Indonesia's History
Indonesia :: History

circa AD 400 Hinduism and Buddhism were brought from India to Indonesia ... Hinduism was a primary influence on Java, while Buddhism was predominant on Sumatra.
800s The Hindu dynasties of Sailendra and Mataram ruled Central Java.
The great Hindu temples of Prambanan were built.
600s-1200s The Buddhist Srivijaya kingdom was established in Sumatra and grew to be a great sea power.
1294 The Hindu Majapahit kingdom controlled much of Indonesia.

1400s-1500s Arab traders brought Islam to Indonesia.

The Islamic Demak kingdom defeated the Hindu Majapahit kingdom.

1511 Portuguese forces took command of the spice trade through the Straits of Malacca and began opening Indonesian ports to trade.
1602 The Dutch East India Company was formed.
1610 The Dutch established a trading post on the site of modern Jakarta.
1682 The Dutch East India Company succeeded in establishing complete control over Indonesian trade. It soon began to assume political control as well.
1799 The Dutch East India Company went bankrupt and control of Indonesia passed to the Dutch government.
1811-16 British forces occupied Dutch territories in Indonesia during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. The territories were returned to the Netherlands in 1816.
1870 The Dutch began to extend their political control of Indonesia from Java and Sumatra to the rest of the islands.

1927 The Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI) was established under the leadership of Sukarno and took up a policy of militant opposition against the Dutch. In 1929, Sukarno is arrested.
1942-45 Japan occupied the Dutch territories in Indonesia during World War II.
1945 As soon as the Japanese surrendered, nationalist leaders Sukarno and Muhammad Hatta declared Indonesia's independence on August 17. The Dutch refused to recognize the declaration.
1949 The Dutch formally recognized Indonesian independence.

1959 Sukarno introduced his program of Guided Democracy and assumed greater powers. He pursued an active foreign policy but the domestic economy declined.
1963 Indonesia gained control of West Irian from the Dutch, which was later renamed Irian Jaya.

1966 An attempted coup by the Communist Party was crushed by General Suharto.
1966 In the aftermath, army units and some Muslim groups killed hundreds of thousands of suspected Communists and their supporters accused of involvement in the coup attempt.
1966 Sukarno handed over emergency powers to General Suharto, who became president in March 1967.
1967 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) established by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
1971 Indonesia held its first parliamentary elections since 1955.
1976 Indonesia invaded and then annexed East Timor (a former Portuguese colony) as the 27th province of Indonesia despite widespread international disapproval.
1970s-80s Under Suharto, the economy improved - rice and oil production increased, manufacturing expanded and private-sector investment encouraged
1988 Suharto was elected to a fifth term as president.
1991 Pro-independence demonstrators in East Timor were massacred by Indonesian soldiers.

1997 Indonesian rupiah plummeted in value and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pledged a $40 billion aid package in exchange for economic reforms.
1998 Economic problems sparked (1) student demonstrations against the government and (2) violence against Chinese communities who were seen as rich. Many Chinese were killed and their properties destroyed.

In May, President Suharto resigned in favor of his vice-president, Jusuf Habibie.
1999 Ethnic violence broke out in Maluku.

(1) In August, East Timor voted for independence in UN-sponsored referendum but anti-independence militia went on the rampage soon afterwards. (2) East Timor came under UN administration.

In October, Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) became president.
2001 Ethnic violence broke out in Kalimantan as indigenous Dayaks forced out Madurese transmigrants.

Wahid was impeached over allegations of corruption and incompetence.

The parliament elected vice-president Megawati Sukarnoputri president. Megawati is the daughter of Sukarno, Indonesia's first president.
2002 In May, East Timor achieved independence from Indonesia.
2002 In August, constitutional changes were made allowing voters to elect a president and vice president.

In October, a terrorist bombing at a nightclub in Bali killed more than 200 people, mostly tourists.
2003 President Megawati declared military rule in Aceh (located on the northern tip of Sumatra) and launched an offensive intended to destroy the Free Aceh Movement.
2004 Indonesia's inaugural direct presidential elections -- General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was placed first in the elections but did not garner enough votes to win outright. However, he won in the September runoff.

More than 200,000 people were killed or missing in Indonesia when tsunamis hit -- about 50% were in the Indonesian state of Banda Aceh
2005 Acehnese rebels signed a peace agreement with the government in August and subsequently disarmed in exchange for the establishment of local self-government.