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Encyclopedia > Dutch Ethical Policy and Indonesian National Revival
This article is part of
the History of Indonesia series
Pre-colonial Indonesia (before 1602)
Srivijaya (3rd century–1400)
Sailendra (8th Century – 832)
Kingdom of Mataram (752–1045)
Kediri (1045–1221)
The spread of Islam (1200–1600)
Singhasari (1222–1292)
Majapahit Empire (1293–1500)
Sultanate of Demak (1475–1518)
Mataram Sultanate (1500s to 1700s)
Dutch East Indies (1602–1945)
Anglo-Dutch Java War (1810–1811)
Padri War (1821–1837)
Java War (1825–1830)
Aceh War (1873–1904)
National Revival (1899–1942)
World War II battles (1941–1942)
Japanese Occupation (1942–1945)
Independence (1945–1965)
Declaration of Independence (1945)
National Revolution (1945–1950)
Asian-African Conference (1955)
Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation (1962–1965)
New Order (1965–1998)
Overthrow of Sukarno (1965–1966)
Act of Free Choice (1969)
Reformasi (1998–present)
Revolution of 1998 (1996–1998)
2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake (2004–present)
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The period of the Dutch Ethical Policy and Indonesian National Revival was a period in Indonesian history spanning from 1899 until the Japanese Invasion and Occupation in 1942. The beginning of the twentieth century saw the exploitation of Indonesia recede as the principle justification for Dutch colonial rule, and in its place, concern for the welfare of Indonesian was professed. Known as the 'Ethical Policy', there was, however, more promise than performance in this period of stated changed colonial aims; exploitation and subjugation continued largely unaltered.[1] Indonesia is an archipelagic country of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited) stretching along the equator in South East Asia. ... Image File history File links Historyofindonesia. ... Map of Southeast Asia at end of 12th century. ... At a point in time when Sri Vijaya had been the established leader in the Southeast Asian region for about 100 years, the Sailendra Kingdom of Java emerged. ... Mataram was an Indianized kingdom based in Central Java between the 8th and 10th centuries CE. The centre of the kingdom was moved from Central Java to East Java by Mpu Sindok. ... Kediri was a Hindu kingdom based in East Java from 1045 to 1221. ... Islam is thought to have first been adopted by Indonesians sometime during the eleventh century, although Muslims had visited Indonesia early in the Muslim era. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Majapahit Empire was an Indianized kingdom based in eastern Java from 1293 to around 1500. ... The Sultanate of Demak was founded in the 16th century by Raden Patah (1475-1518), once a vassal of the declining Majapahit Empire. ... This article is about a historic kingdom on Java in what is now Indonesia. ... The Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, (Dutch: Nederlands-Indië) was the name of the colonies set up by the Dutch East India Company, which came under administration of the Netherlands during the 19th century (see Indonesia). ... The Anglo-Dutch Java War in 1810-1811 was a war between Great Britain and Netherlands fought entirely on the Island of Java in colonial Indonesia. ... The Padri War also called Minangkabau War is the name given to the skirmishes fought by Dutch troops from 1821 to 1837 in West Sumatra, Indonesia. ... The Java War was fought in Java between 1825 and 1830. ... The Aceh War (also Achinese War) took place from 1873-1904 between the Netherlands and the people of Aceh in Sumatra as the Dutch attempted to colonize this independent state on the northern-most tip of Sumatra. ... The Netherlands East Indies campaign was the shortlived defence of the Netherlands East Indies by Allied forces, against invasion by the Empire of Japan in 1941-42. ... The Japanese occupation of Indonesia refers to the period between 1942 and 1945, during World War II, when the Empire of Japan ruled Indonesia. ... The Indonesian Declaration of Independence was officially read at exactly 10. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The Asian-African Conference was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, organized by Egypt, Indonesia, Burma, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, and Pakistan. ... The Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation was an intermittent war over the future of the island of Borneo, between British-backed Malaysia and Indonesia in 1962–1966. ... The New Order (Indonesian: Orde Baru) is the term coined by former Indonesian President Suharto to characterize his regime as he came to power in 1966. ... The overthrow of Sukarno and the violence that followed it was a conflict in Indonesia from 1965 to 1966 between forces loyal to then-President Sukarno and the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) and forces loyal to a right-wing military faction led by General Abdul Haris Nasution and Maj. ... Act of Free Choice (Indonesian: Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat [PEPERA]) was the title of a 1969 referendum in the former Dutch territory of Western New Guinea, to determine whether the territory would become part of Indonesia or maintain independence. ... The Reformation (in bahasa Indonesia Reformasi) is the name commonly used for the present era in the history of Indonesia. ... The Indonesian 1998 Revolution is the term given to a series of protests and political manoeuverings that brought about the end of the rule of the three-decade long New Order government of the autocratic President Suharto of Indonesia. ... Indonesia was seriously affected by the earthquake and tsunami created by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake on 26 December 2004, swamping the northern and western coastal areas of Sumatra, and the smaller outlying islands off Sumatra. ... The Japanese occupation of Indonesia refers to the period between 1942 and 1945, during World War II, when the Empire of Japan ruled Indonesia. ... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ...

