Today, the Dutch Empire consists of various foreign colonies, outposts, and enclaves that were governed and controlled by Dutch chartered firms such as the Dutch East Indian Company and the Dutch West India Company, and later by the Dutch Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Dutch Empire existed from 1555 until 1815 when it was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. However, the former Dutch territory still uses the original title of "Empire" when describing its history.
The Dutch Empire was the second largest in Europe after the Russian Empire. It covered about a quarter of the earth's surface and included most of the North Sea coastline and parts of Africa and Asia. It was also one of the first true global empires, because its interests extended beyond Europe into the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
Almost the entire population of the Netherlands was not involved in producing or trading goods within this empire; instead, they provided money to the companies that did trade with them. The rulers of the Netherlands decided which companies would be given territories to rule and paid them for doing so.
These companies issued their own currencies and had the right to judge what crimes should be punished with death. They also had the power to declare war and make peace deals with other countries.
The Dutch East Indies also known as the Netherlands East Indies; Dutch: Nederlands (ch)-Indie; Indonesian: Hindia Belanda was a Dutch colony that included what is now Indonesia. It was founded in 1619 and originally called New Holland. The name was changed to the Dutch East Indies in 1816 when it was decided that New Holland was already taken by another country.
The Dutch East Indies consisted of four regions: Java, Sumatra, Bali and the Maluku Islands. These regions were divided into numerous provinces and districts. When Japan entered World War II on the side of the Allies, its forces invaded the Dutch East Indies, forcing them to abandon most of their territories. Only the territory of Borneo remained under their control until the end of the war.
After the war, the Dutch government declared its intention to restore sovereignty over its former colonies. However, the United Nations (UN) sponsored conference on Indonesia's independence started on August 15, 1945 in London, resulted in the formation of the UN Trust Territory of Indonesia. This lasted from September 24, 1945 until October 12, 1949 when Indonesia became a fully independent nation.
During its time as a colony of the Netherlands, the Dutch East Indies developed a rich culture with its own music, dance, food, and dress.
The word "Dutch Indies" appears in papers from the Dutch East India Company in the early 1620s. Scholars writing in English interchangeably use the terms "indie," "Indies," the Dutch East Indies, the Netherlands Indies, and colonial Indonesia.
The term "Dutch East Indies" came into common usage after the British takeover of The Netherlands in 1815. Before then, the area was known as New Holland or Oost-Holland.
During the seventeenth century, European traders called the Indonesian islands "Javanese" or "Java". In 1727, the French explorer Jean-Baptiste de La Caille changed this name to "Indes Sunda". He based this new name on a combination of two Indian words: indi means "India" and sanda means "sandy."
In 1823, the British began calling the Indonesian islands "Netherlands Indies". This name was adopted by the world community after the Kingdom of the Netherlands was founded in 1815. Before then, these islands were known as Oost-Holland.
So the name "Netherlands Indies" became popular among Europeans. This name is still used by some people even though Indonesia has its own government now.
The Dutch West India Company held a portion of northeast Brazil from 1624 and 1654. In 1621, a private business received a trade monopoly and the authority to conquer land and operate in waterways on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean from the Republic of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. This company was called the New Netherland Company and its capital was located in Amsterdam.
In 1630, the Dutch government granted the New Netherland Company the right to establish colonies with exclusive trading privileges. The company sent three ships to find a suitable location for a colony. They landed at present-day New York City and established a fort. Two years later, they returned home without having found a good place to live. So, the government decided to grant them land elsewhere. They chose an area now known as New Netherland and granted it to the investors who had joined the company.
A few years later, in 1636, the Dutch government granted the company the right to colonize the entire west coast of North America from Florida to California. Again, they sent three ships to look for a good location but this time they stopped along the way and settled in several places. One of these settlements became New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island. It was the first European settlement in what is now called New York City.
These are just a few examples of how the Dutch conquered Brazil.
The Netherlands (1605-1799 & 1825-1940s): In 1596, the Dutch landed in Indonesia. From 1605 through 1799, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) carried out Dutch colonization. In 1814, the Dutch Empire included the Dutch West Indies, South Africa, and parts of China. In 1840, the Dutch Republic was split into Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
Belgium (1830-1940s): In 1830, Belgium became a kingdom when Charles IV was crowned. The country expanded with annexation treaties until it included most of the modern-day countries of Europe: France, Germany, and Italy. In 1940, Belgium surrendered to Nazi Germany during World War II.
Netherlands (1840-1940s): In 1839, the United Kingdom defeated the French at the Battle of Waterloo, ending the French Empire. The Netherlands joined the UK as a partner state in 1843. In 1847, the two countries merged to form the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. This union ended in 1950 when Queen Wilhelmina abdicated in favor of her son Prince Bernhard. In 1980, the Netherlands voted to withdraw itself from the monarchy and create a parliamentary democracy.