The Minangkabau Kingdom

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  • Topic: Indonesia, Megawati Sukarnoputri, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
  • Pages : 4 (1232 words )
  • Download(s) : 59
  • Published : October 25, 2012
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There is a lot of debate about the earliest beginnings of the Minangkabau but it is assumed that they rose from the southern reaches of the Srivijaya, a Buddhist kingdom in Sumatra, around the 14th century. By the middle of the 14th century, the Minangkabau kingdom encompassed all of central Sumatra. Trading in spices and gold began around the thirteenth century, involving many European countries. The Dutch eventually created the Netherlands East India Company and monopolized trade within Indonesia at the beginning of the 17th century. They forced out the Portuguese and British, as well as Chinese, Indian, and Arab competitors with a combination of industry and arms. They negotiated directly with the Minangkabau for exclusive rights to the pepper and gold trade on the west coast. But, when the company went bankrupt at the turn of the century, the Dutch took control of the land and instituted a system where export crops were to be delivered to the Dutch. They also demanded tribute in the form of the coffee profit from the Minangkabau highlands, provided that no coffee be sold on the open market. Of course, by the late 19th century, Indonesian resistance to the Dutch was growing. They also began to impose a monetary tax on the Minangkabau because of a decrease in coffee production. This led to the well educated Minangkabau becoming intellectual leaders among the Indonesians. Sukarno, an advisor to several leaders and a Minangkabau, established the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI) in 1926. After demanding independence, Sukarno was imprisoned by the Dutch and the PNI diminished. When the Japanese took over in 1942, political prisoners, including Sukarno, were released in exchange for propagandizing the Japanese cause. However, when the Japanese surrendered to the Allied powers in 1945, Indonesia declared its independence and Sukarno became the first president of the Republic of Indonesia. There was fighting for the next several years as the Dutch...
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