34 Facts About Dutch East Indies


Dutch East Indies, known as the Netherlands East Indies was a Dutch colony consisting of what is Indonesia.

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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 centuries.

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The colonial social order was based on rigid racial and social structures with a Dutch East Indies elite living separate from but linked to their native subjects.

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The name Dutch Indies is recorded in the Dutch East India Company's documents of the early 1620s.

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Dutch East Indies was formally dissolved in 1800 and its colonial possessions in the Indonesian archipelago were nationalized under the Dutch Republic as the Dutch East Indies.

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In 1811 Daendels was replaced by Governor-General Jan Willem Janssens, but shortly after his arrival, British forces occupied several Dutch East Indies ports including the Spice islands in 1810 and Java the following year, leading to Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles becoming Lieutenant Governor.

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The resulting borders between former British and Dutch East Indies possessions remain today between modern Malaysia and Indonesia.

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Dutch East Indies subjugated the Minangkabau of Sumatra in the Padri War and the Java War ended significant Javanese resistance.

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Military leaders and Dutch East Indies 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.

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The Dutch East Indies then bought the "Njai", who were indigenous women who officially served as maids but were often used as concubines.

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The rubber plantations and oil fields of the Dutch East Indies were considered crucial for the Japanese war effort.

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Traditional rulers who survived displacement by the Dutch East Indies conquests were installed as regents and indigenous aristocracy became an indigenous civil service.

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From 1910, the Dutch created the most centralised state power in Southeast Asia.

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Politically, the highly centralised power structure established by the Dutch East Indies administration, including the exorbitant powers of exile and censorship, was carried over into the new Indonesian republic.

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Dutch East Indies government adapted the Dutch East Indies codes of law in its colony.

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Dutch East Indies was divided into three gouvernementen—Groot Oost, Borneo and Sumatra—and three provincies in Java.

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Dutch East Indies colonialists formed a privileged upper social class of soldiers, administrators, managers, teachers and pioneers.

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The Dutch East Indies had two legal classes of citizens; European and indigenous.

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In 1901 the Dutch East Indies 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.

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Graduates of Dutch East Indies schools opened their own schools modelled on the Dutch East Indies school system, as did Christian missionaries, Theosophical Societies and Indonesian cultural associations.

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In 1898 the Dutch East Indies government established a school to train medical doctors, named School tot Opleiding van Inlandsche Artsen.

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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 William III.

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The Dutch East Indies 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.

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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.

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The profit from the Dutch East Indies made the Netherlands one of the world's most significant colonial powers.

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Journalists and civil servants observed that the majority of the Dutch East Indies population were no better off than under the previous regulated Cultivation System economy and tens of thousands starved.

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Dutch East Indies was not made the official language of the colony and was not widely used by the indigenous Indonesian population.

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Natural beauty of East Indies has inspired the works of artists and painters, that mostly capture the romantic scenes of colonial Indies.

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Rich nature and culture of the Dutch East Indies attracted European intellectuals, scientists and researchers.

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Bread, butter and margarine, sandwiches filled with ham, cheese or fruit jam, poffertjes, pannekoek and Dutch East Indies cheeses were commonly consumed by colonial Dutch East Indies and Indos during the colonial era.

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Some dishes which were created during the colonial era are Dutch East Indies influenced: they include selat solo, bistik jawa, semur, sayur kacang merah and sop buntut.

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Years later the Dutch learnt to adapt their architectural styles with local building features, 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.

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Practical responses to the environment carried over from the earlier Dutch East Indies Style, included overhanging eaves, larger windows and ventilation in the walls, which gave birth to the New Dutch East Indies Style.

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In fact one of the great masterpieces of Dutch East Indies literature is the book "Max Havelaar" written by Multatuli in 1860.

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