The Kingdom of Burma
Project: The Kingdom of Burma
Author: Lem Chuck Moth
Started date: April/01/2010
Last updated: August/30/2015
All right reserved.
Since this paper is still drafted, the readers would be advised to ignore any context errors. The content is not final and subjected to be reviewed.
Up to the time that the Glass Palace Chronicle was compiled in 1829, Pugarama had been referenced as the official name of the Mon country (Ramanadesa). Pugarama of which Pukam and Puma were two derivatives became the official name of the union of the Shan Maw Country (Puga) and Ramandesa (Rama). As we had argued, it was conceived under the Angkorean control when freedom of religious belief had been reinstated back for the Ari Monks. As well as Hinayana Buddhism was reinforced, evidences also show that Bramahnism was also reverred. Consistent with their Brahmanic background, the Angkorean commissioners to the court of Pagan were seen actively resuscitating back the Brahmanic legacy of Upper Burma. Of its origin, we had argued that Brahmanism dated back since the antiquity when Chinese sources referred Hiong-wang (Varadhana in Sanskrit) as the very first kingdom known in the history of Southeast Asia. Also known as the country of Brahmans, Varadhana represented the forefront of the Khmer Kingdom of Prey Nokor that became later the progenator of the Angkorean Empire. Among two of its original states were Srasvati and Manipura, respectively known as the countries of the small and the big Brahmans, to stay as a legacy of Burma until modern days (The Man Race: Nokor Phnom: The Countries of Brahmans). During the Mongols' incursion, Kublai Khan brought the Mien (Yao) migrants down to administer the new conquered territory of Upper Burma and changed the name of the country to Cheng-Mien. After the fall of the Mongols, the new generation of Burmese kings who were descended from the Three Shan Brothers, furthermore extended theirs ancestors' campaigns in reverting the country back to past legacy of Brahmana (in short Burma or Pagan) that became since an official name of Pugarama to stay until the British colonization.
Burma from the European Source
The first European acquaintance of Burma happened perhaps after the fabulous records of Marco Polo was published and made available to the general public. Even though they were astonished at first, the readers would find in the records geographical knowledge about the east at the time. Referred as the country of the Mien, Burma has accounts presented in the records more than any other Southeast Asian countries. The account of fighting against the mighty Mongol army, in particular, must to generate high interests to Western public that secured Burma to be current in the mainstream circulation of educated societies. Appearing first in the Catalan European map in 1375, Burma' s interest attracted more western travelers to visit the country. The first among them was Nicolo di Conti who came to visit Burma around 1420-1444 (BMar2: The Mon Hegemony: P. 36). He toured Burma as part of his trip to Arakan and called the country Machin (BMar2: The coming of the European: P. 49). A corruption of Maha Chin, the term applied in India to all land east of the Ganges. The reference was by all means referring to Manipura which in ancient past was known as Ta-tsin (The Man Race: Nokor Phnom: The countries of Brahmans). This reference moreover suggests a close relationship between Burma and Manipura during and after the Mongol' s incursion. It also confirms Marco Polo' s account that Burma fought, during its first fight with the Mongol army, in a close alliance with Bengal. Our study further proves that the close alliances of the Shan Maw country (known also as Muang Pukha), the new Burmese state (known also as Pagan), and Manipura (Known also as Vanga), had been established prior to the Mongol' s invasion.
THE PAST LEGACIES
In the exception for the Southern Mon Country, the Burmese heritage remained strong in the rest of Ramanadesa that enabled the Three Shan Brothers to regroup Upper Burma in a short time. The foundation of Ava became then a symbolic move to build a strong political center of the north in the attempt to consolidate back the whole of Pugarama with the south (BMar: Ava 1287-1555: Shan Migration). Economic factor however created political backdrop that set the two communities apart from each other. To make the matter worst, British interference made the unification' s effort even more difficult. The Mon of Hamsavati and the Burmese court of Upper Burma had to settle their difference through military campaigns.
The Shan and Manipura' s Legacy
When the Angkorean court took control of Ramandesa, it was the Sri Vijayan leadership that had its turn to control of the Shan country. Changes were then expected as Jayavarman VII anointed his guru Mangalavarman to take care of both Rajapati and the new annexed Pagan courts. Ramandesa was then absorbed along with the Shan Maw country into becoming the Khmer Cakravatin Empire' s northwestern cardinal state (Nokor Thom: Ramandesa as a dependency of Angkor: The dependency of Ramandesa). Evidences show that the ancient Brahmanic legacy was then resuscitaded by the Angkorean court to set Pagan and the rest of the Ramandesa country into becoming part of a new Burma. As referred in the records of Marco Polo, the Mongol incursion induced furthermore dynamic change to the country. Under the Mongolian control, refugees from Central Asia soon migrated in making Upper Burma becoming the Kingdom of the Mien . Coupled with the southern expansion of the Tai cultural development done under the initiative of the Mongols, the Mien migration (along with the expansion of the Shan Maw country by the Angkorean Empire) was what scholars mistakenly referred in their Tai migration theory the establishment of the Tai communities in the Shan country. On the same thought, we also argued that the Mien dominance over northern Shan and upper Burma was due primary to the Mongolian control over Yunnan. Under the Mongol' s initiation, the Tai pact was formed by Mangrai and Ramakamheang to include King Gnam Muang of Phyao whom we had identified as Kyowswar II or his son Kumarakassapa (The Lanna State: The Mongolian connection: Pa-pai-si-fu and King Kiozwa II). While the two Siamese rulers were actively promoting the Tai culture down south, the Burmese King Kyoswar was seen more involving with the Mien communities of upper Burma. In the Yunnan Chronicle, Kyoswar II himself was presented as the Chief Mien and that his dominion was presented in the chronicle as the Kingdom of the Mien. Like Lanna and Sokhodaya that were formed and expanded under the Mongols suzerainty, the Kingdom of the Mien (Tcheng-Mien) was formed by the Great Khan' s initiative on Angkorean territories that were under the Mongols' control. At the start, it included upper Burma and some part of Rajapati that were wrested by the Mongols during theirs early attack on Pagan. The phenomenon was later misinterpreted by some scholars as the result of Tai migration from the Tai-Yuan country into the Shan and other Siam countrie. In fact, it was the spreading of the Tai Culture that was conducted under the Mongol' s initiative (SHL: Chapter II, Some earlier Shans: P. 15). On the other hand, the kingdom of the Mien that was apparently formed by the Mien migration down south was having just a short live. The withdraw of the Yuan court from Rajapati in 1303 gave the three Shan brothers the opportunity to reform Burma according to the past Buddhist consortium of Angkor. After the death of his eldest brother Athinkaya, Thihathu crowned himself in 1309 and went on consolidating Upper Burma in 1310. He chose Pinya as his residence where his descendants continued to reign until 1364 and named his new capital Vijayapura (Notes: The Legacy of Vijayapura). The establishment of Pinya, as we shall see, resulted in the formation of the Medieval Burma as a kingdom that retained its legacy until modern days. According to Burmese source, Thihathu reigned with the last queen of Kyozwa and dedicated the throne to her son who was the only legal heir left from the last Pagan court. Perhaps because of personal attachment or a solemn duty toward the ancient royal house of Pagan, Tihathu continued to stay in background and dedicated the rest of his life trying to resuscitate back the Pagan court. His commitment however was not shared by the rest of his family who saw the old court of Pagan as not worthy of their support. Circumstances moreover gave them plenty of opportunities to carry on their own ambition. In 1315, one of Thihathu' s sons named Athinkhaya went to establish himself at Sagain from which he extended his dominion toward the north and the west. His establishment was particularly successful, partly because of the support received from the Barma communities of the Ari monks. Themselves belonging to the Brahmanic cast, the Three Shan Brothers were seen as the reviver of the Burmese legacies. Not only that Athinkhaya accepted support from the Ari communities, he also resuscitated back the Brahmanic communities of the ancient Barma tradition of Tagaung. It is not surprising that he received a strong support from both the Shan country and Arakan. Their rallying would give a boost to the start-up Sargain royal house that was going to resuscitate back, at least as it meant to be, the lost legacy of Angkor. Unfortunately, this un-parallel development would create friction between Sagain and Pinya and Tihathu was seen doing the best he could to sustain peace and order between the two. After his death, rivalry broke free and the two antagonist powerhouses fought in the open. During the next unfolding of Burma history, we shall see the interference of the southern Mon countries as well as of the two distant relatives of Rajapati and of Arakan to join into the conflict.
