Isan consists of 20 provinces in the northeastern region of Thailand. Isan is Thailand's largest region, located on the Khorat Plateau, bordered by the Mekong River to the north and east, by Cambodia to the southeast and the Sankamphaeng Range south of Nakhon Ratchasima. To the west it is separated from central Thailand by the Phetchabun Mountains. Since the beginning of the 20th century, northeastern Thailand has been known as Isan, while in official contexts the term phak tawan-ok-chiang-nuea may be used; the term "Isan" was derived from capital of Chenla. The majority Isan-speaking population of the region distinguish themselves not only from the Lao of Laos but from the central Thai by calling themselves khon Isan or Thai Isan in general. However, some refer to themselves as Lao, academics have been referring to them as Lao Isan or as Thai Lao, with the main issue with self-identification as Lao being stigma associated with the Lao identity within Thai society; the Khmer-speaking minority and the Kuy people, who live in the south of Isan, speak Austroasiatic languages and follow customs more similar to those of Cambodia than to those of the Thai and Lao, who are Tai peoples.
The main language is Isan, one of the Southwestern Tai languages related to Lao. Written with the Thai alphabet, Isan belongs to the Chiang Saeng and Lao–Phutai language groups, which along with Thai are members of the Tai languages of the Kra–Dai language family. Central Thai is spoken by everyone and is the language used in education but native in Nakhon Ratchasima Province only. Khmer, the language of Cambodia, is spoken in areas along the Cambodian border: Buriram and Sisaket; the Lao Isan people are aware of their Lao ethnic origin, but Isan has been incorporated as a territory into the modern Thai state through over one hundred years of administrative and bureaucratic reforms, educational policy, government media. Despite this, since the election of Thaksin Shinawatra as prime minister in the 2001 Thai general election, the Lao Isan identity has reemerged, the Lao Isan are now the main ethnolinguistic group involved in the pro-Thaksin "Red Shirt movement" of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship.
Several Thai prime ministers have come from the region. Prominent aspects of Isan culture include mor lam, an indigenous folk music, muay Thai boxing, cock fighting, celebratory processions. Isan food, in which glutinous rice and chili peppers are prominent, is distinct from central Thai cuisine, though it is now found throughout the kingdom. Sticky rice is a staple of northeastern cuisine and it accompanies most meals. Isan has a number of important Bronze Age sites, with prehistoric art in the form of cliff paintings and early evidence of rice cultivation. Iron and bronze tools such as those found at Ban Chiang may predate similar tools from Mesopotamia; the region came under the influence of the Dvaravati culture, followed by the Khmer Empire. The latter built dozens of prasats throughout Isan; the most significant are at Phanom Rung Historical Park. Preah Vihear Temple was considered to be in Isan, until the International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled that it belonged to Cambodia. After the Khmer Empire began to decline in the 13th century, Isan was dominated by the Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, established by Fa Ngum.
Due to a scarcity of information from the periods known as the dark ages of Cambodia, the plateau seems to have been depopulated. There were few if any lines of demarcation, for prior to the 19th century introduction of modern mapping, the region fell under what 20th century scholars called the "mandala system". Accordingly, in 1718 the first Lao mueang in the Chi River valley — and indeed anywhere in the interior of the Khorat Plateau — was founded at Suwannaphum District by an official in the service of King Nokasad of the Kingdom of Champasak; the region was settled by both Lao and Thai emigrants. Thailand held sway from the 17th century, carried out forced population transfers from the more populous left bank of the Mekong to the right bank in the 18th and 19th centuries; this became more severe following the Lao rebellion for complete independence of 1826–9. In the wake the Franco-Siamese War of 1893, the resulting treaty with France and the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 made the plateau a border region between Thailand and the Laos of French Indochina.