During this period, Indonesians began to develop a fundamentally stronger national consciousness and more sophisticated political, cultural and religious identity. New organisations and leadership developed accordingly, in part facilitated by the Ethical Policy's creation of an educated Indonesian elite. These profound changes amongst the indigenous Indonesia population and often referred to as the 'Indonesian National Revival' culminated in Indonesian nationalists' proclaming independence on 17 August 1945.[2] The Indonesian Declaration of Independence was officially read at exactly 10. ...


Formulation of the Dutch Ethical Policy

In 1899, the liberal Dutch Lawyer Conrad Théodoor van Deventer published an essay in the Dutch journal De Gids which claimed that the Colonial Government had a moral responsibility to return the wealth that the Dutch had received from the East Indies to the indigenous population. At around the same time, Pieter Brooshooft, a journalist with the Semarang based De Locomotief journal published articles about the need for an Ethical Policy to improve the welfare of the native peoples. The Ethical Policy and the ideas it reflected were a response to the Cultivation System that had prevailed until 30 years previously. Semarang is a city on the north coast of the island of Java, Indonesia. ... The Cultivation System (Dutch: cultuurstelsel) was a Dutch government policy in the mid-nineteenth century which required that a portion of agricultural production in the colonial Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) must be devoted to export goods. ...


The supporters of the Ethical Policy were concerned about the social and cultural conditions holding back the native population. They tried to raise awareness among the natives of the need to free themselves from the fetters of the feudal system and to develop themselves along Western lines.

On 17 September 1901, in a formal speech to parliament, the newly crowned Queen Wilhelmina formally articulated the new policy - that the Dutch Government had a moral obligation to the native people of the Dutch East Indies that could be summarised in the 'Three Policies' of Irrigation, [Trans]migration and Education. September 17 is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years). ... 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Queen Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Orange-Nassau (August 31, 1880 - November 28, 1962) was Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948 and Queen Mother (with the title of Princess) from 1948 to 1962. ...


The Ethical Policy promoted efforts to improve the lot of the ordinary people through irrigation programmes, the introduction of banking services for the native population, and subsidies for native industries and handicrafts.


The Ethical Policy first introduced the concept of transmigration from over-populated Java to the less densely populated areas of Sumatra and Kalimantan, beginning with government sponsored schemes from 1905 onwards. However the numbers of people moved during the period of the Ethical Policy was a tiny fraction of the increase in population in Java during the same period. The transmigration program (transmigrasi in Indonesia) was an initiative by the government of Indonesia to move landless people from densely populated areas of Indonesia to less populous areas of the Indonesian archipelago. ... Java (Indonesian, Javanese, and Sundanese: Jawa) is an island of Indonesia, and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. ... Sumatra (also spelled Sumatera) is the sixth largest island in the world (approximately 470,000 km²) and is the largest island entirely in Indonesia (two larger islands, Borneo and New Guinea, are partially in Indonesia). ... Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. ...


The opening of Western education to indigenous Indonesians only begun at the beginning of the twentieth century; in 1900, only 1,500 went to European schools compared to 13,000 Europeans. By 1928, however, 75,000 Indonesians had completed Western primary education and nearly 6,500 secondary school, although this was still a tiny proportion of the population.[3] JH Amendanon (1852–1925) was the Minister for Culture, Religion and Industry from 1900 to 1905 when schools were built for both the nobility and ordinary people in almost every region.[citation needed]

National Revival

The new emphasis on education led to the development of a small, highly educated native elite, who, during the 1920s and 30s began to articulate a rising anti-colonialsim and national consciousness. Two important events in this process were the establishment of the youth group, Budi Utomo in 1908, and the Second Youth Congress in 1928, where the famous Youth Oath (Sumpah Pemuda) was adopted, establishing the nationalist goals of: one country - Indonesia, one people - Indonesian, and one language - Indonesian. student-organized priyayi ethno-political party opposing the colonial status quo in Indonesia, but advocating co-operation with the Dutch Government. ... The Sumpah Pemuda, or Youth Pledge, was a promise given by Pemuda Indonesia, the Indonesian Youth Nationallists, stating: Satu Tanah Air-Indonesia Satu Bangsa-Orang Indonesia Satu Bahasa-Bahasa Indonesia This Youth Pledge, utterly importent at the time, became policy after Sukarno declared independance in 1945. ...

