Indonesia - Country history and economic development

1300s. Islam begins to take hold in Indonesia.

1500. Fall of Majapahit marks the last Hindu-Buddhist empire.

1511. Portuguese explorers arrive in the islands seeking trade in spices.

1596. The first Dutch ships arrive.

1602. The Dutch East India Company is formed as a private stock company to trade, make treaties, and maintain troops in the Indies.

1799. The Dutch East India Company declares bankruptcy and is replaced by Dutch government bureaucracy.

1830. The Dutch institute the Culture System, a forced cultivation system to produce coffee, sugar, indigo, pepper, tea and cotton, resulting in rice shortages and famines.

1927. Sukarno, a university student who later becomes president, founds the Indonesian National Party.

1942. The Japanese invade Indonesia during World War II, driving out the Dutch.

1945. The Dutch return, only to find Indonesians declaring independence on 17 August.

1949. Indonesia's independence is recognized, and Sukarno is elected as the first president.

1965. Suharto takes power in a military coup.

1974. Oil revenues rise due to price hikes by OPEC.

1975. Indonesia invades East Timor.

1978. First major devaluation (50 percent) of the rupiah occurs following inflation.

1980s. Oil prices fall, leading to shocks in the economy.

1988. Economic reform packages begin to open up trade, investment, and banking and reduce monopolies.

1997. The Asian financial crisis hits Indonesia, leading to the crash of the rupiah, bank and business failures, and unemployment.

1998. Suharto steps down in the face of massive protests.

1999. President Abdurrahman Wahid is sworn in.

2001. Wahid is impeached in July, and vice president Megawati Sukarnoputri is installed as president.

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