The Rise of New States, c. 1500–1650
New Islamic states were arising in Indonesia when the Europeans first arrived, but much of their history is poorly documented. There is, however, sufficient evidence to reconstruct with some confidence the histories of three areas: Aceh, Java and South Sulawesi. The first of these was deeply involved with the Malay Peninsula, for in the western archipelago three major powers confronted one another in the early sixteenth century: Aceh, Portuguese Malacca and Johor. In the early seventeenth century, Aceh was to emerge for a time as the most powerful, wealthy and cultivated state of the area.
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