In the mid-20th century, the state-supported assimilation policy called Thaification promoted the ethnic integration of Isan into the modern conception of Thai nationality and de-emphasized the use of ethnic markers, for ethnic Laos and Khmers, as it was deemed uncivilized and to prevent ethnic discrimination among the Thai people. The national government claimed that the name "Isan" was derived from Sanskrit Īśāna, a name of Shiva they claimed referred to his rule of the northeast; this interpretation was intended to reinforce Isan's identity as the northeast of Thailand, rather than as part of the Lao kingdom, created by the French colonial discourse, as "race was an important ideological tool for French colonialists in the attempt to seize the'Laotian' and'Cambodian' portions of Siam."Before the central government introduced the Thai alphabet and language in
The Ayutthaya Kingdom was a Siamese kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767. Ayutthaya was friendly towards foreign traders, including the Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Koreans and Spaniards, Dutch and French, permitting them to set up villages outside the walls of the capital called Ayutthaya. In the 16th century, it was described by foreign traders as one of the biggest and wealthiest cities in the East; the court of King Narai had strong links with that of King Louis XIV of France, whose ambassadors compared the city in size and wealth to Paris. By 1550, the kingdom's vassals included some city-states in the Malay Peninsula, Lan Na and parts of Burma and Cambodia; this part of the kingdom's history is sometimes referred to as the "Ayutthayan Empire". In foreign accounts, Ayutthaya was called Siam, but many sources say the people of Ayutthaya called themselves Tai, their kingdom Krung Tai meaning'Tai country', it was referred to as Iudea in a painting, requested by the Dutch East India Company According to the most accepted version of its origin, the Thai state based at Ayutthaya in the valley of the Chao Phraya River rose from the earlier, nearby Lavo Kingdom and Suvarnabhumi.
One source says that in the mid-14th century, due to the threat of an epidemic, King Uthong moved his court south into the rich floodplain of the Chao Phraya River onto an island surrounded by rivers. The name of the city indicates the influence of Hinduism in the region, it is believed that this city is associated with the Thai national epic, the Ramakien, the Thai version of the Ramayana. Ayutthaya began its hegemony by conquering northern kingdoms and city-states like Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet and Phitsanulok. Before the end of the 15th century, Ayutthaya launched attacks on Angkor, the classical great power of the region. Angkor's influence faded from the Chao Phraya River Plain while Ayutthaya became a new great power; the emerging Kingdom of Ayutthaya was growing powerful. Relations between the Ayutthaya and Lan Na had worsened since the Ayutthayan support of Thau Choi's rebellion In 1451, Yuttitthira, a noble of the Kingdom of Sukhothai who had conflicts with Borommatrailokkanat of Ayutthaya, gave himself to Tilokaraj.
Yuttitthira urged Borommatrailokkanat to invade Phitsanulok, igniting the Ayutthaya-Lan Na War over the Upper Chao Phraya valley. In 1460, the governor of Chaliang surrendered to Tilokaraj. Borommatrailokkanat used a new strategy and concentrated on the wars with Lan Na by moving the capital to Phitsanulok. Lan Na suffered setbacks and Tilokaraj sued for peace in 1475. However, the Kingdom of Ayutthaya was not a unified state but rather a patchwork of self-governing principalities and tributary provinces owing allegiance to the king of Ayutthaya under The Circle of Power, or the mandala system, as some scholars suggested; these principalities might be ruled by members of the royal family of Ayutthaya, or by local rulers who had their own independent armies, having a duty to assist the capital when war or invasion occurred. However, it was evident that from time to time local revolts, led by local princes or kings, took place. Ayutthaya had to suppress them. Due to the lack of succession law and a strong concept of meritocracy, whenever the succession was in dispute, princely governors or powerful dignitaries claiming their merit gathered their forces and moved on the capital to press their claims, culminating in several bloody coups.
