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Modern World Nations Indonesia: 27 Note cards
Terms in this set (28)
Phillips, Douglas A. Indonesia. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House, 2005.
One of the earliest signs of humans in Indonesia was the Java Man. On the island of Java, there was a skullcap near a femur bone. People have discovered that this "man" might've not even been human. It might've been a connection between ape and human, and people still are debating over it. The estimates for how long ago this man was living was about 500,000 years to even 1.7 million years.
The first settlers in Indonesia were the Indians. Indian settlers brought over many things, from the Sanskrit language to the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. The native Indonesians kept most of their local traditions while mixing a little of the Indian traditions in.
The most powerful Indian kingdom in Indonesia was Srivijaya. This was located in eastern Sumatra. Srivijaya, by the seventh century, had already created trade and political relationships between several countries, including China, India, and more islands of Indonesia. Srivijaya ended up expanding into Java and even areas of modern-day Malaysia. Srivijaya also had a very strong naval fleet that dominated the oceans up until the 13th century. Srivijaya was also an imported intellectual and religious capital. Many Buddhist monks studied in Palembang. Palembang was also known as the most major port city. While Srivijaya was still a kingdom, they built one of the most important Buddhist-Hindu sites in the world. This site is Borobudur, located in central Java. This is also one of the wonders of the world. By the fourteenth century, Srivijaya ended up splitting into eight other kingdoms. Malayu was one of the most important. To this day, Palembang is still one of the most important cities, including where my family lives.
The next religious group to reach Indonesia were the Islams. They really made a huge impact on the religions in the country. As of today, Indonesia has the highest Islamic population in the world. During the 13th century, Arab merchants made their way from the Arabian Peninsula to Indonesia. There were many Hindu kingdoms along the coast, such Demak on Java, and their kings ultimately got converted to Muslim. Though, there were many places that faithfully kept believing in Hinduism. For example, some areas like Ambon waited until Christianity.
The Islamic religion didn't come as an invasion. It ended up getting mixed into the many local customs the Indonesians already had. Most of the Muslims lived in the coastal regions and on Java. The Islamic religion became a protective wall between the native people and the Europeans coming into the country. Since the Muslim religion had such a powerful impact in Indonesia, there are still many artifacts with Arabic on it.
The first important group to interact with Indonesia was the Portuguese in 1511. During the sixteenth century, the Portuguese had very powerful sea forces. They became intertwined with the spice trade. They were also the ones who converted many Asians in Asia to Christianity. Some Islamic rulers and traders wanted to block off the Portuguese. In 1570, the Portuguese assassinated one of the rulers so they could become more powerful and rule Indonesia. Though this plan backfired. Many locals revolted against the Portuguese in 1574 which drove them off the island. Though, the Portuguese did introduce many things to the Indonesians. Some things include music, tobacco, and shipbuilding techniques.
The British came into Indonesia around the same time as the Dutch. The British and the Dutch were competing to control the spice trade, even though they had an agreement that wanted them to cooperate. The British briefly ruled Java starting in 1811. Thomas Stamford Raffles was the caretaker of the land. Like George Washington to America before his presidency. While Raffles was the ruler, he created reforms in slavery, encouraged land reform and crop selection, and also introduced limited self-government. Though, the British reign only lasted five years. When Napoleon was defeated by the Dutch, the British went to take control of the Dutch.
The most influential rule in Indonesia was Dutch. They conquered Indonesia for hundreds of years. Four Dutch ships arrived at Banten in 1596. They wanted to collect spices and bring them back to the Netherlands. Though, once they found out how valuable these spices were, more and more ships from the Netherlands started coming in. In 1602, the Dutch created the Dutch East India Company (VOC) to try to control and monopolize the spice trade in Indonesia.
Since the VOC was granted by the Netherlands's parliament, it had a lot of power. There was a 17 member board known as the Seventeen Gentlemen. They had special powers granted from the parliament to assemble the military, build forts, forge treaties, conduct trade, and operate courts. The VOC wanted to isolate the Dutch East Indies from the rest of the world. They would sink foreign ships to keep their trade monopoly in business. The Governor-General of the VOC was Jan Pieterszoon Coen. He was a ruthless manager. He wanted to drive the price of certain spices like nutmeg and cloves higher and higher. He accomplished this by destroying many crops, which really beat up the local economy. This caused a lot of local resentment which caused locals to attack Coen's fort at Batavia in 1692. Since then, Batavia was renamed Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia today. As a result of the attack, the Dutch destroyed many cities. This ultimately resulted in Coen being killed.
