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Indonesia History

Indonesia - national flagIndonesia - national flag

The flag was officially hoisted for the first time in 1945. The red and white flag is said to date back to the 1200's, and in 1922 it was hoisted by an Indonesian freedom movement in the Netherlands. The flag was taken over by the Indonesian Nationalist Party of Java in 1928 and remained unchanged when the country was declared independent in 1945.

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Indonesia (Prehistory)

For at least 500,000, perhaps up to 1.8 million. years ago, the island of Java was inhabited by the early humans, Homo erectus, whose remains have been found at Trinil and Sangiran on Java. Not much is known about their way of life; thus none of their tools have been found, but from the knowledge of other places it must be assumed that they have been hunters and gatherers. Their room for maneuver must have changed with the changes in sea level during the ice age, as Java, Sumatra and Borneo were alternately exposed as a large peninsula and then flooded again, creating an archipelago. As many of the early settlements have disappeared as a result, it is not possible to determine whether the earliest population became extinct or became ancestors of Homo sapiens, whose earliest relics date from approximately 40,000 years ago. Finds from cave settlements and kitchen manure show that for a long period, approximately 30,000-3000 BC, a technology based on simple stone tools was used. Around 7000 BC. began in New Guineato grow taro, sugar cane and bananas as well as develop densely populated communities. From the same period, there are signs of grain cultivation from other areas; here, however, settlements were sparse, and large parts of the archipelago were presumably uninhabited until about 4000 BC, when Austronesian peoples from Taiwan and the Philippines sailed here in outrigger canoes. They brought with them knowledge of pottery, bow and arrow and presumably the domesticated pig. In some places they displaced the indigenous people, in other places they mingled with it. The Austrones lived in small communities based on agriculture or fishing. Technical innovations spread quickly, and large bronze drums, which appeared in SEA Asia approximately 500 BC, spread rapidly to western Indonesia. There was no common political organization, and many groups were led by a datu, whose leadership was based on war luck and magic rather than lineage.

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Indonesia (History)

Shipping and trade have been crucial to the historical development of the Indonesian upper world due to the influences from other cultures that they brought with them. Trade with India from approximately 100 brought a lot of wealth to the area and meant that the dates took over the Indian leadership style, and that there were approximately 400 small kingdoms were created. At the same time, Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and customs were recorded and mixed with the original Malay pantheism.

Indonesia History

Around 500, several small competing kingdoms existed. The first of major importance, Srivijaya with the capital Palembang, was established in southern Sumatra approximately 680 and lasted for 400 years. In central Java, the rulers of the Sailendra dynasty traveled in the 800's. two impressive monuments, the Buddhist Borobudur and the Hindu Prambanan.

In 1293, the mighty Hindu kingdom Majapahit was founded in East Java. The empire included most of Java and Bali as well as a number of smaller islands, as it was at its height under Hayam Wuruk, who ruled from 1350-89.

Gradually, Islam came into the picture as a new cultural and religious element, as a result of the increased trade in the Indian Ocean. Aceh in northern Sumatra became the first area to become Muslim in the late 1200's, while Java was not Islamized until hundreds of years later; especially in the interior of the country, Java is still dominated by a version of Islam that is strongly influenced by other religious beliefs.

Another foreign culture, the European, came to the Indonesian territory a few centuries later. The Portuguese, who occupied Malacca in 1511, were the first to gain a foothold. Later, the Dutch, who became the dominant in the area through the privately owned United East India Company (VOC), founded in 1602. In 1619, the VOC established its first trading post in Batavia, present-day Jakarta. Malacca was conquered in 1641, and the company gradually gained a monopoly on the lucrative spice trade. The VOC became more and more involved in the internal power struggles especially in the Javanese kingdom of Mataram, which during the 1700's. became increasingly weakened. In step with this development, the VOC established itself as a central power on top of the existing power structure, which did not change significantly.

Towards the end of the 1700's. The financial power of the VOC began to decline due to excessive administrative costs, smuggling, etc. Therefore, in 1799, the Dutch state took over the possessions. The Netherlands had been conquered by France in 1795 and only regained its real independence in 1815. Herman Willem Daendels (1762-1818) became in 1807 governor general of the colonies in Asia. He initiated a policy that would deprive the Javanese rulers of their independence and subordinate them to the Dutch administration. As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, Indonesia was subject to the British East India Company 1811-16, which sought to impose its own administrative principles. After the return of the Dutch, the grip was tightened on the basis of Daendels' work. In 1825, the Java War began, which was a revolt against the Dutch land confiscations. The uprising, Yogyakarta, was defeated in 1830, and thus the Dutch power was consolidated. That same year, the cultural system was introduced; each village was forced to set aside one-fifth of their fields for export crops such as sugar, coffee, tea and indigo. The new production system meant that great riches were transferred to the Dutch treasury.

Under the impression of new liberal economic principles, opposition to the cultural system gradually grew. In 1870, private individuals were allowed to acquire land in Indonesia, and now rapid growth began in privately owned plantation operations and in the mining and forestry industries. The rapid economic development was followed by a territorial expansion, and in the early 1900-t. the Dutch had secured almost all of present-day Indonesia. Administrative reforms continued, and the number of Dutch administrators grew rapidly; for the first time, an Indonesian colonial state was created with uniform, centralized administration.

