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Thailand History Timeline

Map of Thailand
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Thailand's Information

Flag of Thailand
Land Area 510,890 km2
Water Area 2,230 km2
Total Area 513,120 km2
Population 68,200,824
Population Density 132.91 / km2
Government Type Constitutional Monarchy; Note - Interim Military-Affiliated Government Since May 2014
GDP (PPP) $1,160.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $16,800
Currency Baht (THB)
Largest Cities
  • Bangkok (5,104,476)
  • Samut Prakan (388,920)
  • Mueang Nonthaburi (291,555)
  • Udon Thani (247,231)
  • Chon Buri (219,164)
  • Nakhon Ratchasima (208,781)
  • Chiang Mai (200,952)
  • Hat Yai (191,696)
  • Pak Kret (182,926)
  • Si Racha (178,916)
1000 - 1400
  • (1000 - 1099) Thais began moving from southern China to (present day) Thailand
  • (1350) Unified Thai Kingdom established by King Ramathibodi; area was called Siam
  • (1350 - 1767) Thailand gradually came under control of Ayutthaya Kingdom, became major power in southeast Asia, including parts of Cambodia, Laos, Burma
  • (1448) King Ramesuan unified Ayutthaya and north central Thailand's Sukhothai Kingdoms
1500 - 1700
  • (1590 - 1605) King Naresuan ruled, considered to be Ayutthay's greatest king; ended Burmese overlordship
  • (1688) Siamese people ousted French from Bangkok and Siam in Siege of Bangkok
  • (1767) Burmese invaded capital city of Ayutthaya, left it in ruins
  • (1768 - 1782) Thonburi Kingdom reestablished Thai control under Taksin the Great
  • (1782) Taksin ousted by coup led by General Chao Phraya Chakri
  • (1782) Chakri Dynasty under King Rama I began, country named Siam, Bangkok became capital
  • (1804 - 1868) King Rama IV initiated modernization of Thailand
  • (1820) Cholera pandemic killed around 30,000 in Bangkok
  • (1828) Siamese forces invaded Laos
  • (1868) King Roma IV died, son Chulalongkorn (Rama V) took over
  • (1868 - 1910) During reign of King Rama V, Siam's administration and commerce were modernized, railway developed
  • (1893) During Franco-Siamese War, three French ships were fired on by Siamese, France won battle, blocked Bangkok, ended the war
  • (1896) Siam ceded Laos to France
  • (1902) Siam annexed three southern provinces that had been part of Kingdom of Pattani
  • (1910) King Rama V's reign ended, son Vajiravudh succeeded as Rama VI
  • (1917) In World War I, Siam became ally of Great Britain
  • (1925) King Rama VI died, Prince Prajadhipok became King Rama VII
  • (1932) Bloodless coup ended absolute monarchy, Siam became constitutional monarchy
  • (1935) King Rama VII abdicated due to political quarrels with new government and health problems
  • (1935) Nine-year old Ananda Mahidol named King Rama VIII; Parliament appointed Colonel Prince Anuwatjaturong, Lieutenant Commander Prince Artit Thip-apa, Chao Phraya Yommaraj (Pun Sukhum) as his regents
  • (1941) Japanese forces landed; Thailand allowed them to advance toward British-controlled Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Burma
  • (1942) Thailand declared war on Britain and US; Thai Ambassador refused to declare declaration of war to US government in Washington
  • (1945) World War II ended; Thailand forced to return territories seized from Laos, Cambodia, Malaya
  • (1946) King Ananda was assassinated, brother Bhumibol Adulyadej became king
  • (1946) Thailand became member of United Nations
  • (1947) Pro-Japanese leader, Phibun Songkhram, staged military coup
  • (1960s - 1970s) Thailand was involved in conflicts in Cambodia and Vietnam
  • (1960s - 1970s) US was allowed to use military bases in Thailand during Vietnam war
  • (1960s - 1970s) Thai troops fought in South Vietnam
  • (1973) Students rioted in Bangkok resulting in fall of military government
  • (1973) Free elections held, new government lacked stability
  • (1976) Students demonstrating at Thammasat University against return of military ruler, Thanom Kittikachorn, were shot, beaten, bodies mutilated; 46 died
1900s continued
  • (1976) Military retook control of government
  • (1978) New constitution adopted
  • (1980) General Prem Tinsulanonda took control
  • (1988) General Chatichai Choonhaven replaced Prem after elections
  • (1991) Anand Panyarachun, a civilian, was installed as prime minister following military coup
  • (1992) Anand was replaced by General Suchinda Kraprayoon in elections
  • (1992) Suchinda Kraprayoon forced to resign following demonstrations against him
  • (1992) New elections held and Chuan Leekpai, Democratic Party leader, elected prime minister