There were many other rebellions. One rebellion was led by Sultan Hasanuddin, Prince Trunojoyo and Indonesia's Chinese population. They tried driving the Dutch out of Indonesia. Ultimately, this all failed, and it made the Dutch rule even more harsh. With the Chinese rebellions in Jakarta alone resulted in 10,000 and more deaths. After many years of being under the VOC, they went bankrupt in 1799 because of poor management and corruption.
Not long later, the Dutch government took over. There was a "Cultivation System" put in place. This was similar to the Southern states using slaves to produce cash crops. The Dutch enslaved many native Indonesians to produce coffee, sugar, pepper, indigo, and cotton. The working conditions were very bad for the locals. Many Indonesians starved to death. Though, the Dutch got a lot of money from the obedient natives. There were about 2,400 plantations by 1938. Surprisingly, the Dutch had the same mindset as many slave owners in the Southern states in America. They believed that they were superior. They called the natives "half devils and half-child." Once the native Indonesians had enough of working for the Dutch, they started resisting against the Dutch. This led to the Java War, which lasted from 1825-1830. Prince Pangeran Diponegoro of Mataram tried leading the Indonesians during this battle. During this gruesome battle, more than 200,000 Javanese were killed. Even if the war was a failure, Diponegoro is still considered a hero in Indonesia now.
After the Java War, the Dutch wanted to take over the rest of Indonesia. This ended up with a lot more violence, but the Dutch kept succeeding in adding more and more regions into the Dutch East Indies. By the end of the Dutch reign, the Dutch East Indies were almost identical to the area making up present day Indonesia.
Over time, the Dutch system of government changed from its harsh Cultivation System to the Liberal System. This was in effect from 1870-1900. This system was adopted by the Dutch to seem more humane. They wanted to correct their previous injustices. There was a period of time called the "ethical period", where they wanted to improve human conditions. They improved flood control systems, irrigation systems, health care, agriculture, and education. They abolished slavery and also created a program to address the overpopulation of Java. The overpopulation problem led to many Indonesians moving to other islands, which also led to another problem. Since the areas were undeveloped, they were the subject to ethnic persecution. In conclusion, this Liberal System was a fail as well.
Many local Indonesian kingdoms tried to get back control of their country. The Dutch was too strong for them to do it alone. Some of the Indonesians saw that they needed a better organized plan to take back their land. The Indonesians ultimately found out that they could be pushed out if they joined forces with other countries. The start of the Dutch resistance was founded by Budi Utomo. Budi Utomo was a group founded by Soetomo in 1908. The name Budi Utomo means "noble conduct". This became Indonesia's first modern political organization. Soon over the next years, more groups were created. Such as the Indies Party, Sarekat Islam (Islamic Union), Communist Association of the Indies, and Muhammadiyah (Followers of Muhammad). They all followed the resistance. The name Indonesia first came in 1920, when a political student group called themselves the Indonesian Alliance of Students. Budi Utomo ended up choosing Malay as the offical language of Indonesia instead of Javanese. Malay ended up changing over the years to what many know as Bahasa Indonesia (the language of Indonesia).
Sukarno, Indonesia's first president, started rising into power at around the late 1920. He started to become more and more popular from working with the Indies Party and Sarekat Islam. Sukarno was one of the founders of the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI). The PNI was founded in 1927. They promoted trying to work against the Dutch and trying to gain their own independence. Sukarno tied together the most important parts for his program for nationhood. He tied together the importance of Indonesian traditions, the Islamic religion, and ideas from Karl Marx.
Once WWII sprouted, the Netherlands were taken over by the Germans, and then the Japanese ended up taking over the Dutch East Indies. Once the Japanese settled down in Indonesia, they found many resources they needed back in Japan. This included rubber, tin, and gas. The Japanese begun taking a lot of the resources they wanted. The Indonesians were still furious at the Dutch, so in an effort to calm them down, the Japanese let some political activity by Indonesian independence leaders occur. The Indonesian also started cooperating with the Japanese so they could get closer to removing the Dutch from Indonesia. From Japanese ruling Indonesia for several years resulting in many mixed reactions. More than four million Indonesians had to do forced labor to help the Japanese. During the war, many Japanese forced Indonesian men to enlist in the military. Many women were sent to sex camps as well. Though, by the end of the war, cash was offered to the women that had to suffer though that.) During the war on the Dutch side, about 200,000 Dutch people were imprisoned in concentration camps.
Even though the Japanese occupying Indonesia resulted in many deaths and horrors, they made huge steps in gaining independence. The Japanese let leaders Sukarno and Muhammad Hatta let their political activity occur. The Japanese let them because it reduced resistance against the Japanese. During the war, many people started forgetting about speaking Dutch and started speaking more and more Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia. The Indonesians finally see the Dutch as a weaker opponent.
