The Emergence of the Modern Indonesian Elite

By Robert Van Niel | Go to book overview

Chapter I
EAST INDIAN SOCIETY IN 1900

The Europeans

In 1900 Java was a principal part of the Dutch colonial empire. Ultimate control over Java and other parts of the empire had resided, since the middle of the nineteenth century, in the hands of the Netherlands' parliament, or States General, as it is called. Practical control over colonial affairs was in the hands of the Minister of Colonies who was one member of a cabinet responsible for its actions to the States General. The Minister of Colonies carried out the general colonial policy of the government. This general colonial policy was formulated, since mid-century, by public opinion as expressed through the States General. This general policy was relatively constant and was not basically altered by changes of cabinet or parliament. The Minister of Colonies was responsible for implementing the general colonial policy in a fashion compatible with the colonial aims of his party and any other parties included in the cabinet. To assist him in this task he had a Colonial office or a Ministry of Colonies in The Hague in which many persons with colonial experience were employed. These persons were often able to influence the decisions of the Minister of Colonies.

Political parties in the Netherlands were anything but indifferent to colonial affairs. Each political party had its colonial experts, usually men with experience in the colonies, who formulated the party's colonial program and defended it in the parliament and in the press. The colonial program of many parties about 1900 bore little relationship to their position within the political spectrum of domestic politics. Virtually all parties were agreed on a humanizing reorientation of colonial policy at this

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The Emergence of the Modern Indonesian Elite
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter I - East Indian Society in 1900 4
  • Chapter II - The Acceleration of Change, 1900-1914 31
  • Chapter III - Rampant Radicalism and Steady Growth, 1914-1920 101
  • Chapter IV - Syncretism and Conservatism, 1920- Ca. 1927 196
  • Notes 253
  • Index 303
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