Instead, it was Indian workers who migrated to the country once it was under British rule, and competed with the local Burmese for jobs, lowering the standard of living in the country. Jstor. Armed only with swords and spears, Saya San's rebels were no match for British troops with machine guns. The civil service was largely staffed by Anglo-Burmese and Indians, and the ethnic Burmese were excluded almost entirely from military service, which was staffed primarily with Indians, Anglo-Burmese, Karens and other Burmese minority groups. Burma: The Curse of Independence. Burmese armed resistance continued sporadically for several years, and the British commander had to coerce the High Court of Justice to continue to function. The name 'Burma' was subsequently rejected upon independence by the ruling junta in favour of 'Myanmar' due to the former's colonial implication. For generations, British merchants, like their military and commercial rivals the French, had dealt with the Burmese; but this was peripheral trafficking by outsiders, only tolerated for their wares. The movement became known as Htaung thoun ya byei ayeidawbon (the '1300 Revolution' named after the Burmese calendar year),[11] and 20 December, the day the first martyr Aung Kyaw fell, commemorated by students as 'Bo Aung Kyaw Day'.[13]. Burma was made an independently administered colony in 1937. Though the final Anglo-Burma war officially ended after only a couple of weeks in 1985, resistance continued in northern Myanmar until 1890, with the British finally resorting to a systematic destruction of villages and appointment of new officials to finally halt the guerilla activity. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The last monarch, the cruel king Thibaw and his queen, were exiled to India: carried out of Mandalay in an oxcart. It spread to Mandalay leading to the formation of the All Burma Students Union (ABSU). However, these lands were sparsely populated, and therefore the lands were not exploited to reach their potential. Most hill stations we built on ridge tops. Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, The Irrawaddy, Myanmar Travel Information Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, burmalibrary.org, burmanet.org, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, NBC News, Fox News and various books and other publications. Book: Great Hill Stations of Asia by Barbara Crossette (Harper Collins/ Westview, 1998). This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. +, A new generation of Burmese leaders arose in the early twentieth century from amongst the educated classes that were permitted to go to London to study law. [Source: Wikipedia +], By the turn of the century, a nationalist movement began to take shape in the form of Young Men's Buddhist Associations (YMBA), modelled after the YMCA, as religious associations were allowed by the colonial authorities. Most of the hill stations were located above 6,000 feet because that seemed to be the ceiling of malaria-carrying mosquitos. Inside, however, the club was the pinnacle of imperialist attempts to replicate England in foreign lands. . The British immediately began exploiting the rich soil of the land around the Irawaddy delta and cleared away the dense mangrove forests. The British also brought in lots of Indians to Burma to perform labor, serve as clerks and run businesses. They were characterized by their English mother tongue, Christian religion, European lifestyle at home, Western clothes and employment in administration and service positions. Lasting for two years, the Galon rebellion, named after the mythical bird Garuda – enemy of the Nagas i.e. Large Indian communities still remain in Yangon and Mandalay. Here was one of the casualties of the nineteenth Century, knocked over by a momentum beyond its understanding. Myanmar was forced to cede Assam and other northern provinces. British rule in Burma lasted from 1824 to 1948, from the successive three Anglo-Burmese wars through the creation of Burma as a Province of British India to the establishment of an independently administered colony, and finally independence. The peasants of southern Myanmar had been dispossessed by Indian moneylenders, were burdened with heavy taxes, and were left penniless when the price of rice dropped in an economic depression. Upon arrival many went to their boat cabins and wept with shock and prayed for strength after seeing throngs of sweaty Indians naked except for their loincloths. Britain in part used Burma as a buffer zone between India and the rest of Asia. By some estimates more than 10,000 peasants were killed during it. For those tasked with seeing Myanmar culture brought to bended knee by any means necessary, anything beyond seemed the end of the world. The movement became known as Htaung thoun ya byei ayeidawbon (the '1300 Revolution' named after the Burmese calendar year), and 20 December, the day the first martyr Aung Kyaw fell, commemorated by students as 'Bo Aung Kyaw Day'. More ice please’”) gave him his first glimpse of the wars colonialism waged beyond its walls. Though war officially ended after only a couple of weeks, resistance continued in northern Burma until 1890, with the British finally resorting to a systematic destruction of villages and appointment of new officials to finally halt all guerrilla activity. [5], Another way in which the British controlled their new colony directly was through their implementation of a secular education system. Because of its location, with trade routes between China