The Conquest, Pacification, and Administration of the Shan States by the British, 1886-1897

Hendershot, Clarence

     Fifty years ago Great Britain laid claims to the Shan States as part of the empire of the dethroned king of Upper Burma. How the claims were established, the country pacified, the administration organized, and the country developed constitutes the subject of this study.
     After a description of the Shan States prior to the British, this thesis describes how the British acquired the Shan States not as a direct objective but as incidental to their conquest of Upper Burma. . . . At first it was hoped to establish claims by peaceful negotiations with the Shan chiefs, but after a year of futile efforts the English resorted to conquest. The history of the British conquest of the Shan States is then described: first the defeat of the southern Shans at Kugyo in February 1887; the following year's battles which extended British control to all states west of the Salween; and finally the submission of Kengtung and Manglun, the pacification of the region, and the establishment of the boundaries separating the Shan States from Thailand and China.
     The next topic discussed is the evolution of the British administration. The reformation of the tax system and the relationship between the British and Shan chiefs are examined, as are the British responses to crime, conflicts between states, and the transfer of power upon the death of a chief.
     The fourth subject which this thesis addresses is the development of the Shan States. Topics examined include the expansion of medical facilities; agricultural experiments and improvements; livestock breeding; the construction of roads and railroads; British education policy; the increase of foreign trade; and the British exploitation of mineral and timber resources.