Short History of Myanmar

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  • Topic: Burma, Konbaung Dynasty, Burmese language
  • Pages : 5 (1007 words )
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  • Published : November 16, 2012
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MYANMAR
1. ETYMOLOGY
* Derived from BAMAR
* ‘Burma’ - spoken form
* ‘Myanmar’ - literary form

2. BASIC FACTS
* Official Name – Republic of the Union of Myanmar
* Capital – Naypyidaw
* Form of Government – Unitary Presidential Constitutional Republic * President – Thein Sein
* Vice-President – Nyan Thun (Navy Chief)
* 2nd Vice-President – Sai Mauk Kham
* World Organizations – UN (1948), ASEAN (June 23, 1997) * Ethnic Group – Burmans 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, Others 5% * Language – Burmese (Sino-Tibetan)

* Currency – Kyat (K)
* Religion – Theravada Buddhism 89%, Christianity 4%, Islam 4%, Others 2%, Hinduism 1% * Foreign Rulers – Chinese, Muslims, Indians, BRITISH, Japanese * Date of Independence – (from British) January 4, 1948 * Geography – largest country in the mainland SEA

* Bordered on the NW by India and Bangladesh, NE by Tibet and China, SE by Laos and Thailand, S by the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea * Highest point is Hkakabo Razi in Kachin / highest mountain in SEA, along the borders of Myanmar, India and China / along the foothills of the Himalayas * Lowest point is Andaman Sea/Burma Sea, southeast of Bay of Bengal * Major rivers are Irrawaddy, Thanlwin, Sittang

* Climate - Hot season is from March to May, rainy season is from June to October and cold season is from November to February

3. EARLY HISTORY
* Pyu (1st century BC) – entered the Irrawaddy Valley / established city states * Mon (6th century BC) – southern part of Myanmar / had cultural and economic links with India > Buddhism * Mranma/Bamar/Burmans (9th century BC) – settled in the Irrawaddy basin / dominant ethnic group / started the Pagan empire

4. 1044-1077
* Founded by King Anawrahta
* Flourished in the upper Irrawaddy Valley
* Laid the foundation of the Burmese language and culture, the spread of Burman ethnicity, and the growth of Theravada Buddhism in Burma and in the mainland * Fall: attacks of the Mongol empire

5. WARRING STATES PERIOD
* Ava Kingdom (1364-1555)
- Led by Burmanized Shan kings who claimed descent from Pagan kings - Founded by Thadominbya
* Hanthawaddy Kingdom/Hanthawaddy Pegu
- Dominant kingdom in southern Burma
- Founded by King Wareru

6. FORTY YEARS WAR
* Military conflict between Ava and Pegu
* 1st half – Ava invaded Pegu and was defeated; Ava signed a truce * 2nd half – Pegu attacked Ava to stop its expansion; Ava signed another truce and broke it * After the war, Hanthawaddy Pegu reached its golden age through profits and commercializing

7. TOUNGOO DYNASTY
* King Mingyinyo founded the First Taungoo Dynasty
* Tabinshwehti unified most of Burma and was crowned king of all Burma in 1544 * Burma became an important trading center with the coming of European traders * Bayinnaung succeeded the throne in 1551 and reigned for 30 years, launching a campaign of conquest invading several states

8. KONBAUNG DYNASTY
* Last dynasty in Burma
* Founded by a village-chief Alaungpaya
* Reunited all of Burma, extinguished the Hanthawaddy dynasty and drove out the European powers who provided arms to Hanthawaddy * 1760-1855 – series of wars with Siam until the two countries exchanged Tenasserim (to Burma) and Lan Na (to Siam)

9. FIRST ANGLO-BURMESE WAR
* King Bodawpaya - expanded westward which happened to include areas near the borders of the British India * British won - full control over Assam, Manipur, Cachar, Arakan, Jaintia, and Tenasserim * Burmese - forced to pay 1M pound sterling and sign a commercial treaty * Longest and most expensive war in British Indian history 10. SECOND ANGLO-BURMESE WAR

* Commodore George Lambert - sent to Burma to resolve some minor issues regarding the Treaty of Yandabo * George Lambert blocked the port of Rangoon, seizing the King’s...
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