To this day, the ideas of Dutch colonial irrigation engineers continue to exert a strong influence over Indonesian design practices. Education reforms, and modest political reform, resulted in a small elite of highly educated indigenous Indonesians, who promoted the idea of an independent and unified "Indonesia" that would bring together disparate indigenous groups of the Dutch East Indies.
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A period termed the Indonesian National Revival , the first half of the 20th century saw the nationalist movement develop strongly, but also face Dutch oppression. House of Resident colonial administrator in Surabaya. Traditional rulers who survived displacement by the Dutch conquests were installed as regents and indigenous aristocracy became an indigenous civil service. While they lost real control, their wealth and splendour under the Dutch grew. This indirect rule did not disturb the peasantry and was cost-effective for the Dutch; in , only European and 1, indigenous civil servants, and 16, Dutch officers and men and 26, hired native troops, were required to rule 35 million colonial subjects.
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During the Dutch East Indies era the Governor-General functioned as chief executive president of colonial government and served as commander-in-chief of the colonial KNIL army. Until all government officials and organisations were formal agents of the Governor-General and were entirely dependent on the central administration of the 'Office of the Governor-General' for their budgets.
The so-called Exorbitant powers of the Governor-General allowed him to exile anyone regarded as subversive and dangerous to peace and order, without involving any Court of Law. Until the Governor-General was directly appointed by the Dutch monarch, and in later years via the Crown and on advice of the Dutch metropolitan cabinet. During two periods — and — the Governor-General ruled jointly with an advisory board called the Raad van Indie Indies Council.
Colonial policy and strategy were the responsibility of the Ministry of Colonies based in The Hague. From to the Ministry was under direct authority of the Dutch King. In the 20th century the colony gradually developed as a state distinct from the Dutch metropole with treasury separated in , public loans being contracted by the colony from , and quasi diplomatic ties were established with Arabia to manage the Haji pilgrimage from the Dutch East Indies. In the colony came on equal footing with the Netherlands in the Dutch constitution, while remaining under the Ministry of Colonies.
The Volksraad was limited to an advisory role and only a small portion of the indigenous population were able to vote for its members. The Council comprised 30 indigenous members, 25 European and 5 from Chinese and other populations, and was reconstituted every four years.
In the Volksraad was made a semilegislative body; although decisions were still made by the Dutch government, the governor-general was expected to consult the Volksraad on major issues. The Volksraad was dissolved in during the Japanese occupation.
The Dutch government adapted the Dutch codes of law in its colony. The highest court of law, the Supreme Court in Batavia, dealt with appeals and monitored judges and courts throughout the colony. Six Councils of Justice Raad van Justitie dealt mostly with crime committed by people in the European legal class  and only indirectly with the indigenous population. The Land Councils Landraden dealt with civil matters and less serious offences like estate divorces, and matrimonial disputes. The indigenous population was subject to their respective adat law and to indigenous regents and district courts, unless cases were escalated before Dutch judges.
By the Dutch had established prisons throughout the colony. The Meester Cornelis prison in Batavia incarcerated the most unruly inmates. In Sawah Loento prison on Sumatra prisoners had to perform manual labour in the coal mines. Separate prisons were built for juveniles West Java and for women. In the female Boeloe prison in Semarang inmates had the opportunity to learn a profession during their detention, such as sewing, weaving and making batik. This training was held in high esteem and helped re-socialise women once they were outside the correctional facility.
As of political prisoners, including indigenous Indonesians espousing Indonesian independence, were 'exiled' to the outer islands. Politically, the highly centralised power structure, including the exorbitant powers of exile and censorship,  established by the Dutch administration was carried over into the new Indonesian republic.
Provincies and Gouvernementen were both divided to Residencies but while the Residencies under Provincies were divided again to regentschapen, Residencies under Gouvermenten were divided to Afdeelingen first before being divided to regentschapen  In , the divisions were. Java was also divided to three provinces which overlap with Pre boundary of java without Surakarta which in along with Yogyakarta were not included in any provinces of Java, but considered Vorstenlanden van Java Princely States of Java.
In both of these Residenties were united were again united in a Gouvernement of Borneo with its capital at Banjarmasin. It comprised all the islands to the east of Borneo and Java. In the Residentie was renamed to Gouvernement Molukken until the creation of Gouvernement Groot Oost in , in which Gouvernement Molukken became residencie again. The KNIL was not allowed to recruit Dutch conscripts and had the nature of a ' Foreign Legion ' recruiting not only Dutch volunteers, but many other European nationalities especially German, Belgian and Swiss mercenaries.
Dutch policy before the s was to take full charge of strategic points and work out treaties with the local leaders elsewhere so they would remain in control and co-operate. The policy failed in Aceh , in northern Sumatra, where the sultan tolerated pirates who raided commerce in the Strait of Malacca. Britain was a protector of Aceh and it gave the Netherlands permission to eradicate the pirates. The campaign quickly drove out the sultan but across Aceh numerous local Muslim leaders mobilised and fought the Dutch in four decades of very expensive guerrilla war, with high levels of atrocities on both sides.
Aceh War — between the Netherlands and the Aceh Sultanate. When a guerrilla war did take place the Dutch used either a slow, violent occupation or a campaign of destruction. In July the Volksraad passed law creating a native militia of 18, by a majority of 43 to 4, with only the moderate Great Indonesia Party objecting. After the declaration of war with Japan, over , natives volunteered.
