Immigrants become rice growers
In both prehistoric and historical times, Burma has been characterized by successive migrations north from the rivers towards fertile rice fields and towards the sea. Paleolithic finds exist, and Neolithic times are well represented; traces exist of residence more than 5,000 years ago. Although one can place the area in an Austronesian context in terms of people and cultures, there are already traces of exchange with India in the oldest layers. For two thousand years, Burma has been trading westward and religiously and culturally influenced from India. Various ethnic groups have competed for power, and for most of their history Burma has consisted of mutually hostile kingdoms. Geographical, historical and ethnic ties, which have been able to hold Burma together, are missing, but sometimes some kingdoms have gathered in larger political state formations. Main rivals have been the Burmese in Upper Burma.
Early states and Indian influence
The Mon people’s kingdom with the capital Pegu was founded in the Irrawaddy Delta a few hundred years before Kr.f. Further up the Irrawaddy lay the Pyu kingdom established by early Burmese tribes on a trade route between India and China. Cultural influence from India was very strong through art, language and writing, which expressed the forms of religion taken over from India. In Pyu there were both Hinduism and Buddhism in the form of Mahayana and several Hinayana schools. Pegu was primarily the recipient of theravada Buddhism. These states, especially Pegu, became rich, among others. through wetland cultivation and trade with India. From Pegu, Buddhism and Indian legislative and governance forms spread to other peoples in Southeast Asia. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Myanmar. Around the year 1000, Pyu was crushed between Pegu and the actual Burmese, who immigrated from Tibet in the 8th century.
The Pagan Empire 1044-1287
The Burmese founded the coast of Arakan, but most powerfully became Pagan, Burma’s religious, cultural and political center with the capital Pagan, one of the world’s largest cities. From the mon culture, the Burmese derived both irrigation and rice cultivation as well as theravada Buddhism, which since then came to dominate Burma’s religious life. The monasteries became large landowners. King Anawrahta (1044-77) conquered all of Burma and made the Pagan Kingdom one of Southeast Asia’s most powerful countries. In 1287, however, Pagan was defeated by the Mongolian equestrian armies.
Shan period 1287-1531
Again, Burma was divided into smaller states, many ruled by shanfur princes. Eliminated from China by the Mongols, Shan, a Tai people, had invaded Burma in the 13th century. The Ava kingdom was founded by Shan but then taken over by the Burmese. Even the Pegu monks fought back attacks from Shan, and in the 15th century Pegu experienced a period of peace and prosperity. Trade, not only with India but also with the Muslim Malacca, flourished.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Burma on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Burma.
Toungu Kingdom 1531-1752
It was the Burmese who again united Burma. The kingdom, which lay between Ava and Pegu, expanded during the Toungu dynasty and especially during King Bayinnaung (1550-81). Shan in Upper Burma and Mon in Lower Burma were subjugated. Siam’s capital Ayutthaya was taken. In the 1620s, the capital was moved from Pegu to Ava, where a traditional culture was revived during a period of isolation, while the people of the coast experienced the first contacts with the Portuguese.
The Last Great Age and the Dynasty 1752-1885
Once again, Burma became one of the most powerful kingdoms in Southeast Asia during the ruling dynasty founded by King Alaungpaya (1752-60). Mon and Shan were defeated again. Ava and Arakan merged. Upper and lower Burma were united. Yangon (later transliterated as Rangoon) was founded in 1755. Siam was conquered, and Chinese attacks fought back. Administration was centralized, and the economy stabilized. The state owned a large part of the land. When Assam was conquered around 1820, Burma was adjacent to Bengal, which the British subjugated.
Burma becomes British
Through three wars, in the 1820s, 1850s and 1880s, the British gradually laid down all of Burma, including to prevent French expansion from the east and to control the coast between Kolkata (Calcutta) and Singapore and the trade routes to China. In the decimated Burma, with Mandalay as its capital, reforms of the coinage system and tax system were implemented in the mid-19th century. Industry, shipping, trade and communications were developed. The British forced trade agreements, with Burma seeking counterbalance with France. By the 1880s, the British had conquered all of Burma. The kingdom and thus the Buddhist hierarchy were abolished, traditional Burmese administration structure replaced with British and the old village community dissolved. With British and Indian capital and Indian and Chinese labor, the production of export goods such as rice developed
The popular dissatisfaction with British and Indian domination grew. Revolts erupted and were fought. The British carried out far-reaching constitutional reforms than in other colonies, but the Burmese resistance movement did not settle for increased internal self-government. The ethnic minorities were directly controlled by the British. Many of the freedom fighters joined the Japanese during World War II, which occupied Burma in 1942 and established a Burmese puppet government the following year. Aung San and other leaders moved to the British from 1944-45. The Nationalist Party (AFPFL) won in elections 1947.
