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Redefining The Relationships: The Dutch And The Court Of King Phetracha

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Dutch observations of the King's redefinition of interpersonal relationships at his court—in other words, how Phetracha, who had successfully fought his way into the centrality of politics in Siam, interacted with and tried to have control over his 'human environment'. The VOC reports reveal how much King Phetracha’s court was absorbed by internal struggles: rebellions and court intrigues. To survive all these required both the redefinition of the political relationship among the actors and the self-reinvention of the main political personae. The Dutch characterized both Kings Phetracha and Süa as sceptical of Europeans. Nevertheless, neither the Dutch nor any other Europeans were fully to enjoy the privileges their predecessors had been allowed in the previous century. During the eighteenth century, the VOC servants themselves were to be constantly confronted with the question of whether to stay or, again, to leave Siam.

Keywords: Dutch observations; King Phetracha’s court; King Süa; sceptical of Europeans; Siam; VOC



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