The Legacy of Ramandesa or the Mon Country
The history of Ramanadesa started when Anuruddha took the advantage of the dynastic crisis between the Chola and the Sri Vijaya to regroup the Mon countries into a new power house of Southeast Asia (The Ramana Desa: The Angkorean connection: The Shan Yun and the Shan Maw). After helping Srey Langka to restore back the Hinayana Buddhism, he started a campaign of his own to launch Theravada Buddhism as the state' s religion. Blaming the destruction of Buddhism by the rise of the orthodox Vishnuism of South India, he started on a cleansimg program against Brahmanism as well. Seeing the practices of the Ari Monks becoming more and more , Anurudhha banned their practices altogether. By doing so, Anuruddha has brought a very long tradition of upper Burma to an end (Notes: Anuruddha as a Burmese). After his death, his successor Kyanzetha brought in the back that stayed in the Mon court during the rest of his descendant'reign. Still claiming themselves as Buddhist, they nevertheless presented themselves as Ramana Kings and continued to ban Brahmanismk. In close connection with South India, they were less concerned with the Mon population who were devout Buddhist. To make the matter worst, they started conducting the Mon court in a political conflict with Srey Langka and subsequently with Angkor. Historical records moreover indicates a degrading trend of moral code that was taking hold of the Mon court ever since. After the depart of the chief monk Panthagu for Sri Langka, conflict erupted between the Mon country with both the Buddhist states Angkor and Ceylon. The raids by Srey Langka that resulted in the fall of Hamsavati under the Angkorean control, brought changes to the corrupted court of Pagan and to Ramanadesa ' s cultural base as a whole (Nokor Thom: The Dependency of Ramanadesa: The Last of the Ramana Country). As well as Hinayana Buddhism was restored, evidences also show that Brahmanism was resuscitated and reintroduced back at least into the upper class of the new Burmese society. Centered at the city of Arimaddanapur that changed its name to Pagan, Upper Burma extended its western expansion over the rest of the Shan countries. Under the Puga' s court of Rajapati, Pagan was in the process of making more contact with the Barma' s legacy of the past through the extension of its territory over Vanga and Manipura. It is consistent with the fact that Brahmanic communities of Pagan was seen later flourishing and made their way into the Angkorean court (Nokor Thom: The new development of the Shan Country: Jayavarman VII anointed his Guru as Rajapatindra). Evidences show that the Three Shan Brother who, as we had argued, were members of the delegation from the Angkorean Court, continued on strenghtening the Burmese tradition on the next generation of the Pagan court. The Mongol' s incursion, on the other hand, stripped the southern Mon countries from the court of Pagan into the control of Wareru, the son in law of Ramakamheang. After the fighting between the family lines of Makatho or Wareru with the local Mon ruler Tarabya ended, the two families merged to share the court of Hamsavati that was to become still the capital of the medieval Mon country. Under this restriction, Martaban as well as Pegu was political disconnected from Upper Burma. After the falling court of Pagan failed in capturing southern Mon countries back under its control, the Mon people was separated between the control of Pegu and Pagan. The split gave the last impression that the Mon and the Burmese people were two distain people of different ethnic background. After the withdrawal of the Mongols, the youngest of the three brothers Thihathu resuscitate the last of the Pagan' s legacies at Pinya while one of his sons, Athinkaya, went out to establish his own venture at Sagain. Unfortunately, the two kingdoms were locked into an intense fighting in the attempts to become the sole sovereign of Upper Burma giving the Mon King Razadarit (1385-1423) the opportunity to launch his own campaign to unify Burma. Facing the Mon attack, the two Burmese contenders managed to end their feud and formed an alliance to fight against the Mon court of Pegu. In response to the Burmese threat, the Mon also consolidated their power under Pegu and focused on fighting against the new emerging Burmese royal house of Taungoo. At the time, The Mon court was fighting against the Utong' s court of Ayudhya for the control of Tenassarim. Having to fight in two fronts, Pegu lost its effectiveness and subsequently lost most of its fight against the north. After many failed attempts, the Taungoo Dynasty managed to subdue Hamsavati in 1539 and established for the first time its control of the south. From then on, Pegu was consecutively overran and was finally drawn under subordination of Ava for the rest of its existence.
The Restoration of the Burmese Heritage
Amid all the fighting, a new leader emerged to stabilize Upper=Burma and at the same time unified the broken factions of Burmese royal houses. His name was Thadominbya and according to Burmese source, was a son of a notable who claimed to descend through his father side from Pyusawti lineage of the ancient Tagaung. He also claimed to be connected to the Three Shan Brothers through his mother side. After abandoning Sagaing and Pinya, he (Thadominbya) moved his court to Ava which enable him to build upper Burma into a unified kingdom again. He died in 1368 without a heir and his next successor, Swa Sawke, was also picked from the same background of combined lineage of ancient Burmese Kingship and the Three Shan Brothers (Notes: The Ancestors of Swa Sawke). Continuing the policy of his predecessor, he extended Ava' s domination down into the Irrawadi Basin. In the drive against the southern Mon royal houses, the new Burmese court disintegrated. Ava was destroyed but Swa Sawke survived the attack and succeeded to retake once again Ava under his control. Chinese sources claim that Swa Sawke received help from Yunnan and ascended the throne of Ava with Chinese recognition. At his death at 1401, his heir-apparent was himself murdered by his own guru and Ava was once again faced with internal crisis. One of Swa Sawke' s sons with a village maiden, named Minkhaung was elected as the next king. His eldest son, Minye Kyoswa, was named as the crown princes in 1406. Until he was killed in combat, Minye Kyoswa relentlessly fought along side his father against the Mon countries. After the death of Minkhaung, his younger son Tihathu took the throne. Judging from their title, we see a reunion of the family line from the late Kyoswa king of Pagan and the youngest of the Three Brothers, Tihathu back in the politic of Ava. In contrast to Kyoswa who openly declared himself as the enemy of the Mons, Tihathu was quoted trying to make a friendly reconciliation with the southern Mon court. Along with the lost of prosperity of Pinya and the Ngam Muang court at Rajapati, the last legacy of Ramandesa went into decline. At the contrary, the Burmese legacy of Sagain was taking on the lead (Notes: The Rise of Burma). The formation of Sagain allowed the revival of the Burmese legacy back in the mainstream of the Irrawadi Valley. Taking control over Ava, the Sagain court was able to consolidate its strength and made its move to take control of the South. Still, Sagain was not strong enough yet to challenge the well established Peguan court. Even though failing to accomplish its purpose, the campaign was contributing to the birth of a stronger dynasty that was going to surpass the southern Mon royal house. Another interference, involving a conflict between the contemporary court of the Shan Maw and the Ming court of China would test Ava of its ancestral loyalty. In reorganizing Yunnan as a province of China, the Ming took Muong Yang as part of Yunnan and drove the fallen court of King Ngam Mouamg to take refuge at Ava (The Lao Kingdom of Lang-xang: The Last of Rajapati: The lost Legacy of Muang Yang). Upon request, Ava handed over the fleeing king Ngam Muang and his son to the Chinese court. The betrayal had triggered a bad sentiment between the two courts and revenge from the part of Rajapati soon followed. To avenge his father, a surviving son of the king Ngam Muang brought up an army to attack Ava. Nevertheless, Ava stayed to become the seat of the next long las6ting Taungoo Dynasty of Burma. Considered by scholars as the first true dynasty of Burma, the Dynasty was founded by King Mingyinyo (1486-1531) after the decline of the Ava dynasty in 1510. By making alliance with the ancient ruling houses of northern Shan Countries and Arakan, which according to some sources had strong connection to the third Ashoka' s son Piao-sui-ti, the Taungoo Dynasty went on eclipsing the Mon court of Hamsavati. The dynasty received its name from the place where it was formed, far up the Sittang River south of Ava. Its foremost achievement was undeniably accomplished during the reigns of Tabinshwehti (1531-1550) who succeeded in reunifying the Burmese Empire for the first time after it was broken down by the Mongols' s incursion. Following the footstep of his predecessor, Tabinshwehti consolidated his power by pushing southward toward the southern Mon country. He succeeded to overrun the Irrawaddy Delta region and captured the Mon capital of Pegu. The next of the Tabinshwehti' s exploits was the conquest of Ayudhya. Due to the run-out of supply, he failed in his first attempt but his attack had paved the way for his successors to launch many more attacks on the Siam countries. Back in his home town, a member of the Mon' s court had been preparing for his assassination. Tabinshwehti was murdered in 1550 leaving the Tountgoo throne unattended. When his brother-in-law and long time partner-in-arm Bayinnaung had made an attempt to ascend the throne, the Burmese chiefs of Taungoo and Prome refused to accept his authority. In the mid of a total chaos, Bayinnaung had to use force to get himself to the Taungoo' s throne. At the mean time, the Mon assassin of Tabinshwehti returned home as a hero. After ascending the Peguan throne, he declared himself independent from Taungoo.