Political Awakenings

During this period the first Indonesian political parties began to emerge. The first was the Indische Partij in 1912, and in the same year Haji Samanhudi formed Sarekat Dagang Islam, the forerunner of today's Sarekat Islam. Muhammadiyah was established by KH Ahmad Dahlan in Yogyakarta, and Dwijo Sewoyo and some associates formed the Peasant's Insurance Cooperative (Asuransi Jiwa Bersama Bumi Putera) in Magelang. Sarekat Islam, formerly Sarekat Dagang Islam, is an Indonesian organization. ... Muhammadiyah (full name: Persyarikatan Muhammadiyah) is a moderate Islamic organization in Indonesia. ... Kyai Haji Ahmad Dahlan (1868-1923) was an Indonesian Islamic revivalist who established Muhammadiyah in 1912. ... The Special Region of Yogyakarta (Indonesian: Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, or DIY), is a province of Indonesia on the island of Java. ... Magelang is the largest town in the Kedu Plain between Mount Merbabu and Mount Sumbing in Central Java, Indonesia. ...

On 20 July 1913, Suwardi Suryaningrat, who had connections with the Bumi Putera Committee wrote Als ik eens Nederlander was (What if I were a Dutchman?) a striking protest against the plans of the Dutch Colonial Government to celebrate 100 years of Dutch Independence. As a result of this article, Dr Tjipto Mangunkusumo and Suwardi Suryoningrat were tried and sentenced to exile in the Banda Islands. However, they were given the alternative choice of transportation to the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, Suwardi pursued studies in field of Education, while Dr Tjipto fell ill and returned home to Indonesia.

The Development of a National Consciousness

In 1918 a proto-parliament, the Volksraad, met for the first time. 39% of its members were native Indonesians. During this year, the Dutch government agreed that at some, unspecified point in the future, Indonesians would be granted self-rule, but in subsequent years did nothing to follow up this aim.

The next twenty years saw the emergence of some of the major figures and organisations that were to play a major role in the move to Independence and in post-Independence politics in the 1950s, including Sukarno, Mohammed Hatta, Sutan Sjahrir, the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian National Party (PNI). In action similar to the Youth Congress, the PNI in 1928 adopted the red and white flag of Indonesia, declared Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) as the national language, and Indonesia Raya as the national anthem. Sukarno (June 6, 1901 – June 21, 1970) was the first President of Indonesia. ... Mohammad Hatta Mohammad Hatta (born August 12, 1902, Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia); died March 14, 1980, Jakarta) was Indonesias first vice president, after being the countrys Prime Minister. ... Sutan Sjahrir (5 March 1909 — 9 April 1966) was the first prime minister of Indonesia, after a career as a key Indonesian nationalist organizer in the 1930s and 1940s. ... Communist Party of Indonesia (Partai Komunis Indonesia), was founded in 1920 in Semarang, as the successor of the Indische Sociaal-Democratische Vereeniging (ISDV, Indian Social Democratic Association). ... Indonesian National Party (Partai Nasional Indonesia/PNI) is the oldest political party in Indonesia, established on 4 July 1927. ... Indonesia Raya is the national anthem of Indonesia. ...

However, it was not until the Japanese defeat in 1945 that these prominent figures took the initiative and declared Indonesian Independence.

See also

Indonesia Portal

Image File history File links Portal. ... Indonesia is an archipelagic country of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited) stretching along the equator in South East Asia. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, (Dutch: Nederlands-Indië) was the name of the colonies set up by the Dutch East India Company, which came under administration of the Netherlands during the 19th century (see Indonesia). ... A map showing the territory that the Netherlands held at various points in history. ...


General references and further reading

  • Anderson, Ben (1972). Java in a Time of Revolution: Occupation and Resistance, 1944-1946. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-0687-0. 


  1. ^ Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia since c.1300. London: MacMillan, p.151. ISBN 0-33-579690-X. 
  2. ^ Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia since c.1300. London: MacMillan, p.163. ISBN 0-33-579690-X. 
  3. ^ Vickers, Adrian (2005). A History of Modern Indonesia. Cambridge University Press, p.40. ISBN 0-521-54262-6. 

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