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5. THE CONQUEROR TAKSIN
Chinese and a usurper." 13 A proud Cambodian chronicler at the time dismissed the personal pedigree of Taksin and completely failed to take into account the fact that the region's old, dynastic, Indianized international order, with its stable sacred frontiers, had passed away.14 Taksin's conception of "borders" was much closer to the Chinese conception, which defined borders as constantly moving and essentially elastic.
Everywhere and always, it was by the sword and the gun that this strongman succeeded, first by reestablishing the unity and independence of Siam, and then by imposing Siamese law and order upon the Malay, Cambodian, and Lao states. His commander-in-chief, the Chaophraya Chakri, succeeded in working out a modus vivendi in 1776 with his Burmese counterpart, Asewunki; as a result, the Burmese evacuated most of Siam.
6. THE END OF THE FRATERNAL PACT IN 1778-1779
After eliminating his rivals and striking a deal with the Burmese, Taksin strove to constitute the 'Thonburi tributary network.,2,5 The first tributary mission recorded by Thai chroniclers originated from the small Lao principality of Lomsak, which offered one elephant and five horses.26 Not all provinces were so quick to offer tribute. To overcome the resistance of other states, Taksin resorted to coercion. In Cambodia, a country traditionally vulnerable to Thai incursions, the Thai advance forced the Cambodian king to take refuge in Vietnam. Taksin, however, circumvented the Cambodian king's bid for protection, and proposed to the Vietnamese court that Cambodia be divided between Siam and Vietnam.27
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