Starting in the early 1600s, the Dutch East India Company had grown to become the dominant power in the archipelago. After the company was liquidated in 1799, and after a British interregnum during the Napoleonic Wars, the Dutch government took over administration until the independence of Indonesia in 1949 following the Indonesian National Revolution.
On January 11, 1942 Japan declared war on the Netherlands and invaded the Dutch East Indies. Sukarno proclaimed the East Indies independent in 1945, but the Netherlands successfully tried to thwart it in two wars until UN and other diplomatic pressure affected the outcome. These wars were euphemistically called "police actions" in an eventually unsuccessful attempt to bypass UN restrictions.