Surinam was a Dutch plantation colony in the Guianas, neighboured by the equally Dutch colony of Berbice to the west, and the French colony of Cayenne to the east. Surinam was a Dutch colony from 26 February 1667, when Dutch forces captured Francis Willoughby's English colony during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, until 15 December 1954, when Suriname became a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The status quo of Dutch sovereignty over Surinam, and English sovereignty over New Netherland, which it had conquered in 1664, was kept in the Treaty of Breda of 31 July 1667, and again confirmed in the Treaty of Westminster of 1674.
From 1683, the colony was governed by the Society of Suriname, a company composed of three equal shareholders, being the city of Amsterdam, the family Van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck, and the Dutch West India Company. Although the organization and administration was of the colony was limited to these three shareholders, all citizens of the Dutch Republic were free to trade with Suriname. Also, the planters were consulted in a Council of Police, which was a unique feature among the colonies of Guiana.
In November 1795, the Society was nationalized by the Batavian Republic. From then on until 1954, the Batavian Republic and its legal successors (the Kingdom of Holland and the Kingdom of the Netherlands) governed the territory as a national colony, barring a period of British occupation between 1799 and 1802, and between 1804 and 1816.
After the other Dutch colonies in the Guianas, i.e., Berbice, Essequibo, Demerara, and Pomeroon, were lost to the British in 1814, the remaining colony of Surinam was often referred to as Dutch Guiana, especially after 1831, when the British merged Berbice, Essequibo, and Demerara into British Guiana. As the term Dutch Guiana was used in the 17th and 18th to refer to all Dutch colonies in the Guianas, this use of the term can be confusing.
Between 1954 and 1975 Suriname was a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The country had full autonomy, except in areas of defence, foreign policy, and nationality, and participated on a basis of equality with the Netherlands Antilles and the Netherlands itself in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The country became fully independent as the Republic of Suriname on 25 November 1975.