Third Anglo-Burmese War 1885-1890

[ 1885 - 1890 ]

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Mindon tried to readjust to the thrust of imperialism. He enacted administrative reforms and made Burma more receptive to foreign interests. To offset the British, he entertained envoys from France and sent his own emissaries there. Those moves aroused British suspicions, and Anglo-Burmese relations once again worsened. During the reign of Thibaw (1878-85), the British were willing to ignore Upper Burma and to concentrate on French moves in Laos, Vietnam, and Yunnan.

The ensuing Anglo-French tension was the result not so much of French design as of Burmese initiative. A letter to the French premier from the Hlutdaw (ministerial council) suggesting a bilateral treaty posed a direct threat to British teak monopolies in Lower Burma. Meanwhile, the Hlutdaw fined the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation for underreporting its extractions of teak from Toungoo. That action provoked British forces to strike. The annexation of Upper Burma was announced on Jan. 1, 1886, ending the Konbaung dynasty and Burmese independence. The Third Anglo-Burmese War formally ended before it had even developed, but resistance to British rule continued for another four years. 

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As the British became increasingly interested in the legendary trade with China through its back door--as well as in the teak, oil, and rubies of northern Myanmar--they waited for a suitable pretext to attack. In 1885 Britain declared war on Myanmar for the third and final time. To meet the criticism of their action that arose in Parliament, the British government gave the excuses that the last independent king of Myanmar, Thibaw (ruled 1878-85), was a tyrant and that he was conspiring to give France greater influence over the country. Neither of these charges seems to have had much foundation.

<p>How to Stop a War... Burmese War</p><table class='table table-bordered col-lg-12 col-md-12 col-sm-12 col-xs-12 margin20 row-30' border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><tbody><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">State</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Entry</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Exit</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Combat Forces</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Population</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Losses</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Britain</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1885</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1895</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">25000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">39000000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">4000</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Burma</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1885</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1895</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">50000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">17000000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">2500</font></td></tr></tbody></table>

Total Casualties 6500 Killed and Wounded
Casualties Killed / Wounded
Military Casualties Killed 6500 /Wounded
Civilian Casualties Killed / Wounded
Note
Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
Konbaung Dynasty and United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1885 / 11 / 7 1895 / 11 / 29 View