We now live in the era of television and computer. This started about when the second world war ended. The Netherlands was liberated from the Germans on May 5, 1945. But one Dutch overseas colony was still occupied. In 1945, the Netherlands had three colonies. These were the Dutch East Indies, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles were the only part of the Dutch kingdom that had never been occupied by Germany or Japan. The Netherlands had fallen into the hands of the Germans and the Dutch East Indies had fallen into the hands of Japan.
The second world war really ended when the Japanese were defeated. This did not happen until August 1945. America then dropped two nukes on Japan. The first bomb landed on Hiroshima. Three days later, they dropped a bomb on Nagasaki. The cities were completely destroyed. The bombs together cost more than 300,000 lives.
When Japan was defeated, the Japanese withdrew from the Dutch East Indies. The inhabitants were so happy that they were finally free, they no longer wanted to be ruled by the Netherlands. They didn't want to be the Dutch East Indies anymore. They called their country Indonesia. Their leaders, Sukarno and Hatta, had already started a freedom movement before the war.
These freedom movements are sometimes called nationalist movements. They are called that, because they feel that their nation should not be ruled by another nation. Nationalist movements are always very proud of their own nation and culture. They reenernate their own history, language and customs.
Many Indonesians were willing to join the nationalist movement of Hatta and Sukarno. These were two important men in the history of Indonesia. They fought for their freedom. They got help from America. Because she too thought colonization was old-fashioned and supported the Indonesians in their struggle for freedom. The Netherlands did send soldiers to Indonesia to fight the freedom fighters, but they lost. However, It was not until 1949 that Indonesia became an independent country. Nevertheless, the Netherlands kept one island to itself. Irian Jaya (now called New Guinea) was not given to Indonesia until 1963.
In this period, even more countries were decolonized. Under pressure from, among others, the Netherlands also gave back to Suriname its freedom in part. In 1954 Suriname had its own government. However, it would not become truly independent until 1975. The Netherlands Antilles still fall under the kingdom of the Netherlands to this day. However, most islands have their own government.
The process in which the colonized countries are returned to the inhabitants is called decolonization. Other European countries also had many colonies in the 19th century. They also returned the countries to the inhabitants. This didn't always go well. France, for example, did not want to let Algeria go, because there were still many French settlers living there. This led to a war.
England, for example, had also colonized Palestine. After the second world war, England, together with the other Western countries, decided to give this country to the Jews. They thought that another Persecution of Jews could be prevented if the Jews had their own country. They called their country Israel. This name comes from history. The Jews believe that God called them 'the people of Israel' a long time ago. They also believe that God promised them this land. This meant that many Palestinians had to move. The Palestinians did not always feel like doing this. As a result, a lot of fights broke out, which today still have not been fought.