Saturday, October 24, 2009

History of Burma(Myammar)缅甸历史

Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar, is the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia or Indochina. The country is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southwest with the Andaman Sea defining its southern periphery. One-third of Burma's total perimeter, 1,930 kilometres (1,199 mi), forms an uninterrupted coastline.

The History of Burma, now officially Myanmar, is long and complicated. Several ethnic groups have lived in the region, the oldest of which are probably the Mon or the Pyu. In the 9th century the Bamar (Burman) people migrated from the then China-Tibet border region into the valley of the Ayeyarwady, and now form the governing majority.

缅甸历史可以上溯到5000年前。当时緬甸的伊洛瓦底江邊的村莊已有人類居住。將緬甸劃分成“上緬甸”和“下緬甸”是英国殖民统治后的人为划分。相傳西元前200年驃人(Pyu)進入依洛瓦底江的上游地區,並掌控中國和印度之間的通商之路。兩世紀之後孟族來到錫唐河(Sittang River)流域,而在849年緬甸人接管驃河流域並建立蒲甘城(Pagan)。

The history of the region comprises complexities not only within the country but also with its neighbouring countries, China, India, Bangladesh, Viet Nam, Laos and Thailand.

Early History

Humans lived in the region that is now Burma as early as 11,000 years ago, but the first identifiable civilization is that of the Pyu although both Burman and Mon tradition claim that the fabled Suvarnabhumi mentioned in ancient Pali and Sanskrit texts was a Mon kingdom centered on Thaton in present day Mon state.

Artifacts from the excavated site of Nyaunggan help to reconstruct Bronze Age life in Burma and the more recent archaeological evidence at Samon Valley south of Mandalay suggests rice growing settlements between about 500 BC and AD 200 which traded with Qin and Han dynasty China.

Pyu City States(c. 100 BC–c. 840 AD)

The Pyu arrived in Burma in the 1st century BC and established city kingdoms at Binnaka, Mongamo, Sri Ksetra, Peikthanomyo, and Halingyi. During this period, Burma was part of an overland trade route from China to India. Chinese sources state that the Pyu controlled 18 kingdoms and describe them as a humane and peaceful people. War was virtually unknown amongst the Pyu, and disputes were often solved through duels by champions or building competitions. They even wore silk cotton instead of actual silk so they would not have to kill silk worms. Crime was punished by whippings and jails were unknown, though serious crimes could result in the death penalty. The Pyu practiced Theravada Buddhism, and all children were educated as novices in the temples from the age of seven until the age of 20.

The Pyu city-states never unified into a Pyu kingdom, but the more powerful cities often dominated and called for tribute from the lesser cities. The most powerful city by far was Sri Ksetra(SriKhestra), which archaeological evidence indicates was the largest city that has ever been built in Burma. The exact date of its founding is not known, though likely to be prior to a dynastic change in A.D. 94 that Pyu chronicles speak of. Sri Ksetra(SriKhestra) was apparently abandoned around A.D. 656 in favour of a more northerly capital, though the exact site is not known. Some historians believe it was Halingyi. Wherever the new capital was located, it was sacked by the kingdom of Nanzhao in the mid-9th century, ending the Pyu's period of dominance.

Mon (9th–11th, 13th–16th, 18th c.)

The 6th century Mon kingdom of Dvaravati in the lower Chao Phraya valley in present day Thailand extended its frontiers to the Tenasserim Yoma (mountains). With subjugation by the Khmer Empire from Angkor in the 11th century the Mon shifted further west deeper into present day Burma. Oral tradition suggests that they had contact with Buddhism via seafaring as early as the 3rd century BC and had received an envoy of monks from Ashoka in the 2nd century BC.

The Mons adopted Indian culture together with Theravada Buddhism and are thought to have founded kingdoms in Lower Burma including Thaton in the 6th or 7th century and Bago (Pegu) in 825 with the kingdom of Raman'n'adesa (or Ramanna which is believed to be Thaton) referenced by Arab geographers in 844–8.[1] The lack of archaeological evidence for this may in part be due to the focus of excavation work predominantly being in Upper Burma.

Pagan Dynasty(蒲甘王朝), the first kingdom(1044-1287)

To the north another group of people, the Bamar (Mranma / Myanma), also began to settle in the area. By 849, they had founded a powerful kingdom centred on the city of Pagan (spelled Bagan today) filling the void left by the Pyu.

