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 known as Siam by outsiders. In 1939, army officer and Prime Minister Phibun insisted the name be changed to Thailand. He collaborated with Japan until opposition to Japan in Thailand forced him to resign in August 1944. He returned to power with military backing in 1948 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 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.

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.

He was followed by his son Rama II (1809-1824), his son Rama III (1824-1851), his half-brother Mongkut or Rama IV (1851-1868) who was that king (born 1804) in "Anna Leonowens (1831-1915) and King of Siam", his son Chulalongkorn or Rama V (1868-1910), his son Rama VI (1910-1925), his brother Rama VII (1925-1935) who abdicated following succession complaints, his nephew Rama VIII (1935-1946) who was found shot in his bed at his death, his brother Rama IX (1946-2016), finally his son and current king Rama X born in 1952 (2016-today).

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