Empire, Dutch

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Empire, Dutch

The first phase of Dutch overseas expansion was not an imperial one in the literal sense of the word. Only in 1816, at the Convention of London, was the newly founded Kingdom of the Netherlands granted back its overseas possessions: Java, the Moluccas, some factories in India, Malacca, Suriname, and six islands in the Caribbean. These overseas territories had belonged to the former Dutch East India Company, but were taken over by the British during the French occupation of the Netherlands. Before French revolutionary troops crossed the frozen rivers of the Netherlands in 1794, and the newly founded Batavia Republic became a vassal state of France, the Dutch overseas territories belonged to trading companies. They did not belong to the Dutch Republic, or more accurately, the Seven United Provinces. Until their bankruptcies at the end of the eighteenth century, the two maritime trading companies, the United East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or VOC) and the West India Company (WIC), administered the Dutch overseas colonies. Hence the overseas empire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is called a seaborne empire, as it depended on chartered private maritime trading companies.

Dutch overseas expansion took place under unfavorable political circumstances when the Dutch Republic (founded in 1588) was at war with its overlord, Spain. In 1580, when Portugal became a subject of the Spanish crown, Dutch traders faced difficulties in purchasing fine spices in Lisbon. In 1585 and 1598 Spain confiscated all Dutch vessels visiting Iberian ports. After the Spanish conquest of the rebelling port town of Antwerp in 1585, investors moved their business to the northern Netherlands, to the port town of Amsterdam. In Amsterdam they made good profits in the sugar industry. Portuguese (Jewish) merchants, who had also fled to Amsterdam, were allowed to continue their imports from Brazil. Economically, times were favorable for overseas expansion. Dutch merchants doubled their trade with the Baltic during the last quarter of the sixteenth century. Their large fleet, ship-building facilities, and investment capital could easily be used for an expansion into the transatlantic, African, and Asian trade. In addition, strong population growth in the northern Netherlands (in particular in the provinces of Holland and Zealand) provided the expanding emporium with a sufficient labor force.

In 1602 merchants from the wealthy port towns of Holland and Zealand founded the United East India Company (the VOC). This trading organization became the most effective European trading organization in Asia, and remained so until around the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1652 the VOC established a refitting station for its ships at the Cape of Good Hope. In the 1670s and 1680s this led to the first expansion into the interior, where settlers began to keep cattle and grow grapes for wine making on territory appropriated from the indigenous group, the Khoikhoi. In September of 1795, after almost 150 years of Dutch rule, the English took over the Castle of Cape Town; the Dutch permanently ceded the Cape at the London Convention of August 13, 1814.

In the waters of the West Indies and West Africa, Dutch merchants and shippers could act freely until 1607. There was no specific need for a West India Company yet. Willem Usselincx, a Calvinist merchant who had fled from Antwerp to Holland, pleaded nevertheless for the establishment of Protestant colonies in the West Indies. In due time, these colonies would be able to attack and occupy Spanish overseas possessions, he believed. The articles of the Twelve Years Truce (1609–1621) stipulated that Dutch ships were allowed to frequent the Iberian ports again, but Spanish possessions in the West Indies were now forbidden territory. Despite the truce articles, Dutch traders continued to privateer and raid in the Caribbean waters. Trade and colonization were less important, but some small colonies were founded in the Amazons and Guyana. One of the successful tobacco and sugar plantations was Essequibo, founded by Aert Adriaenszn Groenewegen, whose daughter married a Native American chieftain.

The Dutch West Indian Company, founded immediately after the end of the Twelve Years Truce on June 3, 1621, devoted itself primarily to attacking Spanish and Portuguese possessions and privateer ships. WIC fleets captured several costly Iberian ships; for example, in Cuba's Matanzas Bay in 1628, ship commander Piet Hein captured cargo ships carrying silver valued at around 14 million Dutch guilders. The profits of privateering went partly to the stockholders who participated in the WIC, and partly toward the funding of large-scale operations aimed at conquering territory. In 1630 the WIC launched an attack on Pernambuco in Brazil, and seized Olinda and Recife. These important sugar ports were connected to a sugar-producing hinterland with many engenhocas (sugar factories). The Dutch conquered the great Portuguese fortress São Jorge del Mina, or Elmina, in 1637. Because the sugar industry in the Dutch Republic had grown considerably thanks to illegal trade with Portugal during the Truce, Amsterdam traders in particular were interested in investing more money in sugar plantations. In 1622 there were twenty-nine sugar refineries in Holland, twenty-five of which were owned by Amsterdam traders, whereas as recently as 1595 the total number of such factories totaled no more than three or four.