Bamar tradition maintains that the Bamar were originally of three tribes, the Pyu, the Thet, and the Kanyan. Indeed, Pyu as a language and as a people simply disappeared soon after the Myazedi Inscription of 1113. The word Mranma,in both Mon and Myanmar inscriptions, came into being only at about the same time, lending support to this claim that the Pyu were an earlier vanguard of southward Tibeto-Burman migration who were entirely absorbed into a newly formed identity by later waves of similar people .

The Pagan Kingdom grew in relative isolation until the reign of Anawrahta (1044-77) who successfully unified all of Burma by defeating the Mon city of Thaton in 1057. Consolidation was accomplished under his successors Kyanzittha (1084–1112) and Alaungsithu (1112-67), so that by the mid-12th century, most of continental Southeast Asia was under the control of either the Pagan Kingdom or the Khmer Empire. The Pagan kingdom went into decline as more land and resources fell into the hands of the powerful Sangha (monkhood) and the Mongols threatened from the north. The last true ruler of Pagan, Narathihapate (1254-87) felt confident in his ability to resist the Mongols and advanced into Yunnan in 1277 to make war upon them. He was thoroughly crushed at the Battle of Ngasaunggyan, and Pagan resistance virtually collapsed. The king was assassinated by his own son in 1287, precipitating a Mongol invasion in the Battle of Pagan; the Mongols successfully captured most of the empire, including its capital, and ended the dynasty in 1289 when they installed a puppet ruler in Burma.

Small Kingdoms

After the fall of Pagan, the Mongols left in the searing Irrawaddy valley but the Pagan Kingdom was irreparably broken up into several small kingdoms. By the early 15th century, the country became organized along four major power centers: Upper Burma, Lower Burma, Shan States and Arakan. Many of the power centers were themselves made up of (often loosely held) minor kingdoms or princely states. This era was marked by a series of wars and switching alliances. Smaller kingdoms played a precarious game of paying allegiance to more powerful states, sometimes simultaneously.

Ava Kingdom (1364-1555)阿瓦王朝

Founded in 1364, Ava (Innwa) was the successor state to earlier, even smaller kingdoms based in central Burma: Myinsaing (1298-1312), Pinya (1312-1364), and Sagaing (1315-1364). Ava viewed itself as the rightful heir to the kingdom of Pagan, and in order to reassemble the lost empire, waged continuous wars against Hanthawaddy Pegu and Shan States in the late 14th to early 15th centuries. But by the late 15th century, it was Ava that was under repeated Shan raids. By the early 16th century, hitherto regional princely states like Prome (Pyay) and Toungoo (Taungoo) broke away from Ava. In 1527, Ava fell to a confederation of Shan States led by Mohnyin, which ruled much of Upper Burma from Ava until 1555.

The Burmese language and culture came into its own during the Ava period.

Hanthawaddy Pegu (1287-1539)/Hanthawaddy Kingdom

Founded in Martaban (Mottama), Hanthawaddy was first to emerge out of Pagan's ashes. The capital was shifted to Pegu (Bago) in 1369. As was the case in Upper Burma, the kingdom too consisted of regional power centers in Pegu, Bassein (Pathein), and Martaban. King Rajadhirat (1383–1421) successfully held off Ava in the Forty Years' War. In the second half of 15th century, Hanthawaddy, under Queen Shin Sawbu and her successor King Dhammazedi, entered its golden age. The kingdom, with a flourishing Mon language and culture, became a center of commerce and Theravada Buddhism, making it the strongest and most prosperous of all the post-Pagan kingdoms.

Shan States (1287-1557)

The Shans, who came down with the Mongols, stayed and quickly came to dominate much of northern to eastern arc of Burma—from northwestern Sagaing Division to Kachin Hills to the present day Shan Hills. The most powerful Shan states were Mohnyin (Shan: Mong Yang) and Mogaung (Mong Kawng) in present-day Kachin State, followed by Theinni (Hsenwi), Thibaw (Hsipaw) and Momeik (Mongmit) in present-day northern Shan State.[2] Minor states included Kalay, Bhamo, Nyaungshwe and Kengtung. Mohnyin, in particular, constantly raided Ava's territory throughout 15th and early 16th centuries and captured Ava itself in alliance with Prome in 1527. Mohnyin-led confederation of Shan states ruled much of Upper Burma (except for the Toungoo Kingdom) until 1555.

Arakan (1287-1784)

Although Arakan had been de facto independent since the late Pagan period, the Laungkrat dynasty of Arakan was ineffectual. Until the founding of Mrauk-U Kingdom in 1434, Arakan was often caught between Ava and Pegu, and found itself a battlefield during the Forty Years' war between Ava and Pegu. Mrauk-U went on to be a powerful kingdom in its own right between 15th and 17th centuries, including East Bengal between 1459 and 1666. Arakan was the only post-Pagan kingdom not to be annexed by the Toungoo dynasty.

