A Brief History of Indonesia: Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of Southeast Asia's Largest Nation
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Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of the World's Largest Archipelago, Indonesia is by far the largest nation in Southeast Asia and has the fourth largest population in the world after the United States. Indonesian history and culture are especially relevant today as the Island nation is an emerging power in the region with a dynamic new leader. It is a land of incredible diversity and unending paradoxes that has a long and rich history stretching back a thousand years and more.Indonesia is the fabled "Spice Islands" of every school child's dreamsone of the most colorful and fascinating countries in history. These are the islands that Europeans set out on countless voyages of discovery to find and later fought bitterly over in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. This was the land that Christopher Columbus sought and Magellan actually reached and explored. One tiny Indonesian island was even exchanged for the island of Manhattan in 1667!This fascinating book tells the story of Indonesia as a narrative of kings, traders, missionaries, soldiers and revolutionaries, featuring stormy sea crossings, fiery volcanoes, and the occasional tiger. It recounts the colorful visits of foreign travelers who have passed through these shores for many centuries from Chinese Buddhist pilgrims and Dutch adventurers to English sea captains and American movie stars. For readers who want an entertaining introduction to Asia's most fascinating country, this is delightful reading.
moment the top man was unchallenged. But something wasn’t quite right. For the first time ever, Golkar’s share of the vote had dropped—by 5 percent. Most of the voters who had abandoned the party seemed to have plumped instead for the PDI, the amalgam of old nationalist parties, which was occasionally beginning to raise a voice of tentative opposition. There were even hints of disquiet from within Suharto’s own military faction. Meanwhile, the president had been flirting with political Islam.
They made up the very layer of administration that van Hogendorp had suggested be removed. It was inevitable that Daendels would look unfavourably upon them. They were aristocrats, after all, and in the Napoleonic scheme of things aristocrats were generally for the chop. He was not able to actually send the regents to the guillotine, but he did begin to treat them as what they technically were—government-employed civil servants. Daendels even went so far as to regard the post-Mataram courts of
hunter-gatherers, part of a wider population that was slowly picking its way through the forests of the Archipelago. The Melanesians were, as far as we know, the first modern humans to reach what is now Indonesia, some forty thousand years ago. They carried stone axes and they buried their dead. Sometimes they laid their hands on the walls of caves, then blew a thick spray of chewed ochre pigment against the rock to leave a ghostly outline of their presence. For the most part they moved through
Archipelago for two-and-a-half years, but he was only now setting foot in a Dutch settlement for the first time, and he was thoroughly impressed: ‘I found it prettier and cleaner than any I had yet seen in the East’. There were rows of whitewashed Dutch bungalows set along broad and well-swept streets. The drains were covered over, and each afternoon, by order of a local bylaw, every householder had to water the road before his home to keep down the dust. The commercial quarters thronged with
Archipelago. They postulated a period of active expansionism with proselytising Indian colonists descending on Southeast Asia in droves. This idea has since been roundly discredited, not least because of the uniquely local features that Indian traditions developed in the Archipelago. But there is still some debate over how exactly the conversion did take place. Much credit has traditionally been given to those little communities of Indian traders gathered in Archipelago ports. It was they,