The sugar industry of Brazil gained new impetus under the reign of Count Johan Maurits van Nassau, governor of Dutch Brazil from 1636 to 1644. He extended Dutch territory at the expense of the Portuguese settlers, but did not succeed in winning sufficient cooperation from the Portuguese in the seven of the twelve territories (capitanias) the Dutch had conquered. Johan Maurits and a number of troops had to depart the colony in 1644, and the WIC board's subsequent neglect of Dutch Brazil led to an easy reconquest by combined Portuguese land and naval forces. On January 26, 1654, the Dutch signed the Capitulation of Taborda.

The loss of "neglected Brazil," as Dutch pamphleteers dubbed it, still left the Dutch with a number of other colonies. Sugar cultivation in Brazil had been a strong incentive to become engaged in the African slave trade, and after the loss of Brazil, Dutch merchants and colonists concentrated on the other possessions in the West Indies recognized by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648: Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius. These islands were not suitable for sugar cultivation, but were nonetheless important, in particular for the slave trade the sugar trade depended on. Suriname was seized from the English by Abraham Crijnssen in 1667, but retaken in the same year. The Peace of Breda (1667) gave Suriname to the Dutch, in return for New Netherland. Suriname first belonged to the States of Zealand, and then was given to the WIC in 1682. One year later, the WIC sold a third of Suriname to the city of Amsterdam, and another third to Cornelis van Aerssen. On May 21, 1683, the three owners formed the Geoctroyeerde Sociëteit van Suriname, which was to be under the supervision of the States General. At the time, Suriname was only a small colony with a mere twenty-five houses, fifty sugar plantations, and around 5,000 inhabitants (579 Christian colonists, 232 Jews, and 4,281 slaves) in 1683. Suriname became increasingly important for sugar growing, however. In the beginning of the eighteenth century, some 200 plantations used more than 10,000 slaves to plant, harvest, and process sugar. At the end of the same century, the colony's 533 plantations harbored around 53,000 people (including 2,000 Christians, 1,350 Jews, and 1,760 "colored"), 90 percent of whom were slaves. The 1683 charter remained valid until 1795.

With the Peace of Breda in 1667, marking the end of the second Anglo-Dutch War, the WIC lost the Cape Coast Castle and New Netherland. The so-called Company of New Netherland had founded Fort Nassau on Manhattan Island along the Hudson River in 1615. In 1621 this fort was transferred to the WIC. On the upper Hudson, the WIC built Fort Orange in 1624, and one year later, New Amsterdam. Between seven and eight thousand people, many of them attracted by the fur trade, settled in New Netherland before the English took it over in 1664. One of the larger villages, located around Fort Orange, was the company village Beverwijck. This and other villages replicated much of Dutch village society and administration, having a burgher guard, a public Reformed church and council, orphan masters, a court, a poorhouse, a school, and so forth. It is often forgotten that New Netherland was the Dutch Republic's first successful settlement colony.

Although the Dutch were only partly successful in stabilizing colonies and cultivating territories, they became important players in the Atlantic slave trade. Beginning in the 1630s, after the conquest of Brazil and the capture of São Jorge del Mina in 1637, Dutch traders quickly expanded the slave trade in Africa. Between 1637 and 1645 the WIC transported more than 20,000 Africans to Brazil. The Dutch slave trade in Spanish America was legalized in 1662, and Curaçao became an important transit port for some 2,000 to 4,000 slaves per year. Soon the French and English became strong competitors in the slave trade, in particular after the founding of the Royal African Company of England in 1673. In 1675 the WIC had to be dissolved due to heavy losses. A second WIC quickly took over the trade of the first WIC, and the transatlantic slave trade continued to grow, reaching a peak in the 1680s, thanks to the asiento trade with the Spanish colonies. The second WIC's largest expansion in the slave trade came in the 1720s, thanks to the growth of Suriname's plantation economy. This growth led to an increasing export of slaves from the Gold Coast, and a decrease of exports from the Slave Coast. After 1738, with the termination of the WIC's monopoly on the slave trade and the beginning of the so-called free-trade slaving period, the numbers of Dutch free traders involved in the slave trade increased rapidly. The second WIC still exported some 6,000 slaves annually between 1744 and 1773 (reaching the peak of 9,000 annually between 1764 and 1771). Simultaneously, the Dutch free traders exported about 7,000 slaves annually from Africa. The Dutch transported approximately 550,000 slaves from the African coasts to the Americas during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The other main export product from Africa was gold dust. The WIC exported an estimated 36 million Dutch guilders worth of gold between 1674 and 1740, a very important process for the city of Amsterdam, which was one of Europe's main silver and gold markets.

