Colonization in Thailand
Thailand, earlier known as Siam, is a fertile and well-watered land in the south east of Asia. Till 1655, Ayutthaya did not only serve as the capital city but also Thai culture bloomed in the presence of European, Chinese, and Japanese powers. In the early 16th century European nations started to pour in Thailand and Portugal made its embassy there followed by Dutchland, England and France. In the mid of the century Ayutthaya came under the reign of the Burmese but the Thais managed to regain control by the end of the century. A Greek named Constantine Phaulkon managed to make his place in the eyes of the then ruler, King Narai and managed to station 600 French soldiers in the kingdom. The Thais who already had an experience of foreign invasion, when the Burmese were in control there, forcefully sent back the French and executed Phaulkon. The Thais sealed themselves from the west for 150 years following this experience. The Burmese again invaded Ayutthaya in 1765. The war continued for 2 years and during this time the Burmese destroyed everything sacred to the Thais, including manuscripts, temples and religious sculptures. The Burmese could not still get a strong foothold in the region.
King Taksin played the major role in expelling the Burmese out of Thailand. In 1782, with the foundation of the Chakri Dynasty the country also got Bangkok as the new capital and King Rama I as the ruler. The establishment of the Chakri Dynasty marked the beginning of the Rattanakosin Period. King Rama I made a lot of attempts in reviving the lost glory of Ayutthaya. King Rama III not only boosted domestic agricultural trade but also encouraged trade with China. King Rama IV and V helped Thailand avoid colonization through adequate diplomatic policies and selective modernization. Thailand steadfastly defended its independence from European Imperialism, something that the Thai people are very proud of.
A 2 Z Pattaya 2006, Information, business and people guide for Pattaya and Jomtein – Thailand, viewed April 7, 2006, <http://www.a2zpattaya.com/index.htm?main=m0320.htm>