The Burmese Union
In 1948, Burma became an independent union outside the British Commonwealth. Despite the constitution of the Union, the Burmese government pursued a centralist policy and violated the rights of ethnic minorities. This led to Karen, Shan and others. people rebelled, as did the Communist Party. The problems were big in the new independent union. During the 1950s, the civil war escalated. The situation was made worse by the fact that the US supported a Chinese guerrilla in northern Burma, while China in turn supported a communist guerrilla. In this pressured situation, the Burmese military took a stronger hold on society and in the late 1950s controlled most of the central social functions. Burma’s economy had unilaterally focused on commodity exports during the colonial era. Skilled labor was lacking since the British and Indians had left the country, which was also heavily ravaged by the World War. Burma, for a long time rich and rise exporting, gradually became one of the world’s poorest countries.
Burma becomes dictatorship
U Nus’s democratic reigns in 1948-58 and 1960-62 were interrupted by Ne Wins coup in 1962. Subsequently, Ne Win ruled the country supported by army and government party. Formally, the military regime ceased in 1974, when a constitution that made Burma a socialist republic was adopted. From 1962, a “Burmese road to socialism” was followed with extensive nationalizations. The ruling party split, corruption increased and the civil war intensified during the 1980s. At the same time, the country was increasingly isolated internationally. Between traditional Buddhism and modern socialism, the contradictions increased, as did the military power and the popular opposition. In 1988, the perverted popular dissatisfaction exploded in major demonstrations and general strikes. Triggered were the large groups of students who went out into the streets in protest of not being allowed to organize themselves politically at the universities. The student protests were followed by others and eventually hundreds of thousands of people walked out onto the streets. The military was deployed against the protesters and as many as up to 3,000 were killed, several thousand more were imprisoned.
In that situation, Ne Win decided to step down. A new junta called the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) took power and promised to write a new constitution and hold a democratic election. In the election movement that followed, Aung San Suu Kyi (daughter of national hero Aung San, who was murdered in 1947) became the forefront of the democracy movement and her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won the general election in 1990. However, Juntan refused to acknowledge the election result and Aung San Suu Kyi was detained in the house arrest she was held in 1989. An exile government was set up, consisting of members elected to parliament but forced to flee the country after Election Day. The government of exile is led by Sein Win. Following the massacres and the invalidated elections, the US and the EU made sanctions against Burma. China chose the opposite line and settled on big arms deals with the junta. In response to the election loss, the junta assembled a convention with the task of writing a new constitution. The 1,000 delegates were hand-picked by the generals and a stated basic requirement for the job was that the military should retain its central position in a future Burma.
The 1990s were marked by the junta’s attempt to quell the political opposition. Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed to move freely during periods, but each time she gathered large groups of opposites around and the junta put her in house arrest again. During the 1990s, the junta signed a ceasefire agreement with most ethnic groups, including some of the drug cartels operating in the country’s eastern parts.
The central body of power, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), was called the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) since 1997, but despite this and a successive generation shift within the army and the country’s board, the dictatorship existed.
Social unrest erupted in 2007. Over 100,000 people marched on the streets led by Buddhist monks, who urged the population not to give up until the dictatorship fell. The protests were defeated by force of arms. International criticism of the junta increased, and was further exacerbated by the regime’s nonchalant handling of a cyclone that is estimated to have claimed around 130,000 lives in May 2008. In a referendum conducted in dubious forms, the new constitution that guaranteed the military’s continued power was approved even after the transition to a formal democratic system.
General elections under the new constitution were carried out in November 2010 and, as expected, resulted in a great victory for the party that formed the junta, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). In addition, a quarter of Parliament’s seats were reserved for military. Before the election, the NLD had been dissolved by the military junta because it refused to accept the rule – directed directly at Aung San Suu Kyi – that no punished person should be a member of a political party. The new parliament then elected the junta’s recently resigned Prime Minister Thein Sein as president. However, junta leader Than Shwe was expected to remain the country’s strong man from a more backward position. Shortly after the election, Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest. She was also invited to meet Thein Sein,
The reforms were well received in the outside world and some financial sanctions were eased. However, the EU and the US, supported by the opposition, stressed that the government must show that the country irrevocably chose a democratic governance before relations can be normalized and all sanctions lifted.