Staatsburgerschap en Nederlanderschap in Nederlands-Indië in de negentiende eeuw | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 134, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



This article aims to analyze the political inequality between Dutch subjects in the Dutch East-Indies and the Netherlands based on developments in nineteenth century national citizenship debates and legislation. It argues that the juridization of the idea of political citizenship by J.R. Thorbecke in the 1840s and 1850s, led to the exclusion of the indigenous colonial population on the basis of descent (ius sanguinis). A close inspection of this principle shows how it was legitimized and implemented for the colonial territories on the basis of a ‘Dutch and European civilization criterion’ under which a series of other criteria – such as religion, skin color, education – could be used for political, cultural and economic exclusion. The ‘colonial differences’ that were gradually enshrined in legislation surrounding political citizenship in the nineteenth century would create a new layer of colonial hierarchy in the Dutch East-Indies.


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