The Dutch Colonial Empire : Decolonization after 1945

A.) The Dutch East Indies - Indonesia

Immediately after the Japanese surrender, SUKARNO and Hatta proclaim the independence of Indonesia. The Dutch did not recognize it and returned, for a while taking control of most of Java. Sukarno hid in the Sultanate of YOGYAKARTA, which was off limits to the Dutch security forces. 4 different, competing groups were fighting for Indonesia's independence, while the Dutch were supported by the MOLUCCANS, the christian inhabitants of the spice islands. In 1949 the Dutch government gave in and recognized Indonesian independence. The various factions htherto fighting for independence turned at each other, and Sukarno succeeded, becoming the republic's first president. Many Moluccans, fearing Javanese retaliation, emigrated into the Netherlands. The Dutch retained only DUTCH NEW GUINEA, which is a region distinct from the Indonesian archipelago. The Netherlands administrated the area until the Indonesians invaded in 1963, annexed the area and renamed it IRIAN JAYA.

B.) Suriname and Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

The colony of Curacao was renamed into the Netherlans Antilles; round-table conferences preparing a new constitution were held in 1948, 1952 and 1954, resulting in a STATUTE for the kingdom (1954). In 1961, the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname became associated members of the EEC. Suriname became independent in 1970; the Netherlands Antilles, still depending on subsidies from Den Haag, so far refused the option of full independence. In 1986 ARUBA split from the Netherlands Antilles to form a separate entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Indonesia : The National Revolution, 1945-1950, from Library of Congress, Country Studies : Indonesia
Indonesia : History, from infoplease, encyclopedic, scroll down
Suriname : History, from infoplease, encyclopedic, scroll down
Netherlands Antilles, from infoplease, encyclopedic, scroll down

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

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