In the first decades of the 1900's, a popularly rooted opposition to colonial rule grew. The nationalist organization Sarekat Islam was founded in 1912 and quickly gained hundreds of thousands of members. The movement was later split, due to disagreement between communists and religious. The Indonesian Communist Party, PKI, was behind some rebellion attempts in 1926-27, which, however, were poorly organized and easily defeated. In 1927, the Indonesian Nationalist Party, PNI, was formed under the leadership of Achmed Sukarno. He and other nationalist leaders, Muhammad Hatta, was imprisoned and banished to remote islands; only after the Japanese invasion of Indonesia in 1942 could they return.

Many Indonesians, including Sukarno and Hatta, were given positions in the Japanese administration, but the Japanese brutality further intensified nationalism. Immediately after the Japanese capitulation, Sukarno and Hatta declared Indonesia's independence on August 17, 1945. However, the Dutch did not accept the loss of the colony, and it took another four years of military strife before a UN-led conference in The Hague in December 1949 succeeded in getting the Dutch to recognize independence. However, the Indonesian claim to Irian Jaya was first recognized by the Netherlands in 1963 against a promise to hold a referendum in which the people of the area would decide the affiliation themselves. It happened in 1969.

The independent Indonesia

Sukarno became Indonesia's first president. After the first election, held in 1955, three almost equal ideological main lines emerged: a Muslim line, represented primarily by the parties Nahdatul Ulama and Masyumi, who long fought to make Indonesia a Muslim state, a secular line, which supported the current constitution and included Sukarno's Nationalist Party and the Communists, and finally the army, whose position had become increasingly strong after defeating various separatist uprisings, including on the southern islands of the Moluccas archipelago. For a long time, Sukarno managed to maintain the balance between the various groupings by playing them off against each other, but the political situation was unclear. Sukarno spoke in the same year for the introduction of a special form of government, "guided democracy", which if. Sukarno, to a greater degree than Western democracy, suited Indonesian conditions, and in 1959 he assumed more or less autocratic power. However, he was still dependent on maintaining a balance between the army and the Communists.

In the early 1960's, contradictions intensified drastically, mainly due to the decision to implement land reforms. The reforms were sabotaged by the conservative forces and the large landowners, which led to the PKI mobilizing and through its peasant organizations carrying out land occupations. Sukarno followed an increasingly anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist line. The contradictions were further exacerbated by the weak economy and galloping inflation and in 1965 triggered a coup attempt, which PKI was blamed for. The coup failed, and the army launched a crackdown on communists and suspected sympathizers, which cost hundreds of thousands of lives. When the PKI was eliminated, the balance of power shifted, undermining Sukarno's central political position; in 1967 he was deposed and replaced by General Suharto, which held power until 1998.

Indonesia occupied the former Portuguese colony of East Timor in 1975 and annexed the area the following year. The annexation has never been internationally recognized, and approximately 200,000 East Timorese are believed to have died as a result of Indonesian aggression.

In addition to its own party, the Golkar, the Suharto regime has only allowed two very strictly controlled opposition parties. One is a Muslim party and the other is Indonesia's Democratic Party, PDI, which contains the remnants of Sukarno's Nationalist Party in addition to a number of smaller, Christian parties. In 1994, the PDI elected Sukarno's daughter Megawati Sukarnoputri as leader, which was considered a threat by the Suharto regime. When she managed to force her departure in June 1996, it sparked violent protests and riots.

The rapid economic progress in Indonesia has been due to political and social oppression. Along with growing ethnic, regional and religious contradictions, this has meant that the political situation is tense and there is no sign that the regime will give up its hard political line.

Indonesia was hit hard by the economic crisis in South Asia in 1997. The Suharto regime, which had won a controversial election the same year, failed to stem the crisis, and a series of major demonstrations the following year led to unrest in Jakarta. several killed. In May 1998, Suharto resigned and appointed BJ Habibie (b. 1936) president. Habibie promised reforms and also initiated corruption investigations against Suharto and his family.

In January 1999, Habibie promised a referendum in East Timor on the future status of the area; The vote was organized by the United Nations and held in August of that year. When the result was an overwhelming yes to independence, it triggered violent unrest in East Timor, for which the Indonesian military was held responsible. Elsewhere in Indonesia, too, there have been particularly bloody ethnic, religious and separatist unrest, rooted in contradictions between local traditions and immigration from Java mixed with elements of religious and ethnic differences. In the Moluccas, more than 5,000 have lost their lives in a real civil war. Separatist movements in Papuaand especially Aceh gained increasing popular support, and bloody clashes took place between guerrillas and government forces. The scale of the unrest led to speculation as to whether Indonesia was actually facing a split.

In an election in October 1999, Abdurrahman Wahid was elected president. However, he was soon accused of corruption, and in 2001 he was ousted after trying to impose a state of emergency, and Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri became the new president.

Indonesia became in 2000-t. hit by several violent terrorist attacks. The worst was an attack on Bali in 2002, in which 202 people were killed, including a large number of tourists. Bali was again attacked in 2005, but Jakarta has also been subjected to severe bombings. Militant Islamist organizations linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network are believed to be behind it. In the 2004 presidential election, Megawati Sukarnoputri was defeated by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. In December 2004, Indonesia was hit by a tsunami; more than 220,000 people perished or are missing in Indonesia alone. Aceh province in particular was hit hard. The province had for nearly 30 years been marked by fighting between separatist rebels and government forces. Following the tsunami disaster, a peace agreement was reached and in 2006 Aceh gained autonomy. In 2006, Java was hit by another tsunami; more than 500 perished.

 

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