The Dutch seaborne empire fell into an irreversible decline during the 1780s and 1790s. The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780–1784), during which a large portion of the Dutch fleet was captured, was a financial disaster for both the second WIC and the VOC. The debts of the WIC amounted to 6 million guilders in 1789, which was miniscule in comparison to the debts of the VOC: 134 million in 1796. The charter of the WIC ended in 1791, and the company was taken over by the Dutch Republic. Five years later the VOC was also taken over.

The end of two famous trading companies in both the West and the East coincided with a period of regime changes in Europe. During the French occupation of the Netherlands (1795–1813), maintaining direct trading links with the colonies proved difficult if not impossible. In 1795 most of the Dutch possessions were ceded to the English: the Cape, Malacca, Padang, and the VOC factories in Surat, Bengal, Malabar, and the Coromandel. Ceylon, Ambon, and Banda were lost to the English in 1796, and Ternate was given up in 1801. In the West the English took Demerara, Essequibo, and Berbice in 1796; Suriname fell in 1799, the islands of Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire in 1800, and one year later St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba. At the Peace of Amiens (March 27, 1802), brokered between England and France, the Netherlands received all these possessions back, except for Ceylon. When the war resumed one year later, almost all Dutch possessions were returned to the English again, except for Canton and Deshima. The Cape fell in 1806 and Java in 1811 (the latter after experiencing severe reforms under Governor-General Herman Willem Daendels [1807–1810]), but contact between England and its overseas territories were severely hampered by the Continental System, which Napoleon had introduced in 1806 to block all trade with England. The English capture of Curaçao in 1807 and of the Leeward Islands in 1810 was a relief for those islands' inhabitants, who had suffered severely from the prohibition of trade with England.


The beginning of the nineteenth century saw a reestablishment of Dutch colonial rule in the East Indies, though this process was hampered by problems with the organization of colonial government, financial debts, political turmoil in Europe, and a weakening military presence. For many local rulers and others in Asia, a return to the old situation was unthinkable. Local sultans had shifted alliances rather quickly when the English took over the Dutch possessions, but did not readily accede to the reimposition of Dutch rule in 1816 (mandated by the Convention of London of 1814). The rulers of Yogyakarta and Surakarta, however, decided to accept the return of Dutch authority. But despite attempts under governors-general Daendels and Raffles to reform colonial rule, uprisings soon occurred in the Netherlands Indies. Among these was the uprising of May 14, 1817, led by the Ambonese sergeant major Thomas Matulesia


Merchants from Holland and Zealand found the United East India Company (the VOC)
The Dutch Republic's first successful North American settlement, New Netherland, begins with the establishment of Fort Nassau in present day New York
The end of the Twelve Years' Truce with Spain during the Dutch Revolt, or 80 Years' War, leads to the formation of The Dutch West Indian Company (WIC)
Fort Nassau is transferred to the WIC
The WIC builds Fort Orange in present day Albany, New York
The WIC establishes New Amsterdam in what is now lower Manhattan in New York
Dutch Brazil begins when the WIC launches an attack on the state of Pernambuco in eastern Brazil
The Dutch become actively involved in the slave trade
Using land and naval forces, Portugal reacquires Dutch Brazil
The English take over New Netherland
The Dutch acquire Suriname from England
During the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War a large portion of the Dutch fleet is captured, negatively impacting the WIC and the VOC
When its charter ends, the WIC is taken over by the Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic takes over the VOC
At the Convention of London, the newly founded Kingdom of the Netherlands regains overseas possessions that were lost to Britain during the French occupation of the Netherlands
Dutch colonial rule is reestablished in the East Indies
The Java War is the most serious challenge to newly established Dutch colonial rule
Dutch colonialism is characterized by exploitation and consolidation
A new type of colonial capitalist economy, dependent upon cheap labor, emerges as private entrepreneurs develop large tobacco plantations and pursue mining ventures in the Netherlands Indies
Colonial administration introduces the so-called Ethical Policy, a largely unsuccessful program of reforms aimed at improving conditions for native Indonesians and introducing a degree of political autonomy
Following uprisings by the Indonesian Communist Party, the colonial government formally discontinues the Ethical Policy
The Netherlands Indies becomes a well-monitored police state
After assuming control of Indonesia, the Japanese imprison resident Europeans and exploit Indonesian people, industry, and agriculture
Following the capitulation of Japan, Indonesia declares its independence on August 17
After two Dutch-Indonesian wars, the Netherlands government finally accepts Indonesian independence
On December 27, Queen Juliana transfers sovereignty to the Indonesian Republic
On November 25, Suriname becomes completely independent
Antillean residents indicate their desire to maintain relations with the Netherlands
The Nationaal Instituut Nederlands slavernijverleden is founded
Roughly 400,000 Indonesians live in the Netherlands, and approximately 3,000 Dutch citizens live in Indonesia

