15 Jul 2011

Independence achieved

Independence achieved

As defeat loomed, the Japanese moved to grant Indonesia independence. They were forestalled when Sukarno declared independence on 17 August 1945. The British were entrusted with restoring Indonesia to Dutch colonial rule, and quickly found themselves engaged in armed confrontation with the nationalists. By the late 1940s the Dutch, who had taken over the task of suppression, were clearly losing, and the USA used the weapon of Marshall Aid (post-war financial assistance to European countries) to force the Netherlands to the conference table. Sovereignty was transferred to the new state of Indonesia in 1949, and in December 1949 Sukarno was elected president.

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