  • (1995) Government collapsed
  • (1995) Thai Nation party Banharn Silpa-archa elected prime minister
  • (1996) Following accusations of corruption, Barnharn's government resigned
  • (1996) Chavalit Yongchaiyudy of New Aspiration party won elections
  • (1997) In Asian financial crisis, the baht fell sharply, causing bankruptcies and unemployment
  • (1997) Chuan Leekai became prime minister
  • (1998) Tens of thousands of migrant workers sent back to their home countries
  • (1999) Economy began to improve
  • (2001) New Thai Rak Thai (Thai Love Thai) party won elections
  • (2001) New coalition government formed by Thai Rak Thai leader Thaksin Shinawartr
  • (2001) Burma-Thailand border closed after clashes between two countries' troops; reopened following visit by Thaksin
  • (2002) Thai army fired shells into Burma during battle between Burmese army and Shan rebels; Burma closed border
  • (2002) Burma reopened border
  • (2003) Thailand sealed borders with Cambodia after rioters looted, torched embassy in Phnom Penh; sent military planes, evacuated more than 500 nationals
  • (2003) Crackdown on drugs began, more than 2,000 suspects killed
  • (2004) More than 100 Muslims killed in south by Islamic militants, martial law imposed
  • (2004) Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra replaced finance, interior and defense ministers following Muslim insurgency, volatile stock market, outcry over privatization plan
  • (2004) 85 Muslim protesters died while in army custody following violent rally in south
  • (2004) Thousands killed when massive tsunami, triggered by undersea earthquake off coast of Indonesia, devastated communities on southwest coast and resort of Phuket
  • (2005) Thaksin Shinawatra reelected prime minister for second term
  • (2005) More than 60 insurgents in Yala destroyed electrical transformers, roamed streets with fire bombs, explosives, guns; five bombs set off, gunfire exchanged with security personnel, one police officer killed, 19 people wounded
  • (2005) Emergency decree signed into law granting Prime Minister Shinawatra power to tap phones, command security forces, order curfews
  • (2005) Outbreaks of bird flu occurred
  • (2005) Team of eight elephants created largest painting made by mammals
  • (2006) Thousands of people gathered near Thai parliament demanding Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra step down due to alleged corruption
  • (2006) Skydivers from 31 countries set new world record of 400 people holding hands in midair free-fall formation
  • (2006) Following continuing calls for resignation, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra agreed to hold national referendum on amending constitution
  • (2006) Parliament dissolved by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, forced national elections three years early
2000s continued
  • (2006) Over 50,000 people took part in rally in Bangkok to demand resignation of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
  • (2006) Fourth protest against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra took place when thousands of Thais marched to Government House
  • (2006) Government extended state of emergency in southern Thailand after Muslim insurgency left over 1,000 dead
  • (2006) Election called by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was boycotted by opposition, annulled; he stepped down for a seven-week break from politics
  • (2006) Bloodless coup by military leaders resulted in Retired General Surayud Chulanont's appointment as interim prime minister
  • (2007) Martial law lifted in more than half the country
  • (2007) 29 bombings, 20 additional attacks occurred in the four southernmost provinces within 45 minutes
  • (2007) Police claimed Islamic separatists set fire to Thailand's largest rubber warehouse, killed four
  • (2007) First draft of new constitution approved by committee
  • (2007) Ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai party banned
  • (2007) Two senior officials of Thai Rak Party found guilty of election fraud
  • (2007) Court disbanded Thai Rak Party, barred Shinawatra and party executives from politics for five years
  • (2007) In referendum, voters approved new military-drafted constitution; democracy restored
  • (2007) People Power Party won most votes in elections, marked major step to return to civilian rule
  • (2008) Samak Sundaravej of People Power Party (PPP) sworn in as prime minister, civilian rule returned
  • (2008) Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra returned from exile