THE AVA KINGDOM
The rise of the Burmese political power at Ava was not a coincidence. Located at the confluence of the Chindwin and Irrawadi rivers, Ava symbolized the connecting point between Rajapati and Manipura. It was a resuscitation of the Barman legacy of western Vanga based on the Buddhist constitution of Angkor. At its early phase, Ava retained an extensive Pagan' s heritage but along the way, adjusted itself to become the political center of a new unified Burma. Due to its perseverance, Ava took on the lead to eclipse Pagan and went on to absorb the southern Mon Countries. In its apogee, Ava completed a big scale of unification that was becoming the cradle of the next Burmese Empire. Untill recently, the English and the Chinese sources referred Burma as Ava, and for the Shans the King of Burma was meant till the end "The Lord of the Golden Palace of Ava" (BMar: Ava 1287-1555: Shan Migration).
The Taungoo Dynasty
Through Rajapati, Angkor exerted its control over Vanga and transformed it as a part of Upper-Burma. After the Mongol' s exit from Yunnan, the descendants of the Shan Brothers settled at Ava to form a new Burmese royal house. Through dedication, the Taungoo Dynasty achieved the first time an extensive unification closes enough to the last Pugarama. After ascending the throne in 1551, Bayinnaung continued his brother-in-law' s work in strengthening the Burmese Empire. During his reign of 30 years, he launched many campaigns and managed to conquer several states, including Manipura in 1560 and Ayudhya in 1569. As an effective leader, he made Taungoo the most powerful state in Southeast Asia. In the next fight for Supremacy, no one of the Indochinese rulers could be compared with him. At least in controlled territory, Ava was reclaiming almost all of Pokan dependencies. In a military perspective, it was a revival of the Angkorean Cakravatin Empire. Even though with a lot less sophistication, Bayinnaung was crowned as a cakravatin monarch and gave himself the title of Rajadhiraja. Evidences show that all his successors also procured themselve the same title as well (Notes: The Title of Rajadhiraja). Accomplished through substantial military conquest, Bayinnaung was on the mission for a grand scale unification. His involvement in the whole of Burmese affair proves that "Rajadhiraja" was not just a title and Bayinnaung had determined to rule Burma up to its legacy. At first, the absorption of the Shan country was done with little or no military intervention (Notes: The Shan' s Submission). Due primary to past connection, many Shan dominions were submitted to him virtually without fighting. The new Shan dependency to Ava included both the friendlier Shan state of Rajapati and its previous rival Siam countries.
Within three years from 1556 to 1559, the Shan states of Hsipaw, Mongmit, Monzin, Mogaung, Mongpai, Samka, Yawnghwe, Lawsawk, Nawngwawn, Mongkung, Mongnai, and Chiang-mai became tributary to Pegu. In 1562 Bayinnaung set out with a huge army, consisting of divisions from all the vassal states, to conquer Koshampya- the Chinese Shan state of Moaung Mau, Hsikwan, Mongna, Sunda, Hosa, Lasa, Mongwan, Kungma and Monglem. (SHL: Past Shan-Burmese Relation: P. 51)
The next conquest of Xiang-mai and Laos were made rather easy through the cooperation from other Shan allies. At the contrary, the subdoing of southern Mon Countries was done through heavy military attack and was the most unsettled political affair in the history of Burma. Their constant fighting transformed the royal house of Pegu to become a fierce contender to Eva' s control. This was due to the fact that during the Mongols' incursion the Mon' s court, under the Vareru family line, had been detached from Northern Burma for a long period of ime. The past alliance of Vareru with Sokhodaya was another cause of internal conflict in the unified court of Pegu. After subduing Ayudhya, Bayinnaung crowned Sri Dharmaraja who was then the ruler of Pisnuklok as king of Ayudhya and brought his son, prince Narasuan to be raised and, trained at Pegu. In a court intrigue, Narasuan freed himself from Pegu and went back to ascend the Ayudhyan throne in 1590. Since then, he started on an hostile policy against both Cambodia and Burma. In a despaired attempt to bring Ayudhya back under his control, Bayinnaung attacked Ayudhya but lost the fight. The counter-attack of Narasuan moreover created serious effects that led the Taungoo Dynasty to its decline and later to its fall. For many historians, the setback of Bayinnaung to achieve his objective as the unifier of Pugarama was perhaps due to the mishandling of the Ayudhyan court. But the greatest of all obstacles, as we shall see, was actually the infiltration of the European ventures in Southeast Asia. As they came with a specific goal in mind to take on the monopoly of the sea trade, Burma became immediately their rival and by default their adversary. By standing strong in their ways, Burma became their first target. Following the divide and conquer strategy, the European colonists encouraged smaller nations to be independent. In the process of isolating further Ava from its surrounding neighbors, they lured and regrouped smaller nations to be on their side. Looking closely, it was the same strategy used by the Mongols to break down successfully Angkor from its Cakravatin standing. While Ava was losing its former allies one by one, the British India and the French colonists spread their influence deep in the South China Sea. Struggling against foreign incursion, the Taungoo Dynasty had to move out from Hamsavati and was on the verge of falling under the Europeen colonial drive.
