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Racial Capitalism and Peasant Insurgency in Colonial Myanmar

Saha, Jonathan

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The Hsaya San Rebellion swept through colonial Myanmar between 1930 and 1932. It took eighteen months and over seven thousand Indian Army troops to suppress. Triggered by acute pressures in the agrarian economy that were compounded by a global fall in rice prices, the violence of the revolt cannot be fully explained by this crisis alone. Bands of peasant rebels massacred Indians; not only moneylenders but cattle-herders, who were themselves a precarious and marginal rural community. These massacres are not easy to interpret. Revisiting the insurgency through the growing literature on racial capitalism provides a framework for a understanding peasants’ racialized violence.


Saha, J. (2022). Racial Capitalism and Peasant Insurgency in Colonial Myanmar. History Workshop Journal, 94(Autumn 2022), 42 - 60.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 26, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 9, 2022
Publication Date Sep 9, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 18, 2022
Journal History Workshop Journal
Print ISSN 1363-3554
Electronic ISSN 1477-4569
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 94
Issue Autumn 2022
Pages 42 - 60


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (241 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Advance online version This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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