Toungoo Dynasty(東吁王朝, 1531-1752)

In the early 16th century, Toungoo and Prome broke away from the Ava kingdom, which was under constant Shan raids from late 15th century on.[2] After the conquest of Ava by the Monhyin Shans in 1527, many Burmans fled southeast to King Mingyinyo's Toungoo, which became the new center for Burmese rule.

The upstart Toungoo led by King Tabinshwehti defeated the more powerful Pegu in 1539 and Prome in 1541 but failed to conquer Arakan in 1546 or Siam in 1548. With the coming of European traders, Burma was once again an important trading center, and Tabinshwehti moved his capital to Pegu due to its strategic position for commerce.

King Bayinnaung went on to found the largest empire in Burmese history. He conquered Ava in 1555, Shan States (1557), Lan Na (Chiang Mai) (1558), Manipur (1559), Ayutthaya (Siam) (1564, 1569), and Lan Xang (Laos) (1574), bringing much of western and central mainland Southeast Asia under his rule. Bayinnaung's massive empire unraveled soon after his death in 1581. Siam declared independence in 1584 and went to war with Burma until 1605. By 1593, Toungoo had lost its possessions in Siam, Lang Xang and Manipur. Taking advantage of Burma's preoccupation with Siam, Arakanese forces aided by Portuguese mercenaries sacked Pegu in 1599. Chief mercenary Filipe de Brito e Nicote promptly established Goa-backed Portuguese rule at Thanlyin in 1603. The country was in chaos.

Bayinnaung's grandson King Anaukpetlun defeated the Portuguese in 1613, and reestablished a smaller, more manageable kingdom based in Ava covering Upper Burma, Lower Burma (to Tavoy), Shan States and Lan Na. His brother King Thalun rebuilt the war torn country. In 1665, Burma defeated Siam's attempt to take Lan Na. The kingdom entered a gradual decline, starting in the late 17th century. From the 1730s onwards, the Upper Chindwin valley was under annual raids by the Manipuris. The Mons in lower Irrawaddy valley began a rebellion in 1740, and in 1747 established a new Hanthawaddy Kingdom based in Pegu. In 1752, Hanthawaddy conquered Ava, putting an end to the House of Toungoo.

Konbaung Dynasty(贡榜王朝, 1752-1885)

Soon after the fall of Ava in 1752, a new dynasty rose in Shwebo to challenge the power of Hanthawaddy. Over the next 70 years, the highly militaristic Konbaung dynasty went on to create the largest Burmese empire, second only to the empire of Bayinnaung. By 1758, King Alaungpaya's Konbaung forces had reunited all of Burma (and Manipur), extinguished the Mon-led Hanthawaddy dynasty once and for all, and driven out the European powers who provided arms to Hanthawaddy--the French from Thanlyin and the English from Negrais.[3]

From 1760 to 1776, Burma and Siam were involved in continuous warfare. In 1760, Alaungpaya captured the Tenasserim coast. King Hsinbyushin sacked Ayutthaya in 1767, and successfully defended against China's invasions between 1765 and 1770. The Siamese used the Burmese preoccupation with China to recover their lost territories by 1770, and in addition, went on to capture Lan Na in 1776, ending over two centuries of Burmese suzerainty over the region.[4] Burma and Siam went to war again in 1785-1787, 1792-1793, 1804, 1808 and 1852-1854 but all resulted in a stalemate. After decades of war, the two countries essentially exchanged Tenasserim and Lan Na.

With a powerful China in the northeast and a resurgent Siam in the southeast, King Bodawpaya turned westward for expansion. He conquered Arakan in 1784, annexed Manipur in 1813, and captured Assam in 1817-1819, leading to a long ill-defined border with British India. Bodawpaya's successor King Bagyidaw was left to put down British instigated rebellions in Manipur in 1819 and Assam in 1821-1822. Cross-border raids by rebels from the British protected territories and counter-cross-border raids by the Burmese led to the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826).

(source: wikipedia)

The British from India, began the move to capture Burma in 1824 with First Anglo-Burmese War, captured Arakan & Tenasserim. In 1852 British annex Lower Burma under 2nd Anglo-Burmese War. 1885, British won Upper Burma under Third Anglo-Burma War. The next year 1886, British make Burma a province of British India. British ruled Burma until its independence in 1948.

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