By Stephen L Keck

British Burma within the New Century attracts upon ignored yet proficient colonial authors to painting Burma among 1895 and 1918, which used to be the apogee of British governance. those writers, such a lot of them 'Burmaphiles' wrote opposed to frequent misperceptions approximately Burma.

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The expertise came from direct experience and observation: as deputy commissioner, Scott administered the Shan States. His work with the Anglo-Siamese Boundary Commission helped to affix the current borders between the two countries. These tasks were extended to defining the border with China as well. 37 Not only was he a talented journalist, but he took pride in collecting Burmese manuscripts. 38 Yet, despite occasional academic attention, his achievements and full-length biography remain to be written.

Not 28 Locating Burma 29 only was Burma a recent acquisition, but it was at once the largest province in the Indian empire and the least densely populated. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the task of locating Burma proved to be a complicated one for both colonial civil servants and those British writers who sought to reflect upon the larger imperial enterprise in the country. As Lower Burma and then Upper Burma came under British rule, there existed an immediate need to understand the country by first trying to assess it on its own terms and then contextualizing it according to the requirements of governance.

Traversing the country either by rail or on board one of the many steamers of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company (which at one point was the world’s largest freshwater fleet) signified the many facets of British industrial and technological power. Assessing the ethnic complexity of colonial Burma was one of the most difficult tasks which faced British administrators. The discussion which makes up chapter seven will examine the ways in which British policy favored some ethnicities over others. Furthermore, probing these writings should make it possible to exhibit the gendered components of colonial ethnographic discourses.

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