on Banka, where also was constantly fermentation, the resident was murdered in November 1819, was first on the island restored peace by force of arms in 1820, then (1821) a strong expedition under army commander De Kock sent to Palembang.

File:Speech by Muntok and beach between Banka and Palembang.jpg

Rede Muntok and beach between Banka and Palembang.

After a fierce battle, in June the reinforcements taken across the river from Palembang to the island Kembaro. Palembang was now occupied, deposed the sultan, to Ternate exiled and replaced by his cousin. Meanwhile, thereby calm restored only temporary. After an was revealed by Commissioner Sevenhoven set research, the state, especially in Bovenlanden, left a lot to be desired, was in June 1823 with the Sultan signed a new contract, said, against award of an annuity, government and justice largely to the government over left, and where more favorable provisions for the population as regards taxes and serfdom and were created. Both resistance in the collection of taxes, as was already shown by an attempt at poisoning Garrison (November 1824), that the state could not be trusted, when an attack was made on the Dutch troops by the sultan . The attack was repulsed and the sultan abolished board in 1825; The sultan, who had fled, was captured and to Banka banned. The government became involved in the events in Palembang Bovenlanden, which gave rise to the so-called Padri War following a war that intermittently until 1838 lasted . Originally a religious movement caused by Mecca - goers, the new cult was soon to violence and oppression about. A significant group Menangkabauers who had fled the Padries, sought help from Raffles, when it arrived in Padang in 1818. Raffles certain undertake to Semawang a [[Watchtower | post] level], which was repealed by the surrender of the government to the Dutch. At the insistence of some Malay heads the Dutch resident in Padang to help against the Padries, taking the distance promised all the countries of the Menagkabausche rich in the government, was on February 10, 1821 an agreement with them in that effect closed, which, however, up to hostility with the Padries, that would not come in contact with the government, led. However, drove colonel Raaff the Padries which had made an unsuccessful attack on Semawang, after fierce fighting in Tanah Datar (where Fort van der Capellen was built), but these brought their principal residence for about Lintau whither Raaff tried in vain to penetrate. During the course of 1822, we continuously strive to subjugation of neighboring regions and expulsion of the Padries but repeated attempts to penetrate the mountains to Lintau failed. In April 1823 was even at the Mara Palm sensitive defeat. On Raaff who was summoned to Batavia in November 1823 and returned as a resident of Padang, succeeded in January 1824 to conclude a contract of peace and friendship with the heads of Bondjol, but already in April next he passed it; he was replaced by Colonel The Stuers, which Padries, which not offensive action by the Dutch troops as weakness seemed to notice, in 1825 [[Second Padri War | offensive] ] went to work. Through negotiations, the Stuers knew it (in November 1825) to bring an agreement, which stipulated that they would further wage war, while the heads of Padries were recognized by the Dutch government.

File:Landing on the shore of Badjoa 27 March 1825.jpg

Landing on the shore of Badjoa, Boni, on 27 March 1825.

