Myanmar History

Myanmar History

Burma or Myanmar. Officially Republic of the Union of Myanmar, it is one of the countries of Southeast Asia. It shares its northern borders with China and its eastern borders with Laos and Thailand ; to the west are India, Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal. The south of the country is bathed by the waters of the Andaman Sea. Naypyidaw is the capital city of Myanmar according to itypemba.

The history of Myanmar begins with the invasion of four thousand years ago more people from China, Tibet, Laos and, to a lesser extent, India.

During the Middle and Modern Ages, successive dynasties and kingdoms took turns in power, while maintaining intermittent wars with mainly Chinese, Tibetans and Thais.

In the second half of the 19th century, the former Myanmar became part of the British Empire and changed its name to Burma, or Burma in Spanish. The English will stay in Burma until a few years after World War II, in which the country suffered the invasion of the Japanese

Since independence, Burma has undergone brief democratic periods, always aborted by military coups, the last of which, in 1990, prevented the woman, Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won free elections by overwhelming majority, from coming to power. Daughter of the father of the country’s independence, in 1991 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, while serving house arrest.

Old age

The pyu

During the first centuries of our Era there was a second wave of immigration: the Pyu, who founded a capital around the 7th century very close to the current Pyay (Prome) and other cities of importance in the central plain and plateau between the 1st century and the X, in Sri Ksetra and Hanlin, mainly.

The Pyu were peoples who came mainly from Central Asia and, although it seems that they were the most advanced of the entire wave of invaders from the north, they never settled in the richest areas of the country for their rice crops, where the Burmese civilization.

The Pyu are the first to leave written testimonies of their culture, which were deciphered from the discovery of an inscription in the Myazedi Pagoda in Pali, Mon, Pyu and Burmese from the year 1113.

The Pyu kingdom had a strong Indian cultural influence, like almost all the Southeast Asian civilizations the Khmer in Cambodia. The kingdom of Funan in southern Cambodia and Vietnam ; Sri Vijaya in Sumatra, practiced Hinduism and Buddhismin their two forms, Mahayana and Hinayana. Stelae with inscriptions have even been found that reveal a syncretism of both religions. Likewise, the structures of their stupas, with domes in the shape of a warhead, suggest an influence of the Indian temples of the State of Orissa, as well as the remains of some fortification, the foundations, rather and of the civil buildings.

The Mon

Almost in the same period, mon began to colonize the south of the Delta of the Ayeyarwady and came to Thailand and Cambodia, where they founded a major city could become the capital city of the kingdom. In the 8th century, the conquest of large territories by the Mon, marked the beginning of the decline of the Pyu kingdom, which was accentuated with the sacking of the capital by Chinese forces from Yunnán, who took thousands of prisoners.

The Mon spoke a language similar to Khmer from Cambodia and Cham from Vietnam. In the opinion, the monks that the great emperor Indian Asoka sent to Burma to spread Buddhism in the second century before Christ.

The Mon reached a high artistic level, especially in fields such as sculpture, where once again they reflected an important influence from India, the mother, along with China, of almost all the civilizations in this area of the world. Thus, legalistic Sanskrit inscriptions have also been found on Mon stelae in Thailand. As for architecture, the few remains that remain indicate that they used mainly brick.

The Pagan kingdom

The Burmese knew their greatest height during the kingdom of Pagan, present-day Bagan, which could have been founded around the middle of the 9th century on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, although legend places it in the 11th century, and around it was instituted in 1044 the Burma’s first unified kingdom under the power of King Anawrahta, who held it until his death in 1077.

The fusion of the Bagan and Mon cultures brought the kingdom to a time of phenomenal splendor, with the flourishing of Theravada Buddhism and the construction of fantastic pagodas and civil buildings. Anawratha developed the irrigation systems, turning large areas of the center of the country into a veritable barn.

Among the artistic achievements, it seems that the greatest that can be attributed to Kyanzittha is the construction of the Ananda Pagoda, one of the greatest wonders that can be admired today in a very good state of preservation in Bagan. The payment to the architect was his execution before finishing the work, perhaps so that he could not make another one that could rival in beauty. The king also ordered that a living child be buried in the temple, to become a guardian nat of the temple.

This king was to face the threat posed by the end of Pagan, the Mongols of Kublai Khan. After their annexation of the Chinese region bordering Yunnan with Burma, the descendants of Genghis Khan demanded payment of tributes to Pagan. In response, Narathihapate sent a friendly message to Beijing ; But Kublai Khan counterattacked by sending an embassy demanding the dispatch of a group of princes and ministers, perhaps to negotiate, or perhaps, as the Burmese king must have thought, to take them hostage, so Narathihapate ordered the execution of the members sent by the Mongol Emperor.

