United States of Indonesia

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Republic of the United States of Indonesia
Republik Indonesia Serikat
Capital Djakarta
Common languages Indonesian
Government Federal parliamentary republic
• 1949–1950
Prime Minister  
• 1949–1950
Mohammad Hatta
• Independence from the Netherlands
27 December 1949
• Replaced by the Republic of Indonesia
17 August 1950
Currency Rupiah (IDR)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Dutch East Indies

The Republic of the United States of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia Serikat, RIS), abbreviated as RUSI, was a federal state to which the Netherlands formally transferred sovereignty of the Dutch East Indies (minus Netherlands New Guinea) on 27 December 1949 following the Dutch-Indonesian Round Table Conference. This transfer ended the four-year conflict between Indonesian nationalists and the Netherlands that was fought over for control of Indonesia. It lasted less than a year, before being replaced by the unitary Republic of Indonesia.


Following pressure from the United States and the United Nations, in particular in the form of a Security Council resolution, the Dutch agreed to negotiations with Indonesia to arrange a transfer of sovereignty. The Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference took place in The Hague from August to November 1949. However, many Indonesian nationalists believed that the Dutch had insisted on a federal state in an attempt to weaken or even break up the new nation, a manifestation of a "divide and conquer" strategy[1][2]


The RUSI had a bicameral legislature. The People's Representative Council consisted of 50 representatives from the Republic of Indonesia and 100 from the various states according to their populations. The Senate had two members from each constituent part of the RUSI regardless of population, making 32 members in total. The state was governed according to the Federal Constitution of 1949, which had been drawn up on the sidelines of the Round Table Conference. It had a cabinet of 16 members, led by Prime Minister Hatta.[3][4][5]


Over the first half of 1950, the non-Republic states gradually dissolved themselves into the Republic. The United States of Indonesia was officially dissolved by President Sukarno on 17 August 1950 – the fifth anniversary of his proclamation of independence – and replaced by a unitary Republic of Indonesia.[6]

Constituent entities[edit]

The RUSI comprised sixteen main entities: seven states (negara), including the "Republic of Indonesia" consisting of parts of Java and Sumatra (a combined population of over 31 million); and the nine formerly directly-ruled territories (neo-landschappen). Apart from the Republic of Indonesia, all these constituent entities, which had populations between 100,000 and 11 million, were established by the Dutch. Also included were a umber of smaller entities not seen as viable as distinct political entities.[3][7][8]

The United States of Indonesia. The constituent state of the Republic of Indonesia is shown in red. The State of East Indonesia is shown in gold as Negara Indonesia Timur. Other constituent states are shown in blue. Autonomous constituent entities are shown in white.
Republic of Indonesia
Autonomous Regions
Other Entities

See also[edit]

Part of a series on the
History of Indonesia
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  1. ^ Legge 1964, p. 160.
  2. ^ Indrayana 2008, p. 8.
  3. ^ a b Kahin 1970, p. 447.
  4. ^ Indrayana 2008, p. 7.
  5. ^ Feith 2007, p. 47.
  6. ^ Ricklefs 2008, pp. 373-374.
  7. ^ Cribb & Kahin 2004, p. 372.
  8. ^ Cribb 2000, p. 170.


  • Cribb, Robert (2000). Historical Atlas of Indonesia. Curzon Press. ISBN 0-7007-0985-1.
  • Cribb, R.B; Kahin, Audrey (2004). Historical Dictionary of Indonesia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810849358.
  • Feith, Herbert (2008) [1962]. The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia. Singapore: Equininox Publishing (Asia) Pte Ltd. ISBN 979-3780-45-2.
  • Friend, Theodore (2003), Indonesian Destinies, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-01834-6.
  • Kahin, George McTurnan (1970), Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-9108-8.
  • Indrayana, Denny (2008), Indonesian Constitutional Reform 1999-2002, PT Gramedia, ISBN 978-979-709-394-5
  • Legge, J.D. (1964), Indonesia, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc
  • Ricklefs, M.C. (2008) [1981], A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1200 (4th ed.), Palgrave MacMillan, ISBN 978-0-230-54686-8