(Pattimura) on the Ambonese island of Saparua (with the help of some tribal members from the island of Ceram). Pattimura was a Christian, and his resistance against the reintroduction of Dutch rule was strongly religiously inspired. Other conflicts occurred with the sultans of Banjarmasin, Ceribon, and Pontianak, but the most serious challenge to newly established Dutch colonial rule was the rebellion of the Javanese prince Diponegoro, which led to the Java War (1825–1830).

Dutch colonialism from 1830 to 1870 is known as a period of exploitation and consolidation. Firstly, in contrast with the British, who had abandoned slavery in 1833, the Dutch continued to permit slavery in both the Caribbean and in Indonesia. Although the Netherlands government had forbidden the slave trade in 1814, illegal shipments to Suriname continued and in Indonesia slavery and bondage were endemic in indigenous societies outside of Java and Sumatra. Slavery as such was abandoned in the Netherlands East Indies in 1858, and in the West Indies in 1863. A second exploitative feature of this period was the cultivation system on Java, which varied locally and regionally but was characterized by the drive to expropriate as many natural resources as possible, in particular coffee, indigo, and sugar.

After 1870 the colonial economy no loner depended as much on the forced delivery of sugar, coffee, indigo, and spices by the colonized. The development of railway transportation began modestly with the laying down of railway lines between Semarang-Tanggoeng (1867) and Batavia-Buitenzorg (1873). Steam shipping and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 helped to attract private investors. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, several private entrepreneurs started developing large-scale plantations in the Netherlands Indies. In particular the tobacco plantations in Deli, North Sumatra, proved to be a profitable business. The cultivation of new lands for tobacco required the help of thousands of cheap laborers (mostly Chinese, Malay, and Javanese). This new type of colonial capitalist economy soon met with criticism. The harsh circumstances and unsanitary conditions in the Deli plantations, the maltreatment of coolies, and the immoral behavior of young white planters stirred the consciences of many Dutch citizens both in the colonies and in Europe. So did the attempts to subjugate the sultanate of Aceh, from 1873 onward, during the so-called Aceh War.

The modernization of the colonial economy also quickly increased the demand for minerals. Private merchants also engaged in mining of tin, for instance, after the founding of NV Billiton Maatschappij on Billiton in 1860. Coal mining on Sumatra started in the late 1880s, and in 1890 the first oil fields on that island were exploited. The Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij, a shipping company founded in 1888, took over the transportation of consumer and industrial goods. The new port of Tanjung Priuk, just outside Batavia, also facilitated the flow of goods and people.

Although the Europeans in the Netherlands Indies comprised only a small minority of 60,000 in 1880, their technical skills, investments, and modernization efforts changed the archipelago for good. The introduction of urban planning, electricity, railways, and buildings done in rococo, art deco, and Jugendstil styles, and the publication of books, magazines, and newspapers—in short, the propagation of the Western bourgeois lifestyle, along with its status differences and social ranking—all had an influence on traditional Indonesian life. In particular, the colonial urban lifestyle—the splendid villas of the elite, such as Menteng in Batavia, their extravagance, their sport clubs, ballrooms, cafés, and restaurants—was increasingly attracting (but also disturbing) the educated young Indonesian elite, who found it difficult to gain access to such wealth. Europeanized Indonesians mimicked the colonial lifestyle, as did to a certain extent the locally born (peranakan) Chinese, but by the beginning of the twentieth century the younger Indonesian generation had come to realize that modernization and resistance were necessary.