The Impact of the European Contacts
After the conquest of Mallacca in 1511, Albuquerque is said to have sent an embassy to Pegu. However, trading with Burma was not been on his agenda. Burma was by then still strong enough to discourage Albuquerque, as well as other European venturers, from any attempts of unfair trading. Another reason was that Burma, as well as other part of the mainland, had no other products that were already available at Mallacca. Only much later that Europeans found in the teak wood as a commodity that was worth the long distant trade with Burma. When it happened, the southern Mon countries were already equipped with western armament and already in good unison with the west. By then, Hamsavati and Martaban along with Ayudhya had established their strong authorities of the sea trade, thank mostly to the support of French and English colonists. Burma had to subdue its southern contenders to take part in the new commercial development that proved to be of a high-risk business. Out of the European circle, Burma was deprived of Western armament that played decisive factor in the victory on the battlefield. It explains why the Southern Mon Countries were able to resist the advance of the northern Burmese troops for a long period of time. At the same time, European colonists used the Mon and other coastal communities ' s support to set their own venture on the Malay peninsular and drove the Moor' s venture out of the country. They left behind score of adventuers to survive on their own endeavors, on the islands of East Timor. With advanced military knowledge, many made their ways deep into the mainland in search of high paying jobs for their specialized skill. Sought-out by established powerhouses in safeguarding their supremacy, they were reputed for their skill with firearms (Notes: The Use of Firearms). Both Burmese and Cambodian courts were interested With their help and were soon able to turn around in standing up to their common ennemy, Ayudhya. When Tabinshwehti conquered both Marataban and Pegu, he enlisted many Portuguese adventurers to work for him. Being expert in firearms, they provided crucial advisory role in conducting the war, the western way. The Taungoo Dynasty then took on the monopoly that stayed until the Ayudhyan King Narasuan stepped up to rebel against its supremacy. Both Manipur and Ayudhya, which had been under Burma domination for 15 years, were later regrouped themselves and claimed back their independance. The next campaigns of retaliation against Ayudhya were defeated as they suffered high casualty during the attack. Already old, Bayinnaung was unable to reverse the situation and died in 1581. His son Nanda Bayin and his successors were forced to quell rebellions in other parts of the kingdom, but Arakan was never been captured back. The last campaign was particularly fatal and resulted in the death of the crown prince (son of Nandabaya). The difference of outcomes that drove down the Taungoo Dynasty in regard to the fight with Ayudhya was obviously due to the Mon' s support. During the late development, the Taungoo court no longer received support from the Mons who, due to past connection with Sokhodaya and Marataban, had secretly sided with the new Ayudhyan King, Narasuan (Notes: The lost Legacy of the Cakravatgin Empire). The counter-attack of the latter deep in Southern Burma, on the other hand, helped the Mons to repel the Taungoo court from theirs countries. The association with the Portuguese also turned for the worst as they switched side to the higher paying client. Worst yet, they took the opportunity to work on theirs own enterprise at the expense of the falling court. Faced with the Mon rebellion and renewed Portuguese attacks, the Taungoo rulers withdrew from southern Burma and founded a second dynasty at Ava, the Nyaungyan Dynasty (1597-1752). Under the leadership of Bayinnaung' s grandson, Anaukpetlun (1605-1628), Burma was once again reunited in 1613. The Portuguese colonial enterprises that attempted to take over Burma were also defeated. Nevertheless, the empire gradually disintegrated. His successor Thalun (1629-1648) stopped the slide by rebuilding the war torn country into the next generation Burmese State of Ava in 1616. The Restored Taungoo Dynasty was built to be more energetic than its predecessors to last well into 19th century, as part of the Konbaung dynasty. It was a restructuring process that started small, but along the way, expanded itself through reconstruction of the existing communities of the country. From the ground-up, they consolidated their controls by reducing the loose end of the Cakravatin Empire establishment to achieve stronger achievement. They replaced the hereditary chieftain-ship with appointed governors and reduced the hereditary rights of Shan chiefs. Its trade and secular administrative reforms had proved to be effective and built a prosperous economy for more than 80 years. The success however had its dark side. Under tough management, rebellious activities rose up from many fronts. Starting from the 1720s, the kingdom entered into a gradual decline again. While Manipuri of the Chindwin valley rose up to challenge the Eva' s authority at the West, Xiang-mai' s rebellious activity limited its authority to the East. The Manipuri raids intensified in the 1730s, reaching increasingly deeper parts of central Burma. The Taungoo dynasty survived for another century and a half, until the death of Mahadammayaza in 1752. At the South, the Mon regrouped themselves back at Hamsavati in 1740 and marched to capture Ava, ending the last of the Taungoo dynasty in 1752.
The Konbaung Dynasty
During the occupation of the Mons at Ava in 1752, we had no ideas what happened to the crushed Taungoo royal house. The next leader Alaungpaya (1752-1760) emerged from obscurity to head Burmese resistance against the Mon' s occupation. We knew however that he was a brother to the Ava chief Mohnyinthado and after driving the Mons out he restored back the Ava' s throne for himself. Following his predecessor' s policy, he extended administrative reforms that allowed him to achieve unprecedented levels of internal stability and external expansion. He led Burmese army into Ava and drove the Mons back to Hamsavati in 1753. The Mons returned in 1754 to besiege Ava and Alaungpaya led his army again, this time from Schwebo, to drive the Mons out again. After the victory, he followed the Mons and went further south to capture Dagon in 1755. He renamed the captured city as Rangoon and went on establishing his own control into the city. During the raid, he captured three English ships in the seaport. He took their officers as prisoners and grabbed their canons and armament (Notes: The Clash with British India). Alaungpaya knew quite well where the support of Hamsavati came from. His drive to unify Burma could not be achieved without clashing with Ayudhya and subsequently its Western allies. Driving out the French and the British who had provided arms to the Peguan court, Alaungpaya' s forces brought the Mon countries to be reunited with Ava. He went further to reunite all of Burma, including Manipura, under his control in 1759. His campaign started with Siam in 1760 that became a series of wars to last into the middle of 19th century. After his death in 1960, his successor Naungdawgyi (1760-1763) continued his work that resulted in the conquest of Laos in 1764 and the fall of Ayudhya in 1767 (The Kingdom of Siam: The Last of the Ayudhyan Court: The Fall of Ayudhya). His works however was hindered by a new wave of Chinese interference in the politic of Southeast Asia through the Qing Dynasty. During the clashes, he defeated four major invasions from the Qing China during the period of 1765-1769. With the Burmese preoccupying for another two decades by Chinese incursion, Tak-sin founded Thonburi in 1767 and went on to consolidate northern Siam countries. In 1770, despite his victory over the Chinese armies, King Hsinbyushin pursued for peace with China and concluded a treaty in order to maintain bilateral trade with the Middle Kingdom which was very important for the dynasty at that time. The Qing Dynasty then opened up its markets and restored trading with Burma in 1788 after reconciliation. Thenceforth a pact was sealed between China and Burma that lasts to modern day. Faced with the powerful court of China and the Siamese resurgent in the east, the Konbaung King Bodawpaya (1781-1819) concentrated his effort to the West. He acquired western kingdoms of Arakan in 1784, Manipura in 1813 and Assam in 1817. This western conquest had a serious consequence to Burma as it led into a collision course with the British India. It came to the worst moment that the Success story of the Konbaung Dynasty finally ended and Burma was turning into another Dark Age. The centralizing campaign that brought the dynasty into a lime light of success during previous strong leaders, finally caught up with kings of lesser conviction to the Burmese cause. Enjoying unlimited personal power, their most preoccupation was to sustain their own and immediate circle' s security. Internal intrigues were crushed and collaborations were blindly rewarded. Conducted at the expense of national welfare, the crack down of opposition was seen as a must to curb foreign interference. In 1837, King Bagyidaw' s brother, Tharrawaddy (1838-1846), seized the throne and had the chief queen Me Nu and her brother executed. The royal intrigue did not change the Ava court' s diplomacy a bit in regard to foreign incursion. At the contrary, Tharrawaddy restarted on campaigning against the West and made no attempt to improve relations with the British India. His son Pagan Min (1846-1843) who became king in 1846, moreover strengthened his campaign to eliminate all foreign interference. Needless to say, his relationship with the British became increasingly strained and in 1852 the Second Anglo-Burmese War broke out. As soon he was on the throne, he executed thousands of his wealthier and influential subjects on suspicion of foreign influence. He was succeeded by a younger brother, Mindon who, facing with mounting pressures from the west, attempted to change the policy of his brother.
THE FALL OF BURMA
Burma was virtually the last Southeast Asian Countries that openly fought colonialism from the start to the end. Standing up as a strong local powerhouse, Burma was seen as a threat to the European monopoly. As it once stood as a regional leader, Burma was seen as the main competitor of European ventures in Southeast Asia. Because of its tendency to fight off the colonization, Burma was in the colonial black list since the start. It was in a sense, a second breakdown of the Indochinese Cakravatin Empire after Angkor. Similar to the fall of the latter, the fall of Burma was not due solely to the British military campaigns, but to the overall desintegration of the Cakravatin empire. Burma fell because its governmental infrastructure as a union of states failed under later Burmese Dynasties. Without adequate cultural bondage, military intervention was not enough to keep close alliance in check. By adopting the western way of governing, the Ava courts ended up losing theirs past alliances one after the other and in the process sped up its own fall into the control of the British India.
