Siam In The First World War

750 words - 3 pages

At the outbreak of the war in August of 1914, which merely 4 years after ascending to the Throne in 1910, the King Vajiravudh monitoring and was well informed about development of the war in Europe. Prior to Siam joined the war the king Vajiravudh observed that Siam was geographically so remote from the war and he was rightly in thinking that it was wise for Siam to maintain strict and impartial neutrality. The reason behind this decision was due to the fact that there were danger signs of the threats to Siamese independence especially during the early years of the reign. As can be see from the last decade of nineteenth century Siam was the only independent country in the South East Asia that was surrounded by British and French colonies from east to west. The incident at ‘Pak Nam’, in 1893, in which French brought the gun boats from their colonies in Indo-China to the ‘Mae Nam’ and trained the guns on the King’s Palace in Bangkok, were still fresh in the mine of people in Siam. As a result of this conflicted Siam had to cede to France the right bank of Mae Khong River which included Loung Pra Bang followed by the whole of Cambodia which included Phra Vuhear temple in 1907 after signed Entente Cordiale agreement of 1907. As well as these Siam also ceded Kedah, Kelanton, Trangkanu and Perlis to Britain in 1909. Until about 1910s Germany became a new competitor on colonial affairs, and show increased influence in Siam. According to Directory of Bangkok and Siam published in 1914 that the foreign shipping at the port of Bangkok up to this time was that German have 222 steamers or about 222,115 tonnages as oppose to Britain 84 steamers or 77,151 tonnages and France 30 steamers or 12,710 tonnages the second largest was Norwegian with 171 steamers or 145,124 tonnages. There were also many German employees who worked in Royal States Railways, especially the Northern Railways line who's evidently engaged in propaganda on behave of their country. Right from the start of the War, Germany was approach Siam to negotiated a new treaty that providing for the surrender of extra-territorial jurisdiction possessed by Germany subjects, this lead to British Minister in Bangkok...

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