The turn of the twentieth century saw the introduction by the colonial administration of the so-called Ethical Policy, a program of reforms aimed at improving conditions for native Indonesians and introducing a degree of political autonomy. These efforts were largely unsuccessful at improving conditions for Indonesians, however, and did not prevent the growth of anti-Dutch nationalism. The founding of Boedi Oetomo in Yogyakarta on May 20, 1908, is usually seen as the birth of the nationalist movement in Java, although this organization was still careful to formulate its ideal as: "the harmonious development of the land and people of the Netherlands Indies." This initiative was soon followed by the founding of other idealistic, often Islamic organizations such as Sarekat Islam, which organized mass congresses from its inception in 1912, and Moehammadyah, an Islamic reformist movement also founded in 1912. Simultaneously, the colonial authorities developed democratic institutions at the local and regional level. At the national level, the Volksraad (People's Council) was established in May 1918, as a first step toward autonomy within the kingdom of the Netherlands. It never developed into a parliament, however, and the government selected half of its forty-eight (in 1927, sixty) members. In the 1930s it mainly functioned as an opposition forum. The Partai Komunis Indonesia PKI (the Indonesian Communist Party), established in 1924, became the podium for the more radical protesters against Dutch colonial rule. In 1926 and 1927 the PKI organized strikes and armed resistance, which were crushed by the Royal East Indonesian Army (the KNIL). The government arrested some 13,000 people, of whom 4,500 were sentenced to prison; a great number was brought to the internment camp Boven-Digoel in New Guinea. Following these uprisings, the colonial government formally discontinued the Ethical Policy and abandoned the idea of "self-rule under Dutch control" in favor of what eventually became a police state; in response, Indonesian nationalism became stronger.

The worldwide economic crisis following the stock market crash of 1929 also had a severe impact on the Netherlands Indies. The prices of export products like rubber, sugar, and oil dropped dramatically, resulting in mass unemployment. In 1929 the Netherlands Indies exported 263,000 tons of rubber worth 232 million guilders; in 1993 the export had risen to 350,000 tons, but the value of it was only 37 million guilders. Increasing mass poverty on the one hand, and restricted government expenditures on the other, worsened the economic and political crisis. Nationalist Indonesians, since July 1929 organized in the Partai Nasional Indonesia (Indonesian National Party) under the leadership of the engineer Sukarno (1901–1970), were able to create mass movements for independence, despite persecution and imprisonment. By around 1935 most of the nationalist leaders had been imprisoned, and the Netherlands Indies had become a well-monitored police state. Against this background, Sukarno and others welcomed the Japanese in January 1942. After the loss of British Singapore, there was little to stand in the way of the Japanese advance into the archipelago and in March they controlled much of the region. Although many Indonesians welcomed the Japanese with flags and dancing, Indonesian industry and agriculture were soon exploited for the Japanese empire. Chaos and poverty were the result, and productions declined drastically, sometimes by 80 to 90 percent, as with rubber and sugar production.

The Japanese occupation was a traumatic experience for the Europeans. Within one year after the start of the occupation, 29,000 men, 25,000 women, and 29,000 children were placed in internment camps. About 18,000 Dutch men were brought to Burma to work for the Burma railroad. The Indonesian population suffered even more. The Japanese recruited some 165,000 to 200,000 "economic soldiers" or romushas to work in overseas projects, for instance, in Burma. Thousands of them died in forced labor projects. Millions of Indonesians suffered from malnutrition, and when the food supply collapsed in 1994 the dead bodies could be seen on the streets of Javanese cities.