At the start of the 15th century, Ayutthaya showed an interest in the Malay Peninsula, but the great trading ports of the Malacca Sultanate contested its claims to sovereignty. Ayutthaya launched several abortive conquests against Malacca, diplomatically and economically fortified by the military support of Ming China. In the early-15th century the Ming admiral Zheng He had established a base of operation in the port city, making it a strategic position the Chinese could not afford to lose to the Siamese. Under this protection, Malacca flourished, becoming one of Ayutthaya's great foes until the capture of Malacca by the Portuguese. Starting in the middle of the 16th century, the kingdom came under repeated attacks by the Taungoo Dynasty of Burma; the Burmese–Siamese War began with a Burmese invasion and a failed siege of Ayutthaya. A second siege led by King Bayinnaung forced King Maha Chakkraphat to surrender in 1564; the royal family was taken to Bago, with the king's second son Mahinthrathirat installed as the vassal king.
In 1568, Mahinthrathirat revolted. The ensuing third siege captured Ayutthaya in 1569 and Bayinnaung made Mahathammarachathirat his vassal king. After Bayinnaung's death in 1581, Uparaja Naresuan proclaimed Ayutthaya's independence in 1584; the Thai fought off repeated Burmese invasions, capped by an elephant duel between King Naresuan and Burmese heir-apparent Mingyi Swa in 1593 during the fourth siege of Ayutthaya in which Naresuan famously slew Mingyi Swa. The Burmese–Siamese War was a Thai attack on Burma, resulting in the capture of the Tanintharyi Region as far as Mottama in 1595 and Lan Na in 1602. Naresuan invaded mainland Burma as far as Taungoo in 1600, but was driven back. After Naresuan's death in 1605, northern Tanintharyi and Lan Na returned to Burmese control in 1614; the Ayutthaya Kingdom's attempt to take over Lan Na and northern Tanintharyi in 1662–1664 failed. Foreign trade brought Ayutthaya not only luxury items
Taiwan the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the northeast, the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state and largest economy, not a member of the United Nations; the island of Taiwan was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the 17th century, when Dutch colonialists opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, ceded to Japan in 1895. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Republic of China, which had overthrown and succeeded the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan; the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the loss of the mainland to the Communists and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC government continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China, since 1950 its effective jurisdiction has been limited to Taiwan and several small islands.
In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of industrialisation. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system; as a founding member, the ROC represented China in the UN until it was replaced by the PRC in 1971. The PRC has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognises the ROC; as of 2019, Taiwan maintains official ties with 16 out of 193 UN member states. Most international organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Most major powers maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. In Taiwan, the major political division is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to independence and promoting a Taiwanese identity, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.
Taiwan is a high-income advanced economy, with a skilled and educated workforce. It has the 22nd-largest economy in the world, its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy, it is urbanised, is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with most of the population concentrated on the western coast. The state is ranked in terms of civil and political liberties, health care and human development. Various names for the island of Taiwan remain in use today, each derived from explorers or rulers during a particular historical period; the name Formosa dates from 1542, when Portuguese sailors sighted an uncharted island and noted it on their maps as Ilha Formosa. The name Formosa "replaced all others in European literature" and remained in common use among English speakers into the 20th century. In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia on a coastal sandbar called "Tayouan", after their ethnonym for a nearby Taiwanese aboriginal tribe Taivoan people, written by the Dutch and Portuguese variously as Taiouwang, Teijoan, etc.
This name was adopted into the Chinese vernacular as the name of the sandbar and nearby area. The modern word "Taiwan" is derived from this usage, seen in various forms in Chinese historical records; the area occupied by modern-day Tainan represented the first permanent settlement by both European colonists and Chinese immigrants. The settlement grew to be the island's most important trading centre and served as its capital until 1887. Use of the current Chinese name became official as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture. Through its rapid development the entire Formosan mainland became known as "Taiwan". In his Daoyi Zhilüe, Wang Dayuan used "Liuqiu" as a name for the island of Taiwan, or the part of it closest to Penghu. Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; the name appears in the Book of Sui and other early works, but scholars cannot agree on whether these references are to the Ryukyus, Taiwan or Luzon. The official name of the state is the "Republic of China".
Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne, the name was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state during the Qing era. During the 1950s and 1960s, after the government had withdrawn to Taiwan upon losing the Chinese Civil War, it was referred to as "Nationalist China" to differentiate it from "Communist China", it was a member of the United Nations representing "China" until 1971, when it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become known as "Taiwan", after the island that comprises 99% of the territory under its control. In some contexts ROC government publications, the name is written as "
History of Isan
The history of Isan has been determined by its geography, situated as it is on the Korat Plateau between Cambodia and Thailand. The national government claimed that the name "Isan" was derived from Sanskrit Īśāna, a name of Shiva they claimed referred to his rule of the northeast; this interpretation was intended to reinforce Isan's identity as the northeast of Thailand, rather than as part of the Lao kingdom because of the fear of the Lao people seceding. The Thai king Vajiravudh reinvoked the ancient name, designating the northeast sector of the Rattanakosin Kingdom "Isan". In the reign of Chulalongkorn in early 20th century, the sector was called Hua Mueang Lao for the area north of Nakhon Ratchasima and Khamen Pa Dong for the townships to the east; the term Isan came into wide, if unofficial, use as a term for the northeastern region, khon Isan as a general term for the peoples of Isan. Isan has been dominated by each of its neighbors in turn, although its relative infertility meant it was more a battleground than a prize.
Rather than being incorporated into the respective empires of each power, the area was divided into mueang, each paying tribute to one or more powers under the mandala system. Throughout the 20th century, the Thai government took steps to cement Isan's status as a part of Thailand and to de-emphasize the Lao and Kuy origins of its population, a process known as Thaification; the majority of people in present-day Isan speak the Lao language known as Isan. Many Khmer speakers live in the southern half and substantial minorities of Katuic speakers exist. Most Isan people are both conversant and to some degree literate in Central Thai. Before the central government introduced the Thai alphabet and language in regional schools, the people of Isan wrote in the Lao alphabet, a similar script that Thai adopted. Most people still speak a dialect of the Lao language, as their first language. A significant minority in the south speak Northern Khmer; the Kuy people, an Austrosiatic people concentrated around the core of what was once the Chenla Kingdom and known as the Khmer Boran "ancient Khmer", are a link to the region's pre-Tai history.
Four Homo erectus fossil skull fragments found in northern Thailand's Hat Pudui cave by Thai paleontologists Somsak Pramankij and Vadhana Subhavanin, were in deposits dating from the mid-Pleistocene era, before the Khorat Plateau had uplifted from an extensive plain. Professor Phillip V. Tobias of Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand examined the fragments and said: "It seems unavoidable but to conclude that Thailand must have been a highway or crossroads in the movement of hominids — members of the family of man."Pha Taem cliff paintings alongside the Mekong in Udon Thani Province date to around 1500 BC. They are younger than but similar in composition to the Rock Paintings of Hua Mountain in southern China, which are attributed to the Luoyue people of what is today the lowland plains of northern Vietnam the marshy, agriculturally rich area of the Red River Delta, associated with the Bronze Age Đông Sơn culture of mainland Southeast Asia; the Ban Chiang archaeological site, dating from around 3000 BC to 300 AD, attracted attention in 1966 as the world's oldest site showing traces of a Bronze Age culture, due to errors in dating.
In Fine Arts, the site is remarkable for its pottery. The question as to why the site was abandoned until resettled by 19th–century Lao émigrés remains to be settled; the Bronze Age site of Ban Non Wat in the southeast of the plateau is under investigation The first major civilisation to occupy Isan was considered, by the study of artifacts, to be Dvaravati. The remains of walled and moated towns scattered the region, in the valleys of Mun Rivers; the remains show the Buddhist and Hinduist influence expanding from the western part or the coastal and the Chao Phraya River basin. To obtain a fuller and more correct picture of the society and culture of the early urban life on the Khorat Plateau, we must, as Professors Thiva and Srisakra have argued, undertake more archaeological research than has been done thus far. And, I would add, we can further increase our understanding of these societies through systematic research on a number of the indigenous legends of the Thai-Lao people of northeastern Thailand.
