This study sketches the way in which Dutch colonial authority penetrated in the Vorstenlanden of Central Java. The focus is on the relations of the Dutch government with the Javanese princes in the fields of legal matters, agriculture (land use) and administration. Chapters 1,2,3,5 and 6 place the relationship government-princes within the context of the 19th century developments in these fields. The last three chapters discuss the legal and agricultural reorganizations that took place in the 20th century, and their consequences. The focus is on the decision-making process preceding the reorganization. Ch. 4 looks at the European administration in the Javanese Gouvernementslanden, in order to compare the situation there with the Vorstenlanden.