History.—Sometime previous to the 14th century a group of people of the Thai race, which had been migrating southwards from the Yunnan during two millenia, settled in the valley of the Mekong, overcame the indigenous population, the Khas, and established rival principalities at Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang and Vientiane. For a brief moment in the 14th century these principalities were united and the Kingdom of Lan Xang (i.e., of the Million Elephants) achieved a dominant position with regard to the Thais of present-day Thailand, the Khmers of present-day Cambodia and the Annamites of present-day Vietnam. Invaded during subsequent centuries by the Annamites and the Burmese, the kingdom split into two in 1707— the Kingdoms of Luang Prabang and Vientiane. In 1827 the latter was conquered by the Thai. The former was saved by the arrival of the French in Indo-China. Auguste Pavie, the French Vice-Gonsul at Luang Prabang, succeeded between 1879 and 1895 in uniting the rival factions in the country, and in 1893, after French soldiers had succeeded in repelling the Thai, a French protectorate was established at the request of the Laotians themselves.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.