The Shan States were the princely states that ruled large areas of today's Burma (Myanmar), Yunnan Province in China, Laos and Thailand from the late 13th century until mid-20th century. The term "Shan States" was first used during the British colonial period as a geopolitical designation for certain areas of Burma (officially, the Federated Shan States, consisted of today's Shan State and Kayah State). In some cases, the Siamese Shan States was used to refer to Lan Na (northern Thailand) and Chinese Shan States to the Shan regions in southern Yunnan such as Xishuangbanna.
The first founding of Shan states inside the present day boundaries of Burma began during period of Pagan Kingdom in the Shan Hills and Kachin Hills and accelerated after the fall of Pagan Kingdom to the Mongols in 1287. The Shans, who came down with the Mongols, stayed and quickly came to dominate much of northern to eastern arc of Burma—from northern Chin State and northwestern Sagaing Region to the present day Shan Hills. The newly founded Shan States were multi-ethnic states that included a substantial number of other ethnic minorities like the Chin, Palaung, Pa-O, Kachin and Burmans. The most powerful Shan states were Mohnyin (Mong Yang) and Mogaung (Mong Kawng) in present-day Kachin State, followed by Theinni (Hsenwi), Thibaw (Hsipaw), Momeik (Mong Mit) and Kyaingtong (Keng Tung) in present-day northern Shan State.
The Shan States were a dominant force in the politics of Upper Burma throughout 13th to 16th centuries. Strongest Shan States, Mogaung, Mohnyin and Theinni, constantly raided Upper Burma. Mogaung ended the kingdoms of Sagaing and Pinya in 1364. The Mohnyin-led Confederation of Shan States captured the Ava Kingdom in 1527 and ruled Upper Burma until 1555.
Nonetheless, Shan States were too fragmented to resist the encroachment of bigger neighbors. In the north, Ming China annexed today's Yunnan in the 1380s, stamping out final Shan resistance by the 1440s. In the south, Burma captured all the Shan States that would become known as Burmese Shan States in 1557. Though Shan States came under the suzerainty of Irrawaddy valley-based Burmese kingdoms from then on, the Shan saophas (chiefs) retained a large degree of autonomy.
Under the British colonial administration, the Federated Shan States were consisted of nominally sovereign entities, each ruled by a local monarch, but administered by a single British commissioner. When Burma gained independence in 1948, the Federated Shan States became Shan State and Kayah State of the Union of Burma with the right to secede from the Union. However, the Shan States and the saophas' hereditary rights were removed by Gen. Ne Win's military government in 1962.
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Other articles related to "shan states, shan, state, shans":
... A five-month expedition in 1887–1888 brought cis-Salween Shan states under control as British protectorates ... brought Kengtung into the fold in March 1890, completing the annexation of Shan states ... But rebellions broke out again in northern Shan states at Hsenwi, Lashio and Bhamo in 1892 ...
... area lay on a wide shoulder of the Sittaung Hills of the Shan Hills and was populated by the Shan ethnicity at the time ... the town became the chief city and capital of the Southern Shan States ... Although geographically within the state of Yawnghwe, the town was denoted as a "notified area" by the British, exempt from the Sawbwa's administration ...
... List of Shan states and rulers Shan people. ...
... Asia, which included much of modern day Burma, Manipur, Mong Shan States (southern Yunnan), Lan Na (northern Thailand), Siam (central and southern ... greatest legacy was his integration of Shan States into the Irrawaddy-valley-based Burmese kingdoms, which eliminated the threat of Shan raids into Upper Burma, an overhanging concern to Upper Burma since the late ... After the conquest of Shan States in 1557, the king put in an administrative system that reduced the power of hereditary Shan saophas (chiefs), and brought Shan ...
... Though hemmed in by two powerful kingdoms, the Shan states were able to create a space for themselves for another century and a half, ironically by using state-of-the-art Chinese ... The Shans soon learned to replicate Chinese arms and military techniques, and were able to strengthen their position not only against Ava but also against Ming China itself ... Attempts to impose order in the unruly Shan states proved difficult even for the Chinese ...
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