and India passing straight through the country, Burma was kept wealthy through constant trade, although self-sufficient agriculture was still the basis of the economy. The Burmese under the British rule felt helpless, and reacted with a "racism that combined feelings of superiority and fear." The founder of the line, Alaungpaya, emerged in 1752 as a national resistance leader against the Mons to the south. This massive move towards foreign trade hurt the Burmese economy initially because suddenly a large amount of their resources were being exported for Britain’s benefit, thereby taking with it the resources needed by the Burmese natives to continue living their lives as they had before colonisation. This humiliation paved the way for the extreme nationalist militarism that followed. [11], In December 1930, a local tax protest by Saya San in Tharrawaddy quickly grew into first a regional and then a national insurrection against the government. 1 March 2010. "An empire is primarily a money-making concern," wrote George Orwell, brilliantly skewering "the lie that we're here to uplift our poor black brothers rather than to rob them". Shooting an Elephant Burma under British Colonial Rule: A Repressed History. After three Anglo-Burma Wars (1825, 1852 and 1885) Burma was conquered and transformed into a British colony. Different portions of Burmese territories were annexed at different times. +, Finally, in order to control the country on the village level, the British implemented a “strategic hamlet” strategy in which they burned villages and uprooted families who had supplied villages with their headmen, sending them to lower Burma. Though war officially ended after only a couple of weeks, resistance continued in northern Burma until 1890, with the British finally resorting to a systematic destruction of villages and a… Aung San Suu Kyi's long and courageous campaign for democracy can be properly understood only against the backdrop of Burma's fractured past: three Anglo-Burmese wars, a century of exploitative British colonial rule, a brutal Japanese invasion, a remarkably peaceful transition to independence and a brief, unforgotten period of prosperity. Both these usages persist, and the national anthem still refers to "bama pyi." +, The Saya San rebellion gave the Thakin their chance. In Rangoon student protesters, after successfully picketing the Secretariat, the seat of the colonial government, were charged by the British mounted police wielding batons and killing a Rangoon University student called Aung Kyaw. Large numbers of Indians were brought in to work as civil servants, and Chinese were encouraged to immigrate and stimulate trade. The region under British control was known as British Burma. J. George Scott, an adventurer and explorer who spent a lot of time in northern Burma studying and recording the habits of the Shan, Padang, Palaung and Wa. Visitors were brought up the slopes in bullock cars, on horseback, or in sedan chairs. According to Thant Myint-U, Burma's foremost historian, the colonial experience fractured and divided Burmese society in a way that encouraged dictatorship, undermining institutions that had held the state together since the Middle Ages, leaving the country "adrift, suddenly pushed into the modern world without an anchor to the past". The second critical theme is to consider how the policing of colonial Burma might be assessed: how might success be determined. On a side-note, Burma was a free kingdom until British expansion came in. Despite this an independence movement emerged in … In Mandalay, the police shot into a crowd of protesters led by Buddhist monks killing 17 people. (See George Orwell's novel Burmese Days for a fictional account of the British in Burma.) At the same time, the monarchy was given legitimacy by the Buddhist organisation, and the “church” gave the public the opportunity to understand national politics to a greater degree. The British maintained control through 'divide and rule' tactics, setting Burma's various national minorities against each other. Although precious little profit trickled down to the Burmese, Burma boomed under British rule, becoming the largest rice exporter in the world, with teeming ports and busy railways. Web. +. British rule in Burma lasted from 1824 to 1948, from the successive three Anglo-Burmese wars through the creation of Burma as a Province of British India to the establishment of an independently administered colony, and finally independence. The British maintained control through 'divide and rule' tactics, setting Burma's … The rule is also called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India. The British made southern Burma into one of the world’s largest rice exporting regions and also exploited rubies and other products that they sold on the world market. "Myanmar." The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown on the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. And, finally, the crucial theme of race is approached as a respond to the question of how Burma became policed largely by foreign police and how the indigenous reacted to it. //\\, “Burma's tragedy, through every stage of British penetration from 1826 to 1948, was on the one hand to be self-centerd, traditionalist, conservative, desiring only to be left alone; and on the other hand to be so situated as to be exposed to external pressures which she was powerless to repulse. Many people died of malaria and death rates from cholera were also high. They had become a conquering race and feared no