Anglo-Burmese War, Second

Anglo-Burmese War, Second
   What began as a series of legal and commercial disputes between British India and Burma ended in the annexation of Lower Burma. Following the fining of two British sea captains for various offenses by the Burmese governor of Rangoon (Yangon) and the captains' request that Calcutta enforce compensation, Lord Dalhousie, the Indian governor-general, sent a naval force to Rangoon demanding the sum, a little less than £2,000, and removal of the Rangoon governor. Intent on war and expansion of British rule, Dalhousie issued a further, stiffer ultimatum (including an indemnity of the equivalent of £100,000), and sent an expeditionary force to Rangoon in April 1852. The Burmese response was incoherent, and the invading force speedily gained control of most of Lower Burma, which was declared the British Indian Province of Pegu (Bago) on December 20, 1852. In 1863, this territory was amalgamated with Arakan and Tenasserim (Tanintharyi), which had been annexed during the First Anglo-Burmese War. The war marked a turning point in the country's colonization. The Burmese kingdom was deprived of some of its richest provinces, where the British developed a flourishing export economy based on rice. Rangoon, later independent Burma's capital, became the colony's economic and administrative center. The moderate King Mindon (r. 1853-1878) tried to negotiate the return of Lower Burma, but without success. Unlike the first war, the second one was not concluded with a treaty, and Anglo-Burmese relations were highly unstable.
   See also Anglo-Burmese War, Third.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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