The Area Covered by the Charter of the V.O.C.
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In the course of the years many works have appeared on the history of the “Netherlands East Indies”, but no useful purpose is served in enumerating these to the foreign reader. The latter will either take a modern, concise handbook or the most detailed of these works, a work which is thorough enough to be relied on as far as the presentation of the facts is concerned and which also contains a reliable bibliography. This is the Geschiedenis van Nederlandsch Indië (History of the Netherlands East Indies, planned in six volumes), compiled under the editorship of F. W. Stapel (I,1938, 380 pp.; II, 1938, 488 pp.; III, 1939, 535 pp.; IV, 1939, 406 pp.; V, 1940, 393 pp.), although it has been criticized very severely, especially for the lack of logic in its arrangement. Volumes I and II (up to p. 148) deal with the history of the Indonesians before the arrival of the Europeans; vol. II (pp. 151-272) discusses the voyages of the Portuguese, Spaniards, French and British. The remainder of vol. II, as well as vol. III and IV deal with the history of the V.O.C, not only in the region which was eventually to be called the Netherlands East Indies however, but in the whole of the area covered by the Company’s charter, from the Cape of Good Hope to Japan. The contents of vol. V which starts with the year 1795 is of course restricted to the area which remained to the Netherlanders in those days, viz. the Malay Archipelago. Although the lack of balance of this arrangement is already apparent, much worse is the almost complete disappearance of the Indonesians from the history of their own country after the arrival of the Europeans: they are hardly mentioned any more.
KeywordsRoyal Asiatic Society Jubilee Volume Dutch East India Company Protestant Mission South African Republic
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- 7.The appearance of vol. VI, which was to deal with the history of the period 1880–1940, was retarded by the outbreak of the second world war; it is hardly to be expected that it will still be published.Google Scholar
- 8.Since the beginning of the 19th century the word Moluccas has been used for the three groups collectively, which causes a great deal of confusion in the literature. There is even a Republic of the South Moluccas in opposition to the Republic of Indonesia. In reality it embraces part of the Amboynese islands.Google Scholar