Mongol invasion

The Toung dynasty

In 1287 the kingdom of Pagan falls under the Tartar or Mongol hordes of Kublai Khan, who invade Burma from the Yunnan region of China.

Previously, in 1277 the Burmese had attacked the Mongol vassal state of Kaungai and they sent a first expedition of Tartars who defeated the Shes pagans in a battle described by Marco Polo in the Book of Wonders.

Six years later, Kublai Khan’s forces took Pagan and King Narathihapate fled to Bassein, present-day Pathein. From there the king tried to sign an agreement with the Mongols that would establish a Chinese protectorate in Pagan, but was poisoned in 1287 by one of his sons on his way to seal the agreement in Pagan. Another son of the former king, Kyawswa, ascended the throne in Pagan. but in reality, more than a puppet king of the Mongols, he became practically a governor of a province of the Chinese Empire.

The third Toung monarch, Bayinnaung (1551 – 1581), Tabinshwehti’s brother-in-law, succeeded in establishing a more or less unified state of some power. Between 1556 and 1559, he took the northern region from the Thais to Bhamo and from the east to Luang Prabang (Laos) and Chiang Mai (Thailand), a city that would remain a vassal of the Burmese until the end of the 18th century.

King Thalun moved the capital in 1635 from Pegu to Ava, near Mandalay, resulting in commercial and diplomatic isolation from the Burmese court. From the end of the 17th century, mountain tribes of different ethnic groups frequently plundered the central plain of the country.



It existed in the Central Plain from the first centuries of this Era. Its first capital, until the 5th century, was Beikhtano near Magwe]], followed by Hanlin (3rd – 9th century and Thayekhittaya, near Pyay, until the 10th century.


Emerged around the Ayeyarwady delta, to expand south to Thailand and Cambodia. From the first centuries of the Ristiana era until the 10th its capital was Thaton and until the 16th, Hanthawady.


It appears in the middle of the 9th century from the foothills of the Himalayas. Their capitals were: Bagan, Sagaing, Inwa, Taungoo, Prome (Pyay) ([[Toung Dynasty, 16th century), Shwebo (18th century), Konbaung (18th-19th century), Mandalay (19th century).


He reigned on the west coast, in present-day Rakhine in three different periods: Dhannavati, from centuries before ne and the fourth century. Vesali, from the middle of the 4th century to the middle of the 8th century. Mrauk U, between 1430 and 1785.


Between 1364 and 1555, with capital in Ava.

Wars with the British Empire

At the beginning of the 19th century, the province of Arakan, on the border with Bengal, started an independence movement that suffocated the Burmese leader Baha Mandula in the territory of the current Indian state of Assam, which led to the intervention of the English and the outbreak of the First War. Anglo-Burmese.

This conflict lasted between 1824 and 1826 and made it easier for the British to control the areas of Arakan and Tenasserim, on both sides of the Yangon Delta.

In 1852 the Second Anglo-Burmese War occurred and resulted in the annexation by the English of the rest of the delta]]. Finally, in 1885 Mandalay also fell into the clutches of the British Empire, which was taking over the entire country after using pretexts based on false attacks by the Burmese army on its troops.

Colonial period

With the conquest of the entire country, Myanmar was baptized Burma by the invaders and became part of British India. The colonial authorities imported thousands of workers from the Indian subcontinent, most of whom settled in the Yangon and Delta area and whose descendants can be seen today in the same constituency.

In the thirty years of the twentieth century to the heat of the pro- independence nationalism Indian began to emerge in Burma moves anticolonial such as Young Buddhists Association, and in 1937 the British were forced to create a colonial administration to Burma, as they called it, separate from India.

The Second World War

In the years before the outbreak of World War II, Burma had already become the world’s leading rice exporter, with 3 million tons per year. At the same time, out of the nationalist movement had emerged the Burmese Independence Army (BIA), which supported the Japanese invasion in 1942.

Faced with the Japanese advance, the Anglo-Indian and Chinese troops had to withdraw quickly to their respective territories and Japan declared Burma’s independence, while sponsoring the creation of the Burmese National Army (BNA) under the leadership of Bogyoke Aung San., father of independence and of the Nobel Peace Prize arrested many years later by the military government.

However, this movement quickly turned against the Japanese and morphed into the Anti-Fascist League of People’s Freedom.

Myanmar History