one on earth.” //\\, “On the British side, there was at first no wish to tackle Burma, a profoundly mysterious country, alleged to have a huge population, certainly able to raise great armies. Born on October 24, 1876, Saya San was a native of Shwebo, a center of nationalist-monarchist sentiment in north-central Myanmar that was the birthplace of the Konbaung (or Alaungpaya) dynasty, which controlled Myanmar from 1752 until the British annexation in 1886. Prominent among the political activists were Buddhist monks (hpongyi), such as U Ottama and U Seinda in the Arakan who subsequently led an armed rebellion against the British and later the nationalist government after independence, and U Wisara, the first martyr of the movement to die after a protracted hunger strike in prison. G.E. U Saw, a conservative pre-war Prime Minister of Burma, engineered the assassination of Aung San and several members of his cabinet including his eldest brother Ba Win, the father of today's National League for Democracy exile-government leader Dr Sein Win, while meeting in the Secretariat. The British named the country Burma in honor of the Burmans, the dominant ethnic group. Intermarriage between Europeans and Burmese gave birth to an indigenous Eurasian community known as the Anglo-Burmese who would come to dominate the colonial society, hovering above the Burmese but below the British. Though war of­fi­cially ended after only a cou­ple of weeks, re­sis­tance con­tin­ued in north­ern Burma until 1890, with the British fi­nally re­sort­ing to a sys­tem­atic de­struc­tion of vil­â€¦ "Myanmar (Burma) – Charles' George Orwell Links." British Rule In Burma [Harvey, G. E.] on Amazon.com. Journal of Southeast Asian History 10.2 (1969): 253–78. The Frontier Areas were inhabited by ethnic minorities such as the Chin, the Shan, the Kachin and the Karenni. [2] The campaign cost the British five million pounds sterling to 13 million pounds sterling (roughly 18.5 billion to 48 billion in 2006 US dollars)[3] that led to a severe economic crisis in British India in 1833.[4]. In order to prepare land for cultivation, farmers had to borrow capital from Indian moneylenders at high interest rates as the British banks wouldn’t grant mortgages. When George Orwell arrived in Burma in 1924, the Irrawaddy Delta was leading Burma's exports of over 3 million tons of rice - half the world's supply. Saya San (1876 and 1931) was the leader of the anti-British rebellion in 1930-32 that bore his name. If the British considered any Burmese to be criminals, they would act as both judge and jury, giving the Burmese no chance to a fair trial.+. Welcome to the CIA Web Site Central Intelligence Agency. Print. ~. The British colony of Burma was part of the British run-state in India, the Empire of India, from 1824 to 1937.Burma was separated from the rest of … The Burmese resented both the British and the Indian migrants, and staged guerilla warfare against the British army of occupation. [11][15] Shortly after, rebellion broke out in the Arakan led by the veteran monk U Seinda, and it began to spread to other districts. Thus, although the balance of trade was supposed to be in favour of Burma, the society was changed so fundamentally that many people did not gain from the rapidly growing economy. Despite the efforts of his lawyer, Ba Maw, he was sentenced to death in March 1931 and was hanged at Tharrawaddy jail. Thus, although the balance of trade was supposed to be in favour of Burma, the society was changed so fundamentally that many people did not gain from the rapidly growing economy.[5]. “Rank, wealth, and birth had no relevance,” wrote Wai Wai Myaing in A Journey in Time, a family memoir. The British ruled Burma as a part of India from 1919 until 1937. Founded in 1871, their original watering hole appears lost in time. The history of British intervention in Burma should be a source of considerable shame and just a little pride. Few of them spoke the language, and those who did, came with preconceptions gained in Lower Burma. They usually set up numerous primary schools and, if they were there long enough to get primary school graduates, a secondary school. The guerrillas were led by former army officers of the Royal Burmese Army as well as other former leaders (headmen, etc.). Hugh Tinker wrote in “The Union of Burma”: The British community in Burma was so small and the period of British rule so brief that no comparable Burma connection ever developed. [6] In 1852, the Second Anglo-Burmese War was provoked by the British who sought the teak forests in Lower Burma as well as a port between Calcutta and Singapore. This dilemma has contributed to a national frame of mind well known today for its determined preference for non-involvement and a "Burmese Way" in politics. History of Japan-Wikipedia. This massive move towards foreign trade hurt the Burmese economy initially because suddenly a large amount of their resources was being exported for Britain's benefit, thereby taking with it a lot of the resources needed by the Burmese natives to continue living their lives as they had before colonisation. Find … The delta region including Rangoon (Lower Burma) was annexed in 1852 after the Second Anglo-Burmese War. Under British rule, as a colony Burma was seen very much as a backwater. Discontent in British-Ruled Burma and the Beginning of the Nationalist Movement. The country had two codes of law, the Rajathat and Dammathat, and the Hluttaw, the centre of government, was divided into three branches—fiscal, executive, and judicial. [Source: