SUZERAIN - TRIBUTARY RELATIONS: AN ASPECT OF TRADITIONAL SIAMESE STATECRAFT (c.19th CENTURY)

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Mala Rajo Sathian

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of Siamese administrative system in the 19th century. It will focus in particular on the relations between the Siamese King who was the suzerain ruler and his tributary or vassal (Thai: muang prathetsarat) states located in the outlying peripheral areas. The relations were conducted through a variety of mechanisms such as the participation of tributary rulers in state ceremonies, the acceptance of the insignia to rule from the monarch and the periodic payment of taxes and tribute. All these methods comprised, collectively, a significant part of Siamese statecraft in the past. The paper will explore the following questions: (i) What was a prathetsarat? (ii) What were its obligations towards its suzerain or overlord? (iii) Likewise, what were the responsibilities of a suzerain ruler to his prathetsarat? These questions will help explain the purpose and effectiveness of the traditional Siamese tributary (state) system.


Keywords: Statecraft, suzerain, tributary, Siamese King, and prathetsarat

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How to Cite
RAJO SATHIAN, Mala. SUZERAIN - TRIBUTARY RELATIONS: AN ASPECT OF TRADITIONAL SIAMESE STATECRAFT (c.19th CENTURY). JATI - JOURNAL OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES, [S.l.], v. 11, p. 109-125, dec. 2006. ISSN 2600-8653. Available at: <https://jati.um.edu.my/article/view/5906>. Date accessed: 26 aug. 2019.
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