Bali Property Blog

The Lost Dutch East Indies

Dutch East Indies is the name of a Dutch colony, which comprised the area now known as Indonesia. The colony was created after the dissolution of the VOC in 1798. The VOC was a trading company that several islands, regions and cities in Southeast Asia in his possession. VOC from these countries traded mainly in spices such as nutmeg, mace, cloves and cinnamon, but later also manufactured rubber and tobacco. Due to fierce competition from the British and the French the company went bankrupt. The areas that the VOC had in his possession at the time formed the Batavian Republic. Beginning 1800, these areas were renamed to the Dutch East Indies. The colony covered 1.9 million km ² and had over 60 million inhabitants.

French domination
During the 19th century, the Netherlands, and therefore also its colonies, were colonized by the French and at that time ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte. France was defeated by Britain’s authority over the Dutch East Indies. A large Indonesian uprising, known as the Java War, placed the authority of the colony back again in the hands of the Dutch.

Indonesian Independence War
In March 1942 the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies. The Netherlands was at that moment occupied by Germany and did not have enough forces left to defend themselves from the Japanese. This put an end to the 300 year Dutch occupation. The Japanese occupation did not last long however and in 1945 they were defeated by Allied forces. A subsequent 4.5 years-long battle erupted in which the Netherlands fought the Indonesian rebellion in an attempt to recapture its former colony. The Indonesians however were trained as soldiers during the years of Japanese occupation and won the battle, known as the Indonesian War of Independence. In 1949 the Netherlands pulled back from the Dutch East Indies, which officially ended the colony. The Dutch East Indies established itself as an independent country, Indonesia.


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