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Open Access Chapter X: A native militia

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Chapter X: A native militia

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Chapter Summary

The campaign to establish a native militia came to be known as the Indië Weerbaar movement. It was propagated in the colony with an intensity comparable to that of the Onze Vloot campaign in Holland. The first suggestions for a European militia dated from the 1880s, when a militia had been advanced as an alternative to the existing citizen militias. Van der Weijden tried to convince his readers that recent developments had proved that a native militia did not necessarily have to be a public danger. He explained that it would not create a force of 'enemy soldiers' as some feared. In his argument he disclosed that the authorities had gone far beyond concluding that conscription was possible. They had grown convinced that a militia would cement interracial solidarity: 'Standing side to side in the defence of the Archipelago against alien violence will strengthen the bond between Dutchmen and Natives'.

Keywords: Holland; Indië Weerbaar movement; native militia



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