From the 11th century, the Dvaravati or Mon culture from the Chao Phraya River basin was displaced by the Khmer Empire of Angkor. Many principal centers became Angkor's tributary states. A number of temples influenced by ancient Khmer art were found in Isan, most notably in southern part, at Phanom Rung and Phimai, which lie on the so-called Ancient Khmer Highway, the direct link to Angkor. Inscriptions found told the connections between vassal towns and the court of Angkor; the Sukhothai Kingdom broke free from the Angkor Empire around the 13th century. Although Isan is not thought to have been a part of the Sukhothai kingdom due to the lack of clear evidence, the Khmer empire became weaker and retreated to its Cambodian heartlands, leaving Isan in the hands of fragmented muang city-states or statelets. However, many Khmer-speaking people remained and are still a prominent fixture in the southern area, constituting the majority in present-day southern part of the region such as in present-day Surin Province, Burir
Kingdom of Thonburi was a Siamese kingdom after the downfall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom by the Konbaung Burmese invader. The kingdom was founded by King Taksin the Great; the kingdom of Thonburi existed from 1767 to 1782. In 1782, King Rama I founded the Rattanakosin Kingdom and relocated the capital to Bangkok on the other side of the Chao Phraya River, thus bringing the Thonburi kingdom to an end; the city of Thonburi remained an independent town and province until it was merged into Bangkok in 1971. In 1767, after dominating southeast Asia for 400 years, the Ayutthaya kingdom was destroyed; the royal palace and the city were burnt to the ground. The territory was occupied by the Burmese army and local leaders declared themselves overlords including the lords of Sakwangburi, Pimai and Nakhon Si Thammarat. Chao Tak, a nobleman of Chinese descent and a capable military leader, proceeded to make himself a lord by right of conquest, beginning with the legendary sack of Chanthaburi. Based at Chanthaburi, Chao Tak raised troops and resources, sent a fleet up the Chao Phraya to take the fort of Thonburi.
In the same year, Chao Tak was able to retake Ayutthaya from the Burmese only seven months after the fall of the city. Upon Siamese independence, Hsinbyushin of Burma ordered the ruler of Tavoy to invade Siam; the Burmese armies arrived through Sai Yok and laid siege on the Bang Kung camp – the camp for Taksin's Chinese troops – in modern Samut Songkhram Province. Taksin hurriedly sent one of his generals Boonma to command the fleet to Bang Kung to relieve the siege. Siamese armies defeated them. Ayutthaya, the centre of Siamese authority for hundreds of years, was so devastated that it could not be used as a government centre. Tak founded the new city of Thonburi Sri Mahasamut on the west bank of Chao Phraya river; the construction took place for about a year and Tak crowned himself in late 1768 as King Sanpet but he was known to people as King Taksin – a combination of his title and personal name. Taksin crowned himself as a King of Ayutthaya to signify the continuation to ancient glories. There were still local warlords competing for Siam.
Taksin marched first in 1768 to Pitsanulok to subjugate the Lord of Pitsanulok who ruled over Upper Chao Phraya Basin. Taksin had to retreat; the war weakened Pitsanulok and it was in turn subjugated by the Lord of Sakwangburi. The same year Taksin sent Thong Duang and Boonma to tame the Prince Theppipit – the ruler of Phimai to the north of Nakhon Ratchasima on the Khorat Plateau; the prince was defeated by Thonburi armies. Theppipit fled to Vientiene but was captured and executed. In 1769, Taksin sent Phraya Chakri south to subjugate the Lord of Nakorn Si Thammarat; the lord fled to Pattani but was returned to Taksin, who reinstalled him back as the ruler of Nakorn Si Thammarat under Taksin's governance. Prince Ang Non the Uparaja of Cambodia fled to Thonburi in 1769 after his conflicts with King Narairaja for Siamese supports. Taksin took this opportunity to request tributary from Cambodia, which Narairaja refused. Taksin sent Phraya Abhay Ronnarit and Phraya Anuchit Racha to subjugate Cambodia, taking Siemreap and Battambang.
