A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century.
Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian
country never to have been taken over by a European power.
A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy.
In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US
ally following the conflict.
After enjoying the world's highest growth rate from 1985 to 1995 - averaging almost 9% annually - increased speculative pressure on Thailand's currency in 1997 led to a crisis that uncovered financial sector weaknesses and forced the government to float the baht.