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History from Siam to ThailandAccording to the Thai calender, Thais have long since entered the new Millennia. Year 2000 on the Thai calendar is year 2543 (some 543 years ahead). The name "Land of Smiles" adhered to this ancient Oriental kingdom probably because such a long and full of controversy and mysteries history that taught Siamese, nowadays called Thais, to pass by, and overcome the difficulties with smiles.

Origins of the Thai kingdom could be traced to 1096 A.D., when a fledgling kingdom at Payao was settled in what is now the northern Thailand. "A Million Rice Fields" the Lanna kingdom with Chiang Mai as its capital founded by the tribal leader Mengrai, and the Sukhothai under the king Ramkhamhaeng, known as the inventor of the Thai writing, were the ancestors of the Thai nation, and till now are a citadel of traditional Thai ways, refer to the Thai Marriage for some trails.

Retrospect the chronology of Important Events in Thailand Modern History and Politics.
Thai history

In the 14th century, under the king Ramathibodi the kingdom's capital was founded in Ayutthaya. During some four hundred years of the Ayutthaya kingdom that first, fell to the Burmese in 1569, and then, finally burned to the ground in 1767, was a period of establishing solid traditions in the fine atrs and literature. Under the leadership of General Phya Taksin, Thais once again defeated Burmese invaders and reinstated the capital city at Thonburi on the west bank of Chao Phraya river near its outlet into the Gulf of Siam. In 1782, Taksin's successor the King Rama I, had set up his new capital on the opposite river bank at a small trading village called Krung Thep, thus founding the nowadays' famous city, known on the West as Bangkok the City of Angels.

H.M. The King of ThailandUnlike most of its neighbors, the kingdom of Siam has never felt the harness of direct European colonialism. As early as the 17th century, due to a wise diplomacy, the kings of Siam were set on maintaining independence while the Portuguese, French, British, Dutch and others carved up the entire region over the next hundred years. The kings wisely played competing Europeans against each other, ensuring that no one power would gain a dominant presence. This strategy paid off rather handsomely, as the quaint kingdom of Siam remained autonomous while harvesting most of whatever benefits the colonial system had to offer.

After a bloodless coup in 1932, Siam's mighty absolute monarchy became constitutional and in 1939, the kingdom officially adopted the name Thailand, which stands for 'The Land of The Free'.

HM The King Bhumibol Adulyadej - Rama IX
60 Years on The Throne Anniversary Celebrations!

Thai history, Grand Palace in Bangkok ThailandThe longest reigning monarch, H.M. the King ascended to the throne in 1946. Current Thai monarchy is inhered from the Chakri dynasty founded by the King Rama I.

After the liberation from Japanese occupation during the World War II, Thailand has weathered a dark period of unstable governments with the rapidly changing prime ministers. A number of border clashes with neighboring communist and military regimes, numerous attempts of putsches, bloody antigovernment demonstrations and violent coups went on along the way to become a stable democracy and an economically prosperous nation.

Bangpain Palace, ThailandIn the 80's, Thailand has emerged as one of Asia's leading 'Tiger Economies', even though, the kingdom economy for ages has been solely based on agriculture. A collapse of these economies preambled by rampant devaluation of their currencies originated in Thailand in summer of 1997, primarily due to a renowned "Orient Syndrome" – greed and corruption that comes from deep within and sweeps all levels of the political system, government, army and society as well.

Notwithstanding the fact that kingdom's first permanent so-called "People's Constitution" has been promulgated on 11 October 1997, politically, economically and socially alike Thailand is still in transition. Core democratic values and human rights are still remain a new and somewhat deluded concept for the majority of Thais mainly in the rural areas, who are more used to a patriarchal system of patronage (known as Sakdina), where money, cronyism, influence and connections will always reign supreme.

By hook or by crook, be it the infamous Asian bureaucracy in a day-to-day routine, or the military power at the moments of crisis, both are so far evidently overcoming the weak roots of Thai democracy. And regardless of just a constitutional monarchy, as far as Thai public is concerned, the authority of the much beloved King is still remains absolute, contributing a great deal to the nation unity and stability.

Long Live The King!
Thai History



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