Dutch East Indies

The Dutch East Indies[3] (or Netherlands East-Indies; Dutch: Nederlands(ch)-Indië; Indonesian: Hindia Belanda) was a Dutch colony consisting of what is now Indonesia. It was formed from the nationalised trading posts of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Dutch government in 1800.

Dutch East Indies
Nederlandsch-Indië  (Dutch)
Hindia-Belanda  (Indonesian)
1800–1806
1816–1949
Coat of arms
Anthem: "Wilhelmus" (Dutch)
"'William"
noicon
Map of the Dutch East Indies showing its territorial expansion from 1800 to its fullest extent prior to Japanese occupation in 1942
StatusColonial administration
(1816-1942) (1945-1949)
Government in exile
(1942-1945)
CapitalBatavia
Capital-in-exileMelbourne
(1942–1944)
Brisbane
(1944–1945)
Largest citySoerabaja[1][2]
Official languagesDutch
Common languagesMalay (lingua franca)
Indigenous languages
Religion
Islam
Christianity
Hinduism
Buddhism
Head of State 
 1800
Augustijn Gerhard Besier
 1948–1949
Juliana
Governor-General 
 1800–1801 (first)
Pieter G. van Overstraten
 1949 (last)
A. H. J. Lovink
History 
1603–1800
 Dutch East Indies formation
1 January 1800
1806–1816
1942–1945
17 August 1945
27 December 1949
Population
 1930
60,727,233
CurrencyGulden
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Dutch East India Company
British Bencoolen
Aceh Sultanate
Bali Kingdom
Lanfang Republic
Sultanate of Bulungan
Sultanate of Sulu
Banjar Sultanate
Straits Settlements
Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies
United States of Indonesia
Netherlands New Guinea
Today part ofIndonesia
Malaysia

During the 19th century, the Dutch possessions and hegemony were expanded, reaching their greatest territorial extent in the early 20th century. The Dutch East Indies was one of the most valuable colonies under European rule,[4] and contributed to Dutch global prominence in spice and cash crop trade in the 19th to early 20th century.[5] The colonial social order was based on rigid racial and social structures with a Dutch elite living separate from but linked to their native subjects.[6] The term Indonesia came into use for the geographical location after 1880. In the early 20th century, local intellectuals began developing the concept of Indonesia as a nation state, and set the stage for an independence movement.[7]

Japan's World War II occupation dismantled much of the Dutch colonial state and economy. Following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, Indonesian nationalists declared independence which they fought to secure during the subsequent Indonesian National Revolution. The Netherlands formally recognized Indonesian sovereignty at the 1949 Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference with the exception of the Netherlands New Guinea (Western New Guinea), which was ceded to Indonesia 14 years later in 1963 under the provisions of the New York Agreement.[8]