1886-1918 1937-1942

Burma, 1919-1937

Students at RANGOON UNIVERSITY (founded in 1920) protested against British rule in 1936; in 1939 AUNG SAN was elected president of the We Burmans Association.
Administration . Since acquired by Britain in 1824 / 1852 / 1886, Burmese territory had been administrated as an annex to British India. This changed in 1935, when the Government of Burma Act was passed; in 1937 Burma was separated from British India and declared a separate crown colony. The capital was Rangoon. Until 1923, the administration of Burma was headed by a Lieutenant Governor; in 1923 the post was elevated to governor.

The Rise of Burmese Nationalism . In 1927 Buddhist monk Saya San surveyed the living conditions of the Burmese peasants. When the British administration implemented a tax on the cutting of trees in 1929, Saya San organized a boycott of the new tax. This escalated into the Burmese Revolt of 1930-1931; in 1931 Saya San was executed by the British.
A new generation of Burmese patriots, educated at the University of Rangoon, now took the leadership in the Burmese national movement. In 1930 Dobama Asiayone ("We Burmans Association") was established.
In 1936 a students' strike, organized by Aung San, forced the university administration to retract their decision, a proof that Burmese masses could influence the actions of the British authorities.

The Economy . In 1928, Burma produced 7.6 million metric tons of rice; in 1937 6.9 million metric tons (IHS p.194).

Social History . J. Lahmeyer gives an estimated population figure of 8.1 million for Burma in 1920, 12.0 million in 1935; estimates can vary considerably depending on the source. In 1931, capital Rangoon had c.400,000 inhabitants.

Cultural History . Rangoon College (est. in 1878 as a subsidiary of the University of Calcutta) in 1920 was elevated to the University of Rangoon.

Timeline Burma, 1057-2002, from BBC News
Biography of Aung San, by Toe Kyi
History of the University of Rangoon, from University of Yangon
Article British Rule in Burma, Saya San, Ba Maw, Aung San, Dobama Asiayone, Yangon University, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS Myanmar Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Myanmar, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003
Hübner's Weltstatistik, 73rd edition, edited by Ernst Rösner, Wien 1939, in German [G]
Articles : India and Dependencies : Burma, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1926 pp.154-156, 1928 pp.154-156, 1929 pp.154-155, 1932 pp.155-157, 1937 pp.189-191 [G]
Articles : India and Dependencies : Burma States, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1926 p.166, 1928 p.166, 1929 pp.165-166, 1932 pp.167-168, 1937 pp.191-192 [G]
Article : Burma, in : Americana Annual 1927 pp.134-135, 1928 p.121, 1930 p.137, 1931 pp.131-132, 1932 p.127, 1933 p.122, 1934 pp.121-122, 1935 p.116, 1936 p.105, 1937 p.93, 1938 pp.93-94 [G]
Article : Burma, in : New International Year Book 1919 p.122, 1920 pp.111-112, 1921 p.109, 1923 pp.113-114, 1925 p.114, 1928 p.121, 1930 p.121, 1932 pp.123-124, 1933 pp.116-117, 1934 pp.107-108, 1935 pp.107-108, 1938 pp.112-113 [G]
Article : Burma, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1932 p.101, 1933 pp.133-134, 1934 pp.116-117, 1935 pp.107-108, 1936 pp.94-95, 1937 pp.92-93, 1938 pp.94-96 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 17th 2002, last revised on August 25th 2007

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