By Grant Evans
A good written account the way it all occurred and the way and why Laos was once the catalyst for the the US Viet Nam struggle.
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Extra info for A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between
The Siamese tried both bribery and coercion to bring the local elite into its fold. In 1887, however, they made the mistake of carrying off to Bangkok the sons of Deo Van Tri, the leader of the Sip Song Chu Tai. The latter retaliated by marching on Luang Phrabang with his Haw allies and sacking the city. The ignominious flight of the Siamese commissioner and his garrison demonstrated the relative weakness of Siamese power in the region. The aged king of Luang Phrabang fled alongside the French vice-consul, Auguste Pavie, bearer of a new form of overarching order and protection.
Crises of succession were endemic to all the Tai polities at the time. The king attracted followers by his prowess, which he manifested by sponsoring the building of temples and reliquaries all over his kingdom, and by waging war. A key way of cementing alliances throughout the kingdom was through marriage—both the taking of wives and the offering of daughters. A king’s various wives gave their respective families and relatives access to power, and around such families factions would form. These families would make alliances with the families of other key figures associated with the court.
This time-lag in itself demonstrated the relative insularity of the Lan Xang kingdom. The outside world had been known by hearsay, especially from travellers who had been to Ayudhya, and the products of this world had made their impression on warfare in the region in the form of musketry and cannon. Products from Lan Xang had also reached the wider world via the trading monopolies of Siam. Ayudhya had long been a cosmopolitan kingdom with agents from all over Asia and Europe, and in the coming years it would develop into one of Asia’s major trading cities.
A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between by Grant Evans