The lost Alliance with the Lao Country
Historically, the part of Indochina that became Laos today had been in connection with the formation of Nokor Khmer since its early stage. During the high apogee of the Angkorean Empire, Laos was part of Rajapati that was itself an Angkorean gateway to the west. The Khmer chronicle reveals that Laos was actually the royal house formed by the descendants of king Botomsurya that was no other than Suryavarman II whose reign was credited to the completion of the Angkor Wat' s construction. It is important to note that this lineage was of Angkorean Cholan Dynasty and was not the same as the Sri Vijayan tradition of Khun Borom that was shared by both ancient Lanna and Lan-xang royal houses. Resuscitated back by the Phukha dynasty of Rajapati, the two royal lines had strong tie with the Burmese Dynasty of Ava. Nevertheless, circumstances had changed in the disfavoring the Indianized consortium to allow more Chinese incursion in both politic and economic setting of Southeast Asia. Through Ayudhyan interference, the next Lao kings detached themselves from both the Ava and the Khmer court and sided themselves with Ayudhya. The formation of Thonpuri by King Taksin moreover stopped altogether the long tradition of close relationship between the Lao and Ava countries. During the campaign that was conducted by the two brothers Chao Chakri and Surasi in the late 1770, the Lao Royal house was dispersed and some were captured and brought to Thonpuri. In Champassak, when king Sainyakuman died in 1791, the Siamese installed King Visainyarat. In 1778, the Vientian royal house, on the other hand, had been removed to Bangkok and the Lao royal family served the Siamese court during the warfare of the next decade. We had argued that Bangkok was able to subdue these Lao courts because they had the support of the Khmer king Ramadhipti Non. The Khmer King later lost his life by his own people during their uprising against him. The revolt that was diverted by Chaopha Mo' s family members, was the retaliation to the Khmer King Non' s support to the invasion of Laos by Thonpuri. The political ch
\ According to the Nan chronicle, Burma also sent its troops back to take control of Lanna. One by one, the Lao court regrouped themselves and restored back their past heritage. The Siamese control was furthermore restricted by the return of Burmese troops back in control of northern Siam countries. In 1707, the King of Ava appointed a local named Noi In as acting Governor of Nan. It was in recognition to his help in establishing the Burmese control in the Nan country. During the siege of Nan by Bangkok, he created havoc to help the Burmese troops taking back Nan. After the Burmese withdrawal, he then persuaded the local people to return back to their home. A year later, the Kaeo and Lao army invaded Nan and took the people to Muang Kaeo and Munag Lao as prisoners. Noi In once against rebuilt Nan after they left. In recognition of his patriotic works, the Burmese king finally appointed Noi In as a full governor. After the death of Fa Muang Khong die in 1714, the King of Ava changed his mind and appointed another prince, Chao Fa Miao Sa to replace Noi In. When Chao Fa Miao Sa died in 1078, Noi In was made again governor. Realizing that he was not of royal family and of his humble loyalty, he invited a prince from Chiang-mai to rule Nan. The King of Ava sent Chao Praya Tin as requested. Soon after, Noi-in regretted what he had done and plotted to overthrow Chao Praya Tin. The latter however knew of the plot and confronted Noi-in of his involvement. Found himself in an awkward situation and having no other solution, Noi In decided to commit suicide. Needless to say, his death would defy the stability of the Burmese control in northern Siam to come. In 1766, the Burmese general heard about the uprising in Lanna and brought his troops to fight off the rebellion. When the Burmese troops stationed at Pak Ngo, Chao Luang Aryavong of Nan came with his force to attack the Burmese. In 1785, the King of Ava Bodawpaya sent a huge army to invade Bangkok by way of Tavoy and another army of ten thousands men, under the command of a prince of Pagan to capture Lanna, by way of Chiang-saen. Facing with strong local resistance, the Burmese troops were defeated by the Siamese coalition led by King Taksin of Bangkok. Back home, Ava would face with even greater crisis in handling the French interference in the Mon country and the full-blown invasion of British India in Arakan. As we shall see, the dynamic of European involvement in Southeast Asia would play its part in subduing ans reducing Burma from a powerful empire to a mere nation, Through their incursion, Both French and British Colonial authorities saved the Siam Country of future Burmese attacks. If Burma was not strained by the British invasion, the probability was high that Thonpuri would suffer the same fate as Ayudhya.
The lost of Kinship With Ramandesa
The new concept of state and nation, introduced by the West, caught the Indianized Burma courts off guard. As the concept of states or countries had to be based on concise nationality, within a fix boundary of frontier. Often of false identity, new nations were formed along their colonized path. Following the lost to the first Anglo-Burmese war in 1824, Bagyiday (1819-1838) had to reassess its traditional administrative style that was inherited from Angkor. Conscious to the need of building its own identity, the dynasty' s next mission was to start on the Burmese demographic and cultural integration. For the first time in its history, the Burmese language and culture came to dominate the entire Irrawaddy valley by 1830. By adopting tougher measures on alliance, Ava also deviated itself from the peaceful concept of a Cakravatin Empire. As a consequence, the new established order alienated further Ava' s own allies as they became in tighter control under the Central Burmese Court. The first to suffer the consequence were the southern Mon Countries that were to be absorbed completely as Burmese. Being a close relative for many generations, the risk of the Mon becoming a separate nation was not acceptable. To the Kambaung Dynasty, the elimination of the Mon royal houses for the sake of building up a strong centralized government was next in their agenda. Their conquest of neighboring kingdoms, the Shan and the northern Siam countries in particular, was followed also by the elimination of local royal houses and the imposition of Burmese governorship. Under repetitive British military and political incursions, alliances broke free and made themselves enemies to the Burmese central government. One of Burma' s close allaince that was lost along the way was actually its own self under a different identity (Notes: Barma vs Mon Identity). The lost of the Mon legacy happened during the Mongol' s incursion, when Vareru split the Southern Mon from upper Burma to become an allie of Sokhodaya. Hamsavati became later as the remnant of the Mon country while Arimaddanapur was made as a new cultural center for Upper Burma. Having no or little past connection with Ramandesa, the Vareru' s court could not care less about preserving the Mon identity. On the other hand, Upper Burma absorbed new immigrants from Chinese Shan communities and became part of the Cheng-Mien country. Through more extensive Mongolian interference, Pagan was incurring a transformation that further changed completely its past Mon' s legacy. Taking the opportunity of the Ming Dynasty ' s involvement in the South Chinese seatreade, evidences show that the Vereru scion of the Mon court sided itself with the detained Audhyan court of Sri Dharmaraja. It is said that the early family members of the Cakri dynasty (of Bangkok) started theirs debut in the court of Pegu serving the son of the Siam King Maha Dharmmaraja, Narasuan. With the lost of theirs original identities, both Mon and Burmese courts were locked in a deadly rivalry. Along with Ayudhya, the Mons distanced themselves from Ava and fell deeply into the colonial mainstream of the Southern Sea business. Under the initiative of British India, the new formed city Dagon became a new Worldwide Trade Center to eclipse any one of the major Mon cities in the past. Founded by migrants from India, Malaka and China, Dagon was a melting pot of foreign aristocrats on top of scarce original Mon people, Dagon demographically and politically detached itself from Upper Burma. To tip the balance, the British India joined in the fight for its own ambitious campaign. The first Anglo-Burmese war that erupted in 1824 was launched to break the Burmese alliances with its allies. The Mons obviously saw it as an opportunity to free themselves from Ava' s control. As the Burmese court was fighting for unification and the Peguan court was fighting for their own independence, their unison could only be done through elimination process. While settling at Pegu, both the Taungoo and the Konbaung dynasties topped themselves over the Peguan court and the elimination process started. Under repeated Burmese attacks, the Mon people were gradually absorbed into the mainstream of the Burmese development. After the final take-over of the Konbaung Dynasty of the Mon countries, Burma alone stood and stayed as a nation to become the unified Burma of Today. The final absorption was done in 1830 when Burmese language was spreat to replace the Mon languages of the Irrawadi Valley. At the end, all the Mon legacies were completely wiped-out and to modern scholars, Ramandesa was virtually non-existent. The fall of Burma under the colonization moreover aggravated the lost of the Mon' s legacies as Burma itself had trouble to establish it own identity. Since then, remnants of the Mon societies subsisted mainly through demographic and political isolation. Theirs subsistance became a living proof of the existence of Ramandesa that was once a powerful country.
