The countries that the Dutch colonized were called the Dutch East Indies, but the most important colony is Indonesia. The Dutch East India Company, a combination of commercial organizations that had immense power due to its vast area of trade and military power, had major influence over other countries by making forcing them accept their trading conditions. Throughout the 1600s, the Dutch East India Company started to spread its influence and control over Indonesia. It took some islands from the Portuguese and Britain such as Malacca and Sumatra and started controlling trade and politics/disputes (Britannica).
The group of islands called Dutch East Indies was created to bring all of Indonesia under one government and create a commercial monopoly, controlling trade and extorting produce and resources, changing the traditional system of trading already in place. The Dutch East India Company created a system of taxes, a forced system of trades, and forced labor that forced producers I use the word “forced” a lot for a reason to grow and sell certain products cash crops like spices and also oil, rubber at a “set” price extremely low price to the Dutch which led to many people starving and working with terrible conditions. More like tribute than trade because it was way more favorable for the Dutch as scholar J.S. Furnivall said, “‘tribute disguised as trade'” (Britannica).
Although it seems like the Dutch control of Indonesia is only detrimental to Indonesia, all of these decisions to bring the Indonesian islands under the control of the Dutch although through questionable methods actually helped to unite them with a sense of nationalism. When the Dutch East India Company went bankrupt and the Dutch government assumed control, the Dutch also improved education, medicine, and architecture such as factories for Indonesia. The Indonesian tribes went from living in dirt huts and drinking/eating dirty water/food to having roads, bridges, and having a system of clean water that could be transported (Indonesia-Investments). Just like when Britain colonized America, the Indonesians had no say in the government and had no say in choosings its enemies and allies.
However, the Dutch at the time had the one of the best governments and set up the higher-ups of the Indonesians as they slowly gained more power in the government to have a great government in the future when they were freed. Furthermore, the network of forced trade routes that the Dutch implemented, eventually helped Indonesia having an abundance of valuable resources helped too to trade with a number major powers in the future when they were freed (Indonesia-Investments). The British expanded into Burma from India which they controlled at the time in the early 1800s, eventually annexing the country in 1886.
In the beginning Burma was a group of weak, separated, independent territories that were sometimes controlled by weak monarchs. Consequently, a finger-licking British Empire that had control of India, was right next to these territories for the taking. Britain was nervous as a number of other countries were becoming more powerful such as France by colonizing territories in Southeast Asia and Burma was slowly starting to become stronger as they were coming together which was right next to British India. However, as the British wanted to nip any threats early in the bud and grow more influential, started to take over the unstable Burma, it took longer than they thought it should’ve taken. After the third Anglo-Burmese war 1825-1885 Burma finally became fully under Britain control and they added it to India, although it eventually became an independent colony (Facts and Details). Britain tried to assimilate the Burmese to British culture and traditions slowly and improve the economy.