Bangkok, the capital of Thailand has a long and rich history attached to it and the history of Bangkok indeed throws light upon some very interesting facts about Bangkok's past. After the Burmese destroyed the kingdom of Ayutthaya, the Thai military made Thonburi, a province of Bangkok its capital in 1767. It was in 1782 that King Rama I declared Bangkok the official capital.
Rama I also built a temple in Bangkok after the Chinese merchants moved out of the area and the temple still exists today as the famous Wat Phra Kaew. He also gave Bangkok a royal name.
In 1688, following Bangkok's expulsion from Thailand, outsiders started flocking Bangkok and this included a few merchants and missionaries in the 1830's. However during the 1860s many countries from European and North America began trade with Bangkok.
Rama IV, also known as Mongkut, is perhaps the man responsible for Bangkok's modernization. He is best known by the portrayals in the movie King and I, but the Thais find the movie offensive and claim that the real Rama IV was actually an efficient leader who did a lot for his subjects. When he was ruler, Bangkok gained a lot from his trade policies which also led to an expansion of the port and, for the first time Bangkok had cemented streets.
In the 20th century the city of Bangkok saw major development. A bridge was constructed over the Chao Phraya River in 1932. During the Second World War, Bangkok was bombed a few times, causing considerable damage to the city. The 1950s there was a lot of political unrest in Thailand. From the 1960s Bangkok began to see a steady economic growth, which continued till the 1990s.
Today Bangkok is one of the most modern cities in the world, with a thriving economy and great trade relations with many countries.
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