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Burma History Timeline

1000 BC - 1500s AD
  • (1000BC) Tharay Kittarar (Srikittra) Pyu City State founded
  • (518BC) Kingdom of Waytharlee founded
  • (107 AD) Bagan Dynasty began as city-state
  • (1044 - 1077) King Anawrahtar organized entire country into single sovereign - the founding of the First Myanmar Empire
  • (1044 - 1077) King Anawrahtar founded first unified Burmese state at Pagan, Theravada Buddhism was adopted
  • (1287) Bagan Dynasty fell. Many pagodas in Bagan were destroyed to use the bricks to build forts in defense against Genghis Khan's Mongolian troops
  • (1287) Second Myanmar Empire founded, the Hantharwaddy (Bago) Dynasty
  • (1309) Pinya Dynasty founded
  • (1315) Sagaing Dynasty founded
  • (1364) Innwa Dynasty founded
  • (1486) TaungNgoo Dynasty founded
  • (1531) During Toungoo Dynasty, Portuguese helped reunite Burma
1700 - 1800
  • (1752) Third Myanmar Empire, the Konbaung Dynasty, founded
  • (1824 - 1826) First Anglo-Burmese War
  • (1826) Treaty of Yandabo ended war. Burma ceded Arakan coastal strip to British India
  • (1852) Second Anglo-Burmese War
  • (1852) Britain annexed lower Burma
  • (1852) King Mindon nationalized petroleum production
  • (1853 - 1878) During King Mindon's reign, industrial revolution occurred
  • (1885) In Third Anglo-Burmese War, Britain captured all of Myanmar, made it a province of British India
1900s
  • (1937) Britain separated Burma from India, made it a crown colony
  • (1942) Japan invaded, occupied Burma
  • (1945) Burma liberated from occupation by British and the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL), led by Aung San
  • (1947) Aung San and six members of his government assassinated by political opponents led by U Saw
  • (1948) Burma became independent, U Nu became prime minister
  • (1958 - 1960) Chief of Staff General Ne Win formed caretaker government following split in ruling party
  • (1960) U Nu's party won elections. Military angered by his promotion of Buddhism as state religion
  • (1962) U Nu ousted in coup led by General Ne Win
  • (1962) General Ne Win abolished federal system, inaugurated "Burmese Way to Socialism", nationalized the economy, formed single-party state with Socialist Programme Party as sole political party, banned independent newspapers
  • (1974) New constitution came into effect. Power transferred from armed forces to People's Assembly headed by Ne Win, other military leaders
  • (1975) Guerilla insurgencies mounted by Opposition National Democratic Front
  • (1982) Ne Win relinquished presidency to San Yu
  • (1987) Devaluation of currency wiped out people's savings, caused anti-government riots
  • (1988) Thousands killed in anti-government riots
  • (1988) State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) formed
  • (1989) SLORC declared martial law, arrested thousands, named Burma Myanmar, capital Rangoon changed to Yangon
  • (1989) Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD leader and daughter of Aung San, put under house arrest
  • (1990) Opposition National League for Democracy won victory in general elections
  • (1991) Aung San Suu Kyi awarded Nobel Peace Prize for commitment to peaceful change
  • (1992) Than Shwe replaced Saw Maung as SLORC chairman, prime minister, defense minister
  • (1992) To improve Burma's international image, several political prisoners were freed
  • (1995) After six years, Aung San Suu Kyi released from house arrest
  • (1996) Aung San Suu Kyi attended first NLD congress since her arrest
  • (1997) Burma admitted to Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • (1997) SLORC renamed to State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)
  • (1998) Ruling council refused to comply with NLD deadline for convening Parliament
  • (1999) After rejecting ruling council decisions, Aung San Suu Khi visited British husband, Michael Aris, who died of cancer in the United Kingdom

2000s

  • (2000) Aung San Suu Kyi began secret talks with ruling council
  • (2001) Shan rebels clashed with Burmese army on Thai border
  • (2001) President of China, Jiang Zemin visited, urged economic reform
  • (2002) Aung San Suu Kyi released after 20 months of house arrest, taken into protective custody after clashes between her supporters and the government's
  • (2003) Khin Nyunt became prime minister, proposed drafting new constitution
  • (2004) Constitutional convention began, Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD party boycotted
  • (2004) Khin Nyunt replaced as prime minister, placed under house arrest
  • (2005) Seat of government moved to new site near Pyinmana
  • (2007) Burma and North Korea restored diplomatic ties after 24 years
  • (2007) Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest extended for another year
  • (2007) Fuel price hikes caused public dissent, dozens arrested
  • (2007) National Convention closed after 14 years of constitutional talks
  • (2007) Aung San Suu Kyi allowed to leave house to greet Buddhist monks protesting in Rangoon against government
  • (2008) Series of bomb blasts hit the country
  • (2008) New constitution allocated one quarter of seats in parliament to military, banned Aung San Suu Kyi from holding office
  • (2008) 134,000 died after Cyclone Nargis hit Irrawaddy delta
  • (2008) Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrested renewed
  • (2008) Despite protests, government signed consortium to pipe natural gas into China
  • (2009) Thailand expelled hundreds of members of Burma's Muslim Rohingya
  • (2009) NLD offered to participate in planned elections if government freed all political prisoners, changed the constitution and allowed international observers
  • (2009) Aung San Suu Kyi convicted of breaching terms of house arrest, sentenced to additional 18 months house arrest
  • (2009) Aung San Suu Kyi began talks with military leaders, allowed to meet with Western diplomats
  • (2010) Government changed country's flag, national anthem and official name
  • (2010) Military-backed party, Union Solidarity and Development Party won in first election held in 20 years
  • (2010) Aung San Suu Kyi released from house arrest
  • (2011) Thein Sein sworn in as president
  • (2011) President Thein Sein suspended construction of controversial hydroelectric dam
  • (2011) Some political prisoners freed
  • (2011) New laws allowing labor unions passed
  • (2011) Aung San Suu Kyi announced she would stand in election to parliament
  • (2011) President Thein Sein signed law allowing peaceful demonstrations
  • (2011) NLD re-registered as a political party in advance of 2012 elections
  • (2012) Aung San Suu Kyi elected to parliament
  • (2012) In series of prisoner amnesties, most important dissidents were released
  • (2012) NLD boycotted parliament due to oath of office for MPs, UN's Secretary General urged President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi to work as partners on path to change
  • (2012) Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, signed 12 agreements to strengthen trade and diplomatic ties, provided for border area development, establishment of Indian credit line
  • (2012) Pre-publication censorship abolished
  • (2012) European Commission offered more than $100 million in development aid
  • (2013) Burmese army launched attack on Kachin rebels near Chinese border, breaking ceasefire
  • (2013) 12 people were killed in riots between Muslims and Buddhists south of Mandalay, several mosques were burned down
  • (2013) President Thein Sein announced that all political prisoners would be released by the end of the year
  • (2014) Protesters in Yangon called for abolition of repressive laws, end to political arrests

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.