The Indonesian leaders Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta were shocked by the capitulation of Japan on August 15, 1945. They had hoped for an orderly transfer of power. In May, Sukarno and his advisors had formulated a constitution and laid out the five principles (pancasila) of the Indonesian state: national unity, humanity, democracy, social justice, and the belief in one God. On August 17, Sukarno and Hatta declared Indonesian independence, after being pressured by nationalist youth (the pemuda), and after being convinced that the Japanese authorities would not intervene. The pemuda groups turned very violent in the months following this declaration of independence, though British troops restored order after landing in Surabaya. The new Dutch governor, Dr. H. J. van Mook, soon found that the restoration of the old order was an illusion. Negotiation with the nascent Indonesian Republic led to the Linggadjati Agreement at the end of 1946. Conservative Dutch politicians and Dutch public opinion, however, undermined this agreement, along with radical nationalists in Indonesia. After two Dutch-Indonesian wars in 1947 and 1948, the Netherlands government finally accepted Indonesian independence under international pressure. On December 27, 1949, Queen Juliana transferred sovereignty to the Indonesian Republic. To the Indonesians however, August 17, 1945, is the formal date of independence.

Dutch policies toward Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles took a different turn than in the Netherlands Indies. After the abolishment of slavery, Suriname had seen an influx of cheap laborers from India and Java, which made Suriname a multiethnic society. In 1898 the geologist G. C. Dubois found bauxite on the plantations of Rorac. A drop in European bauxite exports to the United States during World War I stimulated bauxite mining in Suriname. In 1916 the Surinaamse Bauxiet Maatschappij (Suriname Bauxite Company) was founded. During World War II, Suriname was of strategic importance because of the bauxite mines delivering aluminum for the aircraft industry in the United States. Curaçao welcomed English and French troops, as the island was a part of the Caribbean Sea Frontier guarding against German submarines.

Despite its multiethnic population of Creoles, Hindus, Javanese, and native Indians, Suriname showed enough political stability to develop democratic institutions during the 1940s and 1950s. In all of the Dutch overseas territories in the West, there was a desire for autonomy after World War II. The first Round Table Conference in 1948 resulted in a high degree of autonomy for Suriname, while the second Round Table Conference in 1952 led to a separate political status for Suriname within the kingdom. Suriname only became completely independent on November 25, 1975. By that time Suriname had already faced several political crises due to the development of political parties based on ethnic groups. Political patronage and favoritism were endemic as political leaders tried to gain the support of their own ethnic group through granting favors. By the time Suriname became independent, a large portion of the population had already settled in the Netherlands. At the end of 1975, one third of Suriname's population, around 130,000 people, lived in the Netherlands. After the military coup of February 25, 1980, led by Desi Bouterse, more people left Suriname, which sank into poverty and remained poor for the rest of the twentieth century.

The five Antillean islands remained part of the kingdom. The Round Table Conferences of 1981 and 1983 granted the right to self-determination, which provided the opportunity for Aruba to establish a "status apart" within the kingdom. Polls of all Antillean residents in 1988 showed that the majority of the island population wanted to maintain the relation with the Netherlands. Dutch politicians dropped the idea of involuntary independence, and at the end of the twentieth century the Antilles not only developed into a holiday resort for the Dutch, but also into a political burden. Many young Antilleans migrated to the Netherlands, where they faced many problems finding jobs. The growing influence of drug smugglers also contributed to repeated friction between the government in The Hague and Antillean administrators. Financially and politically, postwar involvement with the former overseas possessions in the West was a heavy burden for the Dutch government.

The legacy of the colonial past still plays an important role in internal debates in the Netherlands over topics such as Indonesian independence and slavery in the West. On July 1, 2002, a memorial to the victims of slavery was erected in Amsterdam. In particular, the descendents of slaves living in the Netherlands strive for recognition of their past, and of slavery's consequences for modern Dutch society. In 2003 the Nationaal Instituut Nederlands slavernijverleden was founded. On August 17, 2005, for the first time ever, a member of the Dutch government—the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Bernard Bot—attended the commemoration of Indonesian independence in Jakarta. Bot declared that "the Dutch government expresses its political and moral acceptance of the Proklamasi, the date the Republic of Indonesia declared independence." He also remarked, "In retrospect, it is clear that its large-scale deployment of military forces in 1947 put the Netherlands on the wrong side of history," and expressed his "profound regret for all that suffering." In 2005, some 400,000 Indonesians live in the Netherlands, and some 3,000 Dutch citizens live in Indonesia.

see also Aceh War; Dutch United East India Company; Dutch West India Company; Ethical Policy, Netherlands Indies; Heeren XVII; Java War; Java, Cultivation System; Netherlands Missionary Society; Royal Dutch-Indisch Army.


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