The ethnic origins of modern Myanmar (known historically as Burma) are a mixture of Indo-Aryans, who began pushing into the area around 700 B.C., and the Mongolian invaders under Kublai Khan who penetrated the region in the 13th century. Anawrahta (1044–1077) was the first great unifier of Myanmar.
In 1612, the British East India Company sent agents to Burma, but the Burmese doggedly resisted efforts of British, Dutch, and Portuguese traders to establish posts along the Bay of Bengal. Through the Anglo-Burmese War in 1824–1826 and two subsequent wars, the British East India Company expanded to the whole of Burma. By 1886, Burma was annexed to India, then became a separate colony in 1937.
During World War II, Burma was a key battleground; the 800-mile Burma Road was the Allies' vital supply line to China. The Japanese invaded the country in Dec. 1941, and by May 1942, had occupied most of it, cutting off the Burma Road. After one of the most difficult campaigns of the war, Allied forces liberated most of Burma prior to the Japanese surrender in Aug. 1945.
Burma became independent on Jan. 4, 1948. This is the timeline since that time:
|1947||Drove out Japanese. Allied Forces came in. General Aung San assasinated.|
|1948||Founding of the Fourth Myanmar Union, Union of Burma, after independence on 4th January from British. Myanmar joined The United Nations as 59th member.|
|1962||Revolutionary Council took over|
|1974||Became a socialist republic. The flag changed. The emblem changed. The national anthem unchanged.|
|1988||State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) took over.|
|1989||The name of the country, Burma changed to Myanmar|
|1996||Myanmar joined ASEAN|
|1997||State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) changed name to State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)|