The first native scholar to use the name was Ki Hajar Dewantara , when in he established a press bureau in the Netherlands, Indonesisch Pers-bureau. Outrigger boats from the archipelago may have made trade voyages to the east coast of Africa as early as the 1st century CE. They arrived around 2, BCE, and as they spread through the archipelago, confined the indigenous Melanesian peoples to the far eastern regions.
Indonesia's strategic sea-lane position fostered inter-island and international trade, including links with Indian kingdoms and Chinese dynasties, which were established several centuries BCE. This period marked a renaissance of Hindu- Buddhist art in ancient Java.
In Bali , the Warmadewas established their rule on the Kingdom of Bali in the 10th century. The Hindu Majapahit kingdom was founded in eastern Java in the late 13th century, and under Gajah Mada , its influence stretched over much of present-day Indonesia.
For the most part, Islam overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and religious influences, which shaped the predominant form of Islam in Indonesia, particularly in Java. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the company became the dominant European power in the archipelago. The Netherlands tried to re-establish their rule, and an armed and diplomatic struggle ensued.
In December , the Dutch formally recognised Indonesian independence in the face of international pressure,   with the exception of the Netherlands New Guinea , which was later incorporated into Indonesia following the New York Agreement and the disputed  UN-mandated Act of Free Choice in that led to the still-ongoing Papua conflict. Despite major internal political, social and sectarian divisions during the four-year struggle, Indonesians, on the whole, found unity in their fight for independence.
In the late s, Sukarno moved Indonesia from democracy towards authoritarianism, and maintained his power base by balancing the opposing forces of the military and the Communist Party of Indonesia Partai Komunis Indonesia, PKI. His New Order administration  was supported by the United States,    and encouraged foreign direct investment , which was a major factor in the subsequent three decades of substantial economic growth.
However, his administration was widely accused of corruption and suppression of political opposition. Although relations among different religious and ethnic groups are largely harmonious, sectarian discontent and violence have persisted.
Indonesia shares maritime borders across narrow straits with Singapore , Malaysia , Vietnam , the Philippines , and Palau to the north, and Australia to the south.
Indonesia is among the most volcanically active countries in the world. Indonesia's largest rivers are in Kalimantan and New Guinea , and include Kapuas , Barito , Mamberamo , Sepik and Mahakam ; such rivers are communication and transport links between the island's river settlements.
Climate of Indonesia Typical Indonesian rainforest, mostly found in Kalimantan and Sumatra Lying along the equator , Indonesia's climate tends to be relatively even year-round. However, cooler climate types do exist in mountainous regions of Indonesia 1, to 1, metres 4, to 4, feet above sea level.
Rinca , Lesser Sunda Islands. The islands closest to Australia , including Nusa Tenggara and the eastern tip of Java , tend to be dry. Some regions, such as Kalimantan and Sumatra , experience only slight differences in rainfall and temperature between the seasons, whereas others, such as Nusa Tenggara, experience far more pronounced differences with droughts in the dry season, and floods in the wet.
Parts of Sulawesi and some islands closer to Australia, such as Sumba is drier. Winds are moderate and generally predictable, with monsoons usually blowing in from the south and east in June through October and from the northwest in November through March.
Typhoons and large scale storms pose little hazard to mariners in Indonesian waters; the major danger comes from swift currents in channels, such as the Lombok and Sape straits. Volcanoes of Indonesia Major volcanoes in Indonesia.
Indonesia is in the Pacific Ring of Fire area. Tectonically , Indonesia is highly unstable, making the country a site of numerous volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.
It lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire where the Indo-Australian Plate and the Pacific Plate are pushed under the Eurasian plate where they melt at about kilometres 62 miles deep. While volcanic ash has resulted in fertile soils a factor in historically sustaining high population densities of Java and Bali ,  it makes agricultural conditions unpredictable in some areas.
Earth's largest eruption in the last 25 million years, it is believed to have caused a global volcanic winter and cooling of the climate, and subsequently led to a genetic bottleneck in human evolution, though the eruption's precise effects are still debated. Significant additional effects were also felt around the world years after the eruption. Biodiversity Species endemic to Indonesia. Rafflesia arnoldii , orangutan , greater bird-of-paradise , and Komodo dragon. Indonesia's size, tropical climate, and archipelagic geography support a high level of biodiversity.
Large species such as the Sumatran tiger , rhinoceros, orangutan, Asian elephant , and leopard, were once abundant as far east as Bali, but numbers and distribution have dwindled drastically. In Sumatra and Kalimantan, these are predominantly of Asian species. Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, and Maluku — having been long separated from the continental landmasses—have developed their own unique flora and fauna.
Indonesia has a range of sea and coastal ecosystems, including beaches , sand dunes, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, coastal mudflats, tidal flats, algal beds, and small island ecosystems. West of the line the flora and fauna are more Asian — moving east from Lombok they are increasingly Australian until the tipping point at the Weber Line.
In his book, The Malay Archipelago , Wallace described numerous species unique to the area. Environment of Indonesia Indonesia's large and growing population, and rapid industrialisation, present serious environmental issues. They are often given a lower priority due to high poverty levels and weak, under-resourced governance. This is also below average in the Asia-Pacific region, behind Thailand but slightly ahead of China.
As a unitary state, power is concentrated in the central government. Following the resignation of President Suharto in , political and governmental structures have undergone major reforms, with four constitutional amendments revamping the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
The president appoints a council of ministers, who are not required to be elected members of the legislature. The president may serve a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms. Its main functions are supporting and amending the constitution, inaugurating and impeaching the president,   and formalising broad outlines of state policy. Reforms since have markedly increased its role in national governance,  while the DPD is a new chamber for matters of regional management.