"Independence was not simply given; it is something for which Indonesia had to fight." Discuss this statement in the period leading up to Indonesia's independence in 1949

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Gaining independence for Indonesia was a struggle. It was something Indonesia had to fight for. Leading up to Indonesia's independence in 1949 Indonesia had to fight against invasions made by the Dutch, British, Japanese and the Portuguese. Sukarto at the end of world war two made the break through of independence.

Indonesia claimed its independence on August 17 1945. The first president of the new nation was Sukarno. (World Book Encyclopedia, 1992, Volume 10, pg 202.) When the Japanese began to lose World War Two in the pacific, they promised to grant independence to the Indonesian's. (World Book Encyclopedia, 1992, Volume 10, pg 201.) On August 14 1945, the Japanese surrendered to the Allies and two days later Sukarno proclaimed the independent Republic of Indonesia. (Burke, 1999, pg 114.)

On August 18, the nationalists had set up the government of the independent Republic of Indonesia.

At a meeting of nationalist's leaders, Sukarno was elected president, and Dr Hatta was elected vice president. The Japanese invasion had shown people that the colonial rulers were not able to protect them, especially when the protection was most needed. (Rajendra/Lower, 1994, pg 254.) In the period of the Japanese occupation the population of Indonesia had to look after themselves, and they saw no reason why life should not go on without the colonial rulers. To prevent the continuation of the Dutch rule meant that they needed to show a strong army of resistance towards the Dutch. Sukarno's first task of presidency was to organise this army. (Rajendra/Lower, 1994, pg 256.)

The Dutch made a huge impact on Indonesia. Workers of Indonesia worked harder with less pay. (Burke, 1999.) All economic benefits were never evenly spread among the population. The people of Banda were exterminated so the Dutch could gain...