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The Dutch East Indies (or Netherlands East-Indies; nl, Nederlands(ch)-Indië; ) was a
Dutch colony The Dutch colonial empire ( nl, Nederlandse koloniale rijk) comprised the overseas territories and trading posts controlled and administered by Dutch chartered companies—mainly the Dutch West India Company and the Dutch East India Company—an ...
consisting of what is now
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of I ...

Indonesia
. It was formed from the nationalised
trading posts A trading post, trading station, or trading house, also known as a factory, was an establishment or settlement where goods and services could be traded. Typically the location of the trading post would allow people from one geographic area to tra ...
of the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie; VOC), was a multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate organization that owns or controls the pro ...

Dutch East India Company
, which came under the administration of the
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
government in 1800. During the 19th century, the Dutch possessions and hegemony expanded, reaching the greatest territorial extent in the early 20th century. The Dutch East Indies was one of the most valuable colonies under European rule, and contributed to Dutch global prominence in spice and cash crop trade in the 19th to early 20th century. The colonial social order was based on rigid racial and social structures with a Dutch elite living separate from but linked to their native subjects. The term ''Indonesia'' came into use for the geographical location after 1880. In the early 20th century, local intellectuals began developing the concept of
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of I ...

Indonesia
as a
nation state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
, and set the stage for an independence movement. Japan's World War II occupation dismantled much of the Dutch colonial state and economy. Following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, Indonesian nationalists declared
independence upright=1.0, Pedro surrounded by a crowd in Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822.">Independence of Brazil">Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822. Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or state State may ref ...

independence
which they fought to secure during the subsequent
Indonesian National Revolution The Indonesian National Revolution, or the Indonesian War of Independence, was an armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between the Republic of Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, lin ...
. The Netherlands formally recognised Indonesian sovereignty at the 1949
Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference The Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference was held in The Hague from 23 August to 2 November 1949, between representatives of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Indonesia and the Federal Consultative Assembly, representing variou ...
with the exception of the
Netherlands New Guinea 300px, Steamboat connections in Dutch New Guinea in 1915 Netherlands New Guinea ( nl, Nederlands-Nieuw-Guinea) refers to the Papua region of Indonesia while it was a part of the Dutch East Indies until 1949, later an overseas territory of ...
(
Western New Guinea Western New Guinea, also known as Papua or Indonesian New Guinea, is the western portion of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured ...
), which was ceded to Indonesia 14 years later in 1963 under the provisions of the
New York Agreement The New York Agreement is an agreement signed by the Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Dutch Caribbean, Caribbean. It is the lar ...
.


Etymology

The word ''Indies'' comes from la, Indus (
Names for India The Republic of India has two principal short names in both official and popular English usage, each of which is historically significant, "India" and "Bharata". The first article of the Constitution of India The Constitution of India ...
). The original name ''Dutch Indies'' () was translated by the English as the ''Dutch East Indies'', to keep it distinct from the ''
Dutch West Indies The Dutch Caribbean (historically known as the Dutch West Indies) are the territories, colonies, and countries, former and current, of the Dutch Empire The Dutch colonial empire comprised the overseas territories and trading posts controlled ...
''. The name ''Dutch Indies'' is recorded in the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie; VOC), was a multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate organization that owns or controls the pro ...

Dutch East India Company
's documents of the early 1620s. Scholars writing in English use the terms ''Indië'', ''Indies'', the ''Dutch East Indies'', the ''Netherlands Indies'', and ''colonial Indonesia'' interchangeably.


History


Company rule

Centuries before Europeans arrived, the
Indonesian archipelago The islands of Indonesia, also known as the Indonesian Archipelago or Nusantara ''Nusantara'' is the Indonesian name of Maritime Southeast Asia (or parts of it). It is an Old Javanese Kawi or Old Javanese is the oldest attested phase ...
supported various states, including commercially oriented coastal trading states and inland agrarian states (the most important were
Srivijaya Srivijaya (, ; , ) was a Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay langua ...
and
Majapahit The Majapahit () was a Javanese Hindu Hindus () are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', or way of life. It i ...

Majapahit
). The islands were known to the Europeans and were sporadically visited by expeditions such as that of
Marco Polo Marco Polo (, , ; September 15, 1254January 8, 1324) was a Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road The Silk Road was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and W ...

Marco Polo
in 1292, and his fellow Italian
Odoric of Pordenone Odoric of Pordenone, (1286–1331), also known as Odorico Mattiussi/Mattiuzzi, Odoricus of Friuli or Orderic of Pordenone, was an Italian late-medieval Franciscan The Franciscans are a group of related Mendicant orders, mendicant Christianity ...
in 1321. The first Europeans to establish themselves in Indonesia were the Portuguese in 1512. Following disruption of Dutch access to spices,Ricklefs (1991), p. 27 the first
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
expedition set sail for the East Indies in 1595 to access spices directly from Asia. When it made a 400% profit on its return, other Dutch expeditions soon followed. Recognising the potential of the
East Indies 300px, The East Indies (or simply the Indies), is a term used in historical narratives of the Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), ...
trade, the Dutch government amalgamated the competing companies into the
United East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC; id, Persatuan Perusahaan Hindia Timur), was a megacorporation Image:Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie spiegelretourschip Am ...
(''Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie'' or VOC). The VOC was granted a charter to wage war, build fortresses, and make treaties across Asia. A capital was established in Batavia (now
Jakarta Jakarta (; ), officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta ( id, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letter ...

Jakarta
), which became the center of the VOC's Asian trading network.Vickers (2005), p. 10 To their original monopolies on
nutmeg Nutmeg is the seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was release ...

nutmeg
,
peppers Pepper or peppers may refer to: Food and spice * Piperaceae or the pepper family, a large family of flowering plant ** Black pepper * ''Capsicum'' or pepper, a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family Solanaceae ** Bell pepper ** Chili p ...
,
cloves Cloves are the aromatic flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproduction, reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of ...
and cinnamon, the company and later colonial administrations introduced non-indigenous cash crops like coffee, tea, cacao, tobacco, rubber, sugar and opium, and safeguarded their commercial interests by taking over surrounding territory. Smuggling, the ongoing expense of war, corruption, and mismanagement led to bankruptcy by the end of the 18th century. The company was formally dissolved in 1800 and its colonial possessions in the Indonesian archipelago (including much of
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia, in the Pacific Ocean. The islands, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra, are internat ...

Java
, parts of
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia So ...

Sumatra
, much of , and the hinterlands of ports such as Makasar,
Manado Manado () is the capital City status in Indonesia, city of the Indonesian Provinces of Indonesia, province of North Sulawesi. It is the second largest city in Sulawesi after Makassar, with the 2020 Census giving a population of 451,916 distribut ...
, and
Kupang Kupang ( id, Kota Kupang, ) is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara East Nusa Tenggara ( id, Nusa Tenggara Timur – NTT) is the southernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Admini ...

Kupang
) were nationalized under the Dutch Republic as the Dutch East Indies.


Dutch conquests

From the arrival of the first Dutch ships in the late 16th century, to the declaration of independence in 1945, Dutch control over the Indonesian archipelago was always tenuous. Although Java was dominated by the Dutch, many areas remained independent throughout much of this time, including
Aceh Aceh () is the westernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision ...
,
Bali Bali () ( ban, ) is a province of Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacif ...

Bali
,
Lombok Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It forms part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait between it and Sumbawa to the east. It is rough ...

