History of Thailand (1932–1973)
The history of Thailand from 1932 to 1973 was dominated by military dictatorships which were in power for much of the period. The main personalities of the period were the dictator Luang Phibunsongkhram, who allied the country with Japan during the Second World War, the civilian politician Pridi Phanomyong, who founded Thammasat University and was prime minister after the war. A succession of military dictators followed Pridi's ouster—Phibun again, Sarit Thanarat Thanom Kittikachorn—under whom traditional, authoritarian rule was combined with increasing modernisation and Westernisation under the influence of the US; the end of the period was marked by Thanom's resignation, following a massacre of pro-democracy protesters led by Thammasat students. The military came to power in the bloodless Siamese revolution of 1932, which transformed the government of Siam from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy. King Prajadhipok accepted this change but abdicated due to his strained relations with the government.
Upon his abdication, King Prajadhipok issued a brief statement criticising the regime. His statement included the following phrases—often quoted by critics of the slow pace of Siam's political development: The new regime of 1932 was led by a group of colonels headed by Phraya Phahol Pholphayuhasena and Phraya Songsuradej. In December they produced a constitution—Siam's first—which included a national assembly, half appointed and half indirectly elected; the people were promised that full democratic elections would be held once half the population had completed primary education—which was expected to be sometime in the 1940s. A prime minister and cabinet were appointed and a facade of constitutional rule was maintained. 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. There were four major factions competing for power: the older conservative civilian faction led by Phraya Manopakorn Nititada.
The first serious conflict arose in 1933 when Pridi was given the task of drafting a new economic plan for the nation. His radical programme called for the nationalisation of large tracts of farmland as well as rapid government-directed industrialisation, it called for the growth of higher education so that entry into the bureaucracy would not be dominated by royalty and the aristocracy. However, the plan was condemned by most of the government factions as being communist; because of its attack on private property, the members of the conservative clique were the ones most alarmed by Pridi's plan. They urged the Mano government to adopt policies that would reverse the course of the "revolution". However, when Phraya Mano attempted to do this and Phraya Phahol launched a second coup that toppled the Mano government. Phraya Pahon was made the new prime minister, his new government excluded all of the royalists. A royalist reaction came in late 1933 when Prince Bovoradej, a grandson of Mongkut and one-time minister of defence, led an armed revolt against the government.
He mobilised various provincial garrisons and marched on Bangkok, capturing the Don Muang Aerodrome along the way. The prince accused the government of disrespecting the king and promoting communism, he demanded that the government leaders resign, he had hoped that some of the garrisons in the Bangkok area would join the revolt, but they remained loyal to the government. Meanwhile, the navy left for its bases in the south. After heavy fighting in the northern outskirts of Bangkok, the royalists were defeated and Prince Bovoradej left for exile in French Indochina. One effect of the repression of the insurrection was the diminution of the king's prestige. After the revolt started, King Prajadhipok declared in a telegram that he regretted the strife and civil disturbances, it is not clear whether he was motivated by a fear of being captured by rebels, a fear of being viewed as a supporter of the rebels, or a wish to avoid further choices between Phahol and Bovoradej. Either way, the fact remains that at the height of the conflict, the royal couple took refuge at Songkhla.
The king's withdrawal from the scene of the fighting was interpreted by the victorious party as a sign that he had failed in his duty. By refusing to give his full support to the legitimate government, his credibility was undermined. A few months in 1934, King Prajadhipok, whose relations with the new government had been deteriorating for some time, went abroad to receive medical treatment. While abroad, he carried on a correspondence with the government that discussed the terms under which he would continue to serve as a constitutional monarch, he requested the continuation of some traditional royal prerogatives. The government, would not agree. In his abdication speech, Prajadhipok accused the government of having no regard for democratic principles, employing methods of administration incompatible with individual freedom and the principles of justice, ruling in an autocratic manner and not letting the people have a real voice in Siam's affairs. In 1934, the Press Act came into effect, forbidding the publication of any material deemed to be detrimental to the public order or to undermine morals.
