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Mid Exam Digital Humanities: Indonesian Cultural Histories

InfografikThe Indonesia’s Early Independence Period (1945-1949)

On 16 August 1945, youth groups, under Sukarni and Chaerul Saleh held a meeting that decided to get rid Ir. Soekarno and Drs. Mohammad Hatta of to Rengasdengklok, a place where PETA (Pembela Tanah Air) anti-Japanese armed and community supported the unity of power stayed. After a debate between the young and the elderly groups, the decision was made to proclaim Indonesia’s independence on August 17, 1945 immediately to take opportunity of the power’s vacuum because of Japanese rule’s handover to the allies on August 14, 1945. The text of the Proclamation made by Sukarno after receiving inputs from the figures attended the meeting in Admiral Meida’s house in Pegangsaan 56 East Jakarta, then typed by Sayuti Malik.

On 9 November 1945 due to the death of Brig Malaby, the Allies issued an ultimatum that stated: any fighters who carrying weapons must report and hand over their weapons in a specific place. Pemuda Surabaya, youths group from Surabaya, regarded it as an insult, so they ignored and against the ultimatum. The conflict rooted from the ultimatum then caused Battle of Surabaya. The battle eventually occur and bring the victim thousands of fighters Surabaya on 10 November 1945. The government then designated 10 November as the day Heroes.


Indonesia Raya, made after proclamation, 17 August 1945. Source: Id Film Center.

Indonesia in the early independence period faced many insurgency and conflict within the nation and between the Netherlands. In order to keep the national independence, people fought for it through the battle arena and diplomacy. On 14-24 April 1946, Dutch and Indonesian representatives begin discussed at Hoge Veluwe in Netherlands. Dr. Soedarsono, Soewandi, Mr. A. Pringgodigdo, Prof.Ir. Dr. Schermerhorn, Santoso were represented Indonesian in the Hoge Veluwe Meeting, though no agreement from the meeting.

On 8 December 1947, negotiation called “Renville Agreement” was started between the Republic of Indonesia and the Netherlands that took place on the deck of US Navy warship USS Renville anchored in the Bay of Jakarta. The negotiations ended on January 17, 1948 with the signing by Mr. Amir Sjarifudin as a representative delegation of the Republic of Indonesia and Mr. Abdul Kadir Wiryoadmojo as representatives of the Dutch delegation. As the results of these negotiations, the territory of the Republic of Indonesia significantly narrowed, which only includes the Java (Yogyakarta) and Sumatra in part. The situationwas giving rise to the opinion of the pros and cons of this issue.


“Renville-Rapat Dan Konferensi Meja Bundar” Video by Id Film Center.

As a result of the Renville Agreement which was signed on January 17, 1948, the TNI that were still hiding and in the guerrilla situation in West Java should be drawn to the area of the Republic of Indonesia accordance with the line of demarcation of Van Mook. Hence, in February 1948 Hijrah Committee immediately formed that responsible for managing the technical implementation of the movement. In February 1948 Siliwangi Division troops began to move to Gombong and then proceed to Yogyakarta. Soldiers of Hijrah from West Java arrived at Tugu Station. Then, they merged with the TNI in Yogyakarta to fight against the Dutch.

After successfully occupying the city of Yogyakarta through the Second Military Aggression (December 19, 1948), the Netherlands gave fake report about the destruction of Indonesia regularly. Via radio broadcasts in Kraton, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX heard that fake issue. Due to the appointment’s planning to discuss the conflict between RI – Netherlands hold in United Nation Security Meeting, Sri Sultan HB IX had an idea to do a massive attack to Yogyakarta on. At the moment, the Lt. Soeharto was appointed to lead the mass attack. The attack brought extraordinary political victory that is able to open the way towards the recognition of the sovereignty of 1949. The attack itself known as “The General March attack”.

The success of Mass Attack 1st March, 1949 led to the holding of another meeting between Indonesia and the Netherlands. Then another meeting between Roem-Royen successfully signed on 7 May 1949. The results of the agreement include the return of the government to Yogyakarta. For the Dutch soldiers should be withdrawn from Yogyakarta followed by the entry of the military into Yogyakarata City in June 1949. Tamapik TNI are located in areas of guerrilla finally returned ki Yogyakarta.

round table

Queen Juliana of the Netherlands Signs the Decree Granting Indonesian Independence. Video by Film on Demand.

As a response to the Roem Royen Agreement, the issues between RI-Netherland immediately addressed in the RTC (Round Table Conference) which took place on 23 August – 2 November 1949, in Riderzaal Den Haag. The most important result of the convening the RTC (Round Table Conference) on 23 August – 2 November 1949 was the recognition of the sovereignty of the RIS by the Netherlands. Furthermore, on December 27, 1949the recognition of the sovereignty was signed, both in Jakarta by Sri Sultan HB IX as representative from RIS (Republik Indonesia Serikat) and in Netherlands where AHJ. Lovink as representative of Netherlands.


M.C. Ricklefs. A History of Modern Indonesia since c. 1200. Third Edition. London: Palgrave, 2001.

Muradi. “Historical Legacies and Early Reformasi.” In Politics and Governance in Indonesia: The Police in the Era of Reformasi. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Taylor, Jean. Indonesia: Peoples and Histories. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2003. 326-337.

“From Nationalism to Independence.” In The Indonesia Reader: History, Culture, Politics, edited by Tineke Hellwig and Eric Tagliacozzo, 291-322. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2009.

“Pembentukan Indonesia.” In The Idea of Indonesia: A History, translated by Zia Anshor. Jakarta: Serambi, 2008.

“International Conferences.” The Sukarno Years: Birth of the Republic of Indonesia. Accessed October 15, 21.


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