Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

USINDO Scholars Open Forum Series: "The Origins of the Indonesian Nation: The Indonesian Revolution, 1945-1949"


co-hosted a Special Historical Lecture and Open Forum

The Origins of the Indonesian Nation: The Indonesian Revolution, 1945-1949 



Professor Eric Tagliacozzo Professor of History Cornell University

Thursday, August 15
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Buffet Dinner 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm

To understand the Indonesian nation deeply, it is vital to understand the Indonesian Revolution of 1945-49. What were the forces and issues fueling the nationalist movements and leading to their success? How did Indonesia succeed in establishing itself as an independent state? In the actual negotiations for independence, what were the roles of the Dutch, the Indonesian nationalists, the United Nations, and what was the key role of the United States?

USINDO and AIFIS (the American Institute for Indonesia Studies) was extremely fortunate to have Dr. Eric Tagliacozzo, noted Professor of History at Cornell University, in Jakarta to have led us through the origins of Indonesian nationalism, the Japanese occupation, the political movements opposed to colonialism and their roots, and the turbulent years of the creation of the Indonesian nation – a time of chaos, sacrifice, and hope.

During these years, the United States played an evolving and key role, known by relatively few today. Influenced by such events as Dutch military actions, the U.S. government moved from a position of pro-Dutch indifference to one of supporting Indonesian independence – eventually using intended U.S. Marshall Plan aid to the Netherlands as leverage to play a key role in the outcome.  At the request of the parties, the U.S. also facilitated the January 1948 Dutch-Indonesian-UN negotiations in the Java Sea aboard the USS Renville (photo below).


UN, Dutch, U.S., and Indonesian representatives meeting on Indonesian independence aboard USS Renville, Java Sea, January 1948

This event was to understand Indonesian nationalism and the earliest stages of U.S.-Indonesia relations. This event is part of “USINDO Scholars Open Forum Series“.

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