Dutch Discoverors 1815-1870

The Dutch Colonial Empire, 1798-1815

The V.W.C. basically had seized to exist in 1791, when it's charter was not extended. Both the V.W.C. and the V.O.C. were bankrupt; the BATAVIAN REPUBLIC in 1798 took over both their debts and assets. A MINISTRY FOR COLONIAL AFFAIRS was established.
The Batavian Republic was regarded a satellite state of Revolutionary France. As such, the Dutch colonies, as possessions of a French ally, became prime targets of the British navy. The English took the CAPE COLONY (1795) and CEYLON, but returned both in the PEACE OF AMIENS (1802).
After the CONTINENTAL BLOCKADE was introduced and the Batavian Republic transformed into the KINGDOM OF HOLLAND (1806), Britain again perceived it as a hostile state. Again, the Cape Colony was seized. In 1810, the Kingdom of Holland was annexed by France, the Dutch colonies technically becoming French. In 1811 a British expedition led by SIR STAMFORD RAFFLES took the heart of the Dutch Colonial Empire in Asia, the island of JAVA.

The Napoleonic Wars mark a decisive cut in the history of the Dutch Colonial Empire, as the colonies were transferred into state property, but major colonies were lost to the British. At the VIENNA CONFERENCE it was decided that Britain was to keep the Cape Colony and Ceylon. The mutual spheres of interests of Britain and the Netherlands in India (incl. the Malay archipelago) were fixed by treaty in 1824.
The colonies in the Caribbean had, due to a sharp decline in sugar prices, lost in importance. Britain only claimed DEMERARA, BERBICE and ESSEQUIBO, which was to become British Guyana and now is independent under the name Guyana. The other Caribbean colonies were returned to the Dutch.
In Africa, the Dutch had lost the Cape Colony, had retaimed their factory at ELMINA (on the Gold Coast) but had lost the island of GOREE off the coast of Senegal.

During the years of the French revolution and of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Dutch Governor of Java, DAENDELS, had begun with a reform program; his rule was cut short by the British expedition under Sir Stamford Raffles.

The V.O.C. bankruptcy and the British Occupation, from Library of Congress, Country Studies : Indonesia
DOCUMENTS Coins from the John Madlon Collection : The Issues of the Batavian Republic 1799-1806, The Issues of the French Occupation, 1807-1812, British Occupation issues, 1812-1815

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 11th 2004

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics