A conflict in north Sumatra between the Dutch and the people of Acheh, a sultanate on the northern coast of Sumatra, claimed to be the first Muslim state in south‐east Asia. After the fall of Malacca to the Portuguese in 1511 many Muslim traders moved there. By the late 16th century Acheh had reduced the power of Johore and controlled much of Sumatra and Malaya, deriving its wealth from pepper and tin. After the Dutch took Malacca in 1641, Acheh consolidated its rule in Sumatra. Trade rivalry and attempts by the sultan of Acheh to obtain foreign assistance against Dutch domination of north Sumatra caused the dispatch of an abortive Dutch expeditionary force in 1871. Although a larger force, sent later in the year, captured the sultan's capital, the Dutch met with fierce resistance in the interior, organized by the local religious leaders (ulama). The war was brought to an end between 1898 and January 1903 by military ‘pacification’ and concessions to the ulama, who were permitted to carry on their religious duties.
Subjects: World History.