Burma was conquered by Britain in the course of three wars fought in 1825, 1852 and 1885, and colonial rule was to last up until 1948, when Burma regained its lost independence. Throughout this period there were several armed uprisings against foreign rule and its social and economic ramifications. This text explores how peasant militancy was first generated and then crystallized into an open challenge to the colonial state. It focuses upon two types of uprisings: the 19th-century resistance which followed the three wars of conquest; and Saya San's revolt of 1930-3. Rather than seeing such Burmese responses as being the symptom of a colonial "pacification" process, the author argues that they were organic exressions of a momentum of resistance originating among a grassroots peasant base.