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The Failure and Rebirth of Burmese Nationalism Essay

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All people in the world strive to find a sense of belonging. This sense is coupled with ethnic identities, cultural customs, and social implications. The groups that inhabit the corner of the world, now known as Myanmar, have had great struggles and upheavals through the last century. They have been stricken with World War, independence struggles, as well as military dictatorship. The Burmese groups have tried with diligence to establish their own states, but in the end all has fallen upon them and their tale is one of grief and sadness. The failure of Burmese nationalist movement is through the conflicting interests of the world, the clashes between Burmese ideology, and the differences of ethnic acceptance. However badly the movement failed, a new movement has taken form and is a blossoming root of hope for the millions of Burmese living in poverty today.
The area in Southeast Asia that contains Burma today has been a place of human life for millennium. Leaders came and went, and the usual cycle of empires, kings, and regimes passed over the people of Burma. The scene of nationalistic fervor, however, starts after the takeover of Burma by the British through the entirety of the nineteenth century (Badertscher). Like always, “the British began to permeate the ancient Burmese culture with foreign elements”, thus starting the colonial period of Burma’s history and of struggles to resist such control (“Burma”). Using a divide and conquer strategy, British command authorized minorities like the Karen group of Burmese to be “in the military and in local rural administrations” (“Burma”). This way they built resentment that is still apparent in many cases today.
The nationalist movements present globally in the nineteenth and twent...


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...artin, Patricia. "Aung San Suu Kyi." Aung San Suu Kyi (2011): 1. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 10 Apr. 2012.
"Nothing New But the Name." The Economist 20 Oct. 1990. Student Research Center. Web. 3 Apr. 2012. .
Pittman, Todd, and Aye Aye Win. "Myanmar Elections: Aung San Suu Kyi, Opposition Leader, Wins Parliament Seat." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 01 Apr. 2012. Web. 3 Apr. 2012. .
Steinberg, David I. Burma, the State of Myanmar. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown UP, 2001. Print.
"The History of Burma." Canadian Friends of Burma. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. .


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