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Encyclopedia > Indonesian independence
This article is part of
the History of Indonesia series
Pre-colonial Indonesia (before 1602)
Srivijaya (3rd century–1400)
Sailendra (8th Centry-832)
Kingdom of Mataram (752-1045)
Kediri (1045–1221)
Singhasari (1222–1292)
Majapahit Empire (1293–1500)
Mataram Sultanate (1500s to 1700s)
Dutch East Indies (1602–1945)
Anglo-Dutch Java War (1810–1811)
Padri War (1821–1837)
Java War (1825–1830)
Aceh War (1873–1904)
National Revival (1899–1942)
Japanese Occupation (1942–1945)
Independence (1945–1965)
Declaration of Independence (1945)
National Revolution (1945–1949)
Asian-African Conference (1955)
Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation (1962–1965)
New Order (1965–1998)
Overthrow of Sukarno (1965–1966)
Act of Free Choice (1969)
Dili massacre (1991)
Reformation (1998–present)
Revolution of 1998 (1996–1998)
2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake (2004–present)
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The Indonesian Declaration of Independence was officially proclaimed at 10.00 a.m. sharp on Friday, August 17, 1945. The declaration marked the start of a four year diplomatic and armed-resistance struggle called the National Revolution, fighting against the forces of the Netherlands until it officially acknowledged Indonesia's independence in 1949. The nation-state known in modern times as Indonesia encompasses an archipelago of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited) stretching along the Equator. ... Image File history File links Historyofindonesia. ... Srivijaya empire at its peak. ... At a point in time when Sri Vijaya had been the established leader in the Southeast Asian region for about 100 years, the Sailendra Kingdom of Java emerged. ... Mataram was an Indianized kingdom based in Central Java between the 8th and 10th centuries CE. The centre of the kingdom was moved from Central Java to East Java by Mpu Sindok. ... Kediri was a Hindu kingdom based in East Java from 1045 to 1221. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Majapahit Empire was an Indianized kingdom based in eastern Java from 1293 to around 1500. ... The Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, (Dutch: Nederlands-Indië) was the name of the colonies set up by the Dutch East India Company, which came under administration of the Netherlands during the 19th century (see Indonesia). ... Anglo-Dutch Java War in 1810-1811 was a war between Great Britain and Netherlands fought entirely on Island of Java in colonial Indonesia The governor-general of the Dutch East Indies, Herman Willem Daendels (1762_1818), fortified the island of Java against possible British attack. ... The Padri War also called Minangkabau War is the name given to the skirmishes fought by Dutch troops from 1821 to 1837 in West Sumatra, Indonesia. ... The Java War was fought in Java between 1825 and 1830. ... The Aceh War (also Achinese War) took place from 1873-1904 between the Netherlands and the people of Aceh in Sumatra as the Dutch attempted to colonize this independent state on the northern-most tip of Sumatra. ... The period of the Dutch Ethical Policy and Indonesian National Revival was a period in Indonesian history spanning from 1899 until the Japanese Invasion in 1942. ... This article describes the events that led to Indonesian independence from the Netherlands in the late 1940s. ... The Asian-African Conference was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, organized by Egypt, Indonesia, Burma, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, and Pakistan. ... The Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation was an intermittent war over the future of the island of Borneo, between British-backed Malaysia and Indonesia in 1962-1966. ... New Order or Orde Baru is the term coined by Indonesian former president and dictator Suharto to refer to the years of his regime, 1966 - 1998. ... The overthrow of Sukarno and the violence that followed it was a conflict in Indonesia from 1965 to 1966 between forces loyal to then-President Sukarno and the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) and forces loyal to a right-wing military faction led by General Abdul Haris Nasution and Maj. ... Act of Free Choice (Indonesian: Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat [PEPERA]) was the title of a 1969 referendum in the former Dutch territory of Western New Guinea, to determine whether the territory would become part of Indonesia or maintain independence. ... The Dili Massacre was the shooting of East Timorese protesters, in the Santa Cruz cemetery in the capital, Dili, on 12th November, 1991. ... The Reformation (in bahasa Indonesia Reformasi) is the name commonly used for the present era in the history of Indonesia. ... The Indonesian 1998 Revolution is the term given to a series of protests and political manoeuverings that brought about the end of the rule of the three-decade long New Order government of the autocratic President Suharto of Indonesia. ... Indonesia was seriously affected by the earthquake and tsunami created by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake on 26 December 2004, swamping the northern and western coastal areas of Sumatra, and the smaller outlying islands off Sumatra. ... August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1945 (MCMVL) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... This article describes the events that led to Indonesian independence from the Netherlands in the late 1940s. ...


