Frustration and Aggression as the Basic Factors of Workers’ Strike: A Case Study on Railway Workers’ Strike in Semarang, Central Java, in the Colonial Era

Dewi Yuliati


ABSTRACT: This research aims to analyze the basic factors of the railway workers’ strike in Semarang, Central Java, in the Dutch colonial era. Historical method, that is finding and examining the historical records, was used to get authentic and credible facts. The historical analysis was supported by other relevant social sciences concepts, especially psychology, sociology, and politics to reach the objective construction of the history of railway workers’ strike in Semarang. The result of this research can be summarized as follows. Semarang, a city which has been industrialized since the middle of the 19th century, is a nutritious area for the growth and the development of industrial community which consists of employer and worker classes. In this industrial community, capitalism lacking of appreciation to the workers’ force led the workers to frustration. Frustration could make every human being or even animal aggressive. This research shows that “frustration and aggression” are the basic factors of the workers’ movement, among others in the form of strike.

KEY WORDS: workers’ strike and movement, frustration and aggression, Semarang city, and colonial era in Indonesia.

About the Author: Dr. Dewi Yuliati is a Lecturer at the Department of History, Faculty of Cultural Sciences UNDIP (Diponegoro University) in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia. She can be reached at:

How to cite this article? Yuliati, Dewi. (2010). “Frustration and Aggression as the Basic Factors of Workers’ Strike: A Case Study on Railway Workers’ Strike in Semarang, Central Java, in the Colonial Era” in TAWARIKH: International Journal for Historical Studies, Vol.1(2) April, pp.179-200. Bandung, Indonesia: ASPENSI [Asosiasi Sarjana Pendidikan Sejarah Indonesia], ISSN 2085-0980.

Chronicle of the article: Accepted (February 7, 2010); Revised (March 11, 2010); and Published (April 28, 2010).

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