KING TAKSIN : WARFARE AND NATIONAL REVIVAL
KING TAKSIN : WARFARE AND NATIONAL REVIVAL : WARFARE AND NATIONAL REVIVAL, [ 1767-1782 ]
- After the shattering defeat which had culminated in Ayutthaya's destruction, the death and capture of thousands of Thais by the victorious Burmese, and the dispersal of several potential Thai leaders, the situation seemed hopeless. It was a time of darkness and of troubles for the Thai nation. Members of the old royalfamily of Ayutthaya had died, escaped, or been captured by the Burmese and many rival claimants for thethrone emerged, based in different areas of the country. But out of this national catastrophe emerged yetanother saviour of the Thai state : the half-Chinese general Phraya Taksin, former governor of Tak. Within afew years this determined warrior had defeated not only all his rivals but also the Burmese invaders and hadset himself up as king,
- Since Ayutthaya had been so completely devastated. King Taksin chose to establish his capital at Thon Buri[ across the river from Bangkok ]. Although a small town, Thon Buri was strategically situated near the mouthof the Chao Phraya River and therefore suitable as a seaport. The Thais needed weapons, and one way of acquiring them was through trade. Besides, foreign trade was also needed to bolster the Thai economy,which had suffered extensively during the war with Burma(now Myanmar). Chinese and Chinese-Thai traders helped revivethe economy by engaging in maritime trade with neighbouring states, with China, and with some Europeannations.
- King Taksin's prowess as a general and as an inspirational leader meant that all attempts by the Burmese to reconquer Siam failed. The rallying of the Thai nation during a time of crisis was King Taksin's greatestachievement. However, he was also interested in cultural revival, in literature and the arts. He was deeplyreligious and studied meditation to an advanced level. The stress and strain of such much fighting and theresponsibility of rebuilding a centralized Thai state took their toll on the king. Following an internal politicalconflict in 1782. King Taksin's fellow general Chao Phraya Chakri was chosen king. King Taksin's achievements have caused posperity to bestow on him the epithet "the Great".,
King Taksin the Great, one of the most famous warrior figures in Thai history,
founded the Thonburi Kingdom in what is now part of Bangkok
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: Thailand in the 90s, Office of the Prime Minister, Bangkok, 1991, P. 18-19.|
: "RATTANAKOSIN BICENTENNIAL" An Iiiustrated Book on Historical Events, published by KURUSAPHA BUSINESS ORGANIZATION, 1982.