British embassy in Amarapura, Burma. By unidentified author, published on Le Tour du Monde, Paris.
The beautiful country of Myanmar or Burma as it was known prior to its independence has a rather chequered history. It has been occupied by a number of kingdoms from time immemorial, and does not quite enjoy democracy in its full form despite being a republic.
Burma has had earlier settlers dating back to the 2nd century BCE. It was the Pye in the North and the Mon in the South who occupied the country and founded several cities and states by the 4th century BCE. The Mranma unified the entire Irrawady region by establishing the pagan Empire in 1044 CE The language, culture and other aspects of the country came to be defined properly for the first time ever since the early inhabitation in this region. However, local strifes and constant wars became the norm after the fall of this dynasty and Burma came to be a united kingdom once again only in 1510 CE under the Toungoo Dynasty. It became the largest empire of Southwest Asia for a short time thereafter and continued to be so for a brief time under the Konbaung dynasty which followed. The cultural ties were enhanced during this period and Burma enjoyed the title of being the most literate nation in the region during this time.