The lost Legacy of Muang Yang
AS part of Varadhana, the Shans shared the same prehistory as the Khmer-Mon people. Nevertheless, they did not shared the same ordeal with the latter during the fall of the Hiong-Wang kingdom. With the agreement of the Han China, a leader of the Miens (the Dog Pan Hou) was allowed to rule Yunnan and the western mountainous region of China. The Shans could stay at their homeland as subject to the Mien' s leadership. With the Tai Migration theory being formulated by western scholara, the Shans thought that they were themselves the Kun-Lun people who were chased out from Chinese continent during the fall of the Huong-Wang Kingdom (SSBA: Chapter II: Some Earlier Shans: pp. 15-19). At the contrary, evidences show that it was the Khmer-Mon people who were displaced while the Shans stayed still at their current homeland (Champapura: The Impact on the Tian Legacy: The Yueh Migration). As we shall see, the Tai Migration Theory became actually an established colonial view about the origin of the Tai Race. To make the matter worsyt, the theory was supported by the Shan Subwas who were mostly of Yueh stocks migrating from Central Asia. Needless to sat, they were entusiastic to the British next plan of invadintg YUnnan. In Upper-Burma where migration of new Central Asian and Chinese stocks had brought down the Barma' s legacy to the lowest point, the British plan was perceived as a possible way of unifying the Tai Race. It is important to note that these Subwas were not of ethnic Shan and, as their titles implied, most belonged to the Yueh aristocrats who migrated south during the Han era. When the Anglo-Burmese war broke out, most Subwas kept their distance from Ava and were prepared to join with the British India for the sake of the Tai Race. In retaliation, Ava started to strip their powers and replaced by their own people. The tough measures to consolidate the Burmese control over the Shan States that were adopted by Burmese rulers and modern Burmese government became since the cause to break off the two nations. Prior to that, The Shan Maw Country (known also as Muang Pukha) and Burma (Ramanadesa) was in a tie consortium during the last stage of the Angkorean Empire. After the fall of the latter, Bangladesh became subject to the Muslim military incursion, first by members of the Delhi Sultanates and later under the Mughal Empire. Nevertheless, Bengal succeeded to maintain its independance until 1538 (HInd: The Triumph of the Sultans: The Slave kings: p. 245). During that time, Nicolo de Conti visited Ava by passing through Arakan. He sailed from Tenassarim to Bengal and after taking ship to Arakan, he travelled to Ava by land (HSEA: The Coming of the European: p. 233). It conveys that Arakan was at the time a sea-port for Ava' s access and was likely controlled by the Ava' s court during its early foundation. By then both Bengal and Ava were Buddhists. Still under the DigVijaya consortium, Bengal evaded the Muslin forced conversion, but was soon caught with the general Islamic development of Sotheast Asia (Sri Dharmaraja: The Sea Trade: The Muslim' s Conquest). In the new trend, Islam became more and more accepted as a new faith alongside Hinduism and Buddhism. Vishnuism was the most affected as it was more compatible with Islam in both cosmology and religious practices. In parallel to Southeast Asian development, members of the Vishnuite Pala court, Bengal in particular, became increasingly victim of the same cosmic force of Po-Nokor (HInd: Other Indias 1320-1525: Kaftan and Loincloth: pp. 274-279). When the Mughals invaded Bengal, total conversion of the Bengalese court was not a problem. As happened in Sri Dharmaraja, intemarriage and court manipulation would complete the final transition to Islam. With Islamic connection to the west, Bengal prospered and Chittagong became an important port of the sea-trading channel with the southern sea. Needless to say, Muslim communities were moving in to share the wealth. Due to the lack of information we had no idea how Arakan was impacted when it was taken under Bengalese control. Past development of BUddhism convinced us that the majority of Chittagong and Arakkan ' s original people were Buddhist prior to the takeover by the Mughals. We had the reason to believe that both the Mughals and the Bangalese court who were members of the Buddhist Angkorean Empire were not radical Muslim fundamentalist and were lenient in policy to administrate its dependency. It meant that Arakan was not forced into Muslim conversion and was mostly left to their old system of religious belief. Evidences show instead that It was actually the British India who coordonated the influx of Muslim migration into Arakan as they needed them to make-up the colonial work force for the rice production (Notes: The Colonial Work Force).
A PROVINCE OF INDIA
Being among the first to fall under the British colony, Burma was often blamed for its failure to cope with modern development. Further analysis however shows that Burma was not left with any other options. Located between India and Siam, one was already a British colony and the other that was well known of its cooperation with colonial rule, Burma ' s fate was bleak. Nevertheless, Burmese court fought until the last minute to safeguard its independance. During the fighting, Burma tried to strengthen its control over dependency by installing its own people to run its allied state. The maneuver however backfired as unrest among its dependency would fail Burma in the figjht against both Siam and the British India. With its close allies falling one after the other under British and Siamese control, Burma ' s era as a free state was soon over.
The Anglo-Burmese Wars
Under European incursion, Burma lost its supremacy and had to fight constantly against its former allies. The Mon and Arakan, in particular, were in the process of building their own nations and took the colonial intervention as an opportunity to detach themselves from the central Burmese control. As they were already in contact with westerners and took part of westernization against Burma, the Peguan and Arakanese lower courts emancipation became Burmese serious cause of falling under the colonial rule. Evidences however show that the real setback of the Konbaung Dynasty started when Thonburi was formed by king Taksin after the fall of Ayudhya in 1767. After subduing Ayudhya, King Naungdawgyi left the Siam country in shamble but did not instill measures to prevent the country from restoring itself. Like in previous campaigns, the Burmese intention was not io inhiliate Ayudhya out of its existence, but was to allow a friendlier court a chance to form itself. According to Khmer source, local districts soon were able to regroup themselves after recovering themselves from the war (The Kingdom of Syam: The last legacy of Ayudhya: The fall of Ayudhya). As the surviving son of the late king Suryamarin was still alive in the Khmer court of Udong, there was no question that Ayudhyan court could not be restored. At the same time, the Khmer court was already seen making its move to recover Ayudhya and in the process, could install the son of the last king Suryamarin on the Ayudhyan throne. Along with the Tay-son brothers in control of Prey Nokor and the Konbaung Dynasty of Ava for support, the Khmer court of Udong was in a position to restore back Ayudhya as part of the Khmer consortium. It was then an opportunity for the Khmer consortium to regroup itself to face growing foreign incursions if an unexpected event did not occur to hinder the plan. What they did not expect was that Taksin who was then a minor figure of the Ayudhyan court, succeeded to prevent other Siam contenders and the Khmer court from reforming Ayudhya. After fighting off opposition groups, he formed Thonpuri on the ground of the seacoast Chinese communities and to use theirs support to build Thonpuri into becoming a new powerhouse of Southeast Asia that was able to stand against the Burmese military supremacy. His next task was to take Sri Dharamaraja and subsequently the seatrade from the Burmese and Khmer interference. Thonpuri soon became Burma' s serious rival when northern Siam countries joined with Taksin to revolt against Burmese control. It was not of his military skill that Taksin was able to bring the northern Siam countries into submition, but rather of his political strength (The Kingdom of Syam: The Early Colonial Work: The Strategy over its Dependency). His aptitude and willing to cater foreign powers and to use them to his advantage was another strength of his that the native leadership lacked. As colonialization was under way, Tasksin took the opportunity to use foreign powers to help him exerting the final blows to the Burmese military supremacy (Notes: The Alliance in the War against Britain). After rallying the northern Siam rulers against the Burmese control, Taksin took them all under his own control by ruse. Pressed by the British India threat, King Bodawpaya (1782-1819) decided to abandon the Siamese affair altogether and concentrated his effort against his more powerful neighbor of the west. After his death, his sucessors Tharrawaddy and Mindon would be facing a full blown war with British India. Trying to ease the tension, Mindon was seen next to relax his stance against western intrusio, but his policy however made Burma even more vulnerable. Taking the opportunity of the Burmese court relaxed policy, Europeans poured in to establish their trading posts in the Irrawaddy Delta region. At the same time, they exerted more interference into the fragile politic of the Burmese court. Mindon tried in vain to maintain Burma' s independence by joggling between the French and the British colonial rules. Without internal strength and expertise in handling the two world powerful powers, the political game also ended in failure. To make the matter worst, he died before he could name a successor. Thibaw who was then a lesser prince was then maneuveredonto the throne by one of Mindon' s queens and her daughter, Supayalat. Under Supayalat' s direction the new King proceeded, to massacre all likely contenders to the throne. His action became an excuse for the British colonists to intervene. Their last attempts to restore back the Burmese control over its maritime sea ports failed under more consecutive wars with British India. The First Anglo-Burmese War arose from the friction between Arakan in western Burma and British-held Chittagong to the north. As a consequence, various portions of Burmese territories that were proved to be Burma' important sea ports including Arakan, Tenasserim were annexed to the British control. When Burmese attempted to wrestle them back in 1823, the British navy responded with a large sea-borne expedition that took Rangoon without a fight in 1824. Lower Burma, including the Mon countries, was later annexed in 1852 after the Second War. The wrested territories were designated as the minor province of British India in 1862. After the Third Anglo-Burmese War and the absolution of the last Burmese royal house, the annexation of the whole Burma was announced on January 1886 in the British parliament as a New Year gift to Queen Victoria. In three consecutive Wars, Britain subdued Burma and reduced it as a province of British India. The last Kambang dynasty came to an end in 1885 with the forced abdication and exile of the king and the royal family to India.
