Thai National Republic
Thaitania, officially the Thai National Republic (Thai: สาธารณรัฐชาติไทย) and formerly known as Siam, is a country in Southeast Asia bordered by Erawati to the northwest, Viet Nam to the east, and Kampuchea to the southeast. In 1934, the Ayothaya kingdom was overthrown after nearly six centuries of existence and replaced by with a national republic. Soon after, it became a founding member of the International Republican Coalition. In 1952, the country officially adopted the short-form name Thaitania.
The name Thaitania comes from the word Taitani plus the Latin suffix -ia. Taitani itself comes from the ethnonym thai ไทย and the word thani ธานี (meaning 'town') and was coined in the early 18th century as an imitation of the Latin term Castellani (given to an ancient Iberian tribe, later evolving into the modern Spanish ethnonym castellano). In the 19th century, the term Taitania was coined in Spanish-language documents in Viet Nam. In the 1920s, the name began being used by Thai national republicans, eventually being assumed by the government as Thaitania in 1952.
Prior to the 20th century, the country was widely known as Siam (สยาม, via Portuguese Sciam) or Ayothaya (alternatively spelled Hudia or Odia), the name of the country's seven-century-old capital. Colloquially, many still refer to the country by these names, though they are not officially sanctioned by the government.
Internally, the country has always been called muang thai มืองไทย or prathet thai ประเทศไทย, both roughly translating to 'Thai country'. The term rat cha ana chak thai ราชอาณาจักรไทย ('Thai kingdom') is often used in historiography to refer to the period between 1238AD and 1934AD.
When the national republicans took control of Siam in 1934, the country's official name in English was rendered as the 'Siamese National Republic'. In 1940s, there was a strong push within the government to distance the country from the name Siam, which had gained monarchical connotations in other countries from the late 19th century. The indigenous names muang thai มืองไทย and prathet thai ประเทศไทย were suggested, but were considered unsuitable as exonyms. In 1950, an ad hoc committee was formed, and two years later the name Thaitania was selected.
The Ayothaya kingdom was founded in 1351 by King Ramathibody I of the Uthong dynasty. The kingdom switched hands numerous times, with the Golden Castle dynasty (prasat thong ปราสาททอง) coming to power in 1622. In 1656, the pro-French monarch Ramathibody III ascended to the throne. His reign and support for a patrimonial bureaucracy ignited tensions between various political factions in the country. Eventually, a coalition of the Dutch, English, the Buddhist clergy, and Persian & Makassarese immigrants overthrew him in the Revolution of 1692. Kosa Pan, a descendant of the Sukhothay dynasty, was crowned as Sanphet VII. His Lin Thong dynasty (ลิ้นทอง, 'golden tongue') would rule from 1692 to 1783. In the Burmese-Siamese War of 1765, the country successfully repelled Burmese invaders, though the government was significantly weakened. The Lin Thong were overthrown by the House of Praphasara (ประภาสระ, 'radiance') in 1783. In 1849, the Burmese invaded and annexed the northern state of Lan Na. As a precautionary measure, in 1854, the Treaty of Petbury was signed, with the Praphasara dynasty leasing the port of Petbury to the British for 99 years and establishing an alliance. In 1887, Siam annexed the northeastern kingdom of Lan Chang and asserted their control over the vast majority of the agricultural Isan region.
Suggested as early as the 17th century, the idea of a canal in the southern part of the country resurfaced during the late 19th century. Such a canal would allow ships to bypass the Dutch-dominated Straits of Malacca completely and would be very economically productive. Construction of the canal began in 1881 and was finished in 1893, dubbed the Tangom Canal (from ทางอ้อม, 'detour').
An anti-monarchial movement grew within the country starting in the 1910s. Large demonstrations and riots erupted in Ayothaya in 1932. Two years later, the Plotpoy Party (ปลดปล่อย, 'to liberate') overthrew the monarchy and established a national republic. This became known as the Siamese Revolution. In 1937, the country annexed Lan Na from British-controlled Burma, a move that was only recognized by fellow republican countries. At the same time, the Thai government began supporting the national republican movement in Burma.
List of leaders
List of monarchs
|Ramathibody III||1656||1692||Prasat Thong|
|Sanphet VIII||1692||1717||Lin Thong|