History of Myanmar

Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom
Burmese warriors, mid 18th century ©Anonymous
1740 Jan 1 - 1757

Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom

Bago, Myanmar (Burma)

The Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom was the kingdom that ruled Lower Burma and parts of Upper Burma from 1740 to 1757. The kingdom grew out of a rebellion by the Mon led population of Pegu, who then rallied the other Mon as well as Delta Bama and Karens of Lower Burma, against the Toungoo Dynasty of Ava in Upper Burma. The rebellion succeeded in expelling Toungoo loyalists and restored the Mon-speaking Kingdom of Hanthawaddy which ruled Lower Burma from 1287 to 1539. The restored Hanthawady kingdom also claim heritage to Bayinaung's early Toungoo Empire whose capital was based in Pegu and guaranteed the loyalty of the non-Mon population of Lower Burma. Supported by the French, the upstart kingdom quickly carved out a space for itself in Lower Burma, and continued its push northward. In March 1752, its forces captured Ava, and ended the 266-year-old Toungoo dynasty.[56]

A new dynasty called Konbaung led by King Alaungpaya rose in Upper Burma to challenge the southern forces, and went on to conquer all of Upper Burma by December 1753. After Hanthawaddy's invasion of Upper Burma failed in 1754, the kingdom came unglued. Its leadership in self-defleating measures killed off the Toungoo royal family, and persecuted loyal ethnic Burmans in the south, both of which only strengthened Alaungpaya's hand.[57] In 1755, Alaungpaya invaded Lower Burma. Konbaung forces captured the Irrawaddy delta in May 1755, the French defended port of Thanlyin in July 1756, and finally the capital Pegu in May 1757. The fall of Restored Hanthawaddy was the beginning of the end of Mon people's centuries-old dominance of Lower Burma. Konbaung armies' reprisals forced thousands of Mons to flee to Siam.[58] By the early 19th century, assimilation, inter-marriage, and mass migration of Burman families from the north had reduced the Mon population to a small minority.[57]

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