The law has been enforced to the present day. Reaction to the abdication was muted. Everybody was afraid of; the government refrained from challenging any assertions in the king's abdication statement for fear of arousing further controversy. Opponents of the government kept quiet after the
The Malacca Sultanate was a Malay sultanate centred in the modern-day state of Malacca, Malaysia. Conventional historical thesis marks c. 1400 as the founding year of the sultanate by a Malay Raja of Singapura, Parameswara known as Iskandar Shah. At the height of the sultanate's power in the 15th century, its capital grew into one of the most important entrepots of its time, with territory covering much of the Malay Peninsula, the Riau Islands and a significant portion of the northern coast of Sumatra in present-day Indonesia; as a bustling international trading port, Malacca emerged as a centre for Islamic learning and dissemination, encouraged the development of the Malay language and arts. It heralded the golden age of Malay sultanates in the archipelago, in which Classical Malay became the lingua franca of the Maritime Southeast Asia and Jawi script became the primary medium for cultural and intellectual exchange, it is through these intellectual and cultural developments, the Malaccan era witnessed the enculturation of a Malay identity, the Malayisation of the region and the subsequent formation of an Alam Melayu.
In the year of 1511, the capital of Malacca fell to the Portuguese Empire, forcing the last Sultan, Mahmud Shah, to retreat to the further reaches of his empire, where his progeny established new ruling dynasties and Perak. The political and cultural legacy of the sultanate remains to this day. For centuries, Malacca has been held up as an exemplar of Malay-Muslim civilisation, it established systems of trade and governance that persisted well into the 19th century, introduced concepts such as daulat – a distinctly Malay notion of sovereignty – that continues to shape contemporary understanding of Malay kingship. The fall of Malacca benefited Brunei when its ports became a new entrepôt as the kingdom emerged as a new Muslim empire in the Malay Archipelago, attracting many Muslim traders who fled from the Portuguese occupation after the ruler of Brunei's conversion to Islam; the series of raids launched by the Chola Empire in the 11th century had weakened the once glorious empire of Srivijaya.
By the end of the 13th century, the fragmented Srivijaya caught the attention of the expansionist Javanese King, Kertanegara of Singhasari. In 1275, he decreed the Pamalayu expedition to overrun Sumatra. By 1288, Singhasari naval expeditionary forces sacked Jambi and Palembang and brought Malayu Dharmasraya—the successor state of Srivijaya, to its knees. In 1293 Singhasari was succeeded by Majapahit ruling the region. According to the Malay Annals, a prince from Palembang named Seri Teri Buana who claimed to be a descendant of Alexander the Great, stayed in the island of Bintan for several years before he set sail and landed on Temasek in 1299; the Orang Laut, famous for their loyal services to Srivijaya made him king of a new kingdom called Singapura. In the 14th century, Singapura developed concurrently with the Pax Mongolica era and rose from a small trading outpost into a centre of international trade with strong ties with the Yuan Dynasty. In an effort to revive the fortune of Malayu in Sumatra, in the 1370s, a Malay ruler of Palembang sent an envoy to the court of the first emperor of the newly established Ming dynasty.
He invited China to resume the tributary system. Learning this diplomatic maneuver King Hayam Wuruk of Majapahit sent an envoy to Nanking, convinced the emperor that Malayu was their vassal, was not an independent country. Subsequently, in 1377—a few years after the death of Gajah Mada, Majapahit sent a punitive naval attack against a rebellion in Palembang, which caused the complete destruction of Srivijaya and caused the diaspora of the Srivijayan princes and nobles. Rebellions against the Javanese rule ensued and attempts were made by the fleeing Malay princes to revive the empire, which left the area of southern Sumatra in chaos and desolation. By the second half of 14th century, Kingdom of Singapura grew wealthy. However, its success alarmed two regional powers at that time, Ayuthaya from the north and Majapahit from the south; as a result, the kingdom's fortified capital was attacked by at least two major foreign invasions before it was sacked by Majapahit in 1398. The fifth and last king, Parameswara fled to the west coast of the Malay Peninsula.
