Nationalism Indonesian Nationalism Thai Nationalism

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Thai – Indonesian Nationalism compared


Indonesian Nationalism

Thai Nationalism

1. One of the causes was agricultural exploitation

- Culture System

- 1/5 rule

- hidden costs

- exploited

- indigo, coffe, sugar

- 1830s peasant revolts

  • Not as intense

  • Bowring Treaty (fixed the import and export taxes for British goods coming in and out of Thailand)

  • Extra-territorial rights

  • Rent and buy land in Siam and had small concessions

2.Anger at Chinese middlemen – traders, immigrants

- Chinese making profits

- Sarekat Dagang Islam

(Batik traders)

- Under the reign of Vajiravudh (1910-1925)

- Called the Chinese “ Jews of the East”

- Thai surnames; Shut down Chinese schools, printing press, newspapers.

3. Anger at aristocrats (nobles)

- Anger at nobles for being collaborators who worked as government officials

- Seen as Dutch conspirators

- Received western education

- OSVIA (teaching colleage) and Stovia (school for future civil servants)


- King Mongkut & Chulalongkorn very much respected because they modernized Siam and preserved her from colonialization.

- What was Thai Nationalism built upon?

* Foreign affairs – diplomacy

* Modernization & Westernization

* Loyalty to the King

* Loyalty to Thailand as Buddhist state
But you still had it – 1932 revolution

Junior military officials (Phibun Songgram), senior military officials (Phya Pahon), civil servants (Manopakorn), intellectual middle classes (lawyer, Pridi Phanomyong)

  • Nobles and royal family occupying all the top positions in the government.

  • Hereditary positions.

4. Traditional culture was threatened

Dutch/ West

Beginnings of Indonesian nationalism began here – Budo Otomo and later Sarekat Islam.

Traditional was challenged but the Thais tried to cope with it by (King Mongkut and Chulalongkorn) promoting religious tolerance.

  • Banned prostration (kneeling) before the King

  • Promoted modern educational reforms


External events: Russian Revolution

Karl Marx

Soviets – committees of workers and soldiers seized power in the cities of Moscow and Petrograd.

First Communist Government – Russia

Soviet Union (USSR) created an international organization which was called Comintern (Communist International)

- set up communist parties everywhere

Formed PKI (1921)

Not much communist activities in Siam.

Because Siam was not colonized.

Instead the most important external event was the Great Depression – Reduced salaries of civil servants. Many became unemployed as well. Blamed the King.

This led to the 1932 revolution.

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