Borneo and Celebes

Although rebellion in 1817 to Saparoea and the other Moluccas was muted prevailed on this island great dissatisfaction with the enforcement of the [[monopoly] ], making the Moluccas of the general trade were excluded. As a result there was misery on Ambon. A committee, which Van der Capellen instituted in 1820, also recommended the abolition of the monopoly, what advice by Governor Merkus was supported in 1822, but Van der Capellen, who felt sufficiently informed, undertook in 1824 made a trip there. He was then convinced that adequate measures were needed, but that this cooperation of the senior government requirements and was limited for the time being to take the most urgent measures: a new provisional regulations for the domestic administration and finance were established; the hongitochten were abolished and properly regulated labor to be performed by the population. After Amboina were Banda, Ternate and Manado visited; Banda on the most pressing conditions were lifted, without, however, fell monopoly. The sultans of Ternate and Tidore new contracts. While the supreme government in many respects allied with the Van der Capellen proposals was by him anyway made the first step towards reform in the regions, which so much pressure from the ancient East India Company had felt. Van der Capellen traveled to Manado Makassar on Sulawesi, where the princes had been repeatedly clashed with the British and the Dutch were initially well received. But the mood changed when it appeared that they were not inclined to give in to the unreasonable claims of the prince of Boni. When the deceased monarch in 1823 and was succeeded by his sister, an attempt was made to sign a new contract with the princes of Celebes, which determined that the Dutch government would be the head of a Alliance Boni but refused Soepa and even received the Dutch commissioner not. When Van der Capellen on July 5, 1824 Celebes came personally to end the matter, the princes came and envoys, including those of Boni, greet him; of Soepa and Tanette but no one appeared. In concert - the envoys of Boni wished postponement to seek orders of their sovereign, but did not return - were now in the ancient Bonggaisch treaty changes, in which the government some rights were ceded adopted on July 17 by proclamation of the Governor General announced. Tanette was chastened now, the monarch deposed and replaced by his sister, but Soepa had repeatedly unsuccessful attacks instead. Boni also began hostilities, which was the signal for the revolt of almost the whole of southern Sulawesi. A powerful expedition under General From None was broadcast (February 1825), but even though the capital of Boni, who was abandoned by the enemy, in his hands fell, subdued the princess, who had fled to Wadjo, not themselves; because rainy monsoon and the increase in the number of diseases it was decided to return to Makassar; Then an expedition was sent to Soepa, where the monarch surrendered and signed an agreement with the government. During the reign of Van der Capellen was the west coast of Borneo repeatedly been the scene of unrest, mainly caused by the Chinese, in which the various landscapes gold brush were located. Whenever troops to be sent there. Also on the south coast, where at supplementing the existing contract only countries were ceded to the government, emerged in the Doesoenlanden at the end of 1824, a revolt which in February 1825 but was completely suppressed. Malacca, which was taken over by the British, was in 1824 a free port declared, but already the next year under the treaty signed with the British in March 1824 returned to them . Against the distance - at the same treaty - from Singapore, Van der Capellen had emphatically opposed. Shortly after the resignation of the Commissioner General Raffles had illegally taken possession of that island; on the advice of Rear Admiral Wolterbeek, who was the first commissioner Makakka and Riau the British had taken over, was when as seen in measures of violence proceeding. The army, which for almost the entire board of Van der Capellen commanded was by Lieutenant General De Kock, who on May 8, 1822 at royal decree was appointed lieutenant-governor-general, but also army commander remaining was on the strength of 13, 000 men and was brought to the biggest half of Europeans. Military school Semarang, which was raised by the British, was restored and furnished efficiently. Because under the administration of general commissioners set Colonial Marines did not comply with a view to combating piracy, it was decided in 1821 to build kruisprauw and, armed indigenous fast sailing vessels; They were under the immediate authority of Resident and asked.

Java War

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House of Javanese head on Java

In the first years after the departure of the commissioners was Reinwardt is the head of all science, medical service and education concerned. When he departed in 1822 from Java, education and health service were placed under various heads and a Director of Botanical Garden appointed. Art and sciences and were protected by Van der Capellen and the knowledge of the Javanese e and Malay e promoted languages. During the last year of the administration of Van der Capellen, the big revolt in Central Java out, which occurred regarding questionable for three years and only in the course of 1829 was subdued. In 1822 the sultan of Yogya died, bequeathing a two-year-old son, who was appointed under very unfavorable conditions sultan. There was deep distress among the population of the People Countries, which - also as a result of reduction in the area of ​​princes in recent years, while spending no noteworthy multiplied - through its heads was sucked and was also pressured by various taxes, while the withdrawal of land rent great dissatisfaction fathered with the princes. The custody about the young prince was exercised by his mother, his grandmother, his uncle Mankoe Boemi and uncle Dipa Negara, while the rijksbestierder with the resident's management has been sound. Dipo Negara, who thought claims to the throne to do, and was disappointed in his expectations, withdrew when the European influence on the court and the government became stronger in solitude and devoted himself to religious contemplation, making it [holy []] to the population in an atmosphere of came. Now when any acts of the European Governors gave rise to serious dissatisfaction, he made overt preparations for the struggle against the government and he called on the population to rally to him; after an attempt to arrest him in July 1825 failed, in a short time was entirely Djokja revolt. The Chinese were driven everywhere, toll, pasars sacked and the fort and also the Kraton of Djokja closely confined. General de Kock, with proxy sent to Central Java, was able to edit the susuhunan of Surakarta remained on the government faithfully, but only after much of it was returned to Celebes operating army, General Van could not in September fort and Kraton astonished. Meanwhile the revolt had spread in Kedoe and even Semarang was threatened for a moment. Wherever the enemy persisted in the open field, he was defeated, but he is usually given to the guerrilla war, leaving many jeopardizing the Dutch troops.

