Traces are found in the Indonesian archipelago that indicate the human presence since the Neolithic period, although the precise knowledge of the History of Indonesia goes back to the beginning of the Christian Era, when the commercial relationship between the different kingdoms of the archipelago with China began and India, a relationship that opened the door to Hindu and Buddhist influences. When, in 1511, the Portuguese arrived on the Moluccan islands, they found a region already influenced by Islam since the 13th century. But it would be the Dutch East India Company that managed to establish itself in the region, with its dominion in Batavia (Jakarta). Dutch colonization, which was not completed until the end of the 17th century, began to be called into question in 1927, with the formation of the Indonesian Nationalist Party, led by Sukarno. This personality assumed, moreover, as the main protagonist of the independence process, declared unilaterally on August 17, 1945, after the surrender of Japan (which had invaded Indonesia in 1942). The Netherlands also tried to secure control of the colony, but the Indonesian opposition, which included armed clashes, forced the Dutch to recognize Indonesia’s independence under the name United States of Indonesia, a name that formalized the union between the two states, what happened in 1949. This union was broken in 1954 as a result of the existing dispute between the two countries over sovereignty in Western New Guinea (then called Irian Barat, now known as Irian Jaya), territory that the Dutch would eventually hand over to the Indonesians in 1969, although the process started in 1962.
Sukarno and the party that supported him (PKI – Indonesian Communist Party) remained in power until September 30, 1965, when a military coup led by General Raden Suharto took place. Until his appointment as president by the People’s Assembly in March 1967, Suharto conducted a policy of military persecution of supporters from Sukarno and the PKI, resulting in that policy close to 1 000 000 victims.
Indonesia then lived under the New Order of Suharto, based on strong support from the armed forces who, in return, saw their cadres being appointed to important political and administrative positions.
On December 7, 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor. The territory was under Portuguese administration, but, due to the decolonization process and the state of civil war that had been installed in the territory, the Portuguese authorities abandoned the island. Although the international community condemned the invasion, Indonesia annexed East Timor, which became the 27th province.
In 1994, after Suharto declared his unwillingness to run for election again (held every five years) in 1998, a period of political and social instability took place in Indonesia. This declaration triggered a wave of backstage movements by the different dominant groups (military, technocrats and political supporters of Suharto and Islamic religious leaders) in order to strengthen their positions, while allowing unionists, students, clandestine movements to democracy and the press itself would become more bold in their demands. Suharto stepped down in May 1998 and was replaced by Vice President Habibie.
On October 19, 1999, the Parliament of Indonesia took the decision to annul the decree that included the annexation of East Timor as the country’s 27th province. On October 20, Indonesia’s new president, Muslim Abdurrahman Wahid, was elected. The worsening political, economic and social problems led to Wahid being removed from office in July 2001, although he did not easily recognize his defeat. Megawati Sukarnoputri, vice president during the term of Wahid, daughter of Indonesia’s first president, became the country’s new leader until October 2004, the year in which in the presidential elections, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won. For Indonesia democracy and rights, please check homeagerly.
On December 26 of that same year, a natural catastrophe shook the country. On that day, the largest earthquake in recent times (8.9 degrees on the Richter scale) was recorded with an epicenter off the Indonesian island of Samatra. This earthquake originated tidal waves that hit the coast of several Southeast Asian countries, such as Sri Lanka (the most affected), followed by Indonesia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Maldives and Bangladesh, causing thousands of deaths and displaced people.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Indonesia, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Indonesia. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Indonesia
Browse a collection of city, country, regional, detailed, and historical maps of Indonesia. View maps of Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Buru Island, Siberut Island, and Timor.
Indonesia – ABC Altas
Access an atlas about Indonesia that highlights maps, country facts and figures, plus government, transportation and economics.
Indonesia – Indonesia Maps
Click on thumbnail photos to explore regional, city and street-level maps. Also provides links to other Indonesian Web resources.
Indonesia – Indonesia Tourism Maps
Click on a particular destination in Indonesia to see photos, a cultural description and links to area-specific maps.
Indonesia – Merriam-Webster Atlas
Check out a detailed, colorful map of multi-island nation, including major cities. Also, read a brief historical summary and country facts.
Indonesia – National Geographic
View a satellite-created map of this southeast Asian country. With zooming, and featuring find cities, land features, and bordering countries.
Indonesia – University of Texas Library
Extensive index of regional, country, city and historical maps of Indonesia were provided by US government resources.