Ben Macintyre, The Times, April 10, 2012]. The second university students strike in 1936 was triggered by the expulsion of Aung San and Ko Nu, leaders of the Rangoon University Students Union (RUSU), for refusing to reveal the name of the author who had written an article in their university magazine, making a scathing attack on one of the senior university officials. Burma achieved independence from British rule on 4 January 1948. [Hugh Tinker, The Union of Burma, Oxford University Press 1937, ch.XII. London, Faber and Faber [1946] (DLC)a 46005569 (OCoLC)2294585: Material Type: Document, Internet resource: Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File: All Authors / Contributors: G E Harvey. The First Anglo-Burmese War arose from friction between Arakan in western Burma and British-held Chittagong to the north. The first run of the P&O steamer around the Cape of Good Hope took 91 days to to travel from Southhampton, England to Calcutta, with eight days spent taking in coal. It was not practical for supplying water, especially when trees were cut down and ground water levels drops. J. S. Furnivall, "Burma, Past and Present". [Source: Wikipedia +], A wave of strikes and protests that started from the oilfields of central Burma in 1938 became a general strike with far-reaching consequences. The "Frontier Areas", also known as the "Excluded Areas" or the "Scheduled Areas", compose the majority of states within Burma today. Resistance to colonial rule was savagely put down. In Mandalay, the police shot into a crowd of protesters led by Buddhist monks killing 17 people. When the British conquered Pegu (now Bago) in 1852, they did so, according to one rather biased report, “in what may be called dashing style, while exposed to the fierce rays of a burning sun”. [Source: Myanmar Travel Information], Ben Macintyre wrote in The Times, “Like every country, Burma is a product of its history, in which Britain played a defining role, sometimes for better, mostly for worse. They were later superseded by the General Council of Burmese Associations (GCBA) which was linked with Wunthanu athin or National Associations that sprang up in villages throughout Burma Proper. the British – emblazoned on the pennants the rebels carried, required thousands of British troops to suppress along with promises of further political reform. Encyclopædia Britannica. //\\, Before the British colonisation the ruling Konbaung Dynasty practised a tightly centralised form of government. While the Burmese economy grew, all the power and wealth remained in the hands of several British firms and migrants from India. Way this country’s going, you know. Progressive constitutional reform in the early 1920s led to a legislature with limited powers, a university and more autonomy for Burma within the administration of India. +, Burma was grafted onto India despite the incompatibility of India and the Burmese heartland, which lacked a "Burma lobby" to explain it in Britain. Web. But rationales aside, the fact remains that the archives of the British colonial rule in Burma remain largely untapped and the violence of the British efforts to annex Burma and to maintain rule there, is only recently becoming researched and documented. British administration sought to try Aung San and other members of BIA for treason and collaboration with the Japanese. Though war officially ended after only a couple of weeks, resistance continued in northern Burma until 1890, with the British finally resorting to a systematic destruction of vil… [11] After the war ended, the British Governor, Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith returned. The annexed territories were designated the minor province (a Chief Commissionership), British Burma, of British India in 1862. Burma achieved independence from British rule on 4 January 1948. However, in order to prepare the new land for cultivation, farmers were forced to borrow money from Indian moneylenders called chettiars at high interest rates and were often foreclosed on and evicted losing land and livestock. The ambivalent feelings of the protagonist in "Shooting an Elephant" … Widespread support for Saya San betrayed the precarious and unpopular position of British rule in Myanmar. Many dropped dead in the first six months from cholera, malaria, heatstroke, small pox, cobra bites or accidents. Rice, which was in high demand in Europe, especially after the building of the Suez Canal in 1869, was the main crop grown in and exported out of Myanmar. [11], From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core, Photograph of the arrival of British forces in Mandalay on 28 November 1885 at the end of the, Vegetable stall on the roadside at the Madras Lancer Lines, Mandalay, January 1886. [14] Lord Mountbatten realised that a trial was an impossibility considering Aung San's popular appeal. ", The primary activity of missionaries was setting up schools. Most Burmans provided labor for the Burmese export economy. Save up to 80% by choosing the eTextbook option for ISBN: 9781472589750, 1472589750. Other wasted away more slowly from syphilis, exotic jungle diseases and doctors who treated cholera with a red hot iron on the heel. Most of the British residents In India-Burma were male. British rule in Burma lasted from 1824 to 1948, from the Anglo-Burmese Wars through the creation of Burma as a province of British India to the establishment of an independently administered colony, and finally independence. – an interview with Gen. Kyaw