The History of Indonesia: Religious and Ideological Differences - Essay Example

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This essay explores the history of the Republic of Indonesia. In historical terms, the country appears to have five distinct phases which include the pre-colonial era, the era of colonization, the search for independence, the new order and the Reformasi…
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The History of Indonesia: Religious and Ideological Differences
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Download file to see previous pages Naval forces were naturally important to Indonesian kings and based on their strength in the sea they were able to control the trade which went through the region. Contact with Hindu and Buddhist religions also influenced the structure of the country’s culture and religious makeup to the extent that by the tenth century the dynasties which held power over Indonesia had become Hindu or in some cases Buddhists (Drakeley, 2005). The period of Hindu kingdoms lasted until the 13th century when Indonesia had its second experience of traders turning into rulers (Ricklefs, 1993).
Islam came to Indonesia with traders carrying goods from the Islamic empire and regions such as a Persia and India which had already been influenced by Islamic missionaries, traders or raiders. Hindu kings were influenced by and converted to Islam and the first such king was the Sultan of Demak. He was a powerful force in spreading Islam to the other island kingdoms of the region and caused the retreat of Hinduism and Buddhism from the islands. A commander under the Sultan of Demak conquered the capital of the West Java Kingdom of Pajajaran which was called Sunda Kelapa. After the conquest, the city was renamed as Jaya Karta which means great city. The name later changed to Jakarta and it remains the capital city of the country to this day (AsianInfo, 2000).
From the western world, the Portuguese were the first to arrive and try to colonize the country in 1512. The local kings became quite united in trying to stop this from happening and were largely successful with the aid provided by the Dutch. However, the Dutch were clear about their intentions since they began to colonize the country much like the Portuguese would have. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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