Dutch Essay

14333 WordsApr 22, 201258 Pages
E341 Typical Dutch? DP-IU-eh f11 1 E341 Typical Dutch? History in a nutshell 1860-1920 The 1860s and 1870s saw the rise of a new class of entrepreneurs who derived their wealth and influence from a concentration on production and corporate growth. These first Dutch 'captains of industry' emerged in the steel (Stork), textile (Ten Cate), electronics (Philips), oil (Shell) and food (Unilever) industries. It was also the time of the discovery of mass markets. Increasing affluence brought a rising population. Whereas in 1840 the population of the Netherlands numbered approximately three million, by 1914 it had more than doubled and exceeded six million. The liberal belief in progress, based on an optimistic view of the future and a faith in human perfectibility, enabled the masses to better themselves. Faith in progress was also nourished by the development of technology, which gave rise to economic as well as political liberalism. This in turn allowed the development of welfare economics. However, government was concerned not only with internal affairs. There were also overseas colonies to be administered. The most important of these was the Dutch East Indies. The liberals wished to reform the traditional 'culture system' there, which obliged the indigenous population to work for a pittance to cultivate and supply tropical export crops like coffee and sugar. At least 45 per cent of the population of Java was involved in this system. Between 1850 and 1860, profits from the colonies accounted for over 30 per cent of the Netherlands' total revenue. However, there was increasing opposition to the system on humanitarian grounds. This gained a voice in the person of Eduard Douwes Dekker, who had worked in the East Indies colonial administration at Lebak. In 1860, writing under the pseudonym 'Multatuli', he published a novel entitled 'Max Havelaar or the

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