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Thailand's ruling family. Phraphutthayotfa Chulalok (1737–1809) founded the dynasty and ruled as Rama I (r. 1782–1809). He reorganized Siam's defenses to successfully repel numerous Burmese attacks. His descendants have reigned in an unbroken line ever since. Rama III (r.1824–51) increased trade with Europe and negotiated a treaty with the British East India Co.; King Mongkut (Rama IV; r.1851–68) and King Chulalongkorn (Rama V; r.1868–1910) helped modernize the government along Western lines and thereby avoided colonial rule. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI; r.1910–25) instituted social reforms and restored the nation's fiscal autonomy (lost to the West under Rama IV). Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) has reigned since 1946 as Thailand's ceremonial head of state.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Chakri dynasty, visit Britannica.com.
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