But Taksin's absence from the capital shook the political stability and the two generals decided to retreat to Thonburi. By this time, the only rival to Thonburi authority was the Sakwangburi lordship led by the powerful monk Chao Phra Faang. Chao Phra Faang’s domain encompassed the northernmost territories bordering Lanna to Nakhon Sawan to the south as the result of annexation of Pitsanulok lordship in 1768. In 1770, Chao Phra Faang sent. Taksin decided to invade Sakwangburi beforehand; the royal fleet took Pitsanulok with ease. Taksin divided the armies into the east one led by Boonma and the west one led by Phraya Pichai to be joined at Sakwangburi. Sakwangburi fell after three days and Chao Phra Faang went lost. Taksin stayed at Pitsanulok to oversee the levy of northern population, he appointed Boonma to Chao Phraya Surasi as the governor of Pitsanulok and all northern cities and Phraya Abhay Ronnarit to Chao Phraya Chakri the chancellor. In 1771, Taksin decided to finish off the Cambodian campaign by assigning Chao Phraya Chakri command of land forces with Prince Ang Non and Taksin himself went by fleet.
The Siamese drove Narairaja out of the throne. Ang Non was installed as Reamraja and Narairaja became the Uparaja with the Cambodian court paying tribute to Thonburi. Taksin had consolidated the old Siamese kingdom with new base at Thonburi. However, the Burmese were still ready to wage massive wars to bring the Siamese down again. From their base at Chiang Mai, they invaded Sawankhalok in 1770 but the Siamese were able to repel; this realised Taksin the importance of Lanna as the base of resources for the Burmese to attack northern territories. If Lanna was brought under Siamese control the Burmese threats would by annihilated. At the time Lanna, centred on Chiang Mai, was ruled by a Burmese general Paw Myunguaun, he was the general who led the invasion of Sawankhalok in 1770 but was countered by Chao Phraya Surasi’s armies from Pitsanulok. In the same year, the Siamese pioneered a little invasion of Chiang Mai and failed to gain any fruitful results. In 1772, Paw Thupla, another Burmese general, in wars in Laos, headed west and attack Pichai and Uttaradit.
The armies of Pitsanulok once again repelled the Burmese invasions. They came again in 1773 and this time Phraya Pichai made his legendary
The Kingdom of Sukhothai was an early kingdom in the area around the city Sukhothai, in north central Thailand. The Kingdom existed from 1238 until 1438; the old capital, now 12 km outside Sukhothai in Tambon Mueang Kao, is in ruins and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Historical Park. Sukhothai is from Sanskrit sukha + udaya, meaning "dawn of happiness". Prior to the 13th century, Tai kingdoms had existed in the northern highlands including the Ngoenyang Kingdom of the Tai Yuan people, the Heokam Kingdom of the Tai Lue people. Sukhothai had been a trade centre and part of Lavo, under the domination of the Khmer Empire; the migration of Tai people into the upper Chao Phraya valley was somewhat gradual. Modern historians stated that the secession of Sukhothai from the Khmer empire began as early as 1180 during the reign of Pho Khun Sri Naw Namthom, the ruler of Sukhothai and the peripheral city of Si Satchanalai. Sukhothai had enjoyed a substantial autonomy until it was reconquered around 1180 by the Mon people of Lavo under Khomsabad Khlonlampong.
