Thailand Key Dates

3600-250 BC    Bronze Age civilisation flourishes.
1500 BC    Smelting of Iron being carried out.
10th C. AD    Kingdom of Dvarati located in Chao Phraya River basin – later controlled by Khmers of Cambodia.
11th C. AD    Thai tribes migrate to the region from Yunan, Southern China.
12th C. AD    Thai Kingdom of Sukhotai formed in northern Thailand – expanded south to defeat Dvarati.
1351    Kingdom of Ayutthaya founded in central Thailand. Later absorbs rival Thai states
15th C.    Buddhism becomes state religion, centralised civil service established
16th C.    Country frequently overrun by the Burmese.
1767    Ayutthaya destroyed by invading Burmese army.
1782    Chakri dynasty established. Capital moved to Bangkok.
1800    Siam kingdom includes parts of Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Malaya.
1826    Commercial treaty signed with Britain.
1851    King Mongkut begins gradual modernisation of the country.
1855    King Mongkut signs Bowring trade treaty with Britain. Siam opened to foreign trade.
1863-1867    Siam forced by France to abandon claims to Cambodia.
1868    Reign of King Chulalongkorn begins. Modernisation continued. Railway network developed.
1893    All territory east of Mekong River yielded to France – including all of Laos.
1896    Anglo-French accord guarantees Siam’s independence.
July 1917    Siam joins World War I on the side of the Allies.
1925    King Prajadhipok begins absolute rule.
June 1932    Bloodless military civilian coup ends absolute monarchy. Constitutional monarchy introduced with parliamentary government.
1933    Military takes full control.
1938    Nationalist General Phibun (also spelled ‘Pibul’) appointed Prime Minister.
1939    Siam officially renamed Thailand (“Land of the Free”).
1940    Thailand gains territory from French Indochina.
8 Dec 1941    Japanese occupation begins after token resistance. Government collaborates under General Phibun. Free-Thai movement aids Allies.
15 Jan 1942    Phibun declares war on USA and Britain.
1943    Territory in Burma and Malaya given to Thailand by Japanese.
1944    Japanese occupation ends. General Phibun voted out of office.
1945    Exiled King Ananda returns. Territory acquired in WW2 returned.
1946    King Ananda assassinated. Country renamed Siam.
9 Nov 1947    Military coup by pro-Japanese wartime leader Phibun.
1949    Country name of ‘Thailand’ restored.
1954    Thailand made headquarters of SEATO.
1957    Military coup. Phibun exiled. Constitution abolished, rule by decree introduced.
1965    Thailand allows USA to use Thai bases during Vietnam War, in return for military and financial aid.
1969    New constitution endorses elected parliament.
17 Nov 1971    Army suspends constitution after political unrest and communist guerrilla attacks.
Oct 1973    Student riots in Bangkok lead to fall of military government.
20 March 1976    US forces ordered to leave Thailand.
Oct 1976    Hardline military junta takes control gain in bloody coup.
1978    Massive influx of refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Mar 1980    Prime Minister Prem takes office. Significant moves towards political and economic stability introduced.
August 1988    Democratic elections held.
Feb 1991    Civilian government overthrown due to gross corruption. 17th military coup since 1932.
March 1992    New civilian government takes power. Further elections in September.
1997    Asian financial crisis – rapid currency fall causes bankruptcies and unemployment.
1998    Migrant workers sent home. Economic reforms initiated.
Feb 2001    Border clashes between Thai and Burmese troops.
May 2002    Further border clashes with Burma.
Feb 2003    Crackdown on criminal drug gangs leads to violence.
Jan 2004    More than 100 killed by Islamic militants in the south
April 2004    Islamic militants attack police bases in the south

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