1948-1962 Burma 1974-1989

Burma, 1962-1974

Administration . In 1962 General Ne Win ousted the democratically elected administration headed by U Nu; he abolished the federal constitution (which caused ethnic minorities to rebel). Ne Win held the presidency from 1962 to 1981. He founded the Burma Socialist Programme Party in 1962 and in 1964 proclaimed the one-party-state. In 1974, a new constitution went into force which declared Burma a socialist state.

Foreign Policy . The Ne Win administration reduced Burma's ties to the outside world; foreigners were expelled. During most of the period a Burmese, U Thant, (1961-1971) served as secretary general of the United Nations. Burma developed strong ties with the PR China. In Shan State a remnant Kuomintang force, which at the end of the Chinese Civil War (1949) had crossed into Burma, had established a base from which it undertook occasional raids into China.
During the Vietnam War opium production in Shan State, controlled by a number of warlords, picked up, a matter of international concern.

Inter-Ethnic Relations . The cancellation of the federal constitution in 1962 caused the various ethnic minorities to rebel. These rebellions were low-scale, and, as in the case of Shan State, a number of rebel organizations competed with each other.

The Economy . Ne Win proclaimed the Burmese Way to Socialism, which included nationalization of economic enterprizes, without compensation, attempted to the Burmese into 'selfless' individuals; he toyed with the idea to switch the currency from decimal footing to a base 9 footing.
In 1962, Burma produced 7.6 million metric tons of rice, in 1974 the figure was 8.5 million metric tons.

Social History . J. Lahmeyer estimates the population of Burma at 22.6 million in 1962, 29.5 million in 1974.

Timeline Burma, 1057-2002, from BBC News
Biography of U Thant, from un.org
Article Golden Triangle, Ne Win, Burma Socialist Programme Party, Burmese Way to Socialism, U Nu, U Thant, Khun Sa, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS Myanmar Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Myanmar, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
Boundary Agreement between India and the Union of Burma, March 3rd 1967, from India Bilateral Treaties
Trade Agreement between India and the Union of Burma, May 27th 1970, from India Bilateral Treaties
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003
Article : Burma, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1963 p.231, 1964 pp.205-206, 1965 p.203, 1966 p.160, 1967 pp.182-183, 1968 pp.180-181, 1969 pp.181-182, 1970 pp.180-181, 1971 pp.174-175, 1972 p.160, 1973 pp.157-158, 1974 p.165 [G]
Article : Myanmar, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1990 pp.456-457, 679 [G]
Article : Burma, in : The Statesman's Year-Book 1970-1971 pp.785-789 [G]
Article : Burma, in : Americana Annual 1964 pp.107-108, 1965 p.129, 1967 pp.136-137, 1968 pp.127-128, 1969 pp.139-140, 1970 pp.143-144, 1971 pp.167-168, 1972 pp.169-170, 1973 pp.163-164, 1974 p.149 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 17th 2002, last revised on May 31st 2007

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