The history of Myanmar is the history of the migration of various peoples who came here from the north along the sources of the Ayeyarwaddy River and settled here because they could not cross the high mountains. The most ancient of the peoples living in the territory of present-day Myanmar was the Mons. They began to settle in the valley of the Irrawaddy and Sitaun rivers as early as the 5th millennium BC. In 3000 B.C. the ancient Mon state of Suvarnabhumi was formed here. It established trade and cultural ties with neighboring countries and combined Indian and Buddhist cultures.
In the 2-3 centuries AD. In the Ayeyarwaddy River valley came peaceful Pyu peoples who were engaged in agriculture and professed Theravada Buddhism. The Pyu founded several kingdoms along the trade routes between China and India. The largest kingdom was Shrikshetra. This state reached its heyday between 500 and 700 AD, but in the middle of the 8th century, under the pressure of the neighboring state of the Thai peoples of Nanzhao, it lost its power. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Burma.
In the 9th century, the Burmese came from northwestern and southwestern China to the upper reaches of the Irrawaddy River (near the present city of Mandalay). In the 11th century they created their own state – Pagan, which existed for several centuries. The dominant religion of Pagan was a branch of Buddhism – Mahayana. Almost immediately, the Burmese began a war with the Mon state, gaining access to the sea as a result. They established contacts with the rulers of Ceylon and were active in trade. In the 12th century, Pagan concluded a peace treaty with the monks, according to which their lands were united. Now Pagan began to occupy the territory from the region of Rakhine in the west to the left bank of the Salween River in the east. In 1165, the Sinhalese army from Ceylon made a successful attack on the city of Pagan, but they did not settle here, they only spread their religion among the inhabitants – Theravada Buddhism, which became widespread among the Burmese. The Pagan state collapsed at the end of the 13th century due to numerous incursions by Mongol troops from China. After that, the Burmese settled in the city of Inwa, and the Mons settled in Bago. Inva and its environs were liberated from the Mongol conquerors at the beginning of the 14th century thanks to the efforts of the Shan princes. The Burmese Taungoo dynasty ascended the throne, the rulers of which at the end of the 16th century managed to reunite the country.
At the end of the 18th century, the Burmese began to establish trade relations with neighboring countries. They wanted to penetrate into Bengal, which at that time was a British colony, because of which, in 1824, Great Britain declared war on the Burmese. The desire to subjugate the country was fueled by the interest of the British in its natural resources, and already on February 26, 1886, during three bloody wars, it was declared part of the British Empire. Great Britain named the country Burma, divided it into two parts – Upper and Lower, and included it in British India as one of the provinces. In Burma, they began to grow rice for export, to extract and export oil. The British, Indians and Chinese received income from this, which caused discontent among the local population. This led to the strengthening of the national movement and uprisings began to break out in the country.
During the Second World War, the Burmese continued to fight for their full independence, in return promising the British to fight on their side, but they refused. During this time, the Japanese offered support to the Burmese nationalists in their struggle. In 1941, Japan declared war on Great Britain and in the same year launched an offensive against Burma. The invasion of Japanese troops into Burma in December 1941 and its occupation by June 1942 were accompanied by the destruction of the main cities and transport arteries, the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the aggravation of ethnic conflicts. Japan deceived the nationalists, but, having rallied their forces with the British, in August 1945 they defeated the Japanese army.
After the end of the war, the struggle for independence broke out again, which ended with the fact that on January 4, 1948, Burma became an independent republic. However, the country soon faced the problem of disagreements between the socialists and the communists, who did not want to make concessions to each other. Contradictions gave rise to discontent and uprisings and severely undermined the economy of Burma. In 1962, a military coup took place in the country, which was repeated in 1988. The predominantly military government pursued a tough policy in an effort to restore public order, they expelled all foreigners from the government and commercial structures, turning the country into one of the poorest countries in the region. In September 1988, power in the country was transferred to the State Peace and Development Council, which holds it to this day. In 1989, the military government changed the country’s name to the Union of Myanmar. Although Myanmar has held elections in recent decades that have been won by democratic parties, the military government refuses to give up power.