The Mobility of Trader and Common Folks in the Lower North during a Transitional Period: A Birth of Siam’s Modern State in the Nineteenth Century

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Nattaphong Sakul-leaw

Abstract

          This article aimed to construct a new explanation of the formation of Siam’s modern state by looking at the mobility of traders and commoners in the lower north of Thailand that related to the economic and political changes during colonial period in the late nineteenth century. These were therefore important factors in transforming Northern principalities to be “trade center” with plenty of people from various groups and social statuses, including Chinese tax-farmers, Siamese and Chinese commoners or small-scale traders, and foreign aliens and colonists. These people could conduct various forms of economic activities in order to accumulate properties and money, but these trading and accumulation of wealth from various economic activities had escalated forms of violence and conflicts, including robbery, fraud, and disputation over properties. Commoners and traders were calling for a measure to control local powers and authorities and a strengthening of the structure of modern state with a legal standard that satisfied them rather than previous administrative system. As a result, modern bureaucracy could thereby be formulated and institutionalized by the request of numerous commoners and traders, rather than merely led by far-sighted nobles and elites.

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Section
บทความวิจัย (Research Article)

References

CS = Chula Sakkarat; M = Ministry of Interior (Krasuang mahatthai); R = Rama; RMS = Royal Secretariat Office with Minor Seal of the Royal Emblem (Krom ratchalekhathikan – Tra noi); RS = Ratanakosin Anno (started from 1782 CE)

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