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Fragmentation and war with Siam

Upon the death of the heirless Surya Vongsa, a three-way stuggle for the throne preceded the breakup of Lan Xang. Surya?s nephew, by the early seventeenth century, controlled the middle Mekong valley around Vientiane, under the Stewardship of Annam.

Upon the death of the heirless Surya Vongsa, a three-way stuggle for the throne preceded the breakup of Lan Xang. Surya?s nephew, by the early seventeenth century, controlled the middle Mekong valley around Vientiane, under the Stewardship of Annam. Luang Phrabang became a second independent state under Surya?s grandsons. To the south, in Champasak, another kingdom, under Siamese influence, emerged.

The powerful Burmese, between 1763 and 1769, overran Northern Laos and annexed Luang Phrabang and at the same time the Siamese captured Champasak.

The Siamese, by the end of the 18th century, had expanded their influence to Vientiane and exacted tribute from Luang Phabang. Chao Anou was a Lao prince, educated in Bangkok. The Siamese court as the vassal king of Vientiane installed him. The capital was restored and Anou encouraged a renaissance of art and literature. In the 1820s, Anou, forced to pay tribute to the rulers of Annam as well as to Siam, rebelled unsuccessfully against Siam and consequently Vientiane was razed to the ground. Its inhabitants, who weren?t slaughtered outright, were led in captivity to Siam to live in slave settlements. Luang Phrabang and Champasak fell too to the Siamese. Most of the central Mekong region, east to the Annamite mountains by the late 19th century had been defeated and depopulated by the Siamese. What had been Lan Xang was now a number of states, vassals to Siam.

The neutral states of Xieng Khouang and Hua Phan, in 1885 agreed also to Siamese protection, in the face of repeated incursions of looting Annamese and Chinese Haw who were a loose affiliation of Yunnanese, French Army deserters and Thai Dam. The Siamese were only too happy to give protection, as they were concerned with the expanding French influence in Vietnam.

 
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