Dutch Empire/Suriname and the Caribbean

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The Dutch West India company was abolished in 1791, and its colonies in Suriname and the Caribbean brought under the direct rule of the state. The economies of the Dutch colonies in the Caribbean had been based on the smuggling of goods and slaves into Spanish America, but with the end of the slave trade in 1814 and the independence of the new nations of South and Central America from Spain, profitability rapidly declined. Dutch traders moved en masse from the islands to the United States or Latin America, leaving behind a small populations with little income and which required subsidies from the Dutch government. The Antilles were combined under one administration with Suriname from 1828 to 1845. Slavery was not abolished in the Dutch Caribbean colonies until 1863, long after those of Britain and France, though by this time only 6,500 slaves remained. In Suriname, slave holders demanded compensation from the Dutch government for freeing slaves, whilst in Sint Maarten, abolition of slavery in the French half in 1848 led slaves in the Dutch half to take their own freedom. In Suriname, after the abolition of slavery, Chinese workers were encouraged to immigrate as indentured labourers, as were Javanese, between 1890 and 1939.


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