On the eve of the Japanese invasion in December , Dutch regular troops in the East Indies comprised about 1, officers and 34, men, of whom 28, were indigenous. Despite two successful military campaigns in and , Dutch efforts to re-establish their colony failed and the Netherlands recognised Indonesian sovereignty in December The remainder were either demobilised or transferred to the Netherlands Army. Perhimpunan Pelajar-Pelajar Indonesia Indonesian Students Union delegates in Youth Pledge , an important event where Indonesian language was decided to be the national language. Across the archipelago, hundreds of native languages are used, and Malay or Portuguese Creole , the existing languages of trade were adopted.
Prior to , when Dutch colonial influence was largely restricted to Java, Malay was used in government schools and training programs such that graduates could communicate with groups from other regions who immigrated to Java. In the latter half of the 19th century, the rest of the archipelago, in which hundreds of language groups were used, was brought under Dutch control.
In extending the native education program to these areas, the government stipulated this "standard Malay" as the language of the colony. Dutch was not made the official language of the colony and was not widely used by the indigenous Indonesian population.
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These words generally had no alternative in Malay and were adopted into the Indonesian vocabulary giving a linguistic insight into which concepts are part of the Dutch colonial heritage. Hendrik Maier of the University of California says that about a fifth of contemporary Indonesian language can be traced to Dutch. Dutch language literature has been inspired by both colonial and post-colonial Indies from the Dutch Golden Age to the present day. It includes Dutch, Indo-European and Indonesian authors. Its subject matter thematically revolves around the Dutch colonial era, but also includes postcolonial discourse.
Most Dutch literature was written by Dutch and Indo-European authors, however, in the first half of the 20th century under the Ethical Policy, indigenous Indonesian authors and intellectuals came to the Netherlands to study and work. By exploring new literary themes and focusing on indigenous protagonists, they drew attention to indigenous culture and the indigenous plight.
The romantic depiction of De Grote Postweg near Buitenzorg. The natural beauty of East Indies has inspired the works of artists and painters, that mostly capture the romantic scenes of colonial Indies. The term Mooi Indie Dutch for "Beautiful Indies" was originally coined as the title of 11 reproductions of Du Chattel's watercolor paintings which depicted the scene of East Indies published in Amsterdam in The term became famous in after S. Sudjojono used it to mock the painters that merely depict all pretty things about Indies.
Some of the notable Mooi Indie painters are European artists: F. Cinema Bioscoop Mimosa in Batu , Java dated A total of fictional films are known to have been produced in the Dutch East Indies between and the colony's dissolution in The earliest motion pictures, imported from abroad, were shown in late , . Generally films produced in the Indies dealt with traditional stories or were adapted from existing works. Theatre plays by playwrights such as Victor Ido — were performed at the Schouwburg Weltevreden , now known as Gedung Kesenian Jakarta.
A less elite form of theatre, popular with both European and indigenous people, were the travelling Indo theatre shows known as Komedie Stamboel , made popular by Auguste Mahieu — Museum and lab of the Buitenzorg Plantentuin. The rich nature and culture of the Dutch East Indies attracted European intellectuals, scientists and researchers. Some notable scientists that conducted most of their important research in the East Indies archipelago are Teijsmann , Junghuhn , Eijkman , Dubois and Wallace. Many important art, culture and science institutions were established in Dutch East Indies.
For example, the Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen , Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences , the predecessor of the National Museum of Indonesia , was established in with the aim to promote research and publish findings in the field of arts and sciences, especially history , archaeology , ethnography and physics.
The Bogor Botanical Gardens with Herbarium Bogoriense and Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense was a major centre for botanical research established in , with the aim to study the flora and fauna of the archipelago. Komodo dragon was first described by Peter Ouwens in , after an aeroplane crash accident in and rumours about living dinosaurs in Komodo Island in Vitamin B 1 and its relation to beriberi disease was discovered by Eijkman during his work in the Indies.
Dutch family enjoying a large Rijsttafel dinner, The Dutch colonial families through their domestic servants and cooks were exposed to Indonesian cuisine, as the result they developed a taste for native tropical spices and dishes. A notable Dutch East Indies colonial dish is rijsttafel , the rice table that consists of 7 to 40 popular dishes from across the colony. More an extravagant banquet than a dish, the Dutch colonials introduced the rice table not only so they could enjoy a wide array of dishes at a single setting but also to impress visitors with the exotic abundance of their colony.
Through colonialism the Dutch introduced European dishes such as bread , cheese , barbecued steak and pancake. As the producer of cash crops; coffee and tea were also popular in the colonial East Indies. Bread, butter and margarine , sandwiches filled with ham, cheese or fruit jam, poffertjes , pannekoek and Dutch cheeses were commonly consumed by colonial Dutch and Indos during the colonial era.
Some of the native upperclass ningrat nobles and a few educated native were exposed to European cuisine, and it was held with high esteem as the cuisine of upperclass elite of Dutch East Indies society. This led to the adoption and fusion of European cuisine into Indonesian cuisine.
Some dishes which were created during the colonial era are Dutch influenced: they include selat solo solo salad , bistik jawa Javanese beef steak , semur from Dutch smoor , sayur kacang merah brenebon and sop buntut.