KING RAMA-III AND THE MILITARY HEGEMONY OF SIAM/THAILAND
King RAMA-III was the third king of the CHAKRI Dynasty of SIAM . He was born on 31st March 1788 from the second wife of RAMA-II , SRI SULALAI . His original name was NANGKLAO and his pet name was THAP . He ruled over SIAM from 21st July 1824 to 2nd April 1851 till his death . He was designated as heir by his father and in this way his accession to the throne was uncontested and smoothly confirmed by the grand council of SIAM . He had 51 sons and daughters with various consorts . It is said that following RAMA-II coronation in 1809 , Prince KSHATRIYANUCHIT , the surviving son if TAKSIN , revolted as pretender to the throne . It was the Prince THAP ( LATER RAMA-III ) was assigned to supress the rebellion and he did it successfully . He was praised by the crown king and his father RAMA-II who in return gave him the Sanskrit-driven title called CHETSADABODIN for his success in supressing the rebellion . He was also raised to the rank of KROMMA MUEN and he became KROMMA THA ( MINISTER OF TRADE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS ) . DR. CRAWFURD who visited in SIAM in 1822 , his praise for Prince THAP was total . He said , ‘ He ……. being the most intelligent of all the princes and chiefs of the SIAMESE court . ‘ The statement of the PORTUGUESE Consul was that the Prince THAP had offered him a large sum of money to translate a history of the wars of NEPOLEON from the FRENCH language to the PORTUGUESE language ; so that it could be rendered into SIAMESE through the CHRISTIAN interpreters .
During the reign of RAMA-III , the military hegemony of SIAM was well established . It could be seen in how the LAOTIAN Rebellion ( 1826-1828 ) was put down by the military of RAMA-III . It is also known as VIENTIANE-SIAM war . To end the suzerainty of SIAM and to create the former kingdom of LAN XANG , king ANOUVONG of the kingdom of VIENTIANE and the LAO armies of the kingdom of VIENTIANE and CHAMPASAK moved south and west across the KHORAT PLATEAU and advanced towards SARABURI which was about three day march from BANGKOK . The SIAMESE army mounted a counterattack to the north and the east forcing the LAO forces to retreat and ultimately took the capital of VIENTIANE . The consequence was that ANOUVONG failed in both : 1. His attempt to resist SIAMESE encroachment ; and 2. To check the further fragmentation among the LAO . As a result the kingdom of VIENTIANE was abolished . And its population was forcibly moved to SIAM and its former territories were now directly came under the control of SIAMESE Provincial administration . The kingdoms of CHAMPASAK and LAN NA also came almost under the SIAMESE administrative system . Whereas the kingdom of LUANG PRABANG was extremely weakened but allowed to have regional autonomy as such .
THE SIAMESE-VIETNAMESE WAR OF 1831 TO 1834
The SIAMESE-VIETNAMESE war which started in 1831 and continued till 1834 was also known as the SIAMESE-CAMBODIAN war ( 1831-1834 ) as such . It was sparked by the SIAMESE invasion forces under GENERAL BONDINDECHA who was trying to conquer CAMBODIA and Southern VIETNAM . After preliminary success , the defeat of the KHMER army of CAMBODIA in the battle of KOMPONG CHAM in 1832 was observed , then SIAMESE army moved towards VIETNAM but it was repelled in the south VIETNAM in 1833 by the military forces of the then NGUYEN monarchy of VIETNAM . The result was that a general uprising in CAMBODIA and LAOS erupted . And the SIAMESE army withdrew from CAMBODIA and VIETNAM was left in control of CAMBODIA as such . This made CAMBODIA a VIETNAMESE province . MINH MANG’S harsh rule ( from 1820 to 1841 ) ended in 1841 . As a result , both SIAM and VIETNAM emerged as the primary power in INDO-CHINA in the early 19th century .
THE SIAMESE-VIETNAMESE SECOND WAR (1841-1845)
The SIAMESE-VIETNAMESE second war in CAMBODIA started in 1841 and ended in 1845 . The rivalry between VIETNAM and SIAM over the control of the CAMBODIAN heartland in the lower MEKONG basin had started during the SIAMESE-VIETNAMESE war (1831-1834) itself . The VIETNAMESE Emperor MINH MANG installed Princess ANG MEY to rule over CAMBODIA in 1834 as a puppet queen regent of his choice . And he declared full suzerainty over CAMBODIA . In 1841 , SIAM under the able king RAMA-III saw an opportunity to aid and assist the KHMER revolt against the VIETNAMESE rule . He sent an army to enforce Prince ANG DUONG’S installation as the King of CAMBODIA . Peculiarly , after four years of attrition warfare both parties (SIAM-VIETNAM) agreed to compromise and placed CAMBODIA under their joint rule . However , RAMA-III’S rule marked a development in the fields of culture , dance , poetry and theater despite continuous warfare as such . The temple of WAT PHO was built by RAMA-III . It is also known as the first University of SIAM . With the death of RAMA-III in 1851 , the old traditional SIAMESE monarchy ended .
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .
TO BE CONTINUED ………..