By Colin Brown

ISBN-10: 1865088382

ISBN-13: 9781865088389

This succinct paintings of heritage charts the expansion of Indonesia, a notable state of greater than 6,000 inhabited islands. With lucid originality, the textual content contains greater than 2 million years of heritage with intensity and brevity-particularly concentrating on Indonesia's improvement right into a microcosm of a multi-ethnic glossy global. Many present issues are perceptively addressed, comparable to the legacy of European-Asian exchange, Dutch colonialism, and the emergence of what has develop into the most important Muslim inhabitants on the earth.

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Example text

For the Company, the basic problem with the spice trade was finding a way of paying for the goods it purchased. The Netherlands itself produced almost nothing that the spice producers wanted. The Srivijayans, the Melakans, the people of Majapahit and other local traders, when buying spices in Maluku, offered primarily food—particularly rice—and cloth in exchange, goods which were in high demand in the spice islands. The Dutch had to adapt their trading practices to this fact; in other words, they had to acquire food and cloth with which to buy spices.

The rice produced in this hinterland not only fed the population of the state, but was also important as an export commodity. Ho-ling’s religious orientation was Buddhist although, as was the situation in many regional societies newly introduced to the Indian religions, the faith had a strong admixture of pre-existing religious beliefs. Early in the eighth century, Ho-ling merged—it is not clear precisely under what circumstances—with a state based on the Kedu plain that was called Mataram, the first of two such-named states based in central or eastern Java which were to emerge in the pre-colonial era.

The Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian (Fa Hsien) passed along this route in 414 on his return to China after spending some years in India studying Buddhism and collecting Buddhist texts. A number of small states grew up in the region, seeking to participate in the seaborne trade by offering services ranging from supplying ships with food and water to protection from raids by pirates—though often they were the pirates themselves. Many of the goods that moved along this trade route were those that had earlier travelled overland—with one very important difference.

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A Short History of Indonesia: The Unlikely Nation? by Colin Brown


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