British Burma 1824-1852 Burma 1886-1918

British Lower Burma, 1852-1886

In the SECOND ANGLO-BURMESE WAR of 1852, East India Company Governor General Lord Dalhousie declared lower Burma (Pegu) annexed on Dec. 20th 1852. The administrative center was established at RANGOON. The Burmese king did not sign any treaty recognizing the British annexation. In 1862, Britain and Upper Burma established diplomatic relations; SIR ARTHUR PHAYRE was appointed the first CHIEF COMMISSIONER of the Province of British Burma (= Lower Burma). In 1867 a treaty was signed on trade and diplomatic relations with Upper Burma.
The SEPOY REBELLION of 1856-1857 caused the bankrupcy of the EIC; the British government took over her assets and debts. British India became a CROWN COLONY, Lower Burma (with Arakan and Tenasserim) treated as a part of it.
The British encouraged rice cultivation in the Irawaddy delta, for export; they also developed the country's mines. The British brought in contract labour ('COOLIES') from India and China. Railway construction began in 1877.
In 1878, RANGOON COLLEGE was founded (since 1920 University of Rangoon).

Timeline Burma, 1057-2002, from BBC News
History of Myanmar : Colonial Times, from Asia Tours
History of the University of Rangoon, from University of Yangon
Article Burma, from EB 1911
DOCUMENTS Chief Commissioners (1862-1897), from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 17th 2002, last revised on November 3rd 2004

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