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1824–26, 1852, and 1885, predatory wars instigated by England and aimed at the colonial enslavement of Burma.
The British East India Company started the first Anglo-Burmese War (1824–26) on Mar. 5, 1824. English forces met stubborn resistance. The Burmese army, led by Maha Bandula, inflicted serious damage to the English forces. After Maha Bandula’s death in April 1825 the English army was able, at the expense of huge losses, to advance almost to the Burmese capital of Ava. England bound Burma to a treaty, signed in Yandabo on Feb. 24, 1826. Burma lost Arakan, Tenasserim, and the Indian principalities of Assam and Manipur, which it had conquered at the beginning of the 19th century. Burma was obligated to pay an indemnity of <£ 1 million, to accept an English resident, and to conclude a trade agreement with England. The resistance of the Burmese people forced the East India Company to end military actions without completing the conquest of all of Burma.
The East India Company initiated the second Anglo-Burmese War (1852) on Apr. 5, 1852, with the occupation of the area of Pegu. Burma suffered defeat in this war owing in part to the uprisings, provoked by England, of the Mons, Shans, and Karens. On Dec. 20, 1852, the East India Company proclaimed the annexation of Pegu.
The third Anglo-Burmese War (1885) completed the subjugation of Burma. Exploiting an incident between an English trading company and the Burmese government, England presented an ultimatum to the Burmese king Thibau in October 1885 demanding control over Burma’s foreign relations. At the same time, English troops were sent to Burma. Military actions began on Nov. 14, 1885. The regular Burmese army was unable to resist the English army, which had numerical superiority, and it capitulated. On Jan. 1, 1886, a manifesto announcing the annexation of Burma to the possessions of the English throne was published. Burma became a separate province of India. The partisan movement which unfolded in Burma was not broken by the English colonialists until 1890.
REFERENCESMarx, K. “Voina v Birme.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 9.
Marx, K. “Polozhenie del na kontinente i v Anglii.” Ibid.
Banerjee, A. C. Annexation of Burma. Calcutta, 1944.
A. P. MURANOVA