The Declaration Event

The draft was prepared only a few hours earlier, on the night of August 16, by Soekarno, Hatta, and a student named Subarjo, at Rear-Admiral Maeda (Minoru) Tadashi's house, Miyako-Doori 1, Jakarta (now the "Museum of the Declaration of Independence", JL. Imam Bonjol I, Jakarta). Maeda himself was sleeping in his room upstairs. He was agreeable to the idea of Indonesia's independence, and had lent his house for the drafting of the declaration. Marshal Terauchi, the highest-ranking Japanese leader in South East Asia and son of Prime Minister Terauchi Masatake, was however against Indonesia's independence, scheduled for August 24. A draft of a document is one of several revisions, typically a crude and early one, though one may also speak of a final draft. ... August 16 is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... It has been suggested that Gilchrist Document be merged into this article or section. ... Mohammad Hatta Mohammad Hatta (born August 12, 1902, Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia); died March 14, 1980, Jakarta) was Indonesias first vice president, after being the countrys Prime Minister. ... Insignia of a United States Rear Admiral Upper Half Insignia of a United States Rear Admiral Lower Half Rear Admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank that originated from the days of Naval Sailing Squadrons and can trace its origins to the Royal Navy. ... Jakarta (also Djakarta or DKI Jakarta), formerly known as Sunda Kelapa, Jayakarta and Batavia is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. ... The National Gallery in London, a famous museum. ... A declaration of independence is a proclamation of the independence of an aspiring state or states. ... A declaration of independence is a proclamation of the independence of an aspiring state or states. ... Note: This article is about the military usage of the word marshal. For other usages, see the end of this article. ... Field marshal Count Terauchi Hisaichi (寺内 寿一) (1879 - June or November 1945) was the commander of the Japanese Imperial Armys Southern Expeditionary Army Group during World War II. His headquarters was in Saigon. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... The Prime Minister of Japan (内閣総理大臣 Naikaku sōri daijin) is the English political nomenclature of the head of government of Japan, although the literal translation is Prime Minister of the Cabinet. ... Terauchi Masatake Terauchi Masatake (寺内 正毅 February 5, 1852–November 3, 1919) was a Japanese soldier and politician and the 18th Prime Minister of Japan from October 9, 1916 to September 29, 1918. ... August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (237th in leap years), with 129 days remaining. ...

While the formal preparation of the declaration, and the official independence itself for that matter, had been carefully carried out since few months earlier, the actual declaration date was pulled ahead almost inadvertently as a consequence of the Japanese unconditional surender to the Allies on August 15 following the Nagasaki atomic bombing. The historic event was triggered by a plot, led by a few more radical young activists such as Adam Malik and Chairul Saleh, that put pressure on Soekarno and Hatta to proclaim the independence immediately. The declaration was to be signed by the 27 members of the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI) symbolically representing the young nation's diversity. The particular act was apparently inspired by a similar spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence. However, the idea was heavily turned down by the radical activists mentioned earlier, arguing that the committee was too closely associated with then soon to be disfunctioned Japanese occupation rule, thus creating a potential credibility issue. Instead, the radical activists demanded that the signatures of six of them were to be put on the document. All party involved in the historical moment finally agreed on a compromise solution which only included Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta as the co-signers 'in the name of the nation of Indonesia' Adam Malik Adam Malik (born 1917, Pematang Siantar, North Sumatra; died 1984, Bandung, West Java) was Indonesias third vice president, after being the countrys Foreign Minister from 1966 to 1977. ... U.S. Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence is the document in which the Thirteen Colonies in North America declared themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained their justifications for doing so. ...

Soekarno had initially wanted the declaration to be read at Ikada Plain, the large open field in the centre of Jakarta, but due to unfounded widespread apprehension over the possibility of Japanese sabotage, the venue was changed to Soekarno's house at Pegangsaan Timur 56. In fact there was no concrete evidence for the growing suspicions, as the Japanese had already surrendered to the Allies, and the Japanese high command in Indonesia had given their permission for the nation's independence. The declaration of independence passed without a hitch. Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy through subversion, obstruction, disruption, and/or destruction. ... A Venue is the location of an event, usually a meeting. ...

The Aftermath

The event also triggered several insurgencies and atrocities in some local areas such as Westerling's Celebes Massacre in 1946, East Sumatra Social Revolution in 1946, and Laskar Hitam. They are carried out by both groups of the Dutch-loyalist and anti Dutch-loyalist against each other, as well as by other local militias that simply took advantage of the seemingly uncertain situation preceeding the proclamation.

Text of the Declaration

The draft

In Indonesian:


Kami, bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menjatakan (menyatakan) kemerdekaan Indonesia.

Hal-hal jang mengenai pemindahan kekoeasaan (kekuasaan), d.l.l., diselenggarakan dengan tjara (cara) saksama dan dalam tempoh jang (yang) sesingkat-singkatnja (sesingkat-singkatnya).

Djakarta (Jakarta), 17-8-45

Wakil-Wakil Bangsa Indonesia

Draft amendments:

Three amendments were made to the draft, as follows:

  • "tempoh": changed to "tempo", both meaning "time period".
  • 17-8-45: changed to "hari 17, boelan 8, tahoen 05" ("day 17, month 8, year 05" of the Japanese sumera calendar); the number "05" is the short form for 2605.
  • "Wakil-Wakil Bangsa Indonesia" (Representatives of the people of Indonesian nation): changed to "Atas nama bangsa Indonesia" ("in the name of the nation of Indonesia").

Koinobori, flags decorated like koi, are popular decorations around Childrens Day This mural on the wall of a Tokyo subway station celebrates Hazuki, the eighth month. ...

Final text

The original Indonesian Declaration of Independence
The original Indonesian Declaration of Independence

In Indonesian:


Kami, bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menjatakan kemerdekaan Indonesia.

Hal-hal jang mengenai pemindahan kekoeasaan d.l.l., diselenggarakan dengan tjara saksama dan dalam tempo jang sesingkat-singkatnja.

Djakarta, hari 17 boelan 8 tahoen 05

Atas nama bangsa Indonesia

<<tanda tangan Soekarno/Hatta>> Soekarno - Hatta

English translation:


We, the Indonesian people, hereby declare the independence of Indonesia.

Matters concerning the transfer of power, etc., will be carried out in a conscientious manner and as speedily as possible.

Jakarta, 17th day of 8th month, year 05 (note: Japanese calendar year)

In the name of the nation of Indonesia

<<Soekarno/Hatta's signatures>> Soekarno - Hatta


  • Ricklefs, M.C., 1981, A History of modern Indonesia Macmillan Southeast Asian Reprint, p198
  • Lembaga Soekarno-Hatta, 1984 Sejarah Lahirnya Undang Undang Dasar 1945 dan Pancasila, Inti Idayu Press, Jakarta, p19



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