A government-commissioned study found the Orange family earned more than $5 billion from their colony in a century
From 1675 to 1770, the House of Orange in the Netherlands earned about 3 million guilders — $600 million (€547 million) in modern currency — from its colonial holdings, according to a government-commissioned study of the state and slavery, The study was published on Thursday.
The study aimed to examine the role of the Dutch state and the “Related agencies“In slavery and its aftermath. The country is also considering the return of looted art. Although the country abolished slavery in 1863, some believe the pinnacle of its economic and cultural achievement was supported by forced labor obtained.
On July 1, the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the Netherlands in its former colonies, King Willem-Alexander is expected to make a public apology for the country’s colonial plunder. Prime Minister Mark Rutte issued a formal apology in December for the country’s 250-year involvement in the slave trade, which he called “acrimes against humanity’, but some activists felt that was not enough and demanded a further apology from the monarch.
In 2020, the death of George Floyd, a black American in police custody, sparked a global wave of racial introspection, protests and accusations, and the Netherlands set up a national advisory group to question its colonial past.
The Dutch colonial empire included parts of what is now the Virgin Islands, Brazil, Mauritius, Suriname, Ceylon and several Indonesian islands. Most of their Asian territories were administered by the Dutch East India Company, taken from the Portuguese who had previously colonized the region.
The Netherlands is not the only former colonial power investigating the possibility of atonement for past crimes committed against a once-oppressed people. The Jamaican government announced last month that it would introduce a bill that could sever its centuries-old relationship with the British monarchy, which claimed the island as a colony in 1655 and allowed it nominal independence in 1962 . A recent poll found that most people, if given the choice, nearly half the population of Commonwealth countries would become republics.
In the United States, New York recently became the second state to pioneer a commission to investigate financial compensation for slaves imported from Africa.
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