The Dutch Ethical Policy (Ethische Politiek) was the official policy of colonial government of Indonesia during the four decades from 1901 until the Japanese occupation of 1942. In 1901, the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina announced that the Netherlands accepted an ethical responsibility for the welfare of their colonial subjects. This announcement was a sharp contrast with the former official doctrine that Indonesia was a wingewest (region for making profit). It also marked the start of modern development policy; whereas other colonial powers talked of a civilizing mission, which mainly involved spreading their culture to colonized peoples.
The Dutch Ethical Policy emphasised improvement in material living conditions. The policy suffered, however, from serious underfunding, inflated expectations and lack of acceptance in the Dutch colonial establishment, and it had largely ceased to exist by the onset of the Great Depression in 1930.
... The Dutch Ethical Policy was the dominant reformist and liberal political character of colonial policy in the Dutch East Indies during the 20th century ... In 1901, the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina announced that the Netherlands accepted an ethical responsibility for the welfare of their colonial subjects ... It marked the start of modern development policy whereas other colonial powers usually talked of a civilizing mission, which mainly involved spreading their culture to colonized peoples ...
... The Ethical Policy was the first serious effort to create programmes for economic development in the tropics ... The educational component of the Policy was mainly technical it did not aim at creating brown Dutchmen and women ... The Policy foundered on two problems ...
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