Relation Between The Indonesian And French Revolution

Essay, Research Paper Preliminary Stage of Indonesia’s revolution began early this in the 20th century while they were still under Dutch rule. Indonesian independence movements began and expanded rapidly, particularly between the

Essay, Research Paper

Preliminary Stage of Indonesia’s revolution began early this in the 20th century while they were still under

Dutch rule. Indonesian independence movements began and expanded rapidly, particularly between the

two World Wars. Its leaders came from a small group of young professionals and students, some of whom

had been educated in the Netherlands. This group can be paralleled to the intellectuals of the Fench

revolution who criticized the monarchy. The Dutch rule can be related to the rule of Louis XVI over France.

The French people had little power, and the Indonesian people also had little power. The First Stage of the

revolution began when the Dutch surrendered to Germany. Shortly after, Japan rapidly took control of

Indonesia, and the Dutch were incapable of doing anything. All the while, the Indonesian Independence

group was growing. Hubertus Van Mook was the Dutch head of government. He can be classified as an

“inept ruler” because he was unable to complete negotiations with Japan as he secretly begged the U.S. and

Britain for defense. Louis XVI was also an inept ruler because of his inablitiy to listen to the needs of the

people. In 1945, Sukarno, a leader of the Indonesian Independence movement, described Pancasila. This

outlined the principals by which the new Indonesia should be governed. Pancasila is similar to the

Declaration of the Right of Man that the National Assembly established in the French revolution. Later in

1945, Japan handed over control to the Indonesian nationalists. Sukarno, who can be classified as a

‘moderate’, was elected president. The Dutch attempted to hold control over Indonesia, but eventually gave

in, which was like when Louis XVI gave in to the limited monarchy proposed by the National Assembly. He

ruled for 10 years imposing a “Guided Democracy.” This is the honeymoon period that also occured during

the short time after the Legislative Assembly was formed in France. The Crisis Stage began after this point.

There was a coup attempt in which government and military officials killled six senior generals. The

coup plotters were executed within days, but unrest remained in Indonesia. Violence swept throught he

country, where extreme rightists killed tens of thousands of alleged communists that. The Reign of Terror

during the French Revolution is very similar to this. In the aftermath of this crisis, Sukarno attempted to

restore his power, but was forced to turn control over to General Suharto. He can be considered a radical

because of the drastic changes he made. In 1967, he was named acting president, much like the radical

leader Robespierre took control of France. Suharto procalaimed a “New Order” and dramatically shifted

foreign and domestic policies away from the course set in Sukarno’s final years. He concentrated on

economic rehabilitation and an administrative structure based on military. He transfrered power from the

legislature and cabinet to a small, military cadre. This is not unlike the Comitee of Public Safety that

Robespierre headed: a small group in which much of the government’s power was placed. The Crisis Stage

of Indonesia’s revolution lasted for thirty years while Suharto ruled. Like the radicals in the French

revolution, Suharto had effectively prohibited all political criticism, protests, and opposition activity

towards the end of his rule. Like the French radicals trying to wipe out any uprising from the past

monarchy, Suharto placed bans on Sukarno’s daughter, a rising political power, that prevented her from

attending any public events.

In 1998, more than one thousand Indonesians died in rioting that was in protest of Suharto.

Finally, after thirty years, Suharto resigned, and power was given to his successor, B.J. Habibie. This

signalled the beginning of the Recovery Stage. This parallels the downfall of Robespierre when his

countrymen finally turned against him to have him executed. Although Habibie was Suharto’s succesor, he

distanced himself from “New Order” regime. He assembled a cabinet with a strong economic team, released

a number of prominent political dissidents, and lifted controls on the press, political parties, and labor

unions. He also pledged to rewrite political laws and hold elections. This is similar to the drafting of the

Directory at the beginning of the Recovery Stage of the French Revolution. Indonesia is currently in the

recovery stage and slowly regaining political, economic, and social stability.