Periodical History of Myanmar
There were mainly 3 main well-known empires in the Myanmar History. The First Myanmar Empire was created by King Anawrahta of the Bagan Dynasty (1044-1077 AD). The Second Myanmar Empire was created by King Bayinnaung of the Taungoo Dynasty (1551-1581 AD). The Third Myanmar Empire was led by King Alaungpaya of the Konbaung Dynasty (1752-1760 AD). These three great kings were well-known in the Myanmar history for their bravery and good leadership. In 1885, King Thibaw, Queen Supaya Latt and the royal family were taken to Ratanagiri, India and Myanmar fell under the British Rule. Myanmar became a British Colony from 1885 until 1948. To see the History of Myanmar more clearly, the following Eras are divided.|
Humans lived in the region that is now Myanmar as early as 11,000 years ago. The first identifiable civilization is that of the Mon. The Mon probably began migrating into the area in about 3000 BC, and their first kingdom Suwarnabhumi, was founded around the port of Thaton in about 300 BC. Spoken tradition suggests that they had contact with Buddhism via seafaring as early as the 3rd century BC, though definitely by the 2nd century BC when they received an envoy of monks from Ashoka. Much of the Mon's written records have been destroyed through wars. The Mons blended Indian and Mon culture together in a hybird of the two civilizations. By the mid-9th century, they had come to dominate all of southern Myanmar.
The Pyu arrived in Myanmar in the 7th century and established city kingdoms at Binnaka, Mongamo, Sri Ksetra, and Halingyi. During this period, Myanmar was part of an overland trade route from China to India. Chinese sources state that the Pyu controlled 18 kingdoms and describe them as a humane and peaceful people. The Pyu capital of Halingyi fell to the kingdom of Nanchao in the mid-9th century, ending their period of dominance.
To the north another group of people, the Burmans began infiltrating the area as well. By 849, they had founded a powerful kingdom centered on the city of Pagan and filled the void left by the Pyu. The kingdom grew in relative isolation until the reign of Anawrahta (1044 - 77) who successfully unified all of Myanmar by defeating the Mon city of Thaton in 1057. Consolidation was accomplised under his successors Kyanzittha (1084-1112) and Alaungsithu (1112-1167), so that by the mid-12th century, most of Southeast Asia was under the control of either the Bagan Kingdom or the Khmer empire. The Bagan kingdom went into decline as more land and resources fell into the hands of the powerful sangha (monkhood) and the Mongols threatened from the north. The last true ruler of Bagan, Narathihapate (reigned 1254-87) felt confident in his ability to resist the Mongols and advanced into Yunnan in 1277 to make war upon them. He was thouroughly crushed at the Battle of Ngasaunggyan, and Bagan resistance virtually collapsed. The king was assassinated by his own son, but the dynasty was soon brought to an end in 1289, when the mongols installed a puppet ruler in Myanmar.
After the collapse of Bagan authority, Myanmar was divided once again. The Burmans had restablished themselves at the city of Inwa by 1364, where Bagan culture was revived and a great age of Burmese literature ensued. The kingdom lacked easily defendable borders, however, and was overrun by the Shan in 1527.
Surviors of the destruction of Inwa eventually established a new kingdom centered on Taungoo in 1531 led by Tabinshwehti (reigned 1531-50), who once again unified most of Myanmar. By this time, the geopolitical situation in Southeast Asia had changed drastically. The Shan gained power in a new kingdom in the North, Ayutthaya (Siam), while the Portugese had arrived in the south and conquered Malacca. With the coming of European traders, Myanmar was once again an important trading center, and Tabinshwehti moved his capital to Bago due to its commercial value. Tabinshwehti's brother-in-law, Bayinnaung (ruled 1551-81) succeeded to the throne and proceeded on a campaign of conquest conquering several states, including Manipur (1560) and even Ayutthaya (1569). His wars stretched Myanmar to the limits of its resources, however, and both Manipur and Ayutthaya were soon independant once again. Faced with rebellion by several cities and renewed Portugese incursions, the Tourngoo rulers withdrew from southern Myanmmar and founded a second dynasty at Inwa. Bayinnaung's grandson, Anaukpetlun, once again reunited Myanmar in 1613 and decisively defeated Portuguese attempts to take over Myanmar. His successor Thalun reestablished the priciples of the old Bagan kingdom, but spent too heavily on religious expenditure and paid to little attention to the southern part of his kingdom. Encouraged by the French in India, Bago finally rebelled against Inwa, further weakening the state, which fell in 1752.
It did not take long for a new dynasty to arise and bring Myanmar to its greates power yet. A popular Burmese leader named Alaungpaya drove the Bago forces out of northern Myanmar by 1753, and by 1759 he had once again conquered Bago and southern Myanmar while also regaining control of Manipur. He established his capital at Rangoon. In 1760, he briefly conquered Tenasserim and marched on Ayutthaya, but his invasion failed and he was killed. His son Hsinbyushin (ruled 1763-76) returned to Ayutthaya in 1766 and had conquered it before the end of the next year. Even China took notice of Myanmar now, but Hsinbyushin sucessfully repulsed four Chinese invasions between 1766 and 1769. Another of Alaungpaya's sons, Bodawpaya (ruled 1781-1819), lost Ayutthaya, but added Arakan (1784) and Tenasserim (1793) to the kingdom as well. In Jaunary 1824, during the reign of King Bagyidaw (ruled 1819-37), a general named Maha Bandula succeeded in conquering Assam, bringing Myanmar face to face with British interests in India.
In response to the continued conquests of Myanmar, the British and the Siamese joined forces against Myanmar in 1824. The First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-26) ended in a British victory, and by the Treaty of Yandaboo, Myanmar lost Assam, Manipur, Arakan, and Tenasserim. As the century wore on, the British began to covet the natural resources of Myanmar and wanted to secure their supply route to Singapore. As a result, they provoked the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852, annexing Bago province and renaming it Lower Burma. The war resulted in a revolution in Myanmar, with King Pagin Min (ruled 1846-52) being replaced by his half brother, Mindon Min (ruled 1853-78)). King Mindon tried to modernise the Burmese state and economy to resist British encroachments, and he established a new capital at Mandalay, which he proceeded to fortify. This was not enough to stop the Birtish, however, who claimed that Mindon's son Thibaw Min (ruled 1878-85) was a tyrant intending to side with the French and declared war once again in 1885, conquering the remainder of the country in the Third Anglo-Burmese War.
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