Burmese history is one of the more complex histories in Southeast Asia. The earliest records show that the Mon (one of today’s ethnic groups) migrated south from Mongolia and Tibet followed by the Pyu people. For years the different ethnic groups fought for land and power. Many kingdoms were built, and wars were fought. Marco Polo introduced Burma to western civilization during his travels.
From 1824-1885 Britain waged three wars to take control of Burma. They eventually annexed the country India. It would not be until 1948 after sacrificing thousands of lives that Burma would regain its independence from British rule. The Japanese built a supply route through northern Burma during World War II.
January 1948, the Union of Burma emerges with its first prime minister. After much fighting between the parliament and the military, General Ne Win took control of Burma
through the military. The military had for years fought many of the tribal peoples trying to bring them under their rule. Besides the warring factions, Aung San Suu Kyi has been an outspoken voice for democracy. This government ruled the people from 1962—2009.
In 2010, elections were held, and U Thein Sein became the first president of Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi is now a parliament member. The government is now in transition to a representative republic. Burma has asked for other countries and individuals to invest economically and intellectually.