The Kingdom of Thailand, historically Siam, is a constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia with a population of about 70,000,000. It is a devoutly Buddhist nation. Thailand holds the distinction of being the only Southeast Asian country never to have been ruled by a European power, although it was dominated by Japan during World War II and by Burma and Cambodia in centuries past. The country escaped colonization due to its central position in Southeast Asia, which delayed European contact until it was able to demonstrate its usefulness as a buffer state between the British colony of India and the French colony of Indochina.
Despite prolonged efforts to retain its independence, Siam eventually succumbed to the tide of 19th century European colonialism and became a French colony, incorporated into Indochina. Subsequently it became part of the Holy Alliance's empire.