Consolidation of the Dutch East Indies

Southern Dominions

Australasia 1906.0927

Consolidation of the Dutch East Indies

From the Federation of Australia and World War I in the South Pacific to the outbreak of World War II (27 September 1906)

Historical Map of Australia, New Zealand & the Southwest Pacific

Despite its small size, the Netherlands emerged from the 19th century in charge of the rich and populous Dutch East Indies - modern Indonesia. Consolidating control over the vast archipelago was another matter and it was only in the early 20th century that many of the princely states acknowledged Dutch rule, with the establishment of authority over the countless tribes of remote western New Guinea taking even longer.

Main Events

Anglo-Japanese Alliance

The United Kingdom and the Empire of Japan signed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in London, promising that they will support each other if either country became involved in a war with more than one Great Power. The Alliance was announced on 12 February 1902 and marked the end of Britain's Splendid Isolation.

Dutch settle New Guinea frontier

In response to British protests that Marind-Anim from Dutch New Guinea were raiding British New Guinea and the Torres Strait Islands, the Dutch built a post near the border at Merauke. Later in 1902, the Dutch tried to set up a border commission with German New Guinea, but this was rejected by the Germans on the grounds that neither country had settlements in the region. The Dutch built Hollandia by the German border in 1910.

South Celebes Expedition

In an expedition to force the states of the southern Celebes (Sulawesi) to accept Dutch sovereignty, twenty-five Dutch warships and a transport entered the Bay of Bone on 18 July 1904. When the Kingdom of Bone refused to submit, the Dutch invaded, occupying the entire state by the end of July. In October 1905, the Dutch struck north at Gowa, completing their conquest of that kingdom by late December. With the fall of Bone and Gowa, Luwu and the other states of the Celebes submitted to Dutch authority.

Papua Act 1905

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia passes the Papua Act 1905, which sees the transfer of the territory of British New Guinea from the United Kingdom to Australia as the external territory of Papua.

Bali Expedition

After the Rajas of the southern Balinese kingdoms of Badung, Tabanan, and Klungkung refused to pay compensation for the plunder of a Chinese schooner wrecked on their shores, the Royal Dutch East Indies Army landed a military expedition on Sanur beach on 14 September 1906. The Dutch swiftly defeated Badung and Tabanan that same month, but came to an agreement with Klungkung. The latter kingdom survived until 1908, when the Raja and many of his followers were shot in renewed conflict with the Dutch, ending Balinese resistance.

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