Parameswara fled north to Muar, Ujong Tanah and Biawak Busuk before reaching a fishing village at the mouth of Bertam river. The village belonged to the sea-sakai or orang laut which were left alone by Majapahit forces that not only sacked Singapura but Langkasuka and Pasai; as a result, the village became a safe haven and in the 1370s it began to receive a growing number of refugees running away from Mahapahit's attacks. By the time Parameswara reached Malacca in the early 1400s, the place had a cosmopolitan feel with Buddhists from the north, Hindus from Palembang and Muslims from Pasai. Legend has it that Parameswara saw a mouse deer outwit his hunting dog into the water when he was resting under the Malacca tree, he thought this bode well, remarking,'this place is excellent the mouse deer is formidable. Tradition holds that he named the settlement after the tree he was leaning against while witnessing the portentous event. Today, the mouse deer is part of modern Malacca's coat of arms; the name "Malacca" itself was derived from the fruit-bearing Melaka tree scientifically termed as Phyllanthus emblica.
Another account of the naming origin of Malacca elaborates that
Economy of Thailand
Thailand is a newly industrialized country. Its economy is export-dependent, with exports accounting for more than two-thirds of its gross domestic product. In 2017, according to the IMF, Thailand had a GDP of 15.450 trillion baht, the 8th largest economy of Asia. Thailand has a headline inflation rate of 3.02 percent and an account surplus of 0.7 percent of the country's GDP. The Thai economy is expected to post 4.1% growth in 2018. Its currency, the Thai Baht ranked as the tenth most used world payment currency in 2017; the industrial and service sectors are the main sectors in the Thai gross domestic product, with the former accounting for 39.2 percent of GDP. Thailand's agricultural sector produces 8.4 percent of GDP—lower than the trade and logistics and communication sectors, which account for 13.4 percent and 9.8 percent of GDP respectively. The construction and mining sector adds 4.3 percent to the country's gross domestic product. Other service sectors account for 24.9 percent of the country's GDP.
Telecommunications and trade in services are emerging as centers of industrial expansion and economic competitiveness. Thailand is the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia, its per capita GDP in 2017, ranks in the middle of Southeast Asian per capita GDP, after Singapore and Malaysia. In July 2018 Thailand held US$237.5 billion in international reserves, the second-largest in Southeast Asia. Its surplus in the current account balance ranks tenth of the world, made US$49.2 billion to the country in 2017. Thailand ranks second in Southeast Asia in external trade volume, after Singapore; the nation is recognized by the World Bank as "one of the great development success stories" in social and development indicators. Despite a low per capita gross national income of US$5,210 and ranking 89th in the Human Development Index, the percentage of people below the national poverty line decreased from 65.26 percent in 1988 to 8.61 percent in 2016, according to the NESDB's new poverty baseline.
Thailand's one of countries with the lowest unemployment rate in the world, reported as 1 percent for the first quarter of 2014. This is due to a large proportion of the population working in subsistence agriculture or on other vulnerable employment; the Kingdom of Thailand's FY2017 budget is 2,733,000 million baht. In May 2018, the Thai Cabinet approved a FY2019 budget of three trillion baht, up 3.4 percent—100 billion baht—from FY2018. Annual revenue is projected to reach up 4.1 percent, or 100 billion baht. Overall, the national budget will face a deficit of 450 billion baht; the cabinet approved a budget deficits until 2022 in order to drive the economy to growth of 3.5–4.5 percent a year. Thailand known as Siam, opened to foreign contact in the pre-industrial era. Despite the scarcity of resources in Siam, coastal ports and cities and those at the river mouth were early economic centers which welcomed merchants from Persia, the Arab countries and China; the rise of Ayutthaya during the 14th century was connected to renewed Chinese commercial activity, the kingdom became one of the most prosperous trade centers in Asia.
