The Russo-Siamese Relations: The Reign of King Chulalongkorn

Natanaree Posrithong


The long lasting Russo-Siamese relationship had officially established since 1897 when King Chulalongkorn paid his first visit to St-Petersburg. The welcoming attitudes of Tsar Nicholas II changed the Siamese diplomatic strategy in dealing with the European expansion completely. By the end of nineteenth century, Siam was encountering territorial conflicts with both major European powers, France and Britain. As a consequence of the 1893 Franco-Siamese War, Siam had converted into a “buffer” state. With its utter position, the Siamese King sought ways to preserve his predominance in the region. Hence, King Chulalongkorn headed to the road he termed
“modernisation” which inspired him to realise the importance of imperial diplomacy. Four years after the Franco-Siamese war, the Siamese King had reached his way to one of the greatest royal courts of the world, the Romanov.
The main goal of this paper is to explore the origins of the relationship between the two royal courts of Russia and Siam as well as the legacy of the Russo-Siamese relations in the comparison of the Russification process to Siamification process.
Through primary records from the Thailand’s National Archives, books, and journals, this research will lead to the new discoveries of the history of Russo-Siamese relations in which still remain reserved for over one-hundred and twelve years since the two great Kings met.

Key Words: History of International Relations, Imperial Diplomacy, Territorial Conflict, Russification, Siamification

Full Text: PDF