Finally, on August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allies. Indonesians led by Hatta and Sukarno seized all the military weapons just in case the Japanese come back to use them in the future. Two days later, the Indonesians declared independence. They wrote a constitution in the spring seasons of 1945. This constitution had five basic ideas of what is needed in Indonesia. The beliefs were in God, humanitarianism, national unity democracy, and social justice. On August 18, 1945, they announced the new Constitution and Sukarno assumed the position of president, while Hatta became vice-president.
The Dutch wanted to become some type of ally with Indonesia. With that proposal only came more violence. In East Java, communists are rebelling, which resulted in many more deaths. That battle was the biggest battle for Indonesia's independence. The Dutch kept trying to push out the nationalists from Java and Sumatra. The communist threat kept growing from there. The Allied Forces were getting more concerned about this communist threat. The U.S. viewed Indonesia as anti-communist since they were fighting against the communists. The U.S. and it's allies kept pushing the Dutch to realize that they are an independent country. On December 27, 1949, the Netherlands took transferred all their powers back.
Even though Indonesia was independent, they were still pretty split on religion, regions, class, politics, and ethnic differences. The economy was also very messed up from the Dutch. In Sukarno's government, corruption is starting to sprout. About 60 more political parties were added in the government, which started throwing more people on a loop. Even though they had a democracy, they had very little experience with government. By the 1950's, the military started to take over more.
Sukarno was re-elected again in 1955, and he started leaning the nation toward a "Guided Democracy". Though, it ultimately started leaning towards a more authoritarian government. Since Sukarno's government keeps getting out of hand, more and more nations are starting to notice. Even Hatta wanted to resign because of this authoritarian government. Sukarno declared martial law and he declared many military factions so he can preserve unity. In 1959, he created his own House of Representatives, and several years later in 1963, he declared himself president for life.
The U.S. and many more nations are starting to distrust Sukarno and his party since it's leading towards communism. Sukarno openly sought advice form the Soviet Union and Communist China. He also removed Indonesia from the United Nations in 1965. Sukarno is trying to try as many different efforts to hold the nation of Indonesia together. Indonesia at this point is falling apart even more and more. There was a coup attempt on September 30, 1965 which ended up killing several Indonesian generals. The group said that they were tying to prevent a takeover by Indonesian generals under United States influence. This coup resulted in a lot of protests against Sukarno's government. About 300,000 Chinese and communist supporters were killed in another failed coup. Soon after, Sukarno was "impeached" by the people of Indonesia and he was thrown out of office.
On the outside, many nations saw Sukarno as a potential communist threat during the Cold War. The new leader, General Suharto, was more pro-West, and followed more Western government ways. Suharto started the New Order, which first wanted to dispose of all communists. Though, he was a bit more patient with other political parties.
Under the New Order, there were seven key elements.
1. To restore the order and security of Indonesia.
2. To restore the economy.
3. To create a plan for national development, emphasizing economic development.
4. Become a part of the United Nations again.
5. Make an active and independent foreign policy.
6. Establish Indonesia's economic credibility with other nations.
7. Elections every 5 years.
With Suharto, the economy did improve. During 1973, there was in international oil crisis, and with Indonesia's oil price increasing, there was more unity offered by the producers. East Timor became a part of Indonesia due to the improving economy. It was all smooth until 1997, where foreign debt and inflation which caused Rupiah, Indonesia's currency, to go downhill.
Suharto ended up getting re-elected seven times from 1967-1998. His biggest achievement was making the diverse country more unified. The economy also flourished while he was president. Though he was forced to resign in 1998 from major government corruption allegations. This also caused a lot of riots. He became one of the richest people in the world before dying in 2008.
Abdurrahman, "Gus Dur", became the next president of Indonesia in 1999. The legacy of Sukarno's party, called Indonesia Democracy Party-Struggle, ended up being led by his daughter. Gus Dur's daughter Megawati Sukarnoputri ended up being the vice-president. Even though her party won, she couldn't form a partnership necessary to create a government, which led to her becoming vice-president. The economy began to do well, but Dur began finding himself intertwined with corruption scandals. Even though he was innocent, he was removed and his daughter became the first female president of Indonesia. During her presidency, there was a new problem. Al Qaeda bombed a nightclub in Bali in October 2002. After Sukarnoputri's presidency, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono became the next president from 2004-2014. From 2014 until present day, Joko Widodo is the current president of Indonesia.
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