The history of Thailand ... broadly

Chiang Mai

Not easy to summarize the rich history of Thailand in brief ... however, it is always interesting to be aware of the major events that have marked the history of the country that we visit. To us then we dive deeper into the periods that excite us.

The ancient history
  • If human occupations are attested from the Bronze Age on the Thai territory, the true story of Thailand does not begin until the eighth century when the Thai people, from the south of the Yangtze in China, founded the kingdom of Nanzhao in the high valleys of Yunnan.
  • At the same time, northern Thailand is occupied by the Mon principality whose capital is Lamphun.

    the ninth to sixteenth centuries:
    • From the ninth century to the XIIth century, the Khmer impose their domination of northern Thailand.
    • At the same time, Thai, also known as Siamese, gradually descend on Thai territory. The conquest of Yunnan by the Chinese pushing Thai accelerate their descent.
    • Two Thai princes founded the Sukhothai kingdom in the Menam valley XIIIth century. The king of Sukhothai Rama Khamheng seized the Khmer territory in Laos and then goes south, he also grabbed the northern Malay Peninsula.
    • repel thai Khmer but adopt the culture of the vanquished in particular by converting to Theravada Buddhism. The Thai will take over in 1431 the Khmer capital of Angkor, and reduce the inhabitants into slavery.
    • In 1350, Prince Ramadhipati founded a new dynasty and established his capital in Ayutthaya. This powerful dynasty will replace Sukhothai dominate the whole territory with the exception of the Principality of Chiangmai that will stand until 1595.

      eighteenth and nineteenth centuries:
      • In XVIéme and XVII century the kingdom of Ayutthaya is not almost constant with Burmese and creates important relations with the European power.
      • In 1767, the Burmese are again Ayutthaya and killing the inhabitants. A warlord Phya Taksin escape the massacre with some troops and soundly defeated in turn the Burmese, he then founded a new capital Bangkok and proclaimed himself King.
      • It quickly creates an unprecedented kingdom by invading Laos and Cambodia. He was assassinated in 1782, one of his generals, Chao Phya Chakri, then founded the Chakri dynasty, still in power today.
      • Rama I, Rama II and Rama III continue the territorial expansion to Vietnam and southern Malaysia. Mongkut Rama IV and V will modernize economic and administrative structures of the country.

        The twentieth century:
        • The economic difficulties in the reign of Rama VII result in a coup in 1932 that obliges the king to accept a constitution.
        • In 1938, the military and nationalists took power, while Siam was renamed Thailand. With the troubles of World War II and the death of Rama VIII in 1946, Rama IX (his brother) came to the throne and took power, there is today.
        • Palace Revolutions and coups succeed until 1995. The military are very active in politics and civilians rose to power only intermittently (1973-1976, 1988, 1991).
        • Thailand maintains good relations with the US (this is also a rear base during the Vietnam War) and try to avoid clashes with its neighbors by controlling its borders.
        • Since 1995, Thailand saw a period of strong economic growth and is trying to get closer to its neighbors. In 1997, a new democratic constitution is promulgated.