Two friends, Pho Khun Bangklanghao and Pho Khun Pha Mueang revolted against the Khmer Empire governor of Sukhothai. Khun, before becoming a Thai feudal title, was a Tai title for a ruler of a fortified town and its surrounding villages, together called a mueang. Bangklanghao ruled Sukhothai as Sri Indraditya – and began the Phra Ruang Dynasty—he expanded his primordial kingdom to the bordering cities. At the end of his reign in 1257, the Sukhothai kingdom covered the entire upper valley of the Chao Phraya River Traditional Thai historians considered the foundation of the Sukhothai kingdom as the beginning of their nation because little was known about the kingdoms prior to Sukhothai. Modern historical studies demonstrate, yet the foundation of Sukhothai is still a celebrated event. Pho Khun Ban Muang and his brother Ram Khamhaeng expanded the Sukhothai kingdom. To the south, Ramkamhaeng subjugated the kingdom of Supannabhum and Sri Thamnakorn and, through Tambralinga, adopted Theravada as state religion.
Traditional history described the extension of Sukhothai in a great fashion and the accuracy of these claims is disputed. To the north, Ramkamhaeng put Muang Sua under tribute. To the west, Ramkhamhaeng helped the Mons under Wareru to free themselves from Pagan control and established a kingdom at Martaban. So, Thai historians considered the Kingdom of Martaban a Sukhothai tributary. However, in practice, such Sukhothai domination may not have extended that far. With regard to culture, Ramkhamhaeng requested the monks from Sri Thamnakorn to propagate the Theravada religion in Sukhothai. In 1283, the Thai script was invented by Ramkamhaeng, formulating into the controversial Ramkamhaeng Stele discovered by Mongkut 600 years later, it was this time that the first relation with Yuan dynasty was formulated and Sukhothai began sending trade missions to China. The well-known exported good of Sukhothai was the Sangkalok – the only period that Siam produced Chinese-styled ceramics and fell out of use by the 14th century.
By the beginning of the fourteenth century, the Thai of Sukhothai controlled most of present-day Thailand. Only the eastern provinces remained under Khmer control. After the death of Ramkhamhaeng, the Sukhothai tributaries broke away. Ramkhamhaeng was succeeded by his son Loethai; the vassal kingdoms, first Uttaradit in the north soon after the Laotian kingdoms of Luang Prabang and Vientiane, liberated themselves from their overlord. In 1319 the Mon state to the west broke away, in 1321 Lanna placed Tak, one of the oldest towns under the control of Sukhothai, under its control. To the south the powerful city of Suphanburi broke free early in the reign of Loethai, thus the kingdom was reduced to its former local importance only. In 1349, the armies from Ayutthaya Kingdom put Sukhothai under her tributary. In 1378, King Luethai had to submit to this new power as a vassal state. In 1424, after the death of Sailuethai, his sons Phaya Ram and Phaya Ban Muang fought for the throne. Intharacha of Ayutthaya further divided the kingdom between the two.
When Mahathammaracha IV died in 1438, king Borommaracha II of Ayutthaya installed his son Ramesuan as viceroy of Sukhothai accompanied by Ayutthayan administrative staff and a military garrison, thus marking the end of Sukhothai as an independent kingdom. The Silajaruek of Sukhothai are hundreds of stone inscriptions that form a historical record of the period. Among the most important inscriptions are Silajaruek Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng, Silajaruek Wat Srichum, Silajaruek Wat Pamamuang, it was however not annexed and incorporated into the Ayutthayan Empire, rather did the two mandalas and their traditions merge during the 15th and 16th centuries. Sukhothai's warfare, architecture, religious practice and language influenced the Ayutthayan ones significantly; as the Ayutthaya Kin
History of Thailand
The Thai people, who lived in southwestern China, migrated into mainland Southeast Asia over a period of many centuries. The word Siam may have originated from Pali or Sanskrit श्याम or Mon ရာမည the same root as Shan and Ahom. Chinese: 暹羅; the country's designation as Siam by Westerners came from the Portuguese. Portuguese chronicles noted that the Borommatrailokkanat, king of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, sent an expedition to the Malacca Sultanate at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula in 1455. Following their conquest of Malacca in 1511, the Portuguese sent a diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya. A century on 15 August 1612, The Globe, an East India Company merchantman bearing a letter from King James I, arrived in "the Road of Syam". "By the end of the 19th century, Siam had become so enshrined in geographical nomenclature that it was believed that by this name and no other would it continue to be known and styled."Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, the Khmer Empire and Malay states of the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra had ruled the region.