When the capital of the kingdom moved to Bangkok during the 19th century, foreign trade became the focus of the government. Chinese merchants came to trade. A number of Chinese merchants and migrants became high dignitaries in the court. From the mid-19th century onward, European merchants were active; the Bowring Treaty, signed in 1855, guaranteed the privileges of British traders. The Harris Treaty of 1856, which updated the Roberts Treaty of 1833, extended the same guarantees to American traders; the domestic market developed with serfdom a possible cause of domestic stagnation. Most of the male population in Siam was in the service of court officials, while their wives and daughters may have traded on a small scale in local markets; those who were indebted might sell themselves as slaves. King Rama V abolished slavery in 1901 and 1905 respectively. From the early 20th century to the end of World War II, Siam's economy became globalized. Major entrepreneurs were ethnic Chinese. Exports of agricultural products were important and Thailand has been among the top rice exporters in the world.
The Siamese economy suffered from the Great Depression, a cause of the Siamese revolution of 1932. Significant investment in education in the 1930s laid the basis for economic growth, as did a liberal approach to trade and investment. Postwar domestic and international politics played significant roles in Thai economic development for most of the Cold War era. From 1945 to 1947, the Thai economy suffered because of the Second World War. During the war, the Thai government declared war against the Allies. After the war Thailand had to supply 1.5 million tons of rice to Western countries without charge, a burden on the country's economic recovery. The government tried to solve the problem by establishing a rice office to oversee the rice trade. During this period a multiple-exchange-rate system was introduced amid fiscal problems, the kingdom experienced a shortage of consumer goods. In November 1947, a brief democratic period was ended by a military coup and the Thai economy regained its momentum.
In his dissertation, Somsak Nilnopkoon considers the period from 1947 to 1951 one of prosperity. By Ap
The Singhanavati Kingdom was based along the Kok River, in the Chiang Rai Basin in northern Thailand. The ancient Lanna society of northern Thailand is considered more progressive than many other societies in other regions of the same period because the Lanna people recorded their history and social development. Records concerning cities in the Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai basins have proved well-grounded. A large number of stone tools were excavated in this area. Settlements in this region are supported by Thai north chronicle and the record of Yonok-nagabundhu, about people migrating to settle in this region. Sinhanavati Kingdom was on the Kok River, which descends from the mountain in Fang District, runs into the Kong River east of Chiang Saen District, from which the city itself was at a distance of about 3 kilometres; the city was submerged below Chiang Saen Lake due to an earthquake. Due to a disaster, Samantaraja of Pataliputra obliged all his people to follow him to the region of Bodhisaanluang.
He built the city of Indrapath. His daughter married Kuruvamsa, the grandson of Samantaraja's minister, who built the nearby city of Kururath; when the king of Bodhisaanluang learned of the new settlements in his territory, he declared war against them, but he was defeated. Kuruvamsa promoted both cities, Kururath -- Indrapath as the capital of the new kingdom. Three other kings succeeded him: Sirivamsa and Indrapathom; the royal counselor of King Indrapathom, Aya-Uparaja, the king's uncle and father-in-law, had resigned from his position. King Indrapathom assigned Bahira-Brahmin to be his new royal counselor. Bahira-Brahmin was dishonest, was banished from the capital, he went to ask for help from Suvarnamugadavaan of Suvarnagomgum City, who let him come to build the new city at the source of the Kok River, named the city of Umongasela. Aya-Uparaja came to the new city which Bahira-Brahmin had built; this city was a three-month journey along the Mekong River from Bodhisaanluang City. The next ruler, Suvarnamugadavaan, the seventh grandson of Ayauparaja, was assigned by King Indrapathom to rule this city.
