Thailand


Bangkok its capital (known in Thai as Krung Thep) in 1880 its population was (600,000), 1950 (1m), 1972 (3m), 1980 (5m), 1990 (7m) 2018 (14m)

Country was originally known as Siam to outsiders, from a Sanskrit word, Śyāma, which means dark or brown, in reference to the skin colour of the native people. It was adopted by the Portuguese in the 1500s and became the accepted geographical term. In 1939, army officer and Prime Minister Phibun insisted the name be changed to Prathet Thai, Thailand, or literally "Land of the Free". He collaborated with Japan until opposition to Japan in Thailand forced him to resign in August 1944. In 1946 the country reverted to the name of Siam for two years. Phibun returned to power with military backing in 1948, the country became "Thailand" again, and the army ran Thailand with support from the US.

Early History and its Monarchy

Thailand was ruled by Cambodia (the Khmer Empire) from 800-1350.

Ayutthaya (Thai Kingdom) became the capital city 1350 - 1565, but was temporarily captured by Burma 1565-1584.
Monarchy then regained control, and the capital city and land area grew in size until defeated by Myanmar in wars 1759-1767. In 1767 the city and palace were burnt to the ground.

In 1768 King Taksin the Great relocated the capital to Thonburi, part of modern Bangkok (Krung Thep). He was overthrown and executed in 1782. It was said he had become insane, demanding worship as a Buddha, flogging and enslaving hundreds of monks who refused to do so. Others said he was simply betrayed.
  1. He was followed by Rama I (1782-1809) who was first king of the current reigning Chakri dynasty, who had served King Taksin in his wars against the Burmese.
  2. He was followed by his son Rama II (1809-1824)
  3. his son Rama III (1824-1851)
  4. his half-brother Mongkut or Rama IV (1851-1868) who was the King (born in 1804) who starred in the musical "The King and I" – based loosely on the account of the English teacher Anna Leonowens (1831-1915). Anna served at court nearly 6 years (1862-1867) first as a teacher and later as language secretary for the king.
  5. his son Chulalongkorn or Rama V (1868-1910)
  6. his son Rama VI (1910-1925)
  7. his brother Rama VII (1925-1935) who abdicated following succession complaints
  8. his nephew Rama VIII (1935-1946) who was found shot in his bed at his death
  9. his brother Rama IX (1946-2016)
  10. finally his son and current king Rama X born in 1952 (2016-today). Due to unpopularity the king has been mostly in self-imposed exile, reigning from an alpine resort in Bavaria in southern Germany.

** End of Report