In 1755, King Alaungpaya conquered central Myanmar and built a new city at Dagon, a fishing village that had existed for centuries around the Shwedagon pagoda. He renamed the place Yangon, meaning 'end of strife'.
In 1852, the residential areas of the town were damaged by the 2nd Anglo-Myanmar War. After the war, the British seized the power in lower part of Myanmar and reconstructed a modern city, Rangoon (corruption of Yangon). Under the supervision of Englishmen, Dr. William Montgomery and Captain Fraser, Rangoon became the most beautiful and cleanest city in South East Asia and made it capital. It is easy to get a sense of how prosperous of colonial Rangoon was from the monumental architecture that still graces the city's downtown.
When Myanmar had gained its independence on 4th January 1948, Rangoon continued as the nation's capital. In November 2005, the Military government quite unexpectedly announced that newly constructed city of Nay Pyi Taw in Central Myanmar was to be the nation's capital.