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The names Shan and A-hom seem to be variants of the same word.The word Śyâma is possibly not its origin, but a learned and artificial distortion.The oldest known mention of their presence in the region by the exonym Siamese is in a 12th-century inscription at the Angkor Wat.

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During cosmopolitan Narai's reign (1656–88), Ayutthaya was very prosperous and Europeans recognized it as one of the greatest kingdoms in the region.

However, Ayutthaya then gradually declined and was ultimately destroyed in 1767.

The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens.

By outsiders prior to 1949, it was usually known by the exonym Siam (Thai: with the Sanskrit Śyāma (श्याम, meaning "dark" or "brown").

Even though constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy form of government was established in 1932, the most recent coup d'état in 2014 made Thailand currently a de facto military dictatorship.

Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia since the 11th century.

Another theory is the name derives from Chinese: "Ayutthaya emerged as a dominant centre in the late fourteenth century.

The Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam." (Baker and Phongpaichit, A History of Thailand, 8) A further possibility is that Mon-speaking peoples migrating south called themselves 'syem' as do the autochthonous Mon-Khmer-speaking inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula. 1851–1868) reads SPPM (Somdet Phra Poramenthra Maha) Mongkut King of the Siamese, giving the name "Siam" official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand.

Thailand allied with the United States and led anti-communist role in the region.

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