The introduction and operation of the cultivation (culture) system in Java were closely tied to the collection of landrent. Reinsma has noted this clearly and succinctly in his contention diat “the landrent served as the lever for making use of an important part of the labor and land of the people.” Yet die closeness of this relationship has frequently been overlooked. An all-too-frequent impression today is that landrent was superseded by a requirement to cultivate ground. The fact that landrent continued to be collected is regarded as an abuse of the system, a sort of double taxation. As a result, a certain confusion about how landrent functioned within the cultivation system now pervades the thinking on die subject. This confusion is especially apparent in die English-language histories dealing with the system, but is by no means limited to these. The fundamental source of confusion can be traced back to the writings and pronouncements of Johannes van den Bosch, the man who conceived and breathed life into the cultivation system during his years in Java from 1830 to 1834.

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