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"Colonial Period of Indonesia" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2019 9:33 p.m. PST

"During the course of the 18th century the Dutch United East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, abbreviated VOC) had established itself as the dominating economic and political power on Java after the crumbling and collapse of the Mataram empire. This Dutch trading company had been a major power in Asian trade since the early 1600s, but started to develop an interest to interfere in indigenous politics on the island of Java in the 18th century as that would improve their hold on the local economy.

However, mismanagement, corruption and fierce competition from the English East India Company resulted in the slow demise of the VOC towards the end of the 18th century. In 1796 the VOC went bankrupt and was nationalized by the Dutch state. As a consequence its possessions in the archipelago passed into the hands of the Dutch crown in 1800. However, when the French occupied Holland between 1806 and 1815 these possessions were transferred to the British. After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo it was decided that most parts of the archipelago would return to the Dutch.

Two names stand out as being architects of the new Dutch colonial state in Indonesia. Firstly, Herman Willem Daendels, Governor-General from 1808 to 1811 during the French occupation of Holland and, secondly, British Lieutenant Sir Stamford Raffles, Governor-General from 1811 to 1816 during the British occupation of Java. Daendels reorganized the central and regional colonial administration by dividing Java into districts (also known as residencies), each one headed by an European civil servant – called the resident – who was directly subordinate – and had to report – to the Governor-General in Batavia. These residents were responsible for a wide range of matters in their residency, varying from legal matters to the organization of agriculture…."
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