  • (2008) Several thousand protestors calling for resignation of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej for trying to change constitution for self-interest purposes, interfering with corruption charges against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra pushed through police cordon
  • (2008) Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej agreed to resign if he lost a no-confidence vote in Parliament
  • (2008) New corruption charges filed against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
  • (2008) Pojaman Shinawatra, wife of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, found guilty of fraud, sentenced to three years in jail; granted bail pending appeal
  • (2008) Thaksin and family fled to Britain after failing to appear in court for corruption charges
  • (2008) Prime Minister Samak and Cabinet forced to resign after he violated constitution by hosting TV cooking shows while in office; Somchai Wongsawat chosen by parliament as new prime minister
  • (2008) Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra given two-year jail sentence for corruption
  • (2008) Protestors blockaded Thailand's main airports in battle to topple government, closed airports for two weeks, over 350,000 passengers unable to fly
  • (2008) Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat forced from office by a Constitutional Court ruling; People Power Party disbanded for electoral fraud, leaders barred from politics for five years
  • (2008) Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva formed coalition to become new prime minister
  • (2008) Abhisit Vejjajiva elected prime minister in parliamentary vote
  • (2009) Massive rallies held against government's economic policies
  • (2009) Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva moved troops into Bangkok to end opposition protest, more than 120 people injured
  • (2009) Cambodia's appointment of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as economic adviser caused row between two countries; Cambodia took control of Thai-owned air traffic control company
  • (2009) About 4,000 ethnic Hmong were deported back to Laos ; UN and USA expressed concern about their possible reception
  • (2010) Supreme Court ruled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra guilty of illegally acquiring $1.4 billion during his terms; stripped family of half its wealth
2000s continued
  • (2010) Pro-Thaksin opposition protestors paralyzed central Bangkok for two months, demanded Prime Minister Abhisit's resignation, early elections; talks failed, troops stormed protesters' barricades, ended demonstration, death toll was 91
  • (2010) Following resignation of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as Cambodia's economic advisor, Thailand resumed diplomatic ties
  • (2010) Thailand extradited Russian national Vidtor Bout to USA on charges of arms dealing; Russia said move was "glaring injustice" and politically motivated
  • (2011) Tensions between Cambodia and Thailand worsened after two Thai citizens were charged with spying after crossing disputed border
  • (2011) Indonesian monitors allowed access to Thai-Cambodian border to prevent further clashes after exchange of gunfire
  • (2011) Two tons of African elephant tusks worth millions of dollars were confiscated during smuggling operation through Bangkok port
  • (2011) Months of fighting between Cambodian and Thai forces across border killed at least 16, nearly 100,000 people displaced
  • (2011) Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced the dissolving of lower house of Parliament to hold early elections
  • (2011) In elections, Yingluck Shinawatra elected Thailand's first female prime minister
  • (2011) Severe flooding killed hundreds, destroyed millions of homes, livelihoods damaged; over nine million people affected, 27 of 77 provinces were inundated by flood waters
  • (2012) Israel's prime minister blamed Iran for series of bombings in Bangkok, said they were targeting Israeli diplomats
  • (2012) 12 people killed, more than 100 injured, hundreds evacuated after explosions and fire struck Thailand's largest chemical complex
  • (2012) Anti-government protestors blockaded parliament to prevent debate on proposed bill to end political tensions
  • (2012) Police stopped legal protest in Bangkok calling for overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
  • (2012) Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva charged with responsibility for death of taxi driver shot by troops during anti-government protests in Bangkok in 2010

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