KING RAMA-V’S RELATIONS WITH THE COLONIAL POWERS – BRITAIN & FRANCE
King RAMA-V had to face expansion of the two colonial powers encircling SIAM . They were : 1. THE GREAT BRITAIN ; and 2. FRANCE . THE GREAT BRITAIN had conquered INDIA , BURMA and MALYA from the west on the one hand and SOUTH VIETNAM , VIETNAM on the name of protecting CAMBODIA by FRANCE on the other hand , created trouble for SIAM as it lost its extraterritorial rights in those areas to the Duo conquerors as such . Apart from that development works going on in those areas had been halted . It happened with KRA ISTHMUS CANAL also . The THAI CANAL or KRA ISTHMUS CANAL was meant for connecting the GULF OF THAILAND with the ANDAMAN sea in Southern THAILAND . In the early nineteenth century the BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANY EMPIRES were interested in such canal but when BURMA became the colony of BRITAIN in 1863 and the construction of SUEZ CANAL had started in 1882 , the FRENCH engineer FERDINAND de LESSEPS visited the KRA ISTHMUS area , but the THAI King RAMA-V didn’t allow him to investigate it in detail . And in 1897 , THAILAND/SIAM and the GREAT BRITAIN agreed not to build a canal so that the regional dominance of the harbour of SINGAPORE could be maintained .
THE FRANCO-SIAMESE WAR OF 1893
The FRANCO-SIAMESE war of 1893 was a conflict between the FRENCH THIRD REPUBLIC and King RAMA-V of SIAM for furthering FRENCH interests in LAOS . Taking advantage of SIAMESE weakness in the region and periodic invasion by the VIETNAMESE rebels from TONKIN increased tension between PARIS and BANGKOK . The PAKNAM incident was a military engagement fought during the said FRANCO-SIAMESE war of 1893 . When three FRENCH ships violated SIAMESE territories and a SIAMESE fort while sailing off PAKNAM on CHAO PHRAYA RIVER of SIAM and a force of gunboats fired warning shots , the FRANCO-SIAMESE war virtually started . In this war FRANCE won and blockaded BANGKOK which ended the war . After this war King RAMA-V realized the actual threat of the western colonial powers . Realizing this he brought about all the reforms in the SIAMESE system of governance about which we have already studied in our earlier chapter (blog) . However , ENTENTE CORDIALE between the GREAT BRITAIN and FRANCE on 8th April 1904 ended their dispute over SIAM . A series of cordial agreements between the two countries followed . The BRITISH and the FRENCH zone of influence in SIAM was well outlined . The western territories adjacent to BURMESE TENASSERIM was declared as the BRITISH zone , while the eastern territories adjacent to FRENCH INDO-CHINA was called the FRENCH zone . Both the countries disclaimed the idea of annexing SIAMESE territories as such as , to them , it was not fruitful for them at that moment and they , at last , agreed upon that western zone of SIAM would be an areas of influence of BRITISH , while the eastern zone of SIAM would be as an area of influence of the FRANCE.
THE ANGLO-SIAMESE TREATY OF 1909
The ANGLO-SIAMESE treaty of 1909 was meant for deciding the boarder between SIAM and the BRITISH MALAYA . As per the treaty SIAM relinquished its claims over KELANTAN , TERENGGANU , KEDAH and PERLIS to the GREAT BRITAIN in exchange for SIAMESE legal rights and a loan to construct Railways in Southern SIAM . These were previously part of the semi independent MALAY Sultanate of PATTANI and KEDAH . Similarly , a series of treaties with FRANCE settled the SIAMESE eastern border with LAOS and CAMBODIA . But King RAMA-V was suffering from kidney disease . He had even gone to the GREAT BRITAIN in 1907 and consulted with many EUROPEAN doctors for the treatment . But in vain . He died ultimately on 23rd October 1910 due to his kidney disease at the AMPHORN SATHAN RESIDENCIAL HALL in the DUSIT PALACE . And he was succeeded by VAJIRAVUDH , later known as King RAMA-VI .
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .
TO BE CONTINUED ………………..