Lombok
and
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
.* There were numerous wars and disturbances across the archipelago as various indigenous groups resisted efforts to establish a Dutch hegemony, which weakened Dutch control and tied up its military forces. Piracy remained a problem until the mid-19th century. Finally in the early 20th century, imperial dominance was extended across what was to become the territory of modern-day Indonesia. In 1806, with the Netherlands under Imperial French domination, Emperor
Napoleon I Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led Napoleon Bonaparte's battle record, several successful campaigns during the French Rev ...

Napoleon I
appointed his brother
Louis Bonaparte Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (born Luigi Buonaparte; 2 September 1778 – 25 July 1846) was a younger brother of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French Emperor of the French ( French: ''Empereur des Français'') was the title of the monarch A monarch ...

Louis Bonaparte
to the Dutch throne, which led to the 1808 appointment of Marshal
Herman Willem Daendels Herman Willem Daendels (21 October 1762 – 2 May 1818) was a Netherlands, Dutch revolutionary, general and politician who served as the 36th Governor General of the French and British interludes in the Dutch East Indies, Dutch East Indies between ...

Herman Willem Daendels
as governor-general of the Dutch East Indies. In 1811 Daendels was replaced by Governor-General
Jan Willem Janssens Jonkheer Jonkheer (female equivalent: jonkvrouw; French (language), French: Écuyer, English language, English: Squire) is an honorific in the low countries, Low Countries denoting the lowest rank within the nobility. In the Netherlands, this in g ...
, but shortly after his arrival British forces occupied several Dutch East Indies ports including the Spice islands in 1810 and Java the following year -
Thomas Stamford Raffles Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, FRS (5 July 1781 – 5 July 1826) was a British statesman A statesman or stateswoman is usually a politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activit ...
became lieutenant governor. Following Napoleon's defeat at the 1815
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo Waterloo most commonly refers to: * Battle of Waterloo, a battle on 18 June 1815 in which Napoleon met his final defeat :* Waterloo, Belgium, a municipality in Belgium fr ...

Battle of Waterloo
and the
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was an international diplomatic conference to reconstitute the European political order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon I Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) wa ...

Congress of Vienna
, independent Dutch control was restored in 1816. Under the 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty, the Dutch secured British settlements such as
Bengkulu Bengkulu is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. It is located on the southwest coast of Sumatra. It was formed on 18 November 1968 by separating out the former Bengkulu Residency area from the province of South Sumatra under Law No. ...
in
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia So ...

Sumatra
, in exchange for ceding control of their possessions in the
Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language f ...
( Malaya) and
Dutch India Dutch India consisted of the settlements and trading posts of the Dutch East India Company on the Indian subcontinent. It is only used as a geographical definition, as there was never a political authority ruling all Dutch India. Instead, Dutch ...
. The resulting borders between former British and Dutch possessions remain today between modern Malaysia and Indonesia. Since the establishment of the VOC in the 17th century, the expansion of Dutch territory had been a business matter.
Graaf van den Bosch Johannes, Count van den Bosch (2 February 1780 – 28 January 1844) was a Netherlands, Dutch Officer (armed forces), officer and politician. He was List of Governors-General of the Dutch East Indies, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies ( ...
's governor-generalship (1830–1835) confirmed profitability as the foundation of official policy, restricting its attention to Java, Sumatra and Bangka. However, from about 1840, Dutch national expansionism saw them wage a series of wars to enlarge and consolidate their possessions in the outer islands. Motivations included: the protection of areas already held; the intervention of Dutch officials ambitious for glory or promotion; and to establish Dutch claims throughout the archipelago to prevent intervention from other Western powers during the European push for colonial possessions.Ricklefs (1991), p. 131 As exploitation of Indonesian resources expanded off Java, most of the outer islands came under direct Dutch government control or influence. The Dutch subjugated the
MinangkabauMinangkabau may refer to: * Minangkabau culture, culture of the Minangkabau people * Minangkabau Culture Documentation and Information Center * Minangkabau F.C., a football club based in Padang, West Sumatra * Minangkabau Highlands, West Sumatra * Mi ...
of Sumatra in the
Padri War The Padri War (also called the Minangkabau War) was fought from 1803 until 1837 in West Sumatra West Sumatra ( id, Sumatra Barat) is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. On the west coast of the island of Sumatra, the province has ...
(1821–38) and the
Java War The Java War ( jv, ꦥꦼꦫꦁꦗꦮ) or Diponegoro War () was fought in central Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southea ...
(1825–30) ended significant Javanese resistance. The
Banjarmasin War The Banjarmasin War (in old spelling ''Bandjermasin War'', Dutch: ''Bandjermasinse Oorlog'', or formally ''Expeditie naar de Zuider- en Oosterafdeling van Borneo'') (1859–1863) was a war of succession A war of succession or succession wa ...
(1859–1863) in southeast Kalimantan resulted in the defeat of the Sultan. After failed expeditions to conquer Bali in
1846 Events January–March * January 5 Events Pre-1600 *1477 – Battle of Nancy: Charles the Bold is defeated and killed in a conflict with René II, Duke of Lorraine; Duchy of Burgundy, Burgundy subsequently becomes part of France. ...
and
1848 It is historically famous for the wave of revolutions, a series of widespread struggles for more liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an a ...
, an 1849 intervention brought northern Bali under Dutch control. The most prolonged military expedition was the
Aceh War The Aceh War (Indonesian language, Indonesian: Perang Aceh), also known as the Dutch War or the Infidel War (1873–1904), was an armed military conflict between the Sultanate of Aceh and the Kingdom of the Netherlands which was triggered by di ...
in which a Dutch invasion in 1873 was met with indigenous guerrilla resistance and ended with an Acehnese surrender in 1912.Friend (2003), p. 21 Disturbances continued to break out on both Java and
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia So ...

Sumatra
during the remainder of the 19th century. However, the island of
Lombok Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It forms part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait between it and Sumbawa to the east. It is rough ...

Lombok
came under Dutch control in 1894, and
Batak Batak is a collective term used to identify a number of closely related Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambi ...
resistance in northern Sumatra was quashed in 1895. Towards the end of the 19th century, the balance of military power shifted towards the industrialising Dutch and against pre-industrial independent indigenous Indonesian
polities A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between ind ...
as the technology gap widened. Military leaders and Dutch politicians believed they had a moral duty to free the native Indonesian peoples from indigenous rulers who were considered oppressive, backward, or disrespectful of international law.Vickers (2005), p. 14 Although Indonesian rebellions broke out, direct colonial rule was extended throughout the rest of the archipelago from 1901 to 1910 and control taken from the remaining independent local rulers.Reid (1974), p. 1. Southwestern
Sulawesi Sulawesi (), also known as Celebes (), is one of the four Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia, in the Pacific Ocean. The islands, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra, are i ...

Sulawesi
was occupied in 1905–06, the island of Bali was subjugated with military conquests in 1906 and
1908 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of t ...
, as were the remaining independent kingdoms in Maluku, Sumatra, Kalimantan, and
Nusa Tenggara The Lesser Sunda Islands ( id, Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara "southeastern archipelago" or "lesser sunda archipelago") are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collecti ...
. Other rulers including the Sultans of
Tidore Tidore ( id, Kota Tidore Kepulauan, lit. "City of Tidore Islands") is a city, island, and archipelago in the Maluku Islands The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas () (''Molukken'') are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called a ...
in Maluku,
Pontianak Pontianak or Khuntien is the capital of the Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South- ...
(Kalimantan), and
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...

Palembang
in Sumatra, requested Dutch protection from independent neighbours thereby avoiding Dutch military conquest and were able to negotiate better conditions under colonial rule. The
Bird's Head Peninsula The Bird's Head Peninsula ( Indonesian: ''Kepala Burung'', nl, Vogelkop) or Doberai Peninsula is a large peninsula that makes up the northwest portion of the island of New Guinea and the major part of the West Papua (province), Province of West P ...
(
Western New Guinea Western New Guinea, also known as Papua or Indonesian New Guinea, is the western portion of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured ...
), was brought under Dutch administration in 1920. This final territorial range would form the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.


