Netherlands East Indies


Netherlands East Indies
   The Dutch arrived in the Indone sian archipelago in 1596 as rivals of the British, Spanish, and Por tuguese. Cornelis (de) Houtman (c. 1565–1599) led this first expe dition. After the founding of the East India Company in 1602, the Dutch succeeded in establishing their authority by military means on Java (where the capital Batavia was established) and some other islands, under the direction of governors-general such as Jan Pietersz Coen and Anthony van Diemen. The main purpose was to secure the monopoly in the trade in spices. The Dutch oc cupation assumed the characteristics of colonial government only in the 19th century. Rather few whites lived there as civil servants, soldiers, or merchants and entrepreneurs. Although a kind of gov ernmental “ethical policy” was introduced with the political par ticipation of native inhabitants, Dutch authority was easily de stroyed during World War II by the Japanese occupation. After the war, the Indonesian liberation movement under Sukarno suc ceeded in obtaining independence in 1949.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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