- A term first used by the British in the 19th century to refer to those territories annexed following the First and Second Anglo-Burmese Wars (1824-1826, 1852), in contrast to Upper Burma, which was ruled by the Konbaung Dynasty until the Third Anglo-Burmese War (1885). Lower Burma was frequently also referred to as "Pegu," the region's most prominent city until Rangoon (Yangon) became Burma's colonial capital; after the 1852 war, it included Arakan (Rakhine), Tenasserim (Tanintharyi), the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River Delta, and most of what are now Mon State and Pegu (Bago) Division. The terms Lower and Upper Burma are still often used because the areas they denote retain a strong regional distinctiveness. Historically, Lower Burma, home of the Mons, has been a sea-girt, well-watered area where international trade and rice cultivation have been highly developed since antiquity. During the colonial period, it was characterized by ethnic diversity and cosmopolitanism, including a large population of migrants from India, in contrast to Upper Burma, which was more isolated and ethnically homogeneous. Both regions constituted Burma Proper, in contrast to the Frontier Areas.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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