1868–1910: reign of King Chulalongkorn, modernization of Thailand * To counter imperialism and sustain Thailand’s independence and sovereignty, King Rama V initiated and implemented social infrastructure investment, government reform, high level diplomatic relations and trade agreements. * He sent his princes to study in different fields in various European countries such as Russia and Germany. These princes, then returned to Thailand and were responsible for the reforms and modernization of education, health care, military, public administration, transportation and communication, laws and justice, etc. by adoption and adaptation of the Western models and technology. * Power of Bangkok: most populated and economically important, contributing 98 per cent of all exports. BUT rest of Thailand not integrated to the world economy * Slow Economic growth: 0.4% per annum between 1870 and 1913 (Sompop 1989 ñ cited in Dixon 1999).
1932, The Siamese revolution
* A non-bloody Coup, led by the People’s Party
* 24 June 1932: end of the absolute monarchy and institution of a constitutional monarchy * Leaders of the movement were inspired by the democratic ideals they discovered during their study abroad. * Siam = a democratic country w/ a Parliament
* 1st constitution
* 1935: abdication and exile of King Rama VII
* Once the new government had been established and the constitution put into effect, conflict began to erupt among the members of the new ruling coalition. * Pridi’s radical economic plans, which called for the nationalisation of all land and labour, were violently rejected by many[as extreme and allegedly communist * In 1933, Pridi went on a voluntary exile, he came back in 1934 and founded Thammasat * Military branch in power after the Siamese revolution
1938-1944: Phibul ,Prime Minister.
Strong nationalism. 1939: Siam turned into “Thailand”.
Japanese invades Thailand during WWII.