preview

Siam Imperialism

Decent Essays
Siam was a small country that was slightly smaller than france. It was never colonized during the Age of Imperialism and instead managed to stay independent. It was the only Southeast Asian state to avoid European colonial rule. Siam, now modern day Thailand, was located at the center of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. To the north was Burma, which was ruled by Britain, and to the east was Cochinchina and Cambodia, which were annexed by France. With these two superpowers and their mutually competitive imperial projects closing in around Siam, it was a very dangerous time period for them. They had to remain vigilant against the two countries or else be annexed by either one.
In 1855, the king of Siam, Mongkut, along with the British
…show more content…
While the French were rather skilled in that area, as seen in the construction of the Suez canal, relations between the two countries were not the best. As the Siamese saw it, the French benefits from this the most and it implies that Britain and France have teamed up in order to slowly chip away at them. However, this project was never implemented.
There was another failed British project, The Burma China railway. The Siamese saw this as an opportunity for Britain’s attempt to annex Siam. To the British however, it was merely a way to quickly move troops to prevent the French from annexing Siam should it happen in the future. Siam was forced to be the one finance the entire project. Fortunately, the King was able to settle this without much dispute by saying that they will not finance it alone while also forbidding foreign investments.
King Mongkut's successor, King Chulalongkorn or King Rama V went on many trips abroad to some of the Western colonies and to Europe. He established many relationships with Russia, Germany, and several European countries. This helped in protecting their sovereignty and the effects of imperialism. Siam eventually became an important country and a member of the League of Nations at the end of the World War I. despite all of the obstacles that they had to
Get Access