He renamed the city Suvarnagomgum. Still this city was ruled by Kom-dum, the Khmer ruler, corrupt, therefore resisted by the local populace. Due to a flood, Suvarnagomgum was inundated by the Kok River, where now it is known as Wieng-Prueksha; the survivors evacuated to Umongasela City and this district has been abandoned since then. Around 757 CE, Khun Saiphong, one of the sons of Khun Borom of Tai-desa, obliged his people to follow him from northern Myanmar across the Salween to this region; the title Khun before his name marks his status as a ruler of a fortified town and its surrounding villages, together called a mueang. After his period of rule ended, there was no successor. Therefore, his uncle, Sinhanavati came in 773 CE and built the city named Nagabundhu-Singhanavatinagorn, due to the support given him by the Naga; the new city was located near to the submerged Suvarnagomgum City, forty-five other kings succeeded him. Singhanavati Kingdom subjugated Umongasela City, ruled by the Khmer, other nearby states to extend its territory.
Sometimes it was defeated, for example in the reign of Pra-ong Pung the royal seat was removed to the nearby city of Paan-gum, a city on the Sai River, but it restored its independence. The last king of Singhanavati Kingdom was named Phramahajaijana. In his reign, Singhanavatinagorn was submerged in Chiang Saen Lake due to an earthquake; the survivors went east to inhabit Wieng–Prueksha, led by Khun Lung. For 93 years, they selected their ruler from among the leaders of their 14 villages to rule the region. After this period, the record mentions the development of high land communities, led by Lavachakaraj, which were the beginning of the Lanna Kingdom and continued through the founding of Chiang Mai City at the end of the 13th century. Simon de la Loubère's record refers to the first king, named Pathomsuriyadhep; the chief place where he kept his court was called Jayaprakaan Mahanagorn, he began to reign in 1300. Ten other kings succeeded him, the last of whom, named Dipayasoondorndhep, removed his royal seat to the city of Dhatu Nagornluang which he had built, the location of, uncertain.
The 22nd king after him, whose name was Boromjayasiri, obliged all his people in 1188 to follow him to Nakhon Thai. But this prince did not always reside at Nakhon Thai, for he came and inhabited the city of Pipeli. Four other kings succeeded him.
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Ram Khamhaeng the Great or Pho Khun Ram Khamhaeng, was the third king of the Phra Ruang dynasty, ruling the Sukhothai Kingdom from 1279–1298, during its most prosperous era. He is credited for the creation of the Thai alphabet and the firm establishment of Theravada Buddhism as the state religion of the kingdom. Ram Khamhaeng was a son of Pho Khun Bang Klang Hao, who ruled as King Si Inthrathit, his Queen, though folk legend claims his real parents were an ogress named Kangli and a fisherman, he had two sisters. The eldest brother died while young; the second, Ban Mueang, became king following their father's death, was succeeded by Ram Khamhaeng on his own death. At age 19, Prince Ram Khamhaeng participated in his father's successful invasion of the city of Sukhothai a vassal of the Khmer, establishing the independent Sukhothai Kingdom. Due to his courage in the war, he was given the title "Phra Rama Khamhaeng" or Rama the Strong, though he is recorded in the Ayyutthaya Chronicles as King "Ramaraj".
After his father's death, his brother Ban Muang ruled the kingdom, assigning Prince Ram Khamhaeng control of the city of Si Sat Chanalai. The Royal Institute of Thailand speculates that Prince Ram Khamhaeng's birth name was "Ram", for his name following his coronation was "Pho Khun Ramarat". Furthermore, the tradition at the time was to give the name of a grandfather to a grandson. Tri Amattayakun, the Thai historian suggests that Ram Khamhaeng should have acceded to the throne in 1279, the year he planted a sugar palm tree in Sukhothai City. Prasert na Nagara of the Royal Institute speculates that this was in a tradition of Thai-Ahom's monarchs, who planted banyan or sugar palm trees on their coronation day in the hope that their reign would achieve the same stature as the tree; the most significant event at the beginning of his reign, was the elopement of one of his daughters with the captain of the palace guards, a commoner who founded the Ramanya Kingdom and commissioned compilation of the Code of Wareru, which provided a basis for the law of Thailand used in Siam until 1908, in Burma to the present.
