Indonesia

Asia Country Project

Ancient Indonesia

Indonesia was first populated around 40,000 years ago when it was much closer to Asia. First the people only hunted animals, but nearing 2,500 BC they began to farm and grow rice and other foods. During this time all of their tools were made of stone. By 700 BC the people began making bronze and iron tools and weapons. From 400 BC the Indonesians began trading with other nations like China. Making huge advancements in society and living Indonesia was a prosperous group. Using wet rice fields, the Indonesian people could provide ample supplies of food to the people. Various religions then began to come including Buddhism and Hinduism followed by Islam around the 13th century. This caused various differing kingdoms to form each having their height of power before falling into a rapid decline.

Colonial Indonesia

Beginning in the 16th century Indonesia was bombarded with countries wanting to use their land and rich spices to sell back in Europe. The Portuguese were the first country to arrive and quickly took over the main source of spices, Melaka, also an important port in 1511. While arriving first, the Portuguese lost their hold on Indonesia early in the 17th century. Once arriving the Dutch fleet formed the Dutch East India Company to control trade. During this period the Dutch increased their area of rule capturing various tribes, but still failed to influence Indonesia as a whole country. After only 100 years, the Dutch fell into debt and the project was taken over by the government. Shortly after, the Dutch went into war against the British. In 1811 the British took over all Dutch areas of Indonesia and abolished slavery. However four years later, the British returned Indonesia back to the Dutch. While the people resisted the return of the Dutch, the Dutch began retaking over areas. Wars broke out for the next 200 years. During these wars the Dutch exported huge amounts of resources to Europe until 1942 when Japan took over Indonesia. At first the people supported them, but later realized that they were worse than the Dutch. As the years followed, Indonesia was taken over three more times eventually to gain its independence in 1949.

Current Indonesia

Indonesia has a population of 253,609,643 people with 40.1% being Javanese, 15.5% being Sundanese, and 3.7% being Malay. This is a large gap between the two most populous ethnic groups. While Indonesia has over 700 languages throughout their country, there are only about three mainly spoken which include Bahasa Indonesia (official), English and Dutch. Indonesia has 87.2% of its population being Muslim, and 7% Christian. While being in Asia, Indonesia has less than 2% of its population being Hindu. Indonesia is much different than surrounding countries because of its large population of Muslim. 92% literacy is respectable, but shows that Indonesia is still not fully developed. Indonesia is ranked 180th in Health Expenditures spending only 3% of its GDP. The United States spends almost 18% showing the difference between developing and developed. Having a life expectancy rate of only 72 years, the lack of quality health care and spendings going to health care shows as Indonesia is not in the top 100 in expected life rate. Indonesia has a major risk involving high risk diseases including Typhoid fever and Malaria. Over 4 million children are in the labor force, but over 1/5 of adults are unemployed. Overall Indonesia needs to spend more money on health care, and also outlaw child labor and instead give the jobs to the unemployed adults.