Tuesday, September 3, 2019
History of Indonesia :: essays research papers
Early empires By the time of the European Renaissance, the islands of Java and Sumatra had already enjoyed a thousand-year heritage of civilization spanning two major empires. During the 7th to 14th centuries, the Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya flourished on Sumatra. Chinese traveller I Ching visited its capital, Palembang, around 670. At its peak, the Srivijaya Empire reached as far as West Java and the Malay Peninsula. Also by the 14th century, the Hindu Kingdom of Majapahit had risen in eastern Java. Gajah Mada, the empire's chief minister from 1331 to 1364, succeeded in gaining allegiance from most of what is now modern Indonesia and much of the Malay archipelago as well. Legacies from Gajah Mada's time include a codification of law and an epic poem. Reasons for the fall of these empires remain obscure. Islam arrived in Indonesia sometime during the 12th century and, through assimilation, supplanted Hinduism by the end of the 16th century in Java and Sumatra. Bali, however, remains overwhelmingly Hindu. In the eastern archipelago, both Christian and Islamic missionaries were active in the 16th and 17th centuries, and, currently, there are large communities of both religions on these islands. Colonial era Beginning in 1602 the Dutch gradually established themselves as rulers of what is now Indonesia, exploiting the fractionalization of the small kingdoms that had replaced Majapahit. The most notable exception was Portuguese Timor, which remained under Portuguese rule until 1975 when it was invaded and occupied, becoming the Indonesia province of East Timor. The Netherlands controlled Indonesia for almost 350 years, excluding a short period of British rule in part of the islands after Anglo-Dutch Java War and the Japanese occupation during World War II. During their rule the Dutch developed the Dutch East Indies into one of the world's richest colonial possessions. During the first decade of the 20th century an Indonesian independence movement began, and it expanded rapidly between the two World Wars. Its leaders came from a small group of young professionals and students, some of whom had been educated in the Netherlands. Many, including Indonesia's first president, Sukarno (1945-67), were imprisoned for political activities. World War II In May 1940 the Netherlands surrendered to Germany (see World War II). The Dutch East Indies declared a state of siege and in July re-directed exports for Japan to the US and Britain. Negotiations with the Japanese aimed at securing supplies of aviation fuel collapsed in June 1941, and the Japanese started their conquest of Southeast Asia in December of that year.
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