The History of Myanmar
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is a country in Southeast Asia bordered by China, India, Thailand, Bangladesh and Laos.
Rich in culture, and possessing abundant natural resources and an ancient history, Myanmar spent nearly one hundred years as a colony of the British Empire. After fraught years of conflict during and after World War II, Myanmar gained independence and enjoyed over a decade of prosperity and freedom before a military coup in 1962.
Between 1962 and 1988, Myanmar embraced a form of socialist governance and invasive state control which devastated private enterprises and stifled most major industries. Beginning in 1989 Myanmar began a transition to private enterprise, once again allowing the formation of private companies and industries.
In 2010, Myanmar embarked on a transition to democracy – electing a parliament, abolishing most major media censorship practices and releasing hundreds of political prisoners, in addition to a host of other governance reforms.
Although Myanmar was regarded in the 1950s as among the most prosperous and educated countries in Asia, a half-century of stagnation and oppression severely damaged this beautiful nation. However, in 2014 many are discovering that several of Myanmar’s strengths are just as meaningful now as they ever were, including a high literacy rate and respect for education, a peaceful and honest culture, abundant natural resources and land borders with over 1/3 of the world’s population.