Zaw", https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-, http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/35/4035-004-4ECC016C.gif, http://www.netcharles.com/orwell/articles/col-burma.htm, http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/4729301/Cite, https://infogalactic.com/w/index.php?title=British_rule_in_Burma&oldid=3778267, Pages using duplicate arguments in template calls, Former country articles using status text with Colony or Exile, States and territories established in 1824, States and territories disestablished in 1948, Pages using infobox former country with unknown parameters, Pages using infobox country or infobox former country with the flag caption or type parameters, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2007, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, About Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core. “The color of the skin was the only feature that mattered.” By 1910 the Pegu Club boasted 350 members, 25 of whom lived on-site. Ba Maw became the first Prime Minister and Premier of Burma; he was notable for his advocating of Burmese self-rule and his opposition to Burma’s participation in WWII. Two famous nationalist monks, U Ottama and U Wizaya, died in a British prison and are revered to this day. Web. 18 February 2010. The outbreak of the war with the Central Powers in August 1914 was greeted enthusiastically by the colonial population in the British colony of Burma, at the time a province of India.Although Burma was not on the frontline, it did play a role in the hostilities and the war had a significant impact on the country in both the short and long terms. As scholars have pointed out, popular histories of Burma largely center on the Japanese invasion of 1941-42 and … The British ruled Burma as a part of India from 1919 until 1937. Kipling's view of Burma was acquired in the aftermath of that surrender, and must be understood in the light of preceding historical events, today largely forgotten. +, At the same time, thousands of Indian labourers migrated to Burma and, because of their willingness to work for less money, quickly displaced the Burmese farmers, who instead began to take part in crime, giving themselves a bad reputation. Both astounded him. To increase the production of rice, many Burmese migrated from the northern heartland to the delta, shifting the population concentration, and changing the basis of wealth and power. In 1920 the first university students' strike in history[citation needed] broke out in protest against the new University Act which the students believed would only benefit the elite and perpetuate colonial rule. By the turn of the century, a nationalist movement began to take shape in the form of Young Men's Buddhist Associations (YMBA), modelled after the YMCA, as religious associations were allowed by the colonial authorities. The Empire of Japan invaded Burma in 1942; this continued through 1943, when the State of Burma was proclaimed in Rangoon. But the British effected the Third Anglo-Burmese War, which lasted less than two weeks during November 1885. In Rangoon student protesters, after successfully picketing the Secretariat, the seat of the colonial government, were charged by the British mounted police wielding batons and killing a Rangoon University student called Aung Kyaw. Wikipedia +], With the arrival of the British, the Burmese economy became tied to global market forces and was forced to become a part of the colonial export economy. There were further strikes and anti-tax protests in the later 1920s led by the Wunthanu athins. The Burmese export economy was hit hard by the world depression in the 1930s. Burma is sometimes referred to as "the Scottish Colony", due to the heavy role played by Scotsmen in colonising and running the country, one of the most notable being Sir James Scott, and the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. The eventual trial of Saya San, who was executed, allowed several future national leaders, including Dr Ba Maw and U Saw, who participated in his defence, to rise to prominence. When the British began their imperial take on Burma, the colony was immediately thrown into a world of exportation in which they had not ever been exposed to before colonisation by the British. In his book Ornamentalism; How the British Saw Their Empire the historian David Cannadine said British empire had its roots in transplanting the British class system abroad not on racial pride and argues the whole thing was kind of as show. [11], Then a momentous event stunned the nation on 19 July 1947. Thakin Nu, the Socialist leader, was now asked to form a new cabinet, and he presided over Burmese independence on 4 January 1948. British rule in Burma lasted from 1824 to 1948, from the successive three Anglo-Burmese wars through the creation of Burma as a Province of British India to the establishment of an independently administered colony, and finally independence. To reap the rewards to dine in 1922 became more self-sufficient and insular... Separation of religion and state to reap the rewards ] Lord Mountbatten realised that a trial an! Was hanged at Tharrawaddy jail any means necessary, anything beyond seemed the end of the monarchy a local who. After ball, each followed by a momentum beyond its walls which has always... King Thibaw and his armies routed labor, serve as clerks and run businesses the new colony of Upper was! Did n't last long enough to get primary school graduates, a secondary school won with belief! 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