The Mon people migrated south from the upper region of Asia in the 6th century and settled in various parts of Thailand. These people hailed from the Thai-Kadai group and established a number of cities, including Lopburi.
The Srivijava Kingdom was established around the 6th century in the central and southern regions of Thailand. The people of Srivijava were noted for their building skills, and many of the temples that they established still stand strong to this day.
Thailand’s first real kingdom was established in northern Thailand in the 13th century and flourished. Using Chiang Mai as its capital, the Lanna Kingdom established a number of prominent settlements, including Lamphun and Chiang Saen.
Occurring in the 15th and 16th centuries, Thailand flourished. The city of Sukhothai was established at this time, and Thailand gained a reputation in Asia for its magnificent buildings and artistic expression.
The Ayutthaya Kingdom took over at the end of the 16th century, and Ayutthaya soon became one of the most powerful cities in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s economy boomed during this period, and the country’s borders expanded extensively into Myanmar and Cambodia.
After a 400-year rule, the Ayutthaya Kingdom fell in 1767 when the kingdom was sacked by the Burmese. Siamese forces regrouped under the leadership of General Taksin, who instigated the movement of the capital to its present location on the western side of the Chao Phraya River.
The Kings of Siam gained power during this time, and the nation flourished as prominent northern territories were won from the Burmese. The rulers of Thailand established trade with the West, and Bangkok was established as the first modern city of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Power was regained, control of the North was wrestled from the Burmese and Siam thrived. Siam was united and strengthened further under the reign of King Chulalongkorn, who was able to create a channel of diplomacy between the East and the West.
The 20th century was marked by several periods of unrest, beginning with the constitutional monarchy that was put into force in 1932 after a bloodless coup rocked the nation. A series of coups and strategic blunders made by military leaders left Thailand both economically and spiritually weak.
However, the ascension of King Bhumibol (Rama IV) on May 5th, 1950 united the Thai people once more, as he proved to be a moral, wise and caring ruler. Despite suffering a minor setback during the Asian financial crisis of 1997, Thailand’s economy was able to recover remarkably quickly, and is currently on the rise.
Political unrest struck the nation once again in 2010, as two parties known locally as the red shirts and the yellow shirts began demonstrating. However, the conflict was mainly contained within areas of Bangkok.
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