6:47 PM | Posted in ,

Indonesia History

Fossilized remains of Homo erectus, popularly known as the "Java Man", suggest that the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited two million to 500,000 years ago. Homo sapiens reached the region by around 45,000 years ago. Austronesian peoples, who form the majority of the modern population, migrated to South East Asia from Taiwan. They arrived in Indonesia around 2000 BCE, and as they spread through the archipelago, confined the native Melanesian peoples to the far eastern regions.Ideal agricultural conditions, and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the 8th century BCE, allowed villages, towns, and small kingdoms to flourish by the 1st century CE. Indonesia’s strategic sea-lane position fostered inter-island and international trade, including links with Indian kingdoms and China, which were established several centuries BCE. Trade has since fundamentally shaped Indonesian history.
The nutmeg plant is native to Indonesia's Banda Islands. Once one of the world's most valuable commodities, it drew the first European colonial powers to Indonesia.

From the 7th century CE, the powerful Srivijaya naval kingdom flourished as a result of trade and the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism that were imported with it. Between the eighth and 10th centuries CE, the agricultural Buddhist Sailendra and Hindu Mataram dynasties thrived and declined in inland Java, leaving grand religious monuments such as Sailendra's Borobudur and Mataram's Prambanan. The Hindu Majapahit kingdom was founded in eastern Java in the late 13th century, and under Gajah Mada, its influence stretched over much of Indonesia.

Although Muslim traders first traveled through South East Asia early in the Islamic era, the earliest evidence of Islamized populations in Indonesia dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra. Other Indonesian areas gradually adopted Islam, and it was the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra by the end of the 16th century. For the most part, Islam overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and religious influences, which shaped the predominant form of Islam in Indonesia, particularly in Java. The first regular contact between Europeans and the peoples of Indonesia began in 1512, when Portuguese traders, led by Francisco SerrĂ£o, sought to monopolize the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in Maluku. Dutch and British traders followed. In 1602 the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and became the dominant European power. Following bankruptcy, the VOC was formally dissolved in 1800, and the government of the Netherlands established the Dutch East Indies as a nationalized colony.

For most of the colonial period, Dutch control over the archipelago was tenuous outside of coastal strongholds; only in the early 20th century did Dutch dominance extend to what was to become Indonesia's current boundaries.Despite major internal political, social and sectarian divisions during the National Revolution, Indonesians, on the whole, found unity in their fight for independence. Japanese occupation during World War II ended Dutch rule, and encouraged the previously suppressed Indonesian independence movement. Two days after the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Sukarno, an influential nationalist leader, declared independence and was appointed president. The Netherlands tried to reestablish their rule, and an armed and diplomatic struggle ended in December 1949, when in the face of international pressure, the Dutch formally recognized Indonesian independence(with the exception of the Dutch territory of West New Guinea, which was incorporated into Indonesia following the 1962 New York Agreement, and the UN-mandated Act of Free Choice of 1969).

Sukarno moved from democracy towards authoritarianism, and maintained his power base by balancing the opposing forces of the military and the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI).An attempted coup on 30 September 1965 was countered by the army, who led a violent anti-communist purge, during which the PKI was blamed for the coup and effectively destroyed. Between 500,000 and one million people were killed. The head of the military, General Suharto, out-maneuvered the politically weakened Sukarno, and was formally appointed president in March 1968. His New Order administration was supported by the US government, and encouraged foreign direct investment in Indonesia, which was a major factor in the subsequent three decades of substantial economic growth.However, the authoritarian "New Order" was widely accused of corruption and suppression of political opposition.

Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the late 1990s Asian financial crisis. This increased popular discontent with the New Order and led to popular protest across the country. Suharto resigned on 21 May 1998. In 1999, East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia, after a twenty-five-year military occupation that was marked by international condemnation of repression of the East Timorese. Since Suharto's resignation, a strengthening of democratic processes has included a regional autonomy program, and the first direct presidential election in 2004. Political and economic instability, social unrest, corruption, and terrorism slowed progress, however, in the last five years the economy has performed strongly. Although relations among different religious and ethnic groups are largely harmonious, sectarian discontent and violence has occurred. A political settlement to an armed separatist conflict in Aceh was achieved in 2005.

Related Articles


29 responses to "Indonesia History"

  1. allthewin On July 2, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    nice info

  2. Rolls Royce Hire Manchester On July 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM


    Actually really enjoyed reading this. Indonesia has great history behind it.

  3. Book Cheap Flights Online On July 14, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    I don't know more about Indonesia but it's a very beautiful country.

  4. Car Rentals On August 4, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    indonesia's history is very significant not much people know about it so the post is quiet ionformative.

  5. Me On August 5, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    good blog..nice artical publishing by you...appreciate on you...thanks for giving detail..

    happy after reading your blog....


  6. kl to singapore On August 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    I wasn't much known to the history of indonesia,after reading your post I got the sufficient information.

  7. cheap hotels in Spain On September 7, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    I am very happy to read this post thanks for such an informative post I don’t have know that much about Indonesia before I come across that post

  8. Zala Ana Delalut On September 29, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Indonesia is another country in the world which possesses great history. Definitely it is one of the countries in my list to go on a visit.

  9. Moving On October 12, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Great history Indonesia has. It fascinated me and driving my wishes to visit there as places with good history I really recommend for myself to visit as it tells inside story of the place. Thanks for such informative post.

  10. where is indonesia On October 23, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    bung karno is one of the pest president for indonesia

  11. gadget On October 31, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    Great history Indonesia

  12. mobile phones for On November 24, 2011 at 7:05 AM

    great post

  13. About Animals | Plants Rainforest On November 25, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    wow very nice

  14. komodo dragons On December 7, 2011 at 6:23 AM

    great post

    komodo dragons
    Varanus komodoensis
    Komodo Dragon Pictures
    Komodo Dragons Facts
    Komodo Dragons Habitat

  15. Knight Cat On December 15, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    great story but now, I heard Indonesia country have big problem in corupption

    visit back my blog
    knight cat
    big cat
    cat puss in boots

  16. Letting Go Quotes On December 18, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    great country for indonesia have many many island and many many forest

  17. Mass Income Multiplier On December 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Interesting place !!

  18. Profit Insiders On December 19, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Nice blog

  19. Commission Autopilot On December 29, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Reaaly helpfull thoughts on the topic provided.

  20. dokunimus On January 7, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    glory Indonesia.

    I am proud to be Indonesia

  21. adult acne On February 2, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    nice post and nice information

  22. cancer On February 2, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    nice information, i hope you keep posting as long as you can

  23. Anderson losi On December 25, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Must be nice to travel the world with your girlfriend doing something you love like photography and you will have a record of the time you shared.
    like you say its a visual diary what could be better to look back at. Travel Trout

  24. Web Developers Delhi On September 2, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Thank you, your experience is quite encouraging to me. I think this is the best option for me at the moment.

  25. harga pengaspalan On September 15, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    mantap infonya gan

  26. pengaspalan hotmix On September 15, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    postin gannya sangat berkualitas dan menambah ilmu,terima kasih

  27. Mobile App Development Delhi On October 29, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities and also with the format in your blog. Anyway stay up to the excellent high quality writing, it's rare to find a nice weblog like this one these days.

  28. Mobile App Developers Delhi On November 11, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing on your feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!

  29. Water Park in Delhi NCR On November 28, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.