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Nationalism as the dominant force behind the Indonesian independence movement is the leading theme presented in the video Barrel of a gun The turn of the twentieth century marked the beginning of nationalist stirrings in Indonesia against the ruling Dutch empire Fuelled by dissent and second-class treatment nationalistic ideals and propaganda began to spread throughout the native Indonesian population and ignite However the spread of nationalism would not have been so great without particular factors Firstly Sukarno as the charismatic leader of the movement laid the foundations of a nationalist stronghold Secondly the Japanese invasion during World War 2 paved a pathway for Indonesian independence Thirdly international support for the Indonesian push against a dominant western power finally tipped the rule of the Dutch colonialists Nationalism in Indonesia culminated with independence being achieved in 1949 Osborne 1997 154-161 Barrel of a Gun Video The emergence of a pro-independence nationalistic movement stems from Dutch educated Indonesians in the early part of the twentieth century The Russo-Japanese war of 1905 demonstrated for the first time the ability for an Asian nation to defeat a major Western power Heidhues 2000 122 This ignited fervent belief amongst Indonesian intellects to overcome the conquering Dutch However early attempts in the 1920s at revolution backfired Without the mass support of the Indonesian population the early uprisings headed by the Indonesian Communist Party were quelled resulting in many Indonesians becoming prisoners and being exiled Church 1995 45 It was during this period that the most influential and charismatic of leaders surfaced Sukarno Unlike the Vietnamese spread of nationalism whereby there was only one party striving for independence Sukarno and his Communist party were the leading party out of numerous nationalist parties striving for freedom Osborne 1997 162-163 His presence his political ingenuity and his charisma separated him from other leaders and made him a national hero He promoted the idea of
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