World War II and independence

The Netherlands capitulated their European territory to
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
on May 14, 1940. The royal family fled to exile in Britain. Germany and Japan were Axis allies. On 27 September 1940, Germany,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...
, and
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
signed a treaty outlining "spheres of influence". The Dutch East Indies fell into Japan's sphere. The Netherlands, Britain and the United States tried to defend the colony from the Japanese forces as they moved south in late 1941 in search of Dutch oil. On 10 January 1942, during the Dutch East Indies Campaign, Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies as part of the
Pacific War The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the theater Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or i ...
. The rubber plantations and oil fields of the Dutch East Indies were considered crucial for the Japanese war effort. Allied forces were quickly overwhelmed by the Japanese and on 8 March 1942 the
Royal Dutch East Indies Army The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army ( nl, KoninklijkKoninklijk or Koninklijke ({{IPA-nl, ˈkoːnɪŋklək(ə), pron, Dutch language, Dutch for ''Royal'') is an Title of honor, honorary title given to certain companies and non-profit organis ...
surrendered in Java. Fuelled by the Japanese ''Light of Asia'' war propaganda and the
Indonesian National Awakening The Indonesian National Awakening ( id, Kebangkitan Nasional Indonesia) is a term for the period in the first half of the 20th century, during which people from many parts of the archipelago of Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Repu ...
, a vast majority of the indigenous Dutch East Indies population first welcomed the Japanese as liberators from the colonial Dutch empire, but this sentiment quickly changed as the occupation turned out to be far more oppressive and ruinous than the Dutch colonial government. The Japanese occupation during World War II brought about the fall of the colonial state in Indonesia, as the Japanese removed as much of the Dutch government structure as they could, replacing it with their own regime.Vickers (2005), page 85 Although the top positions were held by the Japanese, the internment of all Dutch citizens meant that Indonesians filled many leadership and administrative positions. In contrast to Dutch repression of Indonesian nationalism, the Japanese allowed indigenous leaders to forge links amongst the masses, and they trained and armed the younger generations. According to a UN report, four million people died in Indonesia as a result of the Japanese occupation. Following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, nationalist leaders
Sukarno Sukarno (; born Koesno Sosrodihardjo, ; 6 June 1901 – 21 June 1970) was an Indonesian people, Indonesian wikt:statesman, statesman, politician, nationalist, and assimilationist who was the first president of Indonesia, serving from 1945 ...

Sukarno
and
Mohammad Hatta Mohammad Hatta (; 12 August 1902 – 14 March 1980) was an Indonesian statesman who served as the country's first Vice President of Indonesia, vice president. Known as "The Proclamator", he and a number of Indonesians, including the first presid ...
declared Indonesian independence. A four and a half-year struggle followed as the Dutch tried to re-establish their colony; although Dutch forces re-occupied most of Indonesia's territory a guerrilla struggle ensued, and the majority of Indonesians, and ultimately international opinion, favoured Indonesian independence. The Netherlands committed war crimes : summary and arbitrary killings of Indonesian villagers and farmers, torture of Indonesian prisoners and execution of prisoners. Ad van Liempt documented the mass murder of 364 Indonesians by Dutch soldiers in the village of Galoeng Galoeng. Alfred Edelstein and Karin van Coevorden, documented later the execution of hundreds of men in the village of Rawagede. In December 1949, the Netherlands formally recognised Indonesian sovereignty with the exception of the
Netherlands New Guinea 300px, Steamboat connections in Dutch New Guinea in 1915 Netherlands New Guinea ( nl, Nederlands-Nieuw-Guinea) refers to the Papua region of Indonesia while it was a part of the Dutch East Indies until 1949, later an overseas territory of ...
(
Western New Guinea Western New Guinea, also known as Papua or Indonesian New Guinea, is the western portion of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured ...
).
Sukarno Sukarno (; born Koesno Sosrodihardjo, ; 6 June 1901 – 21 June 1970) was an Indonesian people, Indonesian wikt:statesman, statesman, politician, nationalist, and assimilationist who was the first president of Indonesia, serving from 1945 ...

Sukarno
's government campaigned for Indonesian control of the territory, and with pressure from the United States, the Netherlands agreed to the
New York Agreement The New York Agreement is an agreement signed by the Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Dutch Caribbean, Caribbean. It is the lar ...
which ceded the territory to Indonesian administration in May 1963. In 2013, the Netherlands government apologised for the violence used against the Indonesian people, an apology repeated by King
Willem-Alexander Willem-Alexander (; Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand; born 27 April 1967) is the King of the Netherlands, having acceded to the throne following Beatrix of the Netherlands, his mother's abdication in 2013. Willem-Alexander was born in Utr ...
on a state visit in 2020. To this day, the colonial war is commonly referred to as "police actions" in the Netherlands.


Government


Law and administration

Since the VOC era, the highest Dutch authority in the colony resided with the 'Office of the Governor-General'. During the Dutch East Indies era the Governor-General functioned as chief executive president of colonial government and served as
commander-in-chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men' ...
of the colonial (
KNIL The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army ( nl, KoninklijkKoninklijk or Koninklijke ({{IPA-nl, ˈkoːnɪŋklək(ə), pron, Dutch language, Dutch for ''Royal'') is an Title of honor, honorary title given to certain companies and non-profit organi ...

KNIL
) army. Until 1903 all government officials and organisations were formal agents of the Governor-General and were entirely dependent on the central administration of the 'Office of the Governor-General' for their budgets. Until 1815 the Governor-General had the absolute right to ban, censor or restrict any publication in the colony. The so-called ''Exorbitant powers'' of the Governor-General allowed him to exile anyone regarded as subversive and dangerous to peace and order, without involving any Court of Law. Until 1848 the Governor-General was directly appointed by the Dutch monarch, and in later years via the Crown and on advice of the Dutch metropolitan cabinet. During two periods (1815–1835 and 1854–1925) the Governor-General ruled jointly with an advisory board called the ''Raad van Indie'' (Indies Council).
Colonial policy Colonial or The Colonial may refer to: * Colonial, of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony or colony (biology) Architecture * American colonial architecture * French Colonial * Spanish Colonial architecture Automobiles * Colonial (1920 auto ...
and strategy were the responsibility of the ''Ministry of Colonies'' based in
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ed ...

