Was ruled by the Alaungpaya dynasty from 1752 to 1885. Initially, the dynasty was expansionary, conquering (although failing to hold) Thailand. However, it was severely checked and ultimately defeated by a counter‐expansionary drive coming from the British in India. The British conquest of Burma was piecemeal, beginning in 1826 and not reaching completion until 1885. Originally ruled as a province of British India, the country was given its own administration in 1937. Between 1942 and 1945, Burma was overrun by the Japanese. After the war, hopes continued in the Colonial Office for a restoration of British dominance. However, an Anti‐Fascist People's Freedom League had arisen to organize large‐scale popular resistance to the Japanese. Now it was turned against the British. On 4 January 1948, the Independent Republic of Burma came into existence.