by Douglas A. Phillips


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Formerly known as the Kingdom of Siam, Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia never to have been colonized by a European nation. From the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, Thailand's monarchy skillfully used diplomacy and geography to serve their interests: They opened the country's doors to Western influences and trade but kept nations such as France and Great Britain at bay by positioning Thailand as a buffer state between French-controlled Cambodia and British-controlled Burma (present-day Myanmar). Although Thailand's monarchy lost much of its real power in 1932, when a military coup forced the king to accept a constitutional monarchy, the present king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, serves as both a symbol of the country and protector of the nation's predominant religion and philosophy-Buddhism. Despite ongoing political instability throughout much of the second half of the twentieth century, Thailand's economy began to prosper, enjoying the world's highest growth rate from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s. Today, Thailand is the world's largest exporter of rice and is a major exporter of rubber, tin, and textiles.

About the Author:
Douglas A. Phillips is a former president of the National Council for Geographic Education

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791092507
Publisher: Chelsea House Publishers
Publication date: 03/28/2007
Series: Modern World Nations Series
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

Table of Contents

Introducing Thailand     8
Physical Landscapes     14
Thailand Through Time     24
People and Culture     39
Government and Politics     50
Thailand's Economy     65
Major Urban Areas in Thailand     77
Thailand Looks Ahead     86
Facts at a Glance     92
History at a Glance     95
Bibliography     98
Further Reading     99
Index     101

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