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Title: The political and constitutional evolution of Burma, from 1923 to 1936
Author: Ram, Asha
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1962
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The Dyarchical reforms introduced in Burma in 1923 were the result of the influence of the nationalist movement which, for the first time in 1917, assumed political form. This movement was the result of internal socio-economic conditions created by British rule and of subsequent external factors such as the First World War and the Indian national movement. The introduction of reforms led to a split between the moderate and extremist wings of the nationalist movement. The cooperation of the Moderates with the Government produced certain positive results such as improvement in law and order and the Burmanisation of services and institutions. But by the end of the period of the First Council there arose a conflict of interest between the two leading to the appointment of pro-Government Ministers. This affected the political and economic condition of the country and, along with the constitutional controversy which started after the appointment of the Simon Commission and in conjunction with the economic crisis, led to race riots and rebellion. On the issue of the separation of Burma from. India the Extremists also entered the legislature. This was the beginning of their constitutionalist approach which ended in their acceptance of office. Despite their majority in the Council, the Extremists failed to prevent the separation of Burma from India because there were powerful British and Burmese interests behind the move, but they, along with other nationalists who formed an absolute majority in the last Council, succeeded in getting more liberal reforms together with certain other political and economic concessions for the country. Within the national movement the Extremists, as well as the Moderates, played their roles but, as nationalism grew stronger, it affected the Interests of the minorities which drifted away from it. During the 1920's the pongyis supplied the only element of popular leadership in the national movement but, after the Saya San rebellion, their role declined and gave way to a new political force in touch with the people - the Thakins.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral