Talk:Rattanakosin Kingdom (1782–1932)

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  • That Rama V's reforms saved Thailand from colonial rule is not an opinion but a fact recognised by every reference I have looked at
  • The map was based on reputable historical atlases. Adam 07:58, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
  • You need to broaden your reading.;) I give you Siam Mapped by Thongchai Winichakul:
p. 102: the two major efforts which have been known to historians of Siam as measures of self-defense against the European threat- namely the reform of provincial administration and the expeditions to suppress the Ho disturbances in the Lao region. Both were in fact operations to resolve the ambiguity of the overlapping margins [between the Siamese and French spheres of influence].
p. 149: the conventional history of the loss of territories and provincial reform can exist only if the ideas of premodern hierarchical polity and the nonbounded realm are suspended or suppressed.
In the interests of being peacable I've neutered that one rather than reverting; there's no particular need for Chulalongkorn's caption to address nationalist mythology either way anyway.
  • I'm not quite sure what your second point is. If you're saying that the map is not derived from the 1935 map, then Thongchai traces the map which is widely reprinted in Thailand to that map. If you are contending that there is a second line of maps, which has an independent source but which shows the same nationalist shibboleths, then you need to provide sources demonstrating an independent origin. If you are suggesting that the map also appears in many recently published, non-Thai atlases, then I doubt it but I'll take your word for it and we can delete the word "Thai". For the moment, I've added a citation for the only sourced information which we have. Mark1 02:00, 27 July 2005 (UTC)


I don't understand the point you are trying to make here. The map is not "replicated" from anywhere. I made it myself. Are you denying that these territories were lost under pressure from the British and French as the map shows?

Changed to "reproduces". As you say, you copied it from other maps rather than through your own original research. Certainly I would deny that the territories were "lost", although my own opinion is irrelevant; as I quoted before however, the conventional history of the loss of territories and provincial reform can exist only if the ideas of premodern hierarchical polity and the nonbounded realm are suspended or suppressed. The idea of pre-1907 Siam as a nation state with borders and territories to "lose" is an anachronism. Mark1 02:32, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

I understand the difference between a pre-modern polity and a modern state. But 19th century Siam was not a "nonbounded realm." Its boundaries to the west and south were set by the British and those to the east and north-east by the French. The map shows territories which the Kings of Siam were forced to ceded sovereignty over to the colonial powers, as both sides understood. This is the established ("conventional" if you like) history, which is what both the article and the map need to reflect. If you want to cite dissenting views, you should do in the text and we can then debate that. Adam 03:13, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

I note that the text says: "All of these "lost territories" were on the fringes of the Siamese sphere of influence and had never been securely under their control, but being compelled to abandon all claim to them was a substantial humiliation to both king and country." I think that addresses the point you are making. Adam 03:20, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

The article does not need to reflect conventional views of history. It needs to neutrally describe all reputable views. The idea that Siam had the territories to cede is far from non-disputed and should not be presented as fact. Mark1 01:40, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Then make an edit to the text and we can discuss it. The caption as you currently have it only serves to mystify readers. Adam 01:54, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, at the moment the text says: All of these "lost territories" were on the fringes of the Siamese sphere of influence and had never been securely under their control, but being compelled to abandon all claim to them was a substantial humiliation to both king and country... In the early 20th century these crises were adopted by the increasingly nationalist government as symbols of the need for the country to assert itself against the West and its neighbours. I'm not clear what that leaves unexplained about the caption. Mark1 02:00, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes, that is what I wrote. I want to know what you think is the fact of the matter. At the moment the captions suggests that there were no lost territories at all, that this is just a fantasy of the Phibun regime. The caption must correspond to what is in the text. So either you write some text that explains and supports the caption, or I delete the caption. Adam 02:10, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

There were abandoned claims; there were no lost territories. I don't see any discrepancy between the text and the caption. Mark1 02:15, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

The text says:

In 1893 the French authorities in Indochina used a minor border dispute to provoke a crisis. French gunboats appeared at Bangkok, and demanded the cession of Lao territories east of the Mekong. The King appealed to the British, but the British minister told the King to settle on whatever terms he could get, and he had no choice but to comply. Britain's only gesture was an agreement with France guaranteeing the integrity of the rest of Siam. In exchange, Siam had to give up its claim to the Tai-speaking Shan region of north-eastern Burma to the British.
The French, however, continued to pressure Siam, and in 1906–1907 they manufactured another crisis. This time Siam had to give up territory on the west bank of the Mekong opposite Luang Prabang and around Champasak in southern Laos, as well as western Cambodia. The British interceded to prevent more French bullying of Siam, but their price, in 1909, was the transfer to British Malaya of Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu.

You apparently dispute that these events took place, and the caption you have given the map reflects that view. If that is the case, write some text stating your position. If you don't I will delete the caption. Adam 02:23, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Done- thanks for pointing those bits out. It would be nice to have an exploration of the evidence for the varying degrees of control which each power exercised over each territory at each time, but that would be beyond the scope of this overview article. I think here it's wisest to neutral formulations rather than "A says, B says". Mark1 02:28, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

The map again[edit]

Yes we have been over this several times, but I am returning to this issue. I am now reading Stuart-Fox's history of Laos preparatory to travelling there. He includes a detailed description of the French annexations of the territory which now comprises Laos in 1893 and 1904. It is quite clear from this that the position Markalexander has been taking in relation to the map is not correct. By 1893 the Siamese government no longer saw itself as a "premodern hierarchical polity and the nonbounded realm." It saw itself as a modern nation state and claimed the Lao lands as its territory. This perception was no doubt not entirely accurate, but that is not the point. The French actions of 1893 and 1904 were a straitforward territorial annexation under threat of force, analagous to the German seizure of Alsace-Lorraine. The Siamese did not see these events in pre-modern terms, and nor of course did the French.

