KING RAMA-VII AND SIAM/THAILAND
PRAJADHIPOK was the seventh monarch of SIAM under CHAKRI Dynasty . He took over the reign of SIAM on 25 November , 1925 as King RAMA-VII and remained there till 2nd March 1932 . He was the only monarch of the CHAKRI Dynasty who abdicated the throne during the revolution of 1932 . He was born on 8th November , 1893 in BANGKOK , SIAM to King CHULALONGKORN ( RAMA-V ) and Queen SAOVABHA PHONGSRI . He was the youngest child of the couple out of nine children they gave birth to and second youngest child of the total seventy seven of King RAMA-V . So , realizing this fact that he would unlikely to be on the throne of SIAM , he chose to pursue a military career . He was sent abroad to study at ETON COLLEGE in 1906 and later he joined the WOOLWICH MILITARY ACADEMY from where he was graduated in 1913 . He got a commission in the BRITISH Army based in ALDERSHOT . When RAMA-VI became King in 1910 , PRAJADHIPOK ( LATER KING RAMA-VII ) was commissioned both in the BRITISH Army and the ROYAL SIAMESE Army . And when the first world war started in 1914 , in view of SIAMESE policy of neutrality in the war , PRAJADHIPOK was ordered to resign his BRITISH commission and returned to SIAM immediately by his brother King RAMA-VI despite the fact that the former wanted to fight with his men at the western front . After his return from BRITAIN , he got higher rank in the SIAMESE military . However , as per SIAMESE tradition he became BUDDHIST MONK following customs of the most of SIAMESE men of the BUDDHIST society in 1917 . He was married to his childhood friend and cousin RAMBHAI BARNI at the SUKHOTHAI PALACE and started living a quiet life with his wife there . The couple had no child . And his succession to the throne was necessitated because all his brothers incuding King RAMA-VI died within relatively in a short period of time . So , PRAJADHIPOK became an absolute monarch of SIAM when he was only thirty two years of age on 25th February , 1926 after the death of his brother King RAMA-VI .
THE SIAMESE REVOLUTION OF 1932
The SIAMESE REVOLUTION of 1931 was started by a group of soldiers and civil servants to overthrow the absolute monarchy and to bring about a constitutional government in SIAM . The bloodless revolution started on 24th June 1932 about six and half years after the coronation of King RAMA-VII to the throne of SIAM . KHANA RATSADON , the People’s Party , formed by a group of rebelling SIAMESE military and civil servants . The main causes of eruption of the revolution were as follows : 1. THE COUNTRY WAS FACING SERIOUS ECONOMIC CRISIS AND THREAT FROM ABROAD ; 2. THE SIAMESE SOCIETY WAS UNDERGOING THROUGH DRAMATIC CHANGES AS THE URBAN MIDDLE CLASS OF BANGKOK GREW CONSIDERABLY AND THEY STARTED DEMANDING FOR MORE FREEDOM AND MORE RIGHTS . In February 1927 , a group of seven SIAMESE students met at a hotel on the RUE DU SOMMERARD in PARIS and founded what is called KHANA RATSADON ( THE PEOPLE’S PARTY ) . The name of all the seven were as follows : 1. LIEUTENANT PRAYOON PAMORNMONTRI ; 2. LIEUTENANT PLAEK KHITTASANGKHA ( An Army office-cum-student at School of Applied Artillery , FRANCE ) ; 3. LIEUTENANT THATSANAI MITPHAKDI ( An Army office-cum-student FRENCH Cavalry Academy ) ; 4. TUA LOPHANUKROM ( A Scientist studying in SWITZERLAND ) ; 5. LUANG SIRIRATCHAMAITRI ( A Diplomat at the SIAMESE Embassy in PARIS ) ; 6. NAEP PHAHONYOTHIN ( A Law student studying in ENGLAND ) ; and 7. PRIDI BANOMYONG ( A Law student of the Institut de’Etudes Politiques de PARIS ) .
All the seven revolutionaries made PRIDI BANOMYONG as their president and termed themselves as ‘Promoters’ . The party determined six principles which were as follows : 1. To maintain Supreme power of the THAI people ; 2. To maintain national security ; 3. To maintain the economic welfare of the THAI people ; 4. To protect the equality of THAI people ; 5. To maintain the People’s rights and liberties ; and 6. To provide public education for all citizens . To achieve these goals , the People’s Party determined to overthrow the present government of the absolute monarchy and to establish rather a constitutional monarchy as such . As most of the members of the party were western educated , when they returned to SIAM , they started enlisting members of the party from among army , navy , civil servants and merchant classes of the SIAMESE society . When their membership reached to 102 , the party was separated into four main branches : 1. The civilians were led by PRIDI BANOMYONG ; 2. The Navy was led by LUANG SINTHUSONGKHRAMCHAI ; 3. The junior army officers were led by MAJOR PHIBULSONGGRAM ; and 4. The senior officers were led by COLONEL PHOT PHAHONYOTHIN . When King RAMA-VII was away at KLAI KANGWON PALACE in HUA HIN , the plotters took control of the ANANDA SAMAKHOM THRON HALL in BANGKOK and arrested the officers of the palace mainly princes and relatives of the King . Their demand was that King RAMA-VII should become a constitutional monarch and the THAI people should be granted a constitution so that constitutional government in SIAM could be established . When King RAMA-VII returned BANGKOK ON 26th June 1932 , he greeted the plotters by saying , ‘ I rise in honour of the KHANA RATSADON ……. ‘ The King accepted the People’s Party’s request and the first permanent constitution of SIAM was promulgated on 10th December 1932 . On 14th October , King RAMA-VII announced his intention to abdicate unless his requests were mate . The People’s Party rejected the ultimatum . And on 2nd March , 1935 King RAMA-VII abdicated the throne . He spent rest of his life with queen RAMBHAI BARNI in ENGLAND till his death on 30th May 1941 . He died from heart failure at the age of 47 and his cremation was held at the GOLDERS GREEN CREMATORIUM in North LONDON in presence of his wife Queen RAMBHAI BARNI and a few close relatives in a very simple way .
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TO BE CONTINUED ……………….