Bali was ruled by the Javanese who laid the foundations of the Balinese culture today. Bali became the melting pot for everything related to religion and culture for Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
However, Bali was conquered by the Dutch settlers in 1909 after much resistance. The Dutch had reached Bali in the early 17th century but were unable to secure complete control even with the expansion of the Dutch East India Company. The island was passed to the French, the British and then finally the Dutch who completely took over. This resulted in a steady stream of early tourism sparked by talks of the gorgeous, paradise-like island.
After World War II, Bali witnessed a mass exodus after the Japanese troops were stationed at the island. Soon after the war ended, the nationalist party leader, Sukarno rasied his voice against the occupation of the island. He was finally successful in 1949 after gaining international recognistion and the Republic of Indonesia came into existence. However, this didn’t signify an end to violence in Bali; a communist coup was staged by Suharto in 1965 which resulted in the deaths of over a 100,000 Balinese who were suspected to be communists.
The island witnessed prosperity under Suharto and rose to prominence as the leading tourist destination. Even after an economic collapse in 1997, Bali has recovered drastically and still continues to be the number one tourist destination.