Courtesy Reuters

Dutch Rule in the East Indies

IN both Africa and Asia the twentieth century has presented the colonizing nations with new and difficult problems of administration. Black and brown races alike are beginning to feel conscious of their nationality and are making claims to self-government. Perhaps the movement has taken most definite form in the Far East. Holland is struggling with her colonial problems in the Indies just as Britain is doing in India and the United States in the Philippines. Because the "native movement" in the Dutch East Indies has its counterpart in other Asiatic and African colonies and dependencies, and also because of the strategic situation of those islands between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, the recent developments there carry lessons for both American and European students of international affairs.

The Dutch East Indies are a great archipelago. Indeed, the distance between the easternmost and westernmost islands of the group is greater than the distance from New York to San Francisco, and the population numbers over 50,000,000. There are about 49,000,000 natives of different races, about 1,000,000 Chinese (most of them born in Java) and from 200,000 to 250,000 Dutchmen and other white people. Nearly 70 percent of the so-called Europeans in these islands are really Eurasians, having a native mother and a European father.

Scattered as they are over a vast number of islands, the natives have little mutual intercourse; furthermore, they belong to nearly forty different races and tribes, with different languages and dialects and varying degrees of culture and civilization. So that when advocates of the native movement speak of " the Indonesian nation," they refer to something which does not exist, for not even the three races of Java consider themselves a nation, and certainly the inhabitants of the other islands do not think of the Javanese as compatriots. It is fair to say that the Dutch East Indies are held together by no other bond than the supremacy of Holland, which extends over all the islands of the archipelago. One of the extreme revolutionary nationalists in

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