means the ‘land of the free ones’ and over its 800
years history, it can be found of being the only
country from the South-East Asia which wasn’t
Thailand history is divided in five main
periods: the Nanchao period (650-1250) when the
Thais made the Central Hill under the sovereignty of
the Khmer Empire and probably, accepted its culture.
The Thais made their independent state Sukhothai
around 1238, which marks the beginning of the
This period lasted from 1238 till
1378, the Thais beginning to impose themselves as
dominant force in region in the 13 th century, gradually
expressing their independence in front of the already
existing Mon and Khmer.
Called by its leaders ‘the beginning
of the happiness’, this period is often considered the
golden era of the Thailand history, an ideal Thai state, in
a land governed by paternal and good-natured kings, the most
famous being the king Ramkamhaeng the Great. The
Ayutthaya period (1350-1767): in the 17 th century,
the Siam started to have diplomatic and commercial relations
with the Western countries.
In 1767, a
Burmese invasion managed to capture Ayutthaya.
Despite the overwhelming victory, Burmese didn’t
manage to control the Siam for long.
A young general
called Phya Taksin and his descendants passed the
Burmese barrier and evaded in Chantaburi.
Buri period (1767-1772): the general Taskin, as he
is known, decided to move the capital from Ayutthaya
in a place closer to the sea, which will facilitate
the foreign commerce, will assure the guns
procurement and will make the defensive and the
withdraw easier, in the case of a new Burmese
the new capital at Thon Buri on the Western shore of
the Chao Phraya River. Taksin’s reign
was not easy; the lack of central authority led to the fast
disintegration of the kingdom but during the Taksin reign
the provinces reunited. The Rattanakosin period (1782 till
present): after the Taksin’s death, general Chakri became
the first king of the Chakri dynasty, Rama I, reigning from
1782 till 1809.
first action as king was to move the royal capital
along the Thon Buri River to Bangkok and built the
Great Palace. Rama II continued the restoration
begun by his predecessor. The King Nang Klao, Rama
III reopened the relations with the Western
countries and developed the commerce with China. The
King Mongkut, Rama IV, finished the treaties with
the European countries, avoided the colonization and
established the modern Thailand. The king
Chulalongkorn, Rama V, continued his father’s
tradition of reforms, abolished the slavery and
improved the public welfare and the administrative
education and other educational reforms were introduced by
the King Vajiravudh, Rama VI. During the king Prajadhipok’s
reign (1925-1935), Thailand moved from absolutist monarchy
to constitutional monarchy. The king abdicated and was
succeeded by his nephew king Ananda Mahidol (1935-1946). The
country’s name was changed from Siam in Thailand and had a
democratic government, in 1939.