Ram Khamhaeng sent embassies to the Yuan China from 1282 to 1323 and imported the techniques to make the ceramics now known as Sangkhalok ceramic ware. He had close relationships with the rulers of nearby city-states Ngam Muang, the ruler of neighboring Phayao, King Mangrai of Chiang Mai. According to current Thai national history, Ram Khamhaeng expanded his kingdom as far as Lampang and Nan in the north, Phitsanulok and Vientiane in the east, the Mon kingdoms of what is now Myanmar in the west, the Bay of Bengal in the northwest, the Nakhon Si Thammarat Kingdom in the south. However, in the mandala political model, as historian Thongchai Winichakul notes, kingdoms such as Sukhothai lacked distinct borders, instead being centered on the strength of the capital itself. Claims of Ram Khamhaeng's large kingdom were, according to Thongchai, intended to assert Siamese dominance over mainland Southeast Asia, his campaign against Cambodia left the Khmer country "utterly devastated."According to Thai history, Ram Khamhaeng developed the Thai alphabet from Sanskrit and the Grantha alphabet.
According to the Chinese History of Yuan, King Ram Khamhaeng died by 1299 and was succeeded by his son, Loe Thai, though George Cœdès thinks it "more probable" it was "shortly before 1318". Legend states. Much of the traditional biographical information comes from the inscription on the Ram Khamhaeng stele, composed in 1292, now in the Bangkok National Museum; the formal name of the stele is the "King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription". It was added to the Memory of the World Register in 2003 by UNESCO. King Ram Khamhaeng is credited with bringing the skills of ceramic making from China and laying the foundation of a strong ceramic ware industry in the Sukhothai Kingdom. Sukhothai for centuries was the major exporter of the ceramics known as "Sangkhalok ware" to countries such as Japan, the Philippines, to China; the industry was one of the long afterwards. The reverse of 20 Baht note, issued in 2013, depicts images of the royal statue of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great seated on the Manangkhasila Asana Throne, as well as the invention of the Thai script to commemorate King Ramhamhaeng.
Ramkhamhaeng University, the first open university in Thailand with campuses throughout the country, was named after King Ram Khamhaeng the Great. King Ram Khamhaeng is a playable ruler for the Siamese in Sid Meier's Civilization V. ตรี อมาตยกุล.. "ประวัติศาสตร์สุโขทัย." แถลงงานประวัติศาสตร์ เอกสารโบราณคดี. ประชุมศิลาจารึก ภาคที่ 1.. คณะกรรมการพิจารณาและจัดพิมพ์เอกสารทางประวัติศาสตร์. กรุงเทพฯ: โรงพิมพ์สำนักเลขาธิการคณะรัฐมนตรี. ประเสริฐ ณ นคร.. "ประวัติศาสตร์สุโขทัยจากจารึก." งานจารึกและประวัติศาสตร์ของประเสริฐ ณ นคร. มหาวิทยาลัยเกษตรศาสตร์ กำแพงแสน. ประเสริฐ ณ นคร.. "รามคำแหงมหาราช, พ่อขุน". สารานุกรมไทยฉบับราชบัณฑิตยสถาน. กรุงเทพฯ: สหมิตรพริ้นติ้ง. หน้า 15887-15892. ประเสริฐ ณ นคร.. "ลายสือไทย". งานจารึกและประวัติศาสตร์ของประเสริฐ ณ นคร. มหาวิทยาลัยเกษตรศาสตร์ ก
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