The British Colonial Policy
After the Wars ended, the British Colonists took time to take appropriate measures to set a policy that worked for their advantage. Their first task was to retrieve enough information of Burmese past governmental structure and to use them to preventr Burmese resistance. They might not know that under Ava' s royal house, Burma was governed as a Cakravatin Empire, but they knew at least that Burma was a union of multiethnic states. In addition, the first round of colonist authorities to run Burma were generally knowledgeable, obviously not of the country' s deep past, but at least of the Burmese recent history (HSEA: The Challenge to European Domination: British Burma: P. 733). The two first commissioners, Sir Arthurs Phrayre and Sir Albert Fytche, had spent most of their previous careers in the country. They spoke the language, understood its religion and customs. Arthurs Phyre wrote the first standard history of Burma in English. Their study indicates that Burma was formed as a union of states. From the findings, the British colonists took appropriate time to set up their policy. The two commissioners who were responsible to make the transition from previous administration to colonial rule, knew that complete and fast transformation could jeopardize their control. As revenue and civil justice were concerned, their original intention was to leave the administration intact. Due to the Fytche' s knowledge, the transition from feudalism to colonialism was taken care through careful planning. At each stage of its incursion, the British India not only preserving the feudal system in their controlled territory, but at the contrary encouraged the feudal leaders to exert greater initiative. This measure was not only effective in running the country but was also crucial to win the Anglo-Burmese wars as well. The measure caught the Ava' s court off guard and forced the change of its internal politic in regard to its close alliance. In strengthening its position against its aggressor, the Burmese Court appeared to adopt the opposite measure of whatever its enemy was taking over its controlled territory. Not only that they started to centralize their military resources, they also made serious attempt to exert stronger control on the rest of their dependencies. From the formation of the Taungoo Dynasty, the Ava' s court started replacing the traditional village headmen with theirs own people. At the late stage of the fallen dynasty, they already completed the transition. The governors of Burmese administrator, known as myothugyis or taikthugyis, took control of all their dependency. At first, the measures appeared to work in their favor as the Burmese administrators tried to exercise their power to induce native communities to fight on their side. Nevertheless, the oppression soon worked against them as unrest and uprisings increasingly set Ava into becoming isolated. By replacing satellite courts with Burmese governor offices, Ava turned their allies into rebellious enemies. At the eastern front, local rulers at Chiang-mai and Laos took advantage of Thonpuri' s support to free themselves from the Burmese control (The Kingdom of Siam: The formation of Thonpuri: The submission of Northern Siam). At the western front, the situation was even worst. Evidences show that local uprising gave the British India, the opportunity to wrest Arakan and Bengal from their controls. Under the attack of both fronts, the wrong policy deprived Ava of crucial supports from its former allies and accelerated its own fall. During the reign of King Mindon and later of King Thibaw, Ava was completely isolated and needless to say became an easy prey for the British final takeover. Under British India, Burma had been reconditioned back to its previous administration system. The difference was that the British officers were now on the top of the ring and governed the country. This organization worked best for the British colony as it reduced friction between the British authority and the locals and most importantly it preserved the Union of Burma intact until the end of colonial rule. After Fytche' s retirement in 1871 however, the office of Chief Commissioner and therefore of Lieutenant governor was held by men who had been trained in India. Looking forward to receive their promotion upon returning back to India, they never learnt the Burmese tradition (let alone the language) and had only a smattering of knowledge of the country. Bypassing altogether previous administrative system, they transformed Burma into a second India. Bernard' s Successor, sir Charles Crostwaite came firmly with the plan of using Indian model to transform the Burmese low administrative organization under strict control of the colonial rule. The scheme had been proved to work in India and as far as the new generation of British colonists was concerned, it was also expected to work in Burma. After taking office, he started on campaigning to change completely the adanistration of his predescessors and transformed Burma into becoming a province of India.
The Economic Factor
Under the colonial rule, the economic nature of both Burmese and Bangldesh societies changed dramatically from feudalism to capitalism. Though the colony prospered, the native peoples failed to reap the rewards. Common reaction from the west was to blame them as not being industrious enough to take advantage of western new methodology. While the colonial economy grew, all the power and wealth remained in the hands of British firms and some other petty aristocratic venturists. Lacking of westernized knowledge and manner, the natives were treated as second citizen and to curb of their rebellious activity, they were set under foreign administrators. In the north, the condition of the mountainous tribesmen was very much affected. Virtually deprived of their natural resources, they turned to the lucrative drug production. With the approval of the British authorities, they turned Burma into becoming a top drug' s supplier of Southeast Asia. On the other hand, the rest of the extensive hill tracts of both the Shan states and Manipura that were inhabited by indigenous people were left to their own initiatives. Beside their brilliant military career, they were left with little supervision for the most part of the Colonial era. Without a central leadership, each headman transformed himself into warlord. This measure would be of course accommodated by low ranking administrators who were allowed to take full responsibility for sustaining law and order. Under the new organization, Upper Burma was divided into fourteen districts, each under a deputy or assistant commissioner. Villages were then regrouped into political districts run by colonial officers. In that situation, Manipura and many indigenous states of Bangladesh were further detached from Burma and incorporated as provinces of India. Administered by low ranking Indian administrators, many tribesmen lost theirs indegenous identity and life-style to become part of Indian communities. At the same time, Indian aristocrats who spoke fluently English language were encouraged to exploit native economy on the behalf of the colonial rule. The situation was different concerning the agriculturist states of central Burma and its northern Shan Countries. Under Angkorean control, the fertile lands along the Irravati rivers and viscinities were reaping fair harvest that made Burma once a powerful country of Southeast Asia. It was obviously not the best harvest as compared to western standard, but was good enough for Burmese peasants to make a stable living. Administered by British colonists, rice had the potential to become the next Burma' s commodity for exportation. The British decision of colonizing Burma might have been urged by the growing demand of its Middle Eastern colony. For some specific reasons, the rice production at Middle East had never been enough to feed its fast growing population. After the opening of the Suez Canal, the demand for Burmese rice grew drastically. In the past, seatrading was quite common through direct intercourse between Middle East and Southeast Asia. Arab merchants took on the initiative seatrading between the two continents. In connection with its Middle-eastern colonization, the European now controlled the international trading between the two continents. To satisfy the Middle Eastern demand, Burma was drawn into another fast pace development for a new industrial rice production. Unfortunately, this colonial policy of industrialize rice production worked against Burmese traditional farmers. In order to catch up with the market' s trend, they were pressured to borrow money from foreign lenders to improve theirs venture. As vast tracts of land were opened up for cultivation, they lost themselves in the flow of monetary fund, made easy by foreign investment. Indian lenders called chettiars, in particular, were eager to make an easy deal for the highly optimistic peasants. They borrowed money in the hope of turning their debt into a lucrative investment but ended up using the money mostly for improving their own day to day living. At high interest rates, they often late in their payment and their land and belongings were often foreclosed and evicted by the chettiars. Not only that they failed to capitalize on this high demand of rice crop, they also lost their basic mean of living. Losing land and livestock as well as necessary belonging to speculators who received profits through accommodating to big companies, high numbers of local peasants turned to illegal activities as a way of sustaining their living. It was quite common that a whole village was outlawed and was subjected to purge by the colonial law enforcement and theirs belonging became part of the big companies' asset. At the same time, Administrative reforms were set to carry on the colonial drive into the next stage. The civil services were largely staffed by Anglo-Burmese and Indians (Notes: Anglo-Burmese new Breed). At the same time, native Burmese were restrained from having any role in the colonial government. They were also excluded from the military service, which was staffed primarily with Indians, Anglo-Burmese, Mien and other minority groups.