Political and economic situation

A weakness of the Board of Van der Capellen was the management of the finance. That much was spent was not surprising; during the last days of the British between government was much neglected; buildings, roads, bridges and locks were in a deplorable condition; many officials had to be appointed and numerous expeditions, necessary because the prestige of the Dutch name by the events of recent years had suffered, had cost a lot of money. Moreover, from the beginning of the accounting confused. The changes in this branch of the service followed each other at great speed, but an adequate survey of the state of the administration was not given. It was that the market did not benefit, because as a result of British rule was mainly in English hands gebleven.Om here to remedy this situation was with the support of King on March 29 1824 Dutch Trading Company was created. In India it was expected of them fairly common disadvantage; Van der Capellen was not welcomed the establishment and even refused by the arrival of the first by the company hired craft to meet the burden of minister Elout to cede a certain amount of government coffee against the Netherlands certain price at which society because that measure in India would provide financial disadvantage; That refusal brought him the displeasure of the King on the neck. Due to the very poor coinage, it was precious metal increasingly driven out of circulation.

The lack of money was provided through product sales, by issuance of credit paper and even after the interest giving promissory notes. Even lent by the government of a trading house in Calcutta money to offset against products. When the Indian Government (December 1824) once made an attempt to include a high amount to Calcutta in adverse conditions, this Van der Capellen was in the Netherlands, where the statements about the financial emergency in India disappointment aroused, very severely. Severe cutbacks were ordered; commitment was made to the monetary system should be re-regulated. To meet the acute shortage of funds, were once 8 million recorded in the Dutch Trading Company, while the law of March 23, 1826 decided a loan grew 20 million, including interest and repayment by the State were ensured at the expense of the Dutch East Indies to to go. Van der Capellen, who had already given earlier obtained in the course of 1824 to lay down and respect which initially planned to do so after his trip to the Moluccas, but was postponed due to the course of events his departure injunction was now at the end of 1825 the return journey.

Return in Netherlands

On January 1, 1826 Van der Capellen resigned as Governor General and on June 14 he arrived in the Netherlands. There urged him not welcomed fund. Even he was, what he had done with the purest of intentions and making him the welfare of the natives had undeniably promoted resent. He offered minister Elout a discourse on the Indian government against the rejection of its resolutions of 30 November and December 3, 1824 on the loan. By Royal Decree of June 14, 1826 was, however, disapproval maintained. A later attempt to obtain a more favorable decision not had the desired effect. Van der Capellen finally accepted the judgment. He shared back in the confidence of the King, but with the exception of the erezending, commissioned him in 1838 as the representative of the King at the coronation of Queen Victoria, he no state office - although repeatedly offered him - to perform during the reign of William I. Only in 1829 he has the President Presidency of the administrators of university of Utrecht assumed, near which he on the outside right Vollenhove at De Bilt was staying. After the accession of Willem II in 1840, Van der Capellen was to re London sent to disclose to Queen Victoria this event. On 12 November of that year he was appointed chairman of the committee that the interests of the primary education, that he was very much to heart, would be consulted and he was appointed on 28 November of the same year to Minister of State. In the spring of 1841, he was the Ministry of the Interior or Foreign Affairs offered. Van der Capellen was felt in such a relation to establish no use, as long as the former Constitution in liberal mind was revised; He expressed the wish to do so a number of capable men would be taxed by the King; No action was taken on this desire.



External links

Political offices
Preceded by
John Fendall, Jr.
under British rule
Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies
Succeeded by
Leonard du Bus de Gisignies

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