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Myanmar - TaungNgoo Dynasty (1486-1599)


Kings / Queens

Relationship to Predecessor

TaungNgoo Dynasty (1486-?)
1486-1531 Minkyinyo founder
1531-1550 Tabinshwehti son
1551-1581 Bayint Naung Kyaw Htin Nawyahtar (a) Barin Naung son
1581-99 Nanda son

The Taungoo Period (1486-1594 C.E.), which lasted over a century, is characterized by wars waged at home and abroad for national reunificationand defense and extension of the kingdom. The second Myanmar union broke up into petty principalities during the reign of the last king of the Taungoo period.

In the sixteenth century a revival of Burman power took place at Toungoo, on the Sittang River. In 1280 there had been established a fortified town, which subsequently became a political center of some importance. After the capture of Ava by a Shan prince in 1527, many Burmans sought refuge there. Bin eti (1531-5) established the second unified Burmese kingdom, whose ruling house was known as the Toungoo Dynasty, after its place of origin. He conquered Pega in 1539, extending his control to Martaban and the coastal area as far south as Tavoy. Tabtshwehti captured Prone from the forces of the Shan conqueror of Ava, in 1546 he had himself consecrated king of Burma, making Pegu his capital. His invasion of Siam (what is mow central Thailand), undertaken in 1548, however, ended in failure.

After Tabinshwehti's assassination and a subsequent revolt in central Burma, his brother, King Bayinnaung (1551-81) captured Ava in 1555, thus uniting Upper and Lower Burma. He then marched against the Shan principalities in eastern Burma and parts of modern Thailand and Laos and in 1569 captured the Siamese capital of Ayutthaya, located near the modern Thai capital of Bangkok. Plans to conquer the independent kingdom of Arakan on the Bay of Bengal coast, however, were never carried out. The reign of Bayinnaung's son, Nanda Bayin (1581-99), witnessed the beginning of the decline of Toungoo power. Siam reasserted its independence, and an Arakanese fleet laid siege to Pegu, capturing it in 1599.

Portuguese merchants and adventurers established a factory or trading station at Martaban in 1519, and their accounts of Pegu describe it as a rich city and international port. Yet Burma's products, which included rice, jewels, precious metals, "Martaban jars" used for storing water or rice, shellac, and teak, were of less interest to them and their later Dutch and English rivals than the spices of the Indonesian archipelago. Strong kings, such as Tabinshwehti and Bayinnaung, bought European firearms and employed Portuguese as mercenaries in their armies. When authority broke down in the delta region toward the close of the century, a Portuguese adventurer in the pay of the invading Arakanese, Philip de Brito, set himself up at Syriam and proceeded to carve out a kingdom for himself in Lower Burma. De Brito's career ended in 1613 when Anaukpetlun captured Syriam and executed him; his Portuguese supporters were exiled to Burma. Portuguese pirates at Dianga raided the coast Bengal, providing captives for proftable Arakanese slavemarkets, until the region was takeu by the Mogul emperor of India In 1666.

The dynasty founded by Tabin Shweti, a king of Burmese, was but of short duration. It ended in 1599, when Nanda Bayin, the eldest son of Bayin Naung, was dethroned and put to death by his tributary, the King of Toungoo. From 1599, when the Nyaung Yan Min, a younger son of Bayin Naung, ascended the throne of the "king of kings," the Toungoo dynasty reigned at Ava, and at Pegu, holding sway throughout the whole of the present province, with the exception of Arakan. This was the first time the kingdoms of Burma and Pegu had ever been united under one sovereign. At the same time, the eastern frontiers of the Burmese empire had been pushed forward so as to include large tracts in Western China, all the Shan and Siamese-Shan States, and the greater portion of Siam.

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Page last modified: 08-10-2011 12:16:23 ZULU