Burmas Economy in the Twentieth Century
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British troops carried out mass executions and committed other atrocities. Strangers loyal to the colonial government were appointed as headmen for the new villages established by the British. The guerrillas resorted to desperate measures against the new village officials. By , however, with more than 30, British and Indian troops engaged in the campaign, the military part of the struggle was over.
The colonial period was one of relative civil order, but it also was one of great social disintegration. Chief among the reasons for this was the British-imposed separation of the sangha and the state. The British did not wish to touch the issue of religion—given their experience in India that had led to the Indian Mutiny beginning in —and thus they were unwilling to patronize Burmese Buddhism as the monarchy had done. Under the monarchy, the monkhood and the state had shared a symbiotic relationship. Royal patronage of Burmese Buddhism had included both financial and moral support, which had extended legitimacy and authority to the religious institution.
The king had had the right to appoint the patriarch, who exercised supervision and discipline among the ranks of the clergy. In addition, the king had been given the right to attach two royal officials to the patriarch: a commissioner of ecclesiastical lands and an ecclesiastical censor.
The duty of the land commissioner had been to see that ecclesiastical lands were exempted from payment of taxes, at the same time ensuring that false and illegal endowments did not escape taxation. The duty of the censor had been to maintain a register of monks , which had given the king indirect control over the clergy. This arrangement was designed to prevent the abuse of the exemptions granted to the clergy. The British refusal to heed a plea by the clergy and religious elders to continue the traditional relationship between the monkhood and the state resulted in the decline of the sangha and its ability to instill discipline in the clergy.
This in turn lowered the prestige of the clergy and contributed to the rise of secular education and of a new class of teachers, depriving the sangha of one of its primary roles. Added to this, the colonial government of India founded secular schools teaching in both English and Burmese and encouraged foreign Christian missions to found schools by offering them financial assistance.
Many mission schools were founded; parents were compelled to send their children to these schools, as there were no realistic alternatives. The teachers were missionaries, and the lessons they gave were marked by repeated criticism of Buddhism and its culture. War and independence; 4. In pursuit of socialism; 5. Toward the market: the economy from ; Conclusion: themes and threads; Bibliography; Index.
Burma's Economy in the Twentieth Century - AbeBooks - Ian Brown: X
Review quote 'This important new book could scarcely be better timed. Appearing just as Burma itself is emerging from decades of effective isolation from much of the world, Ian Brown's account of Burma's economic travails is both a significant historical work, and a highly valuable contribution to understanding the country's current and future problems and possibilities. A book of immense scholarship worn lightly, Burma's Economy in the Twentieth Century will prove a seminal contribution to a country that may yet escape the shackles of its past. It comes at an opportune time when foreign companies are considering investing there.
By providing an historical overview and background that is a major contribution to the burgeoning literature on Burma, Professor Brown has informed those in policy positions, potential investors in the private sector, and the academic community. The volume will also be a welcome text for courses on Burma and is highly recommended. It is indeed a succinct, thoughtful, and intellectually stimulating study of what its title describes. However, it is something rarer, a history of Burma with the perspective necessary to explain why the country is as it is today.
He has published extensively on the modern economic history of Southeast Asia, initially focusing on Thailand but, since the early s, turning his attention to Burma. John F Copper. Poverty in the Midst of Affluence. Hong Kong University Press. The China Renaissance. Antony Dapiran. Dragon Rising. Jasper Becker. Shanghai, Past and Present.
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