History of Thailand

By | April 28, 2022

According to historyaah, excavations near the village of Ban Chiang testify to the existence of a Bronze Age culture here 5600 years ago, which is 600 years older than the ancient civilization in the Tigris and Euphrates Valley. The first states on the territory of Thailand were created by the Mons in the 1st-2nd centuries. AD, later they fell under the rule of the Funan Empire with its center in the territory of modern Cambodia. In the 7th century the state of Dvaravati rose, and in the 2nd half. 7th c. already in northern Thailand, the state of Haripunchaya arose.

In the beginning. 11th c. the state of Dvaravati (Lavo) became part of the vast Khmer Empire. Thai tribes began to penetrate the territory of modern Thailand from the con. 1st millennium, they came from the north, from southern China and created small principalities-cities, which until the beginning. 13th c. were vassals of the Khmer Empire. In 1238, having overthrown the rule of the Khmers, the Thais create their own state of Sukhothai, it grows rapidly, conquering new lands in Central and Southern Thailand, in Laos, on the Malay Peninsula, and includes parts of Burma. The first Thai inscription that has come down to us belongs to the ruler of Sukhothai, Ramkhamhaeng (1292). The religion of Buddhism was brought from Ceylon, which had a strong influence on the development of the Thai state, culture and art. Having won to the horse. 13th c. Haripunchaya, the Thais found the state of Chiang Mai in its place.

In 1350, the state of Ayutthaya arose, replacing the disintegrated state of Sukhothai. Ayutthaya (1350-1767) became one of the strongest states on the Indochinese Peninsula, conducted extensive foreign trade, incl. with China, Japan, India. Ayutthaya struggled with the weakening Khmer empire and with Burma for dominance in the peninsula. In 1569, Ayutthaya was besieged and captured by the Burmese kingdom of Pegu, whose king placed his protege on the throne. Prince Naresuan liberated the country from the Burmese, restored the state to its former borders, and in 1595 conquered Chiang Mai. In the 16th century Europeans appear in Ayutthaya – the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French, the Spaniards, the British. They received from the king the right to build their quarters, temples, trading posts, trading shops in the capital. However, a rivalry began between them in an effort to enslave Ayutthaya, sometimes with the use of military force. The French and the Jesuit order showed particular zeal, which, with the help of the adventurer Constantine Falcon, sought to achieve full influence on King Narai and convert him to Christianity. The French were preparing the annexation of the Thai state. These plans were thwarted by an uprising in 1688 led by the commander of the elephant guard Pet Racha, who became king.

In 1767, Ayutthaya suffered a heavy defeat from the fortified Burma, was destroyed and burned, and its inhabitants were driven into captivity. The liberation struggle was led by General Taksin. To con. 1770s the Siamese (Thais) returned their territories, subjugated Chiang Mai and Laos, restored their state with a new capital in Bangkok. At the same time, General Pya Chakri, who was crowned in 1782 under the name of Phra Phut Yotfa (Pra Buddha Yodfa), laid the foundation for the ruling Chakri dynasty to this day.

From Ser. 19th century Siam was forced into unequal treaties by Great Britain (1855), France and USA (1856), other Western powers. Part of the country’s territory, which currently belongs to Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, was torn away by France (1867, 1893) and Great Britain. In 1893, France sent its gunboats to the mouth of the Chaophraya River and presented the Siamese government with an ultimatum containing territorial demands. As a result of military pressure, on October 3, 1893, Siam was forced to sign an agreement with France on the transfer of Vientiane and Luan Prabang to the colony of French Indochina. The Anglo-French treaties of 1893 and 1904 divided Siam into spheres of influence. The UK dominated the economy. Siam managed to maintain state independence, incl. thanks to the support of Russia, with which diplomatic relations were established in 1897. See ehistorylib for more about Thailand history.

From Ser. 19th century under the leadership of the kings of Mongkut – Rama IV (1851-68) and Chulalongkorn – Rama V (1868-1910), slavery is abolished, extensive reforms are carried out to modernize the country, including the reform of the state apparatus, legislation, army, education system, etc. At the same time, railways were being built, and capitalist entrepreneurship began to develop. Siam participated in the 1st World War, declaring war on Germany and Austria on July 22, 1917. Until 1925, Siam signed agreements on the abolition of the right of extraterritoriality for citizens of the Western powers.

The bourgeois revolution of 1932 replaced the absolute monarchy with a constitutional one, the power of the king was limited, the hereditary aristocracy was pushed aside from government, a parliament was created, and political parties appeared. A prominent democratic figure of this period was Pridi Phanomiong. The example of Japan gave rise in many Asian countries to the desire to gain independence from Western imperialism. Siam was not a colony, but suffered heavy territorial losses in the con. 19 – beg. 20th century The ruling circles had a desire to take revenge. In June 1939, Siam was renamed Muang Thai (Country of Thais), or Thailand in English. Then, in June 1939, a friendship treaty was concluded with Japan, and in September of the same year, the Thai government presented a demand to the Vichy (France) government to return territories in Laos and Cambodia, previously transferred to France under the treaty of 1904. In 1941, diplomatic relations with the USSR were restored. In January 1942, when Japanese troops began to land on the territory of the country, Prime Minister Phibun Songkhram declared war on Great Britain and the United States. Thus, Thailand acted in the 2nd World War on the side of Japan. At the same time, the anti-Japanese movement “Free Thai” was created within the country and in the United States.

In 1946 there was an exchange of diplomatic missions with the USSR. In 1946, Siam joined the UN. The brief period of relative democracy in 1946–47 gave way to a sharp political struggle. A military coup on November 29, 1951 brought the military to power, who cracked down on their political opponents. The reign of Marshal Sarit Thanarat (1959–63) was replaced by that of General Thanom Kittikachon. In 1954, Thailand joined the SEATO military bloc, which determined the country’s foreign and domestic policy for a long time. Thailand was an ally of the United States in the war in Korea, in Indochina. The left movement, primarily the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT), subjected to repression and being ousted from the political sphere, went into the jungle and from the beginning. 1960s led an armed struggle, which was supported by the peasants in the poverty-stricken remote areas. Until 1973, military dictatorships dominated the country, succeeding each other as a result of military coups, the chain of which was interrupted by the student uprising of 1973. Students demanded that the triumvirate of military dictators Thanom-Prapthat-Narong be removed from power, democratize society, and achieve social justice in society. The reactionary coup of 1976 and the heavy repression of student leaders forced many of them to flee into the jungle and join the rebel groups of the CPT. The partisan struggle continued until ser. 1980s, when the government took a number of social measures and announced an amnesty for those who come out of the jungle. The rapid economic growth of the 1970s and 1980s and social changes made it necessary for the civil representatives of the new middle class to participate in politics and in the development of democratic institutions. At the same time, these changes did not completely solve the problem of military participation in politics. The instability of the political system led to a new military coup in 1991. 1992–97 was characterized by governments based on unstable political coalitions. The economic crisis of 1997 led to the resignation of Chaowalit Yongchayut’s cabinet. The Chuan Leekpai government, which failed to overcome the crisis on the recommendations of the IMF, was replaced by the 2001 elections Thaksin Shinawatra, whose Thai Rak Thai party won a confident majority in parliament for the first time in the country’s history with a broad program of socio-economic measures to overcome the economic crisis and formed a coalition government.

History of Thailand