The Hague
. From 1815 to 1848 the Ministry was under direct authority of the Dutch King. In the 20th century the colony gradually developed as a state distinct from the Dutch metropole with treasury separated in 1903, public loans being contracted by the colony from 1913, and quasi diplomatic ties were established with Arabia to manage the Haji pilgrimage from the Dutch East Indies. In 1922 the colony came on equal footing with the Netherlands in the Dutch constitution, while remaining under the Ministry of Colonies. The Governor-General led a hierarchy of Dutch officials; the Residents, the Assistant Residents, and District Officers called Controllers. Traditional rulers who survived displacement by the Dutch conquests were installed as regents and indigenous aristocracy became an indigenous civil service. While they lost real control, their wealth and splendour under the Dutch grew. This indirect rule did not disturb the peasantry and was cost-effective for the Dutch; in 1900, only 250 European and 1,500 indigenous civil servants, and 16,000 Dutch officers and men and 26,000 hired native troops, were required to rule 35 million colonial subjects. From 1910, the Dutch created the most centralised state power in
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
. Politically, the highly centralised power structure, including the exorbitant powers of exile and censorship, established by the Dutch administration was carried over into the new Indonesian republic. A People's Council called the ''
Volksraad The ''Volksraad'' (English: "People's Council") was the parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly ...
'' for the Dutch East Indies commenced in 1918. The ''Volksraad'' was limited to an advisory role and only a small portion of the indigenous population were able to vote for its members. The Council comprised 30 indigenous members, 25 European and 5 from Chinese and other populations, and was reconstituted every four years. In 1925 the Volksraad was made a semilegislative body; although decisions were still made by the Dutch government, the governor-general was expected to consult the ''Volksraad'' on major issues. The ''Volksraad'' was dissolved in 1942 during the Japanese occupation. The Dutch government adapted the Dutch codes of law in its colony. The highest court of law, the Supreme Court in Batavia, dealt with appeals and monitored judges and courts throughout the colony. Six Councils of Justice ''(Raad van Justitie)'' dealt mostly with crime committed by people in the European legal class and only indirectly with the indigenous population. The Land Councils ''(Landraden)'' dealt with civil matters and less serious offences like estate divorces, and matrimonial disputes. The indigenous population was subject to their respective
adat Alesis Digital Audio Tape (ADAT) is a magnetic tape Magnetic tape is a medium for , made of a thin, magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of . It was developed in Germany in 1928, based on . Devices that record and playback audio ...

adat
law and to indigenous regents and district courts, unless cases were escalated before Dutch judges. Following Indonesian independence, the Dutch legal system was adopted and gradually a national legal system based on Indonesian precepts of law and justice was established. By 1920 the Dutch had established 350 prisons throughout the colony. The ''Meester Cornelis'' prison in Batavia incarcerated the most unruly inmates. In ''Sawah Loento'' prison on Sumatra prisoners had to perform manual labour in the coal mines. Separate prisons were built for juveniles (West Java) and for women. In the female ''Boeloe'' prison in Semarang inmates had the opportunity to learn a profession during their detention, such as sewing, weaving and making
batik Batik is an Indonesian Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native Indonesians, diverse groups of local inhabitants of ...

batik
. This training was held in high esteem and helped re-socialise women once they were outside the correctional facility. In response to the communist uprising of 1926 the prison camp '' Boven-Digoel'' was established in
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
. As of 1927 political prisoners, including indigenous Indonesians espousing Indonesian independence, were 'exiled' to the outer islands.


Administrative divisions

The Dutch East Indies was divided into three Gouvernementen - Groot Oost, Borneo and Sumatra - and three provincies in Java. Provincies and Gouvernementen were both divided into Residencies, but while the Residencies under the provincies were divided again into ''regentschappen'', Residencies under Gouvermenten were divided into ''Afdeelingen'' first before being subdivided into ''regentschappen''.


Armed forces

The
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army ( nl, Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger; KNIL, ) was the military force maintained by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in its Dutch Empire, colony of the Dutch East Indies, in areas that are now part of I ...
(KNIL) and its air arm, the
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force ( nl, Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger, ML-KNIL) was the air arm of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army ( nl, Konink ...
(ML-KNIL), were established in 1814 and 1915 respectively. Naval forces of the
Royal Netherlands Navy The Royal Netherlands Navy ( nl, Koninklijke Marine, links=no) is the naval force of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherlands (orthographic projection).svg , map_width = 250px , image ...
were based in
Surabaya Surabaya (; Javanese : ꦱꦸꦫꦧꦪ read : Suråbåyå; Van Ophuijsen Spelling (Old Spelling) : Soerabaja) is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Java East Java ( id, Jawa Timur) is a province A province is almost always ...

Surabaya
, supplemented by the colonial Government Navy. The KNIL was not part of the
Royal Netherlands Army The Royal Netherlands Army ( nl, Koninklijke Landmacht) is the Ground warfare, land branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Though the Royal Netherlands Army was raised on 9 January 1814, its origins date back to 1572, when the was raised – m ...

Royal Netherlands Army
, but a separate military arm commanded by the Governor-General and funded by the colonial budget. The KNIL was not allowed to recruit Dutch conscripts and had the nature of a ' Foreign Legion' recruiting not only Dutch volunteers, but many other European nationalities (especially German, Belgian and Swiss mercenaries). While most officers were Europeans, the majority of soldiers were indigenous Indonesians, the largest contingent of which were Javanese and Sundanese. Dutch policy before the 1870s was to take full charge of strategic points and work out treaties with the local leaders elsewhere so they would remain in control and co-operate. The policy failed in
Aceh Aceh () is the westernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision ...
, in northern Sumatra, where the sultan tolerated pirates who raided commerce in the
Strait of Malacca id, Selat Malaka th, ta, hi, zh, , native_name_lang = , other_name = , image = Strait of malacca.jpg , alt = , caption = The Strait of Malacca connects the Pacific Ocean to ...
. Britain was a protector of Aceh and it granted the Dutch request to conduct their anti-piracy campaign. The campaign quickly drove out the sultan but across Aceh numerous local Muslim leaders mobilised and fought the Dutch in four decades of very expensive guerrilla war, with high levels of atrocities on both sides. Colonial military authorities tried to forestall a war against the population by means of a ‘strategy of awe’. When a guerrilla war did take place the Dutch used either a slow, violent occupation or a campaign of destruction. By 1900 the archipelago was considered "pacified" and the KNIL was mainly involved with military police tasks. The nature of the KNIL changed in 1917 when the colonial government introduced obligatory
military service Military service is service by an individual or group in an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In th ...
for all male conscripts in the European legal class and in 1922 a supplemental legal enactment introduced the creation of a ‘Home guard’ ( nl, Landstorm) for European conscripts older than 32. Petitions by Indonesian nationalists to establish military service for indigenous people were rejected. In July 1941 the ''Volksraad'' passed law creating a native militia of 18,000 by a majority of 43 to 4, with only the moderate Great Indonesia Party objecting. After the declaration of war with Japan, over 100,000 natives volunteered. The KNIL hastily and inadequately attempted to transform them into a modern military force able to protect the Dutch East Indies from Imperial Japanese invasion. On the eve of the Japanese invasion in December 1941, Dutch regular troops in the East Indies comprised about 1,000 officers and 34,000 men, of whom 28,000 were indigenous. During the Dutch East Indies campaign of 1941–42 the KNIL and the Allied forces were quickly defeated. All European soldiers, which in practice included all able bodied Indo-European males were interned by the Japanese as
POW POW POW is "prisoner of war", a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. POW or pow may also refer to: Music * P.O.W (Bullet for My Valentine song), "P.O.W" ( ...

POW
's. 25% of the POW's did not survive their internment. Following World War II, a reconstituted KNIL joined with Dutch Army troops to re-establish colonial "law and order". Despite two successful military campaigns in 1947 and 1948, Dutch efforts to re-establish their colony failed and the Netherlands recognised Indonesian sovereignty in December 1949. The KNIL was disbanded by 26 July 1950 with its indigenous personnel being given the option of demobilising or joining the
Indonesian military , march = "March of the Indonesian National Armed Forces" , branches = , headquarters = Cilangkap, Jakarta , commander-in-chief = President of Indonesia, President Joko Widodo , commander-in-chief_title= Commander-in-Chief , min ...
. At the time of disbandment the KNIL numbered 65,000, of whom 26,000 were incorporated into the new Indonesian Army. The remainder were either demobilised or transferred to the Netherlands Army. Key officers in the
Indonesian National Armed Forces , founded = as the ('People's Security Forces') , current_form = , disbanded = , branches = , headquarters = Cilangkap, Jakarta Jakarta (; ), officially the Special Capital Region of J ...
that were former KNIL soldiers include:
Suharto Suharto (; ; 8 June 1921 – 27 January 2008) was an Indonesian Army officer Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native In ...
second president of Indonesia, , commander of the
Siliwangi Division 3rd Military Regional Command/Siliwangi ( id, Komando Daerah Militer III/Siliwangi or Kodam III/Siliwangi) is a Military district Military districts (also called military regions) are formations of a state's armed forces (often of the Army) whic ...
and Chief of Staff of the Indonesian army and A.E. Kawilarang founder of the elite special forces
Kopassus '' ("Brave, Rightful, and Successful") , colours = , colors_label = red , march = , mascot = , battles = * Regional rebellions 19 ...

