Being "Dutch" in the Indies BOSMA, Ulbe & RABEN, Remco a history of creolisation and empire, 1500-1920

Being "Dutch" in the Indies portrays Dutch colonial territories in Asia not as mere societies under foreign occupation but rather as a "Creole empire." Most of colonial society, up to the highest levels, consisted of people of mixed Dutch and Asian descent who were born in the Indies and considered it their home, but were legally Dutch. They played a major role in the plantation industry, commerce, local government, and even early anti-colonial nationalism. The old world came to an end after World War 1, when people born in Europe began to dominate government and business, and Indonesian nationalism rejected the Creole notion of imperial belonging. In telling the story of the Creole empire, the authors draw on government archives, newspapers, and literary works as well as genealogical studies that follow the fortunes of individual families over several generations. They also critically analyze theories relating to culturally and racially mixed communities. The picture of the Indies they develop shatters conventional understandings of colonial rule in Asia.

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