The Chakri dynasty came to power in Siam, a country in south-east Asia, in 1792. Although coming under pressure from Burma and several European countries Siam kept its political independence throughout the 19th century.
A coup, supported by the emerging middle class, took place in 1932. The Chakri dynasty was left on the throne but power was transferred to a constitutional government. In 1939 the name of the country was changed from Siam to Thailand.
The Japanese Army landed on the southeast coast of Thailand on 8th December 1941 and crossed the country in order to attack Burma and Malaya. For the next four years the Thai people fought a guerilla campaign against Japanese forces.