Kopassus
.


Demographics

In 1898, the population of Java numbered 28 million with another 7 million on Indonesia's outer islands. The first half of 20th century saw large-scale immigration of Dutch and other Europeans to the colony, where they worked in either the government or private sectors. By 1930, there were more than 240,000 people with European legal status in the colony, making up less than 0.5% of the total population. Almost 75% of these Europeans were in fact native Eurasians known as Indo-Europeans. The Dutch colonialists formed a privileged upper social class of soldiers, administrators, managers, teachers and pioneers. They lived together with the "natives", but at the top of a rigid social and racial
caste system Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural no ...
. The Dutch East Indies had two legal classes of citizens; European and indigenous. A third class, Foreign Easterners, was added in 1920. In 1901 the Dutch adopted what they called the Ethical Policy, under which the colonial government had a duty to further the welfare of the Indonesian people in health and education. Other new measures under the policy included irrigation programs, transmigration, communications, flood mitigation, industrialisation, and protection of native industry.
Industrialisation Industrialisation ( alternatively spelled industrialization) is the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society An agrarian society, or agricultural society, is any community whose economy is b ...

Industrialisation
did not significantly affect the majority of Indonesians, and Indonesia remained an agricultural colony; by 1930, there were 17 cities with populations over 50,000 and their combined populations numbered 1.87 million of the colony's 60 million.


Education

The Dutch school system was extended to Indonesians with the most prestigious schools admitting Dutch children and those of the Indonesian upper class. A second tier of schooling was based on ethnicity with separate schools for Indonesians, Arabs, and Chinese being taught in Dutch and with a Dutch curriculum. Ordinary Indonesians were educated in
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
in Roman alphabet with "link" schools preparing bright Indonesian students for entry into the Dutch-language schools.Taylor (2003), p. 286 Vocational schools and programs were set up by the Indies government to train indigenous Indonesians for specific roles in the colonial economy. Chinese and Arabs, officially termed "foreign orientals", could not enrol in either the vocational schools or primary schools. Graduates of Dutch schools opened their own schools modelled on the Dutch school system, as did Christian missionaries, Theosophical Societies, and Indonesian cultural associations. This proliferation of schools was further boosted by new Muslim schools in the Western mould that also offered secular subjects. According to the 1930 census, 6% of Indonesians were literate, however, this figure recognised only graduates from Western schools and those who could read and write in a language in the Roman alphabet. It did not include graduates of non-Western schools or those who could read but not write Arabic, Malay or Dutch, or those who could write in non-Roman alphabets such as
Batak Batak is a collective term used to identify a number of closely related Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambi ...
, Javanese, Chinese, or Arabic. Some higher education institutions were also established. In 1898 the Dutch East Indies government established a school to train
medical doctor A physician (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Eng ...

medical doctor
s, named ''School tot Opleiding van Inlandsche Artsen'' (STOVIA). Many STOVIA graduates later played important roles in Indonesian National Awakening, Indonesia's national movement toward independence as well in developing medical education in Indonesia, such as Dr. Wahidin Soedirohoesodo, who established the Budi Utomo political society. ''De Technische Hoogeschool te Bandung'' established in 1920 by the Dutch colonial administration to meet the needs of technical resources at its colony. One of ''Technische Hogeschool'' graduate is
Sukarno Sukarno (; born Koesno Sosrodihardjo, ; 6 June 1901 – 21 June 1970) was an Indonesian people, Indonesian wikt:statesman, statesman, politician, nationalist, and assimilationist who was the first president of Indonesia, serving from 1945 ...

Sukarno
whom later would lead the
Indonesian National Revolution The Indonesian National Revolution, or the Indonesian War of Independence, was an armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between the Republic of Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, lin ...
. In 1924, the colonial government again decided to open a new tertiary-level educational facility, the ''Rechts Hogeschool'' (RHS), to train civilian officers and servants. In 1927, STOVIA's status was changed to that of a full tertiary-level institution and its name was changed to ''Geneeskundige Hogeschool'' (GHS). The GHS occupied the same main building and used the same teaching hospital as the current Faculty of Medicine of University of Indonesia. The old links between the Netherlands and Indonesia are still clearly visible in such technological areas as irrigation design. To this day, the ideas of Dutch colonial irrigation engineers continue to exert a strong influence over Indonesian design practices. Moreover, the two highest internationally ranking universities of Indonesia, the University of Indonesia est.1898 and the Bandung Institute of Technology est.1920, were both founded during the colonial era. Education reforms, and modest political reform, resulted in a small elite of highly educated indigenous Indonesians, who promoted the idea of an independent and unified "Indonesia" that would bring together disparate indigenous groups of the Dutch East Indies. A period termed the Indonesian National Revival, the first half of the 20th century saw the nationalist movement develop strongly, but also face Dutch oppression.


