History Of Indonesia
Wikipedia Reference Information
Indonesia is an archipelagic country of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited) stretching along the equator in South East Asia. The area is populated by peoples of various migrations, creating a diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and languages. These diverse peoples have been influenced to varying degrees by trade and contact with the civilizations of the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia; and later influenced by Europe through Portuguese and Dutch colonialists. From the early seventeenth century, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) sort to control lucrative Indonesian trade through military and political domination. In 1800, VOC interests in Indonesia were nationalised into the Dutch East Indies. It was not until 1914 however, that Dutch rule and hegemony had been extended across all parts of what is now modern day Indonesia, at a time when indigenous Indonesian nationalism was first emerging as a political force.
The outbreak of World War II saw Indonesia put in the middle of warfare between the Dutch and Imperial Japan. The defeat of the Dutch saw them driven out and replaced with Japanese occupation forces, but the weakening of these two world powers provided an opening for Indonesian Nationalists, led by Sukarno, and other independence movements to launch an armed conflict. After a brief time, during which the Dutch sought to re-colonize the country, the Indonesian Nationalists won recognition for the newly formed Republic of Indonesia. In doing so, it was among the first Third World nations to gain its independence after World War II.
Soon after gaining independence, Indonesia was fashioned as a unitary state with its government in Jakarta. The administration of Indonesia's founding President, Sukarno, was weakened by internal conflict between the Indonesian Army and the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), General Suharto took power in 1966. His authoritarian administration, the New Order, lasted 32 years and was marked by strong central government and rapid industrialisation, but widespread allegations of corruption and misuse of power. Following popular demonstrations and failing political support, Suharto resigned as president, beginning the present period of Indonesian history, known as the Reformasi era.
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