The economic history of the Indonesian revolution (1945–49) remains a relatively empty page in the economic history of Indonesia. Not only are statistics scarce and unreliable, but the terms on which the economy functioned were very different from those of the eras before and after, when the country was enmeshed in a system of international trade based principally on the production of raw materials and plantation crops. Especially during the early revolutionary years, 1945–47, important parts of the archipelago—notably much of the densely populated and formerly productive islands of Java and Sumatra—were in the hands of the Republic of Indonesia. This new state had declared independence in August 1945, but had not received international recognition and its very existence was challenged politically, diplomatically and militarily by the returning Netherlands Indies authorities. In consequence, and thanks also to an economic blockade by the former colonial power, the republican lands were isolated from the normal channels of international trade. The confrontation between the republic and the Netherlands Indies authorities over the future of the country, moreover, created an unprecedented political frontier within the country. Although that frontier never took on the harsh fortified character of the borders that separated the two Chinas, the two Koreas or the two Germanies, they created a new economic barrier where none had been before, generating both obstacles and opportunities for Indonesia's people.
|Title of host publication||Promises and Predicaments: Trade and Entrepreneurship in Colonial and Independent Indonesia in the 19th and 20th Centuries|
|Editors||Alicia Schrikker and Jeroen Touwen|
|Place of Publication||Singapore|
|Publisher||NUS Press - National University of Singapore|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|