Economy

The economic history of the colony was closely related to the economic health of the mother country. Despite increasing returns from the Dutch system of land tax, Dutch finances had been severely affected by the cost of the
Java War The Java War ( jv, ꦥꦼꦫꦁꦗꦮ) or Diponegoro War () was fought in central Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southea ...
and the
Padri War The Padri War (also called the Minangkabau War) was fought from 1803 until 1837 in West Sumatra West Sumatra ( id, Sumatra Barat) is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. On the west coast of the island of Sumatra, the province has ...
, and the Dutch loss of Belgium in 1830 brought the Netherlands to the brink of bankruptcy. In 1830, a new Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, Governor-General, Johannes van den Bosch, was appointed to make the Indies pay their way through Dutch exploitation of its resources. With the Dutch achieving political domination throughout Java for the first time in 1830, it was possible to introduce an agricultural policy of government-controlled forced cultivation. Termed ''cultuurstelsel'' (cultivation system) in Dutch and ''tanam paksa'' (forced plantation) in Indonesia, farmers were required to deliver, as a form of tax, fixed amounts of specified crops, such as sugar or coffee.Taylor (2003), p. 240 Much of Java became a Dutch plantation and revenue rose continually through the 19th century which were reinvested into the Netherlands to save it from bankruptcy. Between 1830 and 1870, 840 million guilder (8 billion euro in 2018 ) were taken from the East Indies, on average making a third of the annual Dutch Government budget. The Cultivation System, however, brought much economic hardship to Javanese peasants, who suffered famine and epidemics in the 1840s. A Critical public opinion in the Netherlands led to much of the Cultivation System's excesses being eliminated under the agrarian reforms of the "Liberal Period". According to one study, the mortality rate in Java would have been 10-20% higher by the late 1870s if the system of forced labor had not been abolished. Dutch private capital flowed in after 1850, especially in tin mining and plantation estate agriculture. The Martavious Company's tin mines off the eastern Sumatra coast was financed by a syndicate of Dutch entrepreneurs, including the younger brother of King Willem III of the Netherlands, King William III. Mining began in 1860. In 1863 Jacob Nienhuys obtained a concession from the Sultanate of Deli (East Sumatra) for a large tobacco estate (Deli Company. From 1870, the Indies were opened up to private enterprise and Dutch businessmen set up large, profitable plantations. Sugar production doubled between 1870 and 1885; new crops such as tea and cinchona flourished, and rubber was introduced, leading to dramatic increases in Dutch profits. Changes were not limited to Java, or agriculture; oil from Sumatra and Kalimantan became a valuable resource for industrialising Europe. Dutch commercial interests expanded off Java to the outer islands with increasingly more territory coming under direct Dutch control or dominance in the latter half of the 19th century. However, the resulting scarcity of land for rice production, combined with dramatically increasing populations, especially in Java, led to further hardships. The colonial exploitation of Indonesia's wealth contributed to the industrialisation of the Netherlands, while simultaneously laying the foundation for the industrialisation of Indonesia. The Dutch introduced coffee, tea, cacao, tobacco and rubber and large expanses of Java became plantations cultivated by Javanese peasants, collected by Chinese intermediaries, and sold on overseas markets by European merchants. In the late 19th century economic growth was based on heavy world demand for tea, coffee, and cinchona. The government invested heavily in a railroad network ( long in 1873, in 1900), as well as telegraph lines, and entrepreneurs opened banks, shops and newspapers. The Dutch East Indies produced most of the world's supply of quinine and pepper, over a third of its rubber, a quarter of its coconut products, and a fifth of its tea, sugar, coffee, and oil. The profit from the Dutch East Indies made the Netherlands one of the world's most significant colonial powers. The Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij shipping line supported the unification of the colonial economy and brought inter-island shipping through to Batavia, rather than through Singapore, thus focusing more economic activity on Java. The Long Depression, worldwide recession of the late 1880s and early 1890s saw the commodity prices on which the colony depended collapse. Journalists and civil servants observed that the majority of the Indies population were no better off than under the previous regulated Cultivation System economy and tens of thousands starved. Commodity prices recovered from the recession, leading to increased investment in the colony. The sugar, tin, copra and coffee trade on which the colony had been built thrived, and rubber, tobacco, tea and oil also became principal exports. Political reform increased the autonomy of the local colonial administration, moving away from central control from the Netherlands, whilst power was also diverted from the central Batavia government to more localised governing units. The world economy recovered in the late 1890s and prosperity returned. Foreign investment, especially by the British, were encouraged. By 1900, foreign-held assets in the Netherlands Indies totalled about 750 million guilders ($300 million), mostly in Java. After 1900 upgrading the infrastructure of ports and roads was a high priority for the Dutch, with the goal of modernising the economy, facilitating commerce, and speeding up military movements. By 1950 Dutch engineers had built and upgraded a road network with 12,000 km of asphalted surface, 41,000 km of metalled road area and 16,000 km of gravel surfaces. In addition the Dutch built, of railways, bridges, irrigation systems covering 1.4 million hectares (5,400 sq mi) of rice fields, several harbours, and 140 public drinking water systems. Wim Ravesteijn has said that, "With these public works, Dutch engineers constructed the material base of the colonial and postcolonial Indonesian state."


Culture


Language and literature

Across the archipelago, hundreds of native languages are used, and
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
or Portuguese-based creole languages, Portuguese Creole, the existing languages of trade, were adopted. Prior to 1870, when Dutch colonial influence was largely restricted to Java, Malay was used in government schools and training programs such that graduates could communicate with groups from other regions who immigrated to Java. The colonial government sought to standardise Malay based on the version from Riau and Malacca, and dictionaries were commissioned for governmental communication and schools for indigenous peoples. In the early 20th century, Indonesia's independence leaders adopted a form of Malay from Riau, and called it Indonesian language, Indonesian. In the latter half of the 19th century, the rest of the archipelago, in which hundreds of language groups were used, was brought under Dutch control. In extending the native education program to these areas, the government stipulated this "standard Malay" as the language of the colony. Dutch Language, Dutch was not made the official language of the colony and was not widely used by the indigenous Indonesian population. The majority of legally acknowledged Dutchmen were bilingual Indo-Eurasians. Dutch was used by only a limited educated elite, and in 1942, around two percent of the total population in the Dutch East Indies spoke Dutch, including over 1 million indigenous Indonesians. A number of Dutch loan words are used in present-day Indonesian, particularly technical terms (see Loan words in Indonesian#From Dutch, List of Dutch loan words in Indonesian). These words generally had no alternative in Malay and were adopted into the Indonesian vocabulary giving a linguistic insight into which concepts are part of the Dutch colonial heritage. Hendrik Maier of the University of California says that about a fifth of the contemporary Indonesian language can be traced to Dutch. Dutch Indies literature, Dutch language literature has been inspired by both colonial and postcolonial Indies from the Dutch Golden Age to the present day. It includes Dutch, Indo-European, and Indonesian authors. Its subject matter thematically revolves around the Dutch colonial era, but also includes Postcolonial literature, postcolonial discourse. Masterpieces of this genre include Multatuli's ''Max Havelaar, Max Havelaar: Or The Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company'', Louis Couperus's ''Hidden Force'', E. du Perron's ''Country of Origin'', and Maria Dermoût's ''The Ten Thousand Things''. Most Dutch literature was written by Dutch and Indo-European authors. However, in the first half of the 20th century under the Ethical Policy, indigenous Indonesian authors and intellectuals came to the Netherlands to study and work. They wrote Dutch language literary works and published literature in literary reviews such as ''Het Getij'', ''De Gemeenschap'', ''Links Richten'', and ''Forum''. By exploring new literary themes and focusing on indigenous protagonists, they drew attention to indigenous culture and the indigenous plight. Examples include the Javanese prince and poet Noto Soeroto, a writer and journalist, and the Dutch language writings of Soewarsih Djojopoespito, Chairil Anwar, Kartini, Sutan Sjahrir, and
Sukarno Sukarno (; born Koesno Sosrodihardjo, ; 6 June 1901 – 21 June 1970) was an Indonesian people, Indonesian wikt:statesman, statesman, politician, nationalist, and assimilationist who was the first president of Indonesia, serving from 1945 ...

Sukarno
. Much of the Postcolonial literature, postcolonial discourse in Dutch Indies literature has been written by Indo-European authors led by the "avant garde visionary" Tjalie Robinson, who is the best-read Dutch author in contemporary Indonesia, and second generation Indo-European immigrants such as Marion Bloem.


Visual art

The natural beauty of East Indies has inspired the works of artists and painters, that mostly capture the romantic scenes of colonial Indies. The term ''Mooi Indië'' (Dutch for "Beautiful Indies") was originally coined as the title of 11 reproductions of Du Chattel's watercolor paintings which depicted the scene of East Indies published in Amsterdam in 1930. The term became famous in 1939 after S. Sudjojono used it to mock the painters that merely depict all pretty things about Indies. ''Mooi Indië'' later would identified as the genre of painting that occurred during the colonial East Indies that capture the romantic depictions of the Indies as the main themes; mostly natural scenes of mountains, volcanoes, rice paddies, river valleys, villages, with scenes of native servants, nobles, and sometimes bare-chested native women. Some of the notable ''Mooi Indië'' painters are European artists: F.J. du Chattel, Manus Bauer, Nieuwkamp, Isaac Israel, PAJ Moojen, Carel Dake and Romualdo Locatelli; East Indies-born Dutch painters: Henry van Velthuijzen, Charles Sayers, Ernest Dezentje, Leonard Eland and Jan Frank; Native painters: Raden Saleh, Mas Pirngadi, Abdullah Surisubroto, Wakidi, Basuki Abdullah, Mas Soeryo Soebanto and Henk Ngantunk; and also Chinese painters: Lee Man Fong, Oei Tiang Oen and Siauw Tik Kwie. These painters usually exhibit their works in art galleries such as Bataviasche Kuntkringgebouw, Theosofie Vereeniging, Kunstzaal Kolff & Co and Hotel des Indes (Batavia), Hotel Des Indes.


