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Anglo-Siamese economic relations: British trade, capital and enterprise in Siam, 1856-1914.

Wannamethee, Peter Sek (1990) Anglo-Siamese economic relations: British trade, capital and enterprise in Siam, 1856-1914. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

In 1856 Siam was opened to the world economy after 130 years of virtual isolation from Western contact. The event was followed by a series of treaties with the various Western Powers. This resulted in the influx of Western capital, technology, and expertise in which the British became predominant. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the factors which determined the degree and direction of British economic activity in Siam between 1856-1914.This involves a discussion on the the Siamese perception of and response to the presence of the British. Historians have discussed British economic activity in the context of Siam's political infrastructure and development. These works have contributed to an understanding of the Siamese response to the West. However based on Siamese documents, this study serves to complement previous work by showing the factors considered by the Siamese administration in formulating their response to British economic interests, namely the issue of economic sovereignty, and how to meet the demands of the British without creating hostility from the other rival Powers. The study is the first work to examine Anglo-Siamese economic relations in perspective based on Siamese documents. The thesis involves a discussion on the conduct of British enterprise in Siam and its qualitative influence on the Siamese economy, the relationship between the British government and their economic interests, the role of the British advisers and the Third Power in relation to the granting of economic concessions. The study looks at a wide cross-section of British economic activity in Siam, namely the trading houses, railways, teak and tin, showing that the presence of the British was part of Siam's modernisation. Evidence indicates that the Siamese were continuously suspicious of British intentions due to political and economic factors. Such perceptions induced the Siamese to undertake a conciliatory response. Despite the support from the British government, the framework within which British economic activity was undertaken prevented them from establishing a dominant position in the Siamese economy.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, History, History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2808

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