I am therefore not prepared any longer to accept Markalexander's caption to the map, which I created, and which is not based on any Thai map of 1935, nor on any nationalist mythology of subsequent Thai regimes, but on my own reading of Thai and Lao history. The text explains clearly that Siamese sovereignty over some of these lands was at times only nominal. I agree that this was the case with the Shan states and with the Malay sultanates, but it was not true of the Lao lands by 1893, where the Siamese had done their best to establish a formal military and civil administration. The caption should describe the map for what it is - a map of lands which were transferred under duress from Siamese sovereignty to French or British sovereignty. Adam 16:16, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Can you live with my abandoned territorial claims proposal, which with a bit of luck is equally obnoxious to both of us? Mark1 16:43, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

But Siam/Thailand did not abandon its claims to these territories, as was shown in 1941 when Phibun retrieved some of them. The claims weren't abandoned until 1947, when Pridi did his deal with the Allies. I would accept "Territories claimed by Siam but occupied by France and Britain". Adam 05:07, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

They did abandon the claims in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as my proposed caption says (that's what the treaties said); Phibun revived them in the 30s and 40s. Revival of the claims belongs in a later section. Alternatively, how about "territorial concessions", which skips over the thorny question of exactly what rights were being conceded? Mark1 11:16, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Rama I[edit]

The section about Rama I is simply incorrect. This article is another attempt of 'farangs' who thought they knew something about Thai history; only that they don't. I appreciated your time but what your wrote is simply incorrect. This is another example of why Wikipedia should not be use as a reliable reference source.

  • 'His government was carried out by six great ministries headed by royal princes. Four of these administered particular territories: the Kalahom the south; the Mahatthai the north and east; the Phrakhlang the area immediately south of the capital; and the Krommueang the area around Bangkok. The other two were the ministry of lands (Krom Na) and the ministry of the royal court (Krom Wang).'

--There were only 4 ministries during the reign of Rama I which were Krom Weing, Krom Wang, Krom Krang (Phrakhlang), Krom na

  • 'The army was controlled by the King's deputy and brother, the Uparat.'

--There was NO Uparat title during the reign of Rama I

Also, in the Rama II and Rama III, there are many incorrect points.Dhanakorn 23:40, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

So provide sources and fix it. Markyour words 23:52, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

The parts of the article I wrote are largely based on Wyatt's History of Thailand. I don't have the book in front of me at present but I'm fairly confident I have paraphrased him correctly. So if you think it is wrong you will need to provide a better source that Wyatt. Adam 02:09, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

I am proposing a move of this article to the title Rattanakosin Kingdom, which currently redirects here. Thai studies on national history has traditionally divided and named the periods of Thai history after the Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Thonburi and Rattanakosin Kingdoms, the last of which spans from 1782 to the present (even if the name has been all but abandoned). Thonburi Kingdom already has its own article, so the corresponding section on this page should be moved there, and although today is still technically within the Rattanakosin Period, leaving the discussion in this article at 1932 as it currently does would remain appropriate in my opinion. --Paul_012 (talk) 15:49, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable to me. Make it so. --rikker (talk) 05:41, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Infobox former country unsuitable[edit]

I don't think {{Infobox former country}} is entirely suitable for use in this article, at least not the way it is currently done. The Rattanakosin Kingdom extends from 1782 up until now, and is the current historical period in Thailand. Unlike European former states which had specific borders and symbols during their time of existence, Rattanakosin's evolved over time, and it would be inappropriate to show a single flag, symbol or map in the infobox, as this would likely mislead the reader into thinking that those were representative of all the Kingdom's stages.

The article should be modified to clearly tell the reader that the Rattanakosin Kingdom did not end at 1932, but rather continues on until today, although the name did fall out of common usage and now mostly refers to the historical aspect of the period. --Paul_012 (talk) 18:50, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Rattanakosin vs Ratanakosin?[edit]

Is there a reason why the spelling with two Ts are used instead of one that would follow RTGS? --Dara (talk) 18:22, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

I see the spelling with two Ts is more prevalent. But the spelling with one does occur in articles, I got 22 in a search result, with one in an article name space. --Dara (talk) 18:25, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Rattanakosin is the RTGS spelling. As the name is formed by samasa, it is pronounced [รัด-ตะ-นะ-โก-สิน], with ต being both the final consonant of the first syllable and the initial consonant of the second. The spelling of naval ship's names need not follow the RTGS, though it's not really clear what the Navy's preferred spelling is exactly. These navy websites [1][2] don't use a consistent spelling. --Paul_012 (talk) 09:44, 6 February 2012 (UTC)


The current mismatch between the article title (Rattanakosin Kingdom, which technically spans 1782 – the present) and its actual scope (1782–1932) appears to be causing confusion. Should the article be moved to something more specific, e.g. Rattanakosin Kingdom (pre-1932)? --Paul_012 (talk) 13:00, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

@Paul 012: Sorry for the late answer. I do not think that the scope of the article should be extended beyond 1932 until today, as this would be redundant to History of Thailand (1932–1973) and History of Thailand since 1973. In my perception, "Rattanakosin" is rarely used for the time after 1932, while technically you are right, it continues to the present. I do not have a problem with the title as-is, if the intro properly defined the scope of the article. Alternatively, History of Thailand (1782–1932), History of Siam (1782–1932) or Rattanakosin Kingdom (1782–1932) would be accurate and unambiguous without being too clumsy. I do not have a strong preference for either title. --RJFF (talk) 18:16, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

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