The Thai established their own states: Ngoenyang, the Sukhothai Kingdom, the Kingdom of Chiang Mai, Lan Na, the Ayutthaya Kingdom. These states fought each other and were under constant threat from the Khmers and Vietnam. Much the European colonial powers threatened in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but Thailand survived as the only Southeast Asian state to avoid European colonial rule because of centralizing reforms enacted by King Chulalongkorn and because the French and the British decided it would be a neutral territory to avoid conflicts between their colonies. After the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, Thailand endured sixty years of permanent military rule before the establishment of a democratically elected-government system. In 2014 there was yet another coup d'état. Prior to the southwards migration of the Tai peoples from Yunnan in the 10th century, mainland Southeast Asia had been a home to various indigenous communities for thousands of years; the discovery of Homo erectus fossils such as Lampang man is an example of archaic hominids.
The remains were first discovered during excavations in Lampang Province. The finds have been dated from 1,000,000–500,000 years ago in the Pleistocene. Stone artefacts dating to 40,000 years ago have been recovered from, e.g. Tham Lod rockshelter in Mae Hong Son and Lang Rongrien Rockshelter in Krabi, peninsular Thailand; the archaeological data between 18,000–3,000 years ago derive from cave and rock shelter sites, are associated with Hoabinhian foragers. There are many sites in Thailand dating to Iron Ages; the most researched of these sites are in the country's northeast in the Mun and Chi River valleys. The Mun River in particular is home to many "moated" sites composed of mounds surrounded by ditches and ramparts; the mounds contain evidence of prehistoric occupation. Around the first century, according to epigraphy of the Kingdom of Funan and the records of Chinese historians, a number of trading settlements of the south appear to have been organised into several Malay states, among the earliest of which are believed to be Langkasuka and Tambralinga.
Some trading settlements show evidence of trade with the Roman Empire: a Roman gold coin showing Roman emperor Antoninus Pius has been found in southern Thailand. Prior to the arrival of the Thai people and culture into what is now Thailand, the region hosted a number of indigenous Austroasiatic-speaking and Malayo-Sumbawan-speaking civilisations. However, little is known about Thailand before the 13th century, as the literary and concrete sources are scarce and most of the knowledge about this period is gleaned from archaeological evidence. Similar to other regions in Southeast Asia, Thailand was influenced by the culture and religions of India, starting with the Kingdom of Funan around the first century until the Khmer Empire. Indian influence on Siamese culture was the result of direct contact with Indian settlers, but it was brought about indirectly via the Indianised kingdoms of Dvaravati and the Khmer Empire. E. A. Voretzsch believes that Buddhism must have been flowing into Thailand from India at the time of the Indian emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Empire and into the first millennium.
Thailand was influenced by the south Indian Pallava dynasty and north Indian Gupta Empire. The Chao Phraya River in what is now central Thailand had once been the home of the Mon Dvaravati culture, which prevailed from the 7th century to the 10th century; the existence of the civilisations had long been forgotten by the Thai when Samuel Beal discovered the polity among the Chinese writings on Southeast Asia as "Duoluobodi". During the early 20th century archaeologists led by George Coedès made excavations in what is now Nakhon Pathom Province and found it to be a centre of Dvaravati culture; the constructed name Dvaravati was confirmed by a Sanskrit plate inscription containing the name "Dvaravati". On, many more Dvaravati sites were discovered throughout the Chao Phraya valley; the two most important sites were U Thong. The inscriptions of Dvaravati were in Sanskrit and Mon using the script derived from the Pallava alphabet of the South Indian Pallava dynasty; the religion of Dvaravati is thought to be Theravada Buddhism through contacts with Sri Lanka, with the ruling class participating in Hindu rites.
Dvaravati art, includ