Theatre and film

A total of 112 fictional films are known to have been produced in the Dutch East Indies between 1926 and the colony's dissolution in 1949. The earliest motion pictures, imported from abroad, were shown in late 1900, and by the early 1920s imported Serial film, serials and fictional films were being shown, often with localised names. Dutch companies were also producing documentary films about the Indies to be shown in the Netherlands. The first locally produced film, ''Loetoeng Kasaroeng'', was directed by L. Heuveldorp and released on 31 December 1926. Between 1926 and 1933 numerous other local productions were released. During the mid-1930s, production dropped as a result of the Great Depression. The rate of production declined again after the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, Japanese occupation beginning in early 1942, closing all but one film studio. The majority of films produced during the occupation were Japanese propaganda during World War II, Japanese propaganda shorts. Following the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence in 1945 and during the ensuing Indonesian National Revolution, revolution several films were made, by both pro-Dutch and pro-Indonesian backers. Generally films produced in the Indies dealt with traditional stories or were adapted from existing works. The early films were silent film, silent, with ''Karnadi Anemer Bangkong'' (''Karnadi the Frog Contractor''; 1930) generally considered the first talkie; later films would be in Dutch, Malay, or an Languages of Indonesia, indigenous language. All were black-and-white. The American visual anthropologist Karl G. Heider writes that all films from before 1950 are Lost film, lost. However, JB Kristanto's ''Katalog Film Indonesia'' (''Indonesian Film Catalogue'') records several as having survived at Sinematek Indonesia's archives, and Biran writes that several Japanese propaganda films have survived at the Netherlands Government Information Service. Theatre plays by playwrights such as Victor Ido (1869–1948) were performed at the ''Schouwburg Weltevreden'', now known as Gedung Kesenian Jakarta. A less elite form of theatre, popular with both European and indigenous people, were the travelling Indo people, Indo theatre shows known as Komedie Stamboel, made popular by Auguste Mahieu (1865–1903).


Science

The rich nature and culture of the Dutch East Indies attracted European intellectuals, scientists and researchers. Some notable scientists that conducted most of their important research in the East Indies archipelago are Johannes Elias Teijsmann, Teijsmann, Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, Junghuhn, Christiaan Eijkman, Eijkman, Eugène Dubois, Dubois and Alfred Russel Wallace, Wallace. Many important art, culture and science institutions were established in Dutch East Indies. For example, the ''Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen'', (Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences), the predecessor of the National Museum of Indonesia, was established in 1778 with the aim to promote research and publish findings in the field of arts and sciences, especially history, archaeology, ethnography and physics. The Bogor Botanical Gardens with ''Herbarium Bogoriense'' and ''Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense'' was a major centre for botanical research established in 1817, with the aim to study the flora and fauna of the archipelago. Java Man was discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891. The Komodo dragon was first described by Peter Ouwens in 1912, after an aeroplane crash accident in 1911 and rumours about living dinosaurs in Komodo Island in 1910. Vitamin B1, Vitamin B1 and its relation to beriberi disease was discovered by Christiaan Eijkman, Eijkman during his work in the Indies. With growing interest in scientific research, the government of the Dutch East Indies established (Scientific Council of the Dutch East Indies) in 1928. It operates as the country's main research organization until the outbreak of Pacific War, World War II in Asia Pacific in 1942. In 1948 the institute was renamed (Organisation for Scientific Research). This organization was the predecessor of the current Indonesian Institute of Sciences.


Cuisine

The Dutch colonial families through their domestic servants and cooks were exposed to Indonesian cuisine, as the result they developed a taste for native tropical spices and dishes. A notable Dutch East Indies colonial dish is rijsttafel, the rice table that consists of 7 to 40 popular dishes from across the colony. More an extravagant banquet than a dish, the Dutch colonials introduced the rice table not only so they could enjoy a wide array of dishes at a single setting but also to impress visitors with the exotic abundance of their colony. Through colonialism the Dutch introduced European dishes such as bread, cheese, barbecued steak and pancake. As the producer of cash crops; coffee and tea were also popular in the colonial East Indies. Bread, butter and margarine, sandwiches filled with ham, cheese or fruit jam, poffertjes, pannekoek and Dutch cheeses were commonly consumed by colonial Dutch and Indo people, Indos during the colonial era. Some of the native upperclass ''ningrat'' (nobles) and a few educated native were exposed to European cuisine, and it was held with high esteem as the cuisine of upperclass elite of Dutch East Indies society. This led to the adoption and fusion of European cuisine into Indonesian cuisine. Some dishes which were created during the colonial era are Dutch influenced: they include selat solo (solo salad), bistik jawa (Javanese beef steak), Semur (Indonesian stew), semur (from Dutch ''smoor''), sayur kacang merah (brenebon) and oxtail soup, sop buntut. Cakes and cookies also can trace their origin to Dutch influences; such as kue bolu (tart), pandan cake, lapis legit (spekkoek), spiku (lapis Surabaya), klappertaart (coconut tart), and kaasstengels (cheese cookies). Kue cubit commonly found in front of schools and marketplaces are believed to be derived from poffertjes.


Architecture

The 16th and 17th century arrival of European powers in Indonesia introduced masonry construction to Indonesia where previously timber and its by-products had been almost exclusively used. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Batavia was a fortified brick and masonry city.Schoppert (1997), pp. 38–39 For almost two centuries, the colonialists did little to adapt their European architectural habits to the tropical climate.Dawson, B., Gillow, J., ''The Traditional Architecture of Indonesia'', p. 8, 1994 Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, They built row houses which were poorly ventilated with small windows, which was thought as protection against tropical diseases coming from tropical air. Years later the Dutch learnt to adapt their architectural styles with local building features (long eaves, verandahs, porticos, large windows and ventilation openings), and the 18th century ''Dutch Indies country houses'' was one of the first colonial buildings to incorporate Indonesian architectural elements and adapt to the climate, the known as Indies Style.Schoppert (1997), pp. 72–77 From the end of the 19th century, significant improvements to technology, communications and transportation brought new wealth to Java. Modernistic buildings, including train stations, business hotels, factories and office blocks, hospitals and education institutions, were influenced by international styles. The early 20th century trend was for modernist influences—such as art-deco—being expressed in essentially European buildings with Indonesian trim. Practical responses to the environment carried over from the earlier Indies Style, included overhanging eaves, larger windows and ventilation in the walls, which gave birth to the New Indies Style. The largest stock of colonial era buildings are in the large cities of Java, such as Bandung,
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. Notable architects and planners include Albert Aalbers, Thomas Karsten, Henri Maclaine Pont, J. Gerber and Wolff Schoemaker, C.P.W. Schoemaker. In the first three decades of the 20th century, the Department of Public Works funded major public buildings and introduced a town planning program under which the main towns and cities in Java and Sumatra were rebuilt and extended. A lack of development in the Great Depression, the turmoil of the Second World War and the Indonesian National Revolution, Indonesia's independence struggle of the 1940s, and economic stagnation during the politically turbulent 1950s and 1960s, meant that much colonial architecture has been preserved through to recent decades.Schoppert (1997), p. 105 Colonial homes were almost always the preserve of the wealthy Dutch, Indonesian and Chinese elites, however the styles were often rich and creative combinations of two cultures, so much so that the homes remain sought after into the 21st century. Native architecture was arguably more influenced by the new European ideas than colonial architecture was influenced by Indonesian styles; and these Western elements continue to be a dominant influence on Indonesia's built environment today.


