A Short History of Indonesia

289 Pages · 2007 · 4.65 MB · English

  • A Short History of Indonesia

    History Indonesia PAGES 13/2/03 8:28 AM Page i


    INDONESIA History Indonesia PAGES 13/2/03 8:28 AM Page ii

    Short History of Asia Series

    Series Editor: Milton Osborne

    Milton Osborne has had an association with the Asian region for over

    40 years as an academic, public servant and independent writer. He is

    the author of eight books on Asian topics, including Southeast Asia:

    An Introductory History, first published in 1979 and now in its eighth

    edition, and, most recently, The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain

    Future, published in 2000. History Indonesia PAGES 13/2/03 8:28 AM Page iii




    Colin Brown History Indonesia PAGES 13/2/03 8:28 AM Page iv

    First published in 2003

    Copyright © Colin Brown 2003

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form

    or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by

    any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing

    from the publisher. TheAustralian Copyright Act 1968(the Act) allows a maximum of

    one chapter or 10 per cent of this book, whichever is the greater, to be photocopied by

    any educational institution for its educational purposes provided that the educational

    institution (or body that administers it) has given a remuneration notice to Copyright

    Agency Limited (CAL) under the Act.

    Allen & Unwin

    83 Alexander Street

    Crows Nest NSW 2065


    Phone: (61 2) 8425 0100

    Fax: (61 2) 9906 2218

    Email: info@allenandunwin.com

    Web: www.allenandunwin.com

    National Library of Australia

    Cataloguing-in-Publication entry:

    Brown, Colin,

    A short history of Indonesia : the unlikely nation?


    Includes index.

    ISBN 1 86508 838 2

    1. Indonesia—History.

    I. Title. (Series : Short histories of Asia).


    Index compiled by Russell Brooks.

    Set in 11/14 pt Goudy by Midland Typesetters, Maryborough, Victoria

    Printed by South Wind Productions, Singapore

    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 History Indonesia PAGES 13/2/03 8:28 AM Page v

    For Christopher and Meily.

    This is their story, more than it is mine. History Indonesia PAGES 13/2/03 8:28 AM Page vi History Indonesia PAGES 3/3/03 1:53 PM Page vii


    Acknowledgements ix

    Maps of Indonesia xi

    Acronyms xiv

    Glossary xvi

    Note on transcription xviii

    1 The Indonesian context 1

    What’s in a name? 2

    The physical environment 5

    The ethnographic environment 9

    2 The rise of states: 1–1500 CE 11

    The rise of the state 13

    Hindu and Buddhist societies 17

    3 The age of commerce: 1400–1700 29

    The spread of Islam 31

    The beginnings of colonialism 32

    4 Economic demise, political decline: 1600–1800 49

    Extension of VOC control 55

    Decline of Mataram 57

    The Chinese War, 1740–1741 60

    The Company outside Java 65

    The collapse of the VOC 68

    The legacy of the VOC 70

    5 Establishment of empire: 1800–1900 72

    Colonial reactions 81

    The Cultivation System 83

    Liberal Era 89

    East coast of Sumatera 91

    Aceh 96

    The Aceh War 99

    vii History Indonesia PAGES 13/2/03 8:28 AM Page viii

    A Short History of Indonesia

    The other islands 101

    The colonial infrastructure 102

    6 Times of change: 1900–1945 104

    Japanese administration 140

    7 From revolution to authoritarian rule: 1945–1957 156

    8 Guided to Pancasila democracy: 1956–1998 185

    The rise of the New Order government 197

    New Order foreign policy 208

    The New Order and East Timor 209

    Separatism in Aceh 212

    Economic developments under Suharto 218

    Restraints on the exercise of power 223

    9 Reformasi: The post-Suharto era? 225

    Bibliographical essay 247

    Endnotes 260

    Index 263

    viii History Indonesia PAGES 13/2/03 8:28 AM Page ix


    The author of any book acquires a mountain of debts, both academic

    and social. I am no exception.

    The first draft of this book was written in the second half of 2000,

    while I was on study leave from Flinders University. For part of this

    time, I was a Visiting Fellow at the International Institute for Asian

    Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands. I gratefully acknowledge the warm

    collegial support I received during my stay there, from the Director

    Professor W. A. L. Stokhof and all his colleagues.

    I also spent several weeks in the Faculty of Social and Political

    Sciences at Parahyangan University, Bandung, Indonesia. I have been

    visiting Parahyangan regularly for some years now; once again, staff and

    students there made me feel most welcome. I thank in particular the

    Rector of the University, Professor B. Suprapto Brotosiswojo, the Deputy

    Rector for Academic Affairs, Mr Johannes Gunawan, the Deputy Rector

    for International Cooperation, Dr R. W. Triweko, and the then Dean of

    the Faculty, Dr Pius Suratman Kartasasmita.

    Griffith University, where I first taught Indonesian history, pro-

    vided me with office and library facilities for the final part of my leave.

    I thank Professor Nick Knight, Dean of the Faculty of Asian and

    International Studies, and Professor Colin Mackerras.

    At Flinders University, I have had the good fortune to work with

    a number of very talented scholars. I must single out Dr Jim Schiller,

    with whom I have co-taught courses and co-supervised postgraduate

    students, for his willingness to discuss almost any aspect of Indonesia,

    and his deep knowledge of and feeling for the country. We have not

    always agreed on interpretation of events, but I have always admired

    and respected the persuasive ways in which he makes his points.

    I also acknowledge the students I have taught, and debated with,

    at Griffith University, the University of Tasmania, Parahyangan Uni-

    versity and Flinders University. It is almost a cliché to say so, but I


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