The History of East Java


It is believed that the earliest inhabitants of Indonesian archipelago was originated come from India or Burma. In 1890, fossils of Java man (homo erectus), some 500,000 years old, were found in East Java. Later on, the immigrants of Malay came from southern China and Indochina, and they began to populated Indonesia archipelago around 3000 BC. The powerful groups like the Buddhist Srivijaya Empire and the Hindu Mataram kingdom appeared in Java and Sumatra by the end of 7th century. The last important kingdom that remain Hindu kingdom was The greatest Majapahit kingdom, which was founded in the 13th century. This powerful kingdoms rose in East Java after the decline of Central Java's power in the tenth century. Between 1055 and 1222, Kediri kingdom was prospered and expanded. During the reign of King Erlangga both East Java and Bali enjoyed a advantageous trading with the next islands and their arts flourished. About 1300 AD, Majapahit dynasty began to dominate the entire archipelago, the Malay Peninsula and part of the Philippines. Majapahit also established profitable trading with China and other countries on the South East Asia. Finally, as the impact of the spread of Islamic Religion into Indonesia archipelago in the 14th century forced the Majapahit Kingdom to retreated to Bali in the 15th century.

Since that time, a strong Muslim empire had developed with the centre place at Melaka (Malacca) on Malay Peninsula. The influence was short lived and it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. The Dutch Colonialism displaced the Portuguese and began to made inroads into Indonesia. The Dutch East Indie Company based in Batavia (Jakarta) dominated the spice trading and took control of Java by the mid 18th century, when the power of Java island was already decline. The Dutch took control in the early 19th century and by the early 20th century. Among the entire archipelago; including Aceh and Bali, was dominated by the Dutch colonialism. Magnificent mountain scenery include the crater and sea of sand at Mount Bromo, the "sulfur mountain" Welirang and rugged Dien Plateau. Little of the Majapahit Empire's former glory still stands in East Java today with the exception of temple ruins and some archaeological discoveries. East Java's claim to fame in modern history is its vanguard role in the struggle for independence against colonial forces in 1945.


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