A Short History of the Indo-Europeans of the Netherlands Indies

Colonialism and the emergence of a new ethnic group as a result of interracial relationships are inseparable phenomena. The Dutch ruled the colony Netherlands Indies, present Indonesia, from 1600 until 1949. During this period the mestizo group of Indo-Europeans (the 'Indos' or Eurasians) occupied a special position in social-economic, political and cultural life. Mainly focused on a European lifestyle many white Europeans considered them a lesser type of themselves as they originated from the indigenous 'inferior' world. Indos always have had to cope with this tragic of being an in-between- group suffering latent or direct racial discrimination from the white Europeans, their respected role models.

This timeline is an attempt to approach and expose the history of the Indo-Europeans from their own perspective. This so-called Indo-centric approach will do justice to "forgotten" or neglected facts not fitting in the regular Eurocentric view on foreign cultures. So, this timeline attempts writing history "from within" the Indo group. ;xNLx;Find out more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indos_in_colonial_history;xNLx;;xNLx;© Humphrey de la Croix/IndischHistorisch.nl 2015;xNLx;;xNLx;Translation: Ms Rosalind Hewett MA

1498-12-05 01:29:28

First European Appearance in the Indonesian Archipelago

The Portuguese were the first Europeans who discovered the East Indies. For almost a century Portugal would possess the monopoly on the spice trade from the Moluccas to the rest of Asia and Europe. After their arrival in 1596, the Dutch kicked the Portuguese out of the archipelago.

1596-10-31 04:06:34

First Dutch appearance in the Indonesian Archipelago

The young Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden) was aiming to break the Portuguese monopoly (from 1498) on the international trade in spices like clove, nutmeg and sandalwood.

1600-01-01 12:20:22

The Njaj: Indos' Primeval Mother

Who are the Indos' "Adam and Eve?" Adam was always a Portuguese, Dutch or any other European male. Eve was an indigenous Indonesian woman with whom "Adam" started an intimate relationship.

1650-01-01 01:29:28

The 'Oude Indische Samenleving' (Ancient Indo Society): A Flourishing Mestizo Society

Within two centuries the Dutch succesfully conquered parts of the Indonesian archipelago. Far from Europe, the Dutch integrated with different peoples, cultures and religions into a new, colourful, "mestizo" society. We call this stage in colonial Netherlands Indies the "Old Indische society".

1800-01-01 01:29:28

A Changing Indo Society: the Colony as Part of a Dutch Empire

The industrialisation in Western Europe transformed the colonies into markets for new products and increased their position as suppliers of raw materials such as cotton, oil, rubber, sugar cane and kina. In the pre-industrial era the colony was only a supplier of spices which did not require a massive local Dutch presence. In the 19th century the exploitation of land and labour needed an immediate interference in regional and local infrastructures and in local communities. In other words: the impact of Western, Dutch values were more complete and would destroy traditional society. The introduction of money affected deeply relationships between Dutch and Indonesians and was only profitable for Dutch and indigenous elites at the expense of the (small) farmers and their families. These now would often no longer be able to produce enough food for themselves because the compulsory production of industrial crops had priority. Dutch companies and the government used and abused existing traditional compulsory labour ("herendiensten") to increase profits. At the end of the 19th century they had created a new coolie class of paupers. As a matter of fact Indonesian peoples lost many freedoms and became vulnerable to excesses of liberal capitalism.The expanding colonial economy meant the end of "good old" Indo society in which the Asian element played a dominant role. In the new imperialistic era Dutch self-confidence caused a new view on indigenous and Indo society. Technological progress and scientific developments (Darwin's theory of evolution and it's survival of the fittest) put Indonesian peoples and societies as inferior entities but useful economic resources. For the Indos, as part of European society, the social and economic changes offered new opportunities. Old Indo elites in the countryside (plantations) prospered even more. In the urban areas where most Indos lived (as they were dependent on employment in the Dutch civil service and companies), new companies settled and government bureaucracy grew steadily. In the second half of the 19th century, when the Dutch conquered almost the territory of contemporary Indonesia, Indos entered new positions in military and civil service.

1838-12-05 01:29:28

Indo Nationality (Dutch Civil Code)

According to the Burgerlijk Wetboek (Civil Code), persons born in the Netherlands and its colonies could have Dutch nationality. This meant practically all residents of the Netherlands Indies possessed Dutch nationality unless a non-Dutch resident insisted on keeping his original nationality. This concept of nationality is based on the soil where one is born (ius soli).

1850-12-05 01:29:28

Nationaliteitswet (Nationality Act) of 1850

In 1838 the Burgerlijk Wetboek, or Civil Code, actually granted the same legal position to Europeans and all other subjects of the Netherlands Indies. The Dutch government realized its impact could be that Indonesians would require the same access to education and civil and military services. As the Dutch (including the Indos) were just a small minority, exclusiveness of Dutch nationality had to be a singular right for Europeans. The new Nationaleitswet (Nationality Act) of 1850 introduced nationality based on ancestry (ius sanguinis) instead of on territory or soil (ius solis). In this way indigenous Indonesians (inlanders) and foreign orientals were excluded from Dutch nationality. Liberal politician and designer of the Grondwet (Constitution) of 1848, Johan Rudolf Thorbecke, rather believed that the German, French or British were more akin to the Dutch than Indonesians were. So the concept of nationality basically became a racial one.

1854-05-28 23:30:37

Regeringsreglement voor Nederlands-Indië

The ethnic distinctions were legally anchored in this constitution of the Netherlands Indies: 1. At the small top of colonial society: Europeans (whites=20%) and Indo-Europeans (80%). Later in 1899 Japanese were also admitted as Europeans; 2. A majority of 'Inlanders' or indigenous Indonesian peoples and a smaller group of various 'Oriental Foreigners' (from the Middle-East, South-Asia, Southeast-Asia and China). Eventually this Regeringsreglement officially proclaimed social, political and ethnic inequality in the colony.

1880-01-01 00:00:00

Poverty and Wealth

In the second half of the 19th century journalists started discussions about presumed worsening standards of living among indigenous labourers and Indos. Poverty in the liberal 19th century was not a political issue. In the second half of the century colonial rulers could no longer avoid putting poverty on their agenda.

1885-01-01 00:00:00

The Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad: an Indo Newspaper

At the end of the 19th century the press became a powerful medium for increasing social and political awareness of Indos and Indonesians. Daily Newspaper 'Het Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad " (The Batavian Newspaper') attracted many Indo readers because this newspaper was very critical towards the Gouvernement.

A Short History of the Indo-Europeans of the Netherlands Indies

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