Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Asia > Thailand

Religion in Thailand

Religions of Thailand

According to Countryaah data, archaeological studies have revealed that the area that today constitutes Thailand has been inhabited for at least 20,000 years. Around the 10th century, various Thai speaking people emigrated from Central Asia to the south. During the 13th century, two Thai states emerged. The Suhkothai Kingdom was founded around 1220 after a successful uprising against the Khmer kingdom (see Cambodia). The state of Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 and in 1350 Suhkothai was replaced by the Aytthaya kingdom, which once again dissolved the Khmer kingdom which was about to disintegrate.

The Burmese were the strongest rival to the Aytthaya kingdom. In 1569, the forces of Aytthaya were defeated by the Burmese who conquered the capital and for 15 years ruled the country. In 1767 the Burmese once again conquered the capital of the Thais and brought down the Aytthaya dynasty.

In 1782, Rama I founded the Chakri dynasty - which continues to rule the country - and moved the capital to Bangkok (Krung Thep). Rama III extended the Thai empire to the south, encompassing the entire Malay Peninsula, to the north into Laos, and to the southeast into Cambodia.

Throughout the 19th century, British and French fought for control of the area, but in 1896 both colonial powers entered into an agreement to preserve the kingdom's formal independence while continuing their rivalry over the country's agricultural resources. However, the influence of the colonial powers also led to some modernization of society. Slavery was abolished, public schooling, railways and telegraphs were introduced. Central government was centralized and a comprehensive state bureaucracy was developed. It was recruited from the traditional feudalist democracy, which underwent European education to meet the demands of the new age. At the same time, the military was developed and modernized. The form of governance during this period was almost enlightened. All the political power remained in the king's hands. Under 1.The League of Nations.

Gradually, the monarchy came into conflict with the new class of officials, and in 1932 the monarchy was abolished by a bloodless coup. The country was transformed into a constitutional monarchy by Western European pattern, forming a parliament elected by universal suffrage. However, contradictions quickly emerged within the new ruling layer: the first government under Pridi Phanomyong, supported by the progressive elements of civilian bureaucracy, had to step down after just a year. Instead, a Pibul Songgram Conservative government took over - dominated by the military. In 1941, the Conservative government allied with the Japanese to avoid Japanese invasion, and occupied parts of Malaysia during the war.. When it became clear that the Japanese would lose the war, Pridi once again seized power, reconciled with the Allies and initiated a democratization. In 46, the occupied territories were delivered back to the British who were colonial lords in Malaysia. Democratization, however, lasted briefly. In 47, Pibul returned to power with support from the United States.

American satellite

In June of that year, King Ananda Mahidol died in circumstances that have never been clarified. The US succeeded in placing his brother Rama IX on the throne. Born in the United States, he never hid his sympathies for this country. In the years that followed, Thailand evolved more and more into a North American satellite. A development that particularly accelerated and reached its peak in the 60s. In 1957, Pibul was ousted by the military and a purely military dictatorship was introduced. The country experienced strong economic growth during these years due to large North American investments, but the development was unilaterally concentrated in the Bangkok area, where a number of new industries sprung up. The profits went predominantly to the foreign major corporations that controlled this development and to a national citizenship - with strong military elements - attached to these interests.

Religions of Religion in ThailandAlso militarily, Thailand became a North American satellite: as early as the 1950s, the United States systematically supported the building and modernization of the Thai army, and from the mid-1960s the North American military "presence" became even more concrete in the form of a series of aircraft bases and large troop forces - approx. 50,000 men. Already in 1954, the superpower had made Bangkok the headquarters of SEATO (South East Asian Treaty Organziation) - a military alliance with the participation of the Southeast Asian countries and the United States to curb the revolutionary development of the region. In 1961, large North American troop forces were sent into the country to fight the popular uprising in Laos. Throughout the 1960s, Thailand became one of the most important North American support points for the Vietnam War, and Thai soldiers fought on the United States in both Korea and Vietnam.

 

 

The Religion FAQs Copyright 1998 - 2020 All Rights Reserved