By Grant Evans
A good written account the way it all occurred and the way and why Laos used to be the catalyst for the the United States Viet Nam warfare.
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Extra resources for A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between
The subject peoples’ loss of political rights, however, produced contradictions in republican nationalist ideology and inevitably spawned racist ideas to justify the absence of rights. The central contradiction of colonialism in the twentieth century was its spreading of nationalist and democratic ideas to the colonies. Colonial racism in the early twentieth century would produce a modification of the early assimilationist goal into one of association in which ‘native traditions’ would be respected and colonies would evolve in their own way towards modernity.
A Committee of Princes was formed in 1883 to formulate new frontier policies in response to the growing challenge from France, which was now laying claim to Hue’s tributaries and talking the as-yet unintelligible language of modern mapping. This was why McCarthy had been on a mapping tour of the Phuan region in 1884, in the employ of Bangkok. As a result of his report, Bangkok laid its claims to the regions along the watershed, including much of the Sip Song Chu Tai. In an attempt to strengthen their claims, the Siamese issued regalia to the leaders of the towns in Houaphan, presented at an investiture in Luang Phrabang in 1886.
Parallel to court literature were the popular stories that emerged from the literate tradition maintained by the temples. This was the stuff out of which an ethnic consciousness could be formed, but that still lay in the future. Dynastic chronicles were composed, but what is most striking about them to a modern reader is that individual motivation and more general causality is suffused with magic and miracles. Thus political developments are preceded by portentous happenings, bolts of lighting and unusual natural events, just as unusual features in a person, such as Fa Ngum who was supposedly born with 33 teeth, mark them as saksit, ‘magically potent’.