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 battle.
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Additional resources for A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between
Sethathirat established himself in Luang Phrabang with his noble allies there. His wife, who had been left in Chiang Mai as a symbol of his rule, soon fell victim to a resurgent local nobility and Sethathirat was unable to reassert Lan Xang’s control over Lan Na. The inevitable succession crisis invited outside intervention from the west and Lan Na soon became a vassal state of Pegu (Burma), and would remain so for the next two centuries. Members of the Lan Na elite, many of whom were connected to Sethathirat by marriage, fled to Lan Xang, bringing with them a sudden infusion of Lan Na cultural influence to Luang Phrabang and Vientiane.
Hierarchies of merit and spiritual power in Buddhist polities did not require that the elite think of themselves as being made of the same stuff as their subjects. Nevertheless, kingdoms such as that of Ayudhya were increasingly encountering merchants and missionaries from across the seas who trafficked in general categories, such as Siamese or Chinese, and in this contrastive way they began to see themselves as such. They too would acquire general names for others, such as farang for the Europeans; this came from the Malay kingdoms to the south where the traders were known as feringgi, a word derived from franks, an old Arab term for the Crusaders.
He quickly went on to expand Siamese power to the north and to the east, bringing the various peripheral principalities firmly under Siamese suzerainty. Rival factions within and between the principalities of Luang Phrabang, Vientiane and Champasak resorted to the manoeuvre common in such political systems of seeking powerful outside support. The Burmese had been excluded as allies by Taksin’s success, and the Vietnamese were at that time steeped in internecine warfare, thus the factions could only appeal to Taksin.
A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between by Grant Evans