Thailand

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**Historical Evolution:**
– Thailand was known as Siam prior to 1939.
– Evidence of human habitation in Thailand dates back to 20,000 years ago.
– Rice cultivation began around 2,000 BCE.
– The Kingdom of Funan was the first powerful Southeast Asian kingdom.
– Thai peoples migrated from China to Southeast Asia from the 6th to 11th centuries.
– Siam avoided colonization by foreign powers during Western imperialism.
– Siam transformed into a modern unitary absolute monarchy under Chulalongkorn.
– Thailand became a constitutional monarchy after a bloodless revolution in 1932.

**Geographical and Political Landscape:**
– Thailand is located in Southeast Asia on the Indochinese Peninsula.
– It spans 513,120 square kilometers.
– Bangkok is the capital and largest city.
– Thailand shares borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and the Andaman Sea.
– Thailand shares maritime borders with Vietnam, Indonesia, and India.
– Thailand is a middle power in global affairs and a founding member of ASEAN.

**Cultural and Ethnic Influences:**
– Thai culture influenced by Indian, Mon, and Khmer cultures.
– Tai people intermixed with various ethnic and cultural groups.
– Central Thai language has over half of its vocabulary derived from Mon language.
– Ancient Siamese and Mon people in central Thailand were likely the same ethnolinguistic group.
– Genetic evidence challenges accurate prediction of Thai origins.

**Historical Kingdoms and Dynasties:**
– Establishment of Sukhothai Kingdom in 1238.
– Lan Na kingdom founded in 1262 by King Mangrai in Chiang Mai.
– Sukhothai Kingdom (1238 CE – 14th century CE) and Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351 – 1767).
– Thonburi Kingdom (1767 – 1782) and Rattanakosin Kingdom (1782 – 1932).
– Constitutional Monarchy, World War II, and Cold War period (1932-1975).

**Economic Development and Modernization:**
– Thailand ranks very high in the Human Development Index.
– Second-largest economy in Southeast Asia.
– Classified as a newly industrialized economy with key sectors in manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism.
– Rama IV and Rama V implemented reforms that modernized Siam’s bureaucracy and abolished slavery.
– The 1932 Siamese Revolution transformed Siam into a constitutional monarchy, ending absolute monarchy.

Thailand (Wikipedia)

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and historically known as Siam (the official name until 1939), is a country in Southeast Asia on the Indochinese Peninsula. With a population of almost 70 million, it spans 513,120 square kilometres (198,120 sq mi). Thailand is bordered to the northwest by Myanmar, to the northeast and east by Laos, to the southeast by Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the southwest by the Andaman Sea; it also shares maritime borders with Vietnam to the southeast and Indonesia and India to the southwest. Bangkok is the state capital and largest city.

Kingdom of Thailand
  • ราชอาณาจักรไทย (Thai)
  • Ratcha-anachak Thai
Anthem: เพลงชาติไทย
Phleng Chat Thai
"Thai National Anthem"
Royal anthem: สรรเสริญพระบารมี
Sansoen Phra Barami
"Glorify His Prestige"
Location of Thailand (green)

– in Asia (dark grey & grey)
– in ASEAN (dark grey)

Capital
and largest city
Bangkok
13°45′N 100°29′E / 13.750°N 100.483°E / 13.750; 100.483
Official language
and national language
Thai
Spoken languagesThai, Isan, Lanna, Dambro, Karen, Pattani Malay, Bangkok Malay, Teochew, Hokkien
Ethnic groups
Religion
(2023)
Demonym(s)Thai
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Vajiralongkorn
Srettha Thavisin
LegislatureNational Assembly
Senate
House of Representatives
Formation
1238–1448
1351–1767
1767–1782
6 April 1782
24 June 1932
6 April 2017
Area
• Total
513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi) (50th)
• Water (%)
0.4 (2,230 km2)
Population
• 2023 estimate
Neutral increase 69,794,997 (20th)
• 2010 census
64,785,909 (21st)
• Density
132.1/km2 (342.1/sq mi) (88th)
GDP (PPP)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.665 trillion (23rd)
• Per capita
Increase $23,707 (74th)
GDP (nominal)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $543.248 billion (30th)
• Per capita
Increase $7,731 (91st)
Gini (2021)Negative increase 35.1
medium
HDI (2022)Increase 0.803
very high (66th)
CurrencyThai baht (฿) (THB)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (BE)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+66
ISO 3166 codeTH
Internet TLD

Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 6th to 11th centuries. Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, Khmer Empire, and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as the Kingdoms of Ngoenyang, Sukhothai, Lan Na, and Ayutthaya, which also rivalled each other. European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, which became a regional power by the end of the 15th century. Ayutthaya reached its peak during the 18th century, until it was destroyed in the Burmese–Siamese War. King Taksin the Great quickly reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom (1767–1782), of which he was the only king. He was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I), the first monarch of the current Chakri dynasty. Throughout the era of Western imperialism in Asia, Siam remained the only state in the region to avoid colonization by foreign powers, although it was often forced to make territorial, trade, and legal concessions in unequal treaties. The Siamese system of government was centralised and transformed into a modern unitary absolute monarchy during the reign of Chulalongkorn (Rama V). In World War I, Siam sided with the Allies, a political decision made in order to amend the unequal treaties. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, it became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to Thailand, becoming an ally of Japan in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup under Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat revived the monarchy's historically influential role in politics. During the Cold War, Thailand became a major ally of the United States and played an anti-communist role in the region as a member of the failed SEATO, but since 1975 it has sought to improve relations with Communist China and Thailand's neighbours.

Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s and 1990s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. Since the 2000s, the country has been caught in continual bitter political conflict between supporters and opponents of Thaksin Shinawatra, which resulted in two coups (in 2006 and 2014), along with the establishment of its current constitution, a nominally democratic government after the 2019 Thai general election, and large pro-democracy protests in 2020–2021, which included unprecedented demands to reform the monarchy. Since 2019, it has been nominally a parliamentary constitutional monarchy; in practice, however, structural advantages in the constitution have ensured the military's continued influence in politics.

Thailand is a middle power in global affairs and a founding member of ASEAN, and it ranks very high in the Human Development Index. It has the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia and the 23rd-largest in the world by PPP, and it ranks 91st by nominal GDP per capita. Thailand is classified as a newly industrialised economy, with manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism as leading sectors.


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