Dutch East Indies

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The Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, (Dutch: Nederlands-Indië; Indonesian: Hindia-Belanda) was the Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the former Dutch East India Company that came under the administration of the Netherlands in 1800.

During the 19th century, Dutch possessions in the archipelago and its hegemony were expanded, reaching their greatest extent in the early 20th century. The colony was based on rigid racial and social categorisations with an upper class Dutch elite living separate but linked to their native subjects.[2]

Following the World War II Japanese occupation, Indonesian nationalists declared Indonesian independence in 1945. Thereafter and as a consequence of the subsequent Indonesian National Revolution, the Netherlands formally recognised Indonesian sovereignty in December 27, 1949.


Establishing a hegemonic Indies empire

In an 1806 to 1816 interregnum, during the Napoleonic Wars, the British took over administration of several Dutch East Indies posts including Java before Dutch control was restored. The fact that Indonesia still drives on the left is a legacy of this period. The 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty, ceded Dutch control of Malacca, the Malay Peninsula, and possessions in India (Dutch India from 1609) to Great Britain in exchange for British settlements in Indonesia, such as Bengkulu in Sumatra. The resulting delineation of borders between British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies remains today between Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively. The capital of the Dutch East Indies was Batavia, now known as Jakarta, which remains the capital of the Indonesian republic.

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