- BMar:History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to 10 march 1824 The Beginning of the English Conquest, G. E. Harvey
- BMar1:A History of Burma, Maung Htin Aung
- BMar2:Burma, D. G. E. Hall
- SHL: The Shan at Home: With Two Chapters On Shan History And Literature
- SSBA:The Shan State and the British Annexation, by Sao Saimong Mangrai
- HSEA: A history of Southeast Asia, by D.G.E. Hall
- Arak: Arakan Past-Present-Future A Resume of two campaigns for its Development, by John Ogilvy Hay J.P.
1309: The reign of Thihathu; 1310: Death of Asankaya; 1363: Ava was destroyed by the attack of Muang Yang; 1385-1423: The Mon King Razadarit unified Burma; 1420-1444: Nicolo de Conti visited Ava; 1486-1531: the Taungoo Dynasty was founded by King Mingyinyo; 1531-1550: The reign of Tabinshwehti; 1539: Tabinshwehti captured Pegu; 1548-1569: The reign of King Maha-Chakrapath-Raja-Thiraj at Ayudhya; 1551-1581: The reign of King Bayinnaung; 1569-1590: The reign of King Dharmaraja at Ayudhya; 1752-1760: The reign of Alaungpaya; 1765: British India took control of Bengal; 1767: Fall of Ayudhya; 1767-1782: The reign of King Tak-sin (Thonpuri); 1782-1819: The reign of King Bodawpaya; 1824: The first Anglo-Burmese war; 1830: Burmization of the Irrawadi Valley; 1838-1846: The reign of King Tharrawaddy; 1852: The second Anglo-Burmese war; 1885: The third Anglo-Burmese war; 1886: Burma fell under British India;
- The Legacy of Vijayapura
The Vijaya' s legacy was not local to Irrawati' s regional tradition. On the contrary, it was well known of Sri Dharmaraja. The choice of Vijayapura as his capital tells us that the founder of Pinya and the three brothers had past legacy with Sri Dharmaraja. It is consistent with the fact that the three brothers were politically part of the Sri Vijayan side of Angkor (The Fall of Nokor Thom: The Mongol targeted Angkor: The Mongol took control of Rajapati).
- The Ancestors of Swa Sawke
The governor of Prome, who forced his father, Narathipati, to take poison, was married to the only sister of the Shan brothers. A princess was born of that union and she later married a younger brother of Saw Hnit who was appointed governor of Thayetmyo by his father, Kyoswa, before he was deposed (BMA: Ava against Pegu; Shan again Mon).
- Anuruddha as a Burmese
Contrary to common quote in modern Burman history book, Anuruddha was not an ethnic Barma and worst yet, by prohibiting the practices of the ancient Paganism, was not liked by the Barman communities.
- The Emergence of Burmese Culture
But the fact remains that the Upper Burma inscriptions of this period are all composed in excellent Burmese, not in the Shan Language, and that before the end of the Shan period, Ava witnessed the birth of birth of Burmese vernacular literature. (BARMA2: The Shan penetration: P. 31)
- The Rise of Burma
The rise of Burma was due to the winning of many fights by the ruling houses of of Central Burma over the Southern Mon Countries. As we had argued up to the Mongol' s incursion, the people of both regions were the same people of Ramandesa.
- The Title of Rajadhiraja
The title of Rajadhiraja was a Khmer title for a Cakravatin monarch. Evidences also show that after the fall of Angkor, the title had been claimed first by the Sokhodaya' s court during the reign of Sri Dharmaraja (Sokhodaya: The Decline of Sokhodaya: The Reign of King Ladayaraja). By controlling Sokhodaya, evidences show that later ayudhyan rulers took on the title "cakravati on themselves (Ayudhya: The Cakravatin Codependency: The End of the U-Tong Lineage ). Starting from Bayinnang, evidences show that the title was widely adopted in the Burmese court of Ava.
Most subwas and some of the more important myosas have their titles suffixed with the word "raja" or Yaza, while the king suffixed his with "rajadhiraja" (The King of Kings). (SHL: Past Shan-Burmese Relation: P. 54)
It shows the ambition of the Ava' s court in continuing the legacy to make Burma as a cakravatin empire.
- The Shan' s Submission
In all his conquest, Bayinnaung' s tactics had been the same. There had been no serious fighting and no town or city seemed to have been fired. The King of Kings would appear before a walley city with a mighty host commanded by various vassal princes, including his son, the crown prince, and his brothers, and the besieged would submit without any resistance. (SHL: Past Shan-Burmese Relation: P. 51)
- The Use of Firearms
When some years later the Burmese leader Tabinshwehti invaded the Mon country and dethroned Takayutpi, Portuguese adventurers flocked to the country to take service in his armies and Burma began to learn the use of firearms.(BMar2: The Mon Hegemony: P. 37)
- The lost Legacy of the Cakravatgin Empire
After the fall of Lawek by the raid of Narasuan, Cambodia went into a period of self-destruction (Nokor Caktomukh: The Fall of lawek: The Lawek' s dark Age). Burma became the sole bearer of the past Angkorean legacy and stood alone in the fight against new emerged world powers. It was in a critical time that European companies had already moved into India and created a safe heaven for European business. In their own ways to benefit from the chaos in South China Sea trading, they expanded their ventures deep into Southeast Asia and in process clashed with Burma. After the fall of the late Taungoo Dynasty, a new era of the Konbaung dynasty brought another vigor to the Burmese royal house.
- The Clash with British India
One of the ships belonged to the East India Company which some months earlier, he had sent envoys with presents to its Bassein timber depot asking the build a diplomatic relationship with the English.
- The Barma vs The Mon Identity
Along with the Khmer legacy, the Mon was the most ancient of all existing legacies in Southeast Asia of Varadhana. It was thought at first that the Mon communities were native of Indochina along with their Khmer counterpart. Mon legacies were then found strong in Burmese societies as well as in many other indigenous tribes of Indochina. As we had argued, it confirmed the dominance of the Mon culture during many centuries of Ramandesa' s existence side by side with the Angkorean Empire. With leadership of different background, the Mons politically split itself from the Khmer Empire during the Dynastic Crisis, but many of their shared legacies remained (The Sri Vijaya Connection: Introduction: The Mon' s Account of the dynastic Crisis). During the time of Jaraveman VII, evidences show that the Mon country was back under the Angkorean control but was breaking again by the Mongols' s incursion.
- The Colonial Work Force
The Brittish colonialists were mostly driven by their get rich quick' s agenda. The most pressing concern was to make Arakan profitable for the colony as fast as possible. Right from the start, they saw the contrast of the hard-working Muslim immegrants in contrast to the Arakanese native (Arak: Development of Arakan: Chittagong and Arakan: pp. 65-66). Their immediate solution was to promote migration from Chittagong to exploit the country, rather than let the Arakanese natives taking care of theirs own affair.
This can be best done in such way that the dense population of Chittagong (600 to the square mile) will be spreat over these areas where the population is all but nil (Arak: Development of Arakan: Mr Kirkwood on Developping Chittagong, and Connecting it with Arakan: Arakan News, 10th Nov. 1877, p. 72-73)
. The passage confirms that after the British taking over, Arakan was scarsely populated as it was ever been. Under British rule however, drastic demographic changes would undermine the country' s Buddhist past heritage and induced the Ethnic Confliction that stayed unsolved until modern days.
- The Alliance in the War against Britain
No Mons or Shans seem to have participated in the second Anglo-Burmese War of 1852. By the time the third war of 1852 came, misrule by King Thibaw had caused the whole of the Shan States to revolt openly. Active Shan participation of affair of Mandalay seems to have ceased with the death of King Mindon, upon which nearly a hundred royal children were put to death in the customary succession blood bath. (SHL: Past Shan-Burmese Relation: P. 54)
- Casting system of Southern India
Under the Gupta Empire, Magadha was once the middle kingdom of the Indian Cakravatin Empire. Indias was then retaining its basic social and political administration subdivision down to village unit as a feudal state. After the fall of the Gupta Empire, the whole India had been drawn mostly under the South Indian Hindu development. Under the Hindu cast' s system, low level authority figures transformed themselves into warlord kings with unlimited powers over theirs subjects.
- Anglo-Burmese new Breed
Intermarriage between Europeans and Burmese (more often enough Mien) gave birth to an indigenous Eurasian community known as the Anglo-Burmese who would come to dominate the colonial society. In close connection with Colonial development, they received the top privilege, second only to the British authority themselves.