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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Thailand series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring interesting facts that you must know about Thailand, Thai Culture and Thai People. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 24: Jessadabodindra.
Jessadabodindra, or พระบาทสมเด็จพระนั่งเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว พระมหาเจษฎาราชเจ้า, also known as Rama III, was born in 1787 and died in 1851. He was the third king of the Chakri Dynasty in Siam or ราชวงศ์จักรี, the area represented by modern-day Thailand. The most interesting thing about Rama III’s rise to the throne was the fact that his mother was a concubine, not a queen. Rama III captured his father's attention after succeeding in his assignment to quell a rebellion organized by the son of King Taksin, who was king before Rama I deposed him and took the throne by force.
Rama II died suddenly from illness, and it was thought at the time that his eldest legitimate son would succeed the throne. However the leaders of the nobility, or ขุนนาง, supported Rama III after he had proven himself in quelling the rebellion. They pressed him into becoming king, and his half-brother, the legitimate son of Rama II, decided not to pursue the throne.
Rama III’s reign was plagued by war. He aided the British in the First Anglo-Burmese War, or สงครามพม่า-อังกฤษครั้งที่หนึ่ง, and ended a revolt spurred by one of the sons of a neighboring nation that had been taken during his grandfather's reign. There were other various revolts throughout Rama III's reign, but his forces were able to put the rebellions down and keep control of the kingdom inherited from his father.
Rama III's lasting legacy was forged in the area of business relationships. He built a rapport with neighboring countries and focused on building trade relations, especially with China. He also allowed Westerners or ชาวตะวันตก into the country and on his deathbed advised that his people study Western culture to learn from it. Along with this advice though, he warned that one day Westerners would likely become a threat to the country. As it turns out, he was right.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting about Rama III?
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