Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




As the Second World War was coming to its conclusion, President Franklin D. Roosevelt held an ambiguous position about the Netherlands' desire to re-colonize Indonesia. On the one hand, the President was firmly anti-imperialist as expressed in the Atlantic Charter. On the other hand-perhaps influenced by his Dutch ancestry he assured Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands that Indonesia should be restored as Holland's holding after having lost it to the Japanese in 1942. President Roosevelt's ambiguous successor, Harry S Truman, continued this Indonesian policy. President Truman publicly endorsed the idea of self-determination for countries under the threat of foreign subjugation, but at the same time quietly supported the Dutch attempt to reconquer Indonesia. While Roosevelt's ambiguity was primarily personal, Truman's attitude was shaped by international developments following the end of World War II. In particular, it was necessitated by mounting Cold War tensions between the Soviet-led "Communist bloc" and the United States-led capitalist "Free World." Convinced that the Communist bloc planned to expand its influence internationally, and consequently would threaten the interests of the Free World, the Truman administration (1945-1953) pursued a policy to "contain" the spread of communist influence, including in Indonesia...



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