Brief History of Myanmar Country
Brief History of Myanmar Country
The Unitary Republic of Myanmar (also called “Burma” in the Western world) is a country in Southeast Asia. The country covering an area of 680 thousand km² has been ruled by a military government since the 1988 coup. The country is a developing country and has a population of more than 53 million people (2017). The capital of the country was previously located in Yangon before being moved by the military junta government to Naypyidaw on November 7, 2005. (Also read : Brief History of Philippines)
Change of the name
The name change from Burma to Myanmar was carried out by the military junta government on June 18, 1989. The military junta changed the name of Burma to Myanmar so that non-Burmese ethnic groups felt part of the country. However, this name change is not fully adopted by the international world, especially in British Commonwealth countries.
History of Myanmar’s Independence
On January 4, 1948, Myanmar succeed to get independence from Britain. But before that, Myanmar was one of the British colonies. Myanmar after falling into the hands of the British often put up a fight against the British government. From this the spirit of Myanmar’s nationalism rose. As for several other reasons that caused Myanmar Nationalism to emerge due to several external factors, namely:
- Japan’s victory in the 1905 Japan-Russia war. This was certainly related to the perception that the power of Asian nations had risen and was being taken into account. With the victory of Japan from Russia, it certainly gave a signal to the big countries that the power of Asian countries should not be underestimated anymore. And on the other hand, this phenomenon was of course assumed by Myanmar as an awakening of Asian countries collectively to stem the influence of western countries. (Also read other article at : Daerah di Indonesia yang Dilalui Garis Khatulistiwa)
- Nationalism in India influenced the emergence of nationalism in Myanmar. This was a reflection of the domino effect carried out by the Myanmar military given its geographical proximity. The existence of this gave its own enthusiasm for the people of Myanmar to free themselves.
- The existence of peace Versailles who fought for the rights of self-determination for nations that were not yet independent. The Versailles Treaty was one of the results of the end of World War I. The Versailles Treaty upheld the rights of self-determination for each country. Surely this would be an advantage for Myanmar when it was under British rule. It was also used as a basis for Myanmar to fight for its right to free itself from invaders.
Besides that, from its own internal side, in 1919 a movement emerged against the British by forming the General Council of Burmese Association (GCBA) running non-cooperative politics with Britain. From here blazed the spirit of Myanmar’s anti-British nationalism. Other Myanmar nationalism movements were Myochit (Nationalist Party), Sinyetha (Poor People’s Party) and Do Bama Asiayone (We Are Myanmar Nation) or Thakin party which demanded independence for the Myanmar nation.
After several battles between the people of Myanmar against the invaders, in the mid-19th century, the British officially controlled Myanmar and united Myanmar with India. In the era of the second world war, Myanmar was occupied by Japan. This era of Japanese occupation was utilized by the people of Myanmar to organize their independence movement, by establishing the People’s Freedom Anti-Fascist League (AFPFL) under the leadership of Aung San. (Also read other article at : Salam Bahagia Kepada Cinta)
In its development, AFPFL was growing rapidly. AFPFL also considered that the situation of the second world war could be exploited by looking at the power of the invaders who were focused in two directions. As was well known that Japan and Britain were actors who played a significant role in the second world war. The second world war then ended with the defeat of Japan. Japan’s defeat in the Second World War served as a momentum for Myanmar to rise up and provide resistance. After the forces in Myanmar were united and there was support from the British and other allies, the attack on the Japanese army was carried out. The attack ended in Japanese defeat. On June 15, 1945, Myanmar’s armed forces together with units representing the British empire and allied forces held a victory parade in Yangoon.
Myanmar’s victory from Japan didn’t mean that it directly made Myanmar an independent country. However, the British took over. In its development, the British government had explained its politics regarding Myanmar’s future in the White Paper. However its implementation, for three years would be governed by the governor directly, and in due time the election and re-establishment of the Council and legislators of Myanmar in 1935. This became a bright spot for Myanmar because it was a signal for Myanmar’s independence. This was done by the British government because seeing AFPFL had a big influence among the people, finally Britain agreed to give up independence to Myanmar.
In the series of struggles for Myanmar’s independence, U Aung San was a very contributive actor in the realization of the struggle. He was known as a strong leader and capable statesman who had won the trust and love of his people. U Aung San also played an important role in the process of organizing the nationalism movement and was active in approaching the British.
Officially, the British granted independence to Myanmar on January 4, 1948. This was certainly an extraordinary preparation for Myanmar elements who were able to escape from the shackles of colonialism. This momentum was then used as a spirit to rebuild Myanmar as a sovereign and independent country. And every January 4 is celebrated as Myanmar Independence Day.
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