IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > D. South and Southeast Asia, 1500–1800 > 3. Mainland Southeast Asia, 1500–1800 > a. Burma > 1555
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
He took Ava.  1
Bayinnaung defeated the Thai kingdom of Chiengmai in northern Siam, which 11 years earlier had resisted armies of Ayutthaya.  2
1569, August
Ayutthaya fell to Bayinnaung.  3
By 1574
Vientiane, one of two centers in Lan Sang (encompassing much of modern Laos), was in Burman hands.  4
After Bayinnaung's rule, Burmese power fragmented, since the state was unable to maintain large-scale military expeditions from the capital at Pegu; considerable loss of manpower as villagers fled to escape military service. Regional towns asserted their independence from capital. In addition, relationships between different ethnic groups that Bayinnaung had so carefully built up quickly disintegrated with his death.  5
R. 1581–99
Nandabayan successor to Bayinnaung. In a disastrous effort to retain overextended empire established by his predecessor, the great wealth of Pegu and its ports in the Bay of Bengal was dissipated in ruinous campaigns. The Mons of Pegu, along with the Javanese of the pasisir (Java's northern coast), had been two of the most dynamic actors in the region's maritime commerce.  6
Defeat of major Burmese offensive by Ayutthaya signaled its freedom from Burmese control.  7
Alliance between Mons and Ayutthaya threw back Pegu's forces, and Naresan, the Ayutthayan king, succeeded in taking the entire southeast coast, even threatening Pegu itself.  8
Pegu finally fell before an alliance of Toungoo and Arakan. Both armies took home all that was movable of the remaining population and wealth of the coastal region.  9
By 1600
Burma once again divided into a number of petty states, as in the early 16th century.  10
The Dutch and English East India Companies opened factories. They did not flourish and were closed later in the century.  11
Between 1599 and 1635
Truncated version of empire restored, with the capital removed from the maritime region to Ava, a relatively remote center 400 miles up the Irrawaddy from the center of foreign trade.  12
Beginning in 1600 and continuing to 1830, a second dramatic expansion of agriculture ensued in Upper Burma, including a large portion of rice fields (representing at least a 50 percent growth in total cultivated acreage over figure for 1350). In Lower Burma, too, cultivation expanded. New crops were grown on this increased acreage, including tea and cotton and longer-maturing strains of rice. Better systems of irrigation and drainage were introduced. The growth in population and productivity that resulted from this agricultural expansion led, as well, to greater domestic commerce (i.e., demand for salt, dried fish and fish paste, iron goods, pottery, cheap textiles, etc.) and interregional exchange. These developments led, in turn, to greater monetization and economic specialization. All of these internal changes reinforced the administrative centralization characteristic of the period.  13
Between 1660 and 1715
At least 11 attempts to usurp the throne at Ava.  14
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.