Fashion

Within the colony of the Dutch East Indies, fashion played an important role to define ones' status and social class. The European colonials wore European fashion straight out of the Netherlands, or even Paris, while the natives wore their traditional clothings that are distinct in every regions. As the years progressed and the Dutch influence became stronger, many natives began mixing European styles within their traditional clothing. High-ranking natives within the colony as well as nobility, would wear European style suits with their batik sarongs for special occasions and even for everyday use. More and more native Indonesians began to dress more European. This of course came with the idea that those who wore European clothing were more progressive and open towards a European society and the etiquette that came with it. More and more the European influence was gaining precedence within native Indonesians. This probably stems from the fact that many natives were treated better if they wore European clothing. Their European counterparts acknowledged them, and that in turn was most likely a catalyst for adoption western clothing into traditional Indonesian clothing. The fashion influences between colonials and natives was a reciprocal phenomenon. Just as the Europeans influences the natives, the natives too influenced the European colonials. For example, the thick European fabrics was considered too hot to wear in tropical climate. Thus, the light clothing of thin kebaya fabrics and the comfortable and easy to wear batik sarong are considered quite suitable for everyday clothing in hot and humid climate of the East Indies. Later on in the history of the Dutch East Indies, as a new wave of Europeans were brought into the colony, many adopted the Indonesian styles, many even went so far as to wear traditional Javanese kebaya at home. Batik was also a big influence for the Dutch. The technique was so fascinating to them that they took the technique to their colonies in Africa where it was adopted with African patterns. For the most part, Europeans in the Dutch East Indies, stuck to traditional European styles of dressing. Fashion trends from Paris were still highly regarded and considered the epitome of style. Women wore dresses and skirts and men wore pants and shirts.


Colonial heritage in the Netherlands

When the Dutch Royal Family was established in 1815, much of its wealth came from Colonial trade. Universities such as the Royal Leiden University founded in the 16th century have developed into leading knowledge centres about Southeast Asian and Indonesian studies. Leiden University has produced academics such as Colonial adviser Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje who specialised in native oriental (Indonesian) affairs, and it still has academics who specialise in Indonesian languages and cultures. Leiden University and in particular KITLV are educational and scientific institutions that to this day share both an intellectual and historical interest in Indonesian studies. Other scientific institutions in the Netherlands include the Amsterdam Tropenmuseum, an anthropological museum with massive collections of Indonesian art, culture, ethnography and anthropology. The traditions of the KNIL are maintained by the Regiment Van Heutsz of the modern
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and the dedicated ''Bronbeek Museum'', a former home for retired KNIL soldiers, exists in Arnhem to this day. Many surviving colonial families and their descendants who moved back to the Netherlands after independence tended to look back on the colonial era with a sense of the power and prestige they had in the colony, with such items as the 1970s book ''Tempo Doeloe'' (Old times) by author Rob Nieuwenhuys, and other books and materials that became quite common in the 1970s and 1980s. Moreover, since the 18th century Dutch literature has a large number of established authors, such as Louis Couperus, the writer of "The Hidden Force", taking the colonial era as an important source of inspiration. In fact one of the great masterpieces of Dutch literature is the book "Max Havelaar" written by Multatuli in 1860. The majority of Dutchmen that repatriated to the Netherlands after and during the Indonesian revolution are Indo people, Indo (Eurasian), native to the islands of the Dutch East Indies. This relatively large Eurasian population had developed over a period of 400 years and were classified by colonial law as belonging to the European legal community. In Dutch language, Dutch they are referred to as Indo people, Indo (short for Indo-European). Of the 296,200 so called Dutch 'repatriants' only 92,200 were expatriate Dutchmen born in the Netherlands. Including their second generation descendants, they are currently the largest foreign born group in the Netherlands. In 2008, the Dutch Census Bureau for Statistics (CBS) registered 387,000 first and second generation Indos living in the Netherlands. Although considered fully assimilated into Dutch society, as the main ethnic minority in the Netherlands, these 'Repatriants' have played a pivotal role in introducing elements of Indonesian culture into Dutch mainstream culture. Practically each town in the Netherlands will have a 'Toko' (Dutch Indonesian Shop) or Indonesian restaurant and many 'Pasar Malam' (Night market in Malay/Indonesian) fairs are organised throughout the year. Many Indonesian dishes and foodstuffs have become commonplace in the Dutch cuisine. Rijsttafel, a colonial culinary concept, and dishes such as nasi goreng and satay, sateh are still very popular in the Netherlands.


See also

* Freemasonry in the Dutch East Indies * Poenale sanctie * Postage stamps and postal history of the Dutch East Indies *The Portuguese in Indonesia * Netherlands Indies gulden


References


Bibliography

* * Cribb, R.B., Kahin, A. ''Historical dictionary of Indonesia'' (Scarecrow Press, 2004) * Dick, Howard, et al. ''The Emergence of a National Economy: An Economic History of Indonesia, 1800-2000'' (U. of Hawaii Press, 2002
online edition
* * * * Nieuwenhuys, Rob ''Mirror of the Indies: A History of Dutch Colonial Literature'' - translated from Dutch by E. M. Beekman (Publisher: Periplus, 1999
Google Books
* * * *


Further reading

* Booth, Anne, et al. ''Indonesian Economic History in the Dutch Colonial Era'' (1990) * Borschberg, Peter, ''The Dutch East Indies'' (2016), * Bosma U., Raben R. ''Being "Dutch" in the Indies: a history of creolisation and empire, 1500–1920'' (University of Michigan, NUS Press, 2008),

* Bosma, Ulbe
''Emigration: Colonial circuits between Europe and Asia in the 19th and early 20th century''
European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History, 2011, retrieved: 23 May 2011. * Colombijn, Freek, and Thomas Lindblad, eds. ''Roots of violence in Indonesia: Contemporary violence in historical perspective'' (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2002) * Dick, Howard, et al. ''The Emergence of a National Economy: An Economic History of Indonesia, 1800-2000'' (U. of Hawaii Press, 2002
online edition
* Elson, Robert. ''The idea of Indonesia: A history'' (Cambridge University Press, 2008) * Fernand Braudel, Braudel, Fernand, ''The perspective of the World'', vol III in ''Civilization and Capitalism'', 1984 * , comprehensive coverage * Gouda, Frances. ''Dutch Culture Overseas: Colonial Practice in the Netherlands Indies, 1900-1942'' (1996
online
* Nagtegaal, Luc. ''Riding the Dutch Tiger: The Dutch East Indies Company and the Northeast Coast of Java, 1680–1743'' (1996) 250pp * Robins, Nick. ''The Corporation that Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational'' (2006
excerpt and text search
* Taylor, Jean Gelman. '' The Social World of Batavia: Europeans and Eurasians in Colonial Indonesia'' (1983) * * K. M. Panikkar, Panikkar, K. M. (1953). Asia and Western dominance, 1498–1945, by K.M. Panikkar. London: G. Allen and Unwin.


External links


11 Dutch Indies objects in 'The European Library Harvest'
* Cribb, Robert, ''Digital Atlas of Indonesian History'

* [http://search.theeuropeanlibrary.org/portal/en/search/publisher/KB/%28%22netherlands+indies%22%29.query Historical Documents of the Dutch Parliament 1814–1995]
Parallel and Divergent Aspects of British Rule in the Raj, French Rule in Indochina, Dutch Rule in the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia), and American Rule in the Philippines

Yasuo Uemura, "The Sugar Estates in Besuki and the Depression" ''Hiroshima Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities'', Vol.4 page.30-78

Yasuo Uemura, "The Depression and the Sugar Industry in Surabaya" ''Hiroshima Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities'', Vol.3 page.1-54
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