The history of Laos ... in outline

Not easy to summarize the Lao history in a few lines ... 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 first traces of human occupation in Laos date from the Vth century BC in the south, especially in the Plain of Jars. A nearby civilization primitive Khmer develop in the country.

    From the twelfth to the nineteenth:
    • The real Laos foundation dates of the XII century with the arrival of the Tai people of China. The land of a million elephants, Lan Xang, was founded in 1353 with Luang Prabang as its capital.
    • Buddhism is growing in the country and the capital was transferred in 1560 in Vientiane.
    • In the XVIII century the kingdom breaks up and passes under domination Burmese, Chinese and Siamese. Siam (later Thailand) controls the three kingdoms of the country (Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Champassak) throughout the XIX century.

      XIX and XX:
      • In 1893, the French took control of the country becoming a protectorate in 1902. The western part of Laos, Isan west Mekong Thai remains under control and is still part of Thailand . In 1904, Sisavang Vong came to power.
      • During the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, Laos declared independence and the king was overthrown. But the French in 1946, return to the Lao territory and give autonomy to Laos within the French Union. The King is restored to power.
      • The Pathet Lao, the communist independence movement is gaining more and more influence thanks to its union with the Viet Minh, the country was invaded by the Vietminh troops in 1953. The French withdrew after agreements Geneva in 1953.
      • But US troops clash Viet Minh in Laos. In 1962, an agreement requires the withdrawal of American and Vietnamese troops in Laos but only US run. From 1964 to 1969, Laos will undergo more than 500 000 American air raids.
      • Until 1973, the troops of the royal government and the Hmong, supported by the United States, face the communist troops, supported by the Viet Minh.
      • In 1974, a national unity government is in place, but in 1975, the Pathet Lao took power by a coup. The King and Queen dies in an internment camp.
      • Between 1975 and 1989, the Lao People's Revolutionary Party governs without sharing the Lao People's Democratic Republic. The country is largely dependent on Vietnamese and cooperates with the USSR.
      • Since 1991, Laos has opened up to the modern economy and normalize its relations with its neighbors, including Thailand. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997.