Acheh is one of the oldest independent nations in Southeast Asian history and according to modern
Indonesian history: “Acheh was emerging as a major power, the most powerful, wealthy and cultivated
state of the area.” Three centuries after the Dutch occupied Java, Acheh was still an internationally
recognized independent sovereign state with diplomatic and treaty relations with the rest of the world,
including Holland and Great Britain. However, on March 26, 1873 the Dutch issued a formal declaration
of war against the independent state of Acheh Dar al‐Salam, thus acknowledging Acheh’s status an
independent sovereign state. The world reacted with universal declarations of neutrality, including from
the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, Austro‐Hungary and many others. The American president
at the time, General Ulyssess S. Grant, rejected Holland’s request for the US to take Holland’s side in the
conflict. Instead, Washington issued an official ‘Proclamation of Impartial Neutrality’. All these
constituted sufficient proof of Acheh’s status as a bonafide independent sovereign state that is
universally recognized among nations.
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