How the EU Betrayed Its Christian Founding Principles" points to the devout Catholic piety of these founders, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, French diplomat Jean Bonet, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Italian Prime Minister Alcide de Gasperi, how they were inspired by Christian morality, forgiveness, reconciliation, subsidiarity and the old Frankish empire of Charlemagne and how the modern EU falls so very short in all of those areas. The article stresses that these values need to be restored if the EU is to survive.
In any event, to focus on Schuman, Bonet and de Gasperi, if their goal was to remake the empire of Charlemagne they, and Crisis Magazine, seem to be forgetting the other key ingredient to that recipe alongside the shared faith of Christendom which was the Emperor. Monarchy is what they have forgotten and partly why I am skeptical of how intelligent, accomplished, devoutly Catholic men thought that they could do without it. For most of Christian history it was taken for granted that having an emperor was as essential as having a pope. It was the emperor who called most of the early councils of the Church, it was the emperor who was expected to defend and advance the faith that the Pope taught and was the combination of throne and altar that was the foundation of Christendom and the basis of what European unity there was in those days. It is simply impossible for me to look at these great statesmen as being too pristine in their piety considering that they were all republicans. If they truly wanted to restore Christendom, why were Schuman and Bonet not working for the restoration of the Kingdom of France, Adenauer for the restoration of the German Empire and why was Alcide de Gasperi not absolutely loyal to his own monarch, King Umberto II?
The article in question notes those moral failings of the EU members which have occurred when supposedly "conservative" governments were in power, which is true and it is no wonder. They have a conservatism built on sand, they are playing a rigged game and even in monarchies like Britain or Spain they have adopted the leftist-republican mentality. These parties are shamed into doing what anyone with common sense knows to be wrong but they do it because they are playing on the leftist field, by leftist standards and so they are constantly having to give in so that they may avoid being condemned as "evil" (racist, intolerant, bigoted etc) by the leftist measure of right and wrong. That is also why, if things continue as they are, only those who are truly evil and don't care who knows it and are comfortable with the title will be left standing as the only alternative. We must refuse to play by their rules, we must stop submitting to their double-standards, stop being cowed by their name-calling and stand and fight for our own before we have nothing left to fight for.
Vivat imperator in aeternum!
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Marie Clotilde of France, the sister of King Louis XVI. She was sixteen and had been prepared for this and from the time she was very young had been taught to speak Italian in preparation for her marriage to the heir of the House of Savoy. The marriage, however, was not without some unkind gossip. At the French court of Versailles, where beauty and a glamorous image was paramount among the status-conscious aristocrats, Marie Clotilde did not fit in, being rather reserved, shy and somewhat overweight. Cruel French elites mocked her for her size, saying that the Prince of Piedmont was getting two brides instead of one. However, if she had any fears about the court in Turin, they were quickly dispelled. She was, like her husband, a devout Catholic of sincere faith and this mattered more to him than her dress size. When someone commented to him about his bride’s reputation for being overweight, Carlo Emanuele was not bothered, saying that he had, “more to worship”.
Napoleon, France also made renewed efforts to dominate Piedmont and King Carlo Emanuele IV was powerless to resist. Eventually the French seized control of all of the ancestral lands of the Savoy, reducing their holdings to the island of Sardinia. The King and Queen went into exile in Tuscany but French troops soon set about the conquest of the entire Italian peninsula. The royal couple moved to Sardinia and remained there for six months. During that time the King enacted a number of reforms and opened his ports to the British fleet to give what support and cooperation he could to the Allied cause. At last Turin was liberated from the French by the Imperial Russian Army and the legitimist Czar Paul I invited King Carlo Emanuele IV to return to his capital city. However, upon landing, the King found that the Russians had departed and Piedmont was occupied by the Austrians who were not supportive of his return and hoped to retain control of as much of Italy as possible.
King Vittorio Emanuele I. The former monarch decided to devote the rest of his life to God and as he had long been a passionate supporter of the restoration of the Jesuits he joined the Society of Jesus as a novice in 1815, six months after the order was restored. He lived at the Jesuit house near the church of Sant’Andrea al Quirinale in Rome until his death on October 6, 1810. There was a small group far from Italy that marked his passing as well as his own former subjects. In 1807 he inherited the Jacobite claim to the thrones of England, Scotland, Ireland and France and was regarded by die-hard Jacobites as “King Charles IV”. He had been good friends with and a frequent guest of his cousin Prince Henry, Cardinal York, the last of the Stuart line but never made any public acknowledgement of this inheritance or any claim on the British throne.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
One morning my mother's heart stopped and she took a very nasty fall, hitting her face on something quite hard. Her heart did start again, on its own, but she could not get up and no one was around to help her. She had to stay there on the floor until my father got home who immediately came and got me to help get her off the floor and into a chair. After persuading her to go the hospital to get checked out we learned that my mother has a very serious heart condition and that if such an episode happened again we would almost certainly lose her. This was, as you can imagine, a very difficult period to get through and we have yet to obtain any real resolution. Once that happened, everything else had to take second place as our family pulled together to help mom who was, and remains, able to do very little for herself. We still don't know exactly what can be done, medically, for her. It took a very long time to get her any treatment at all as this happened at a time (Thanksgiving to Christmas) when many doctors were on vacation.
Once I had the time to even think about updating here, another problem arose which was that my internet connection failed. I called the provider (the local telephone co-op) and got service restored but before I could turn around it had gone out again and efforts to resolve that situation became very frustrating, very fast. Finally, I decided to give up on the old service and give a satellite internet provider a try which took time to set up, schedule, install and all of that. Once that was done, I had service in the library but not my office and I had to order a booster to get signal where I needed it and finally had to have my computer-tech sister get that set up and working, which ended up taking a while itself because she was not able to get it to work and had to go ask some other experts and come down the following week before everything was finally up and running. That was yesterday (or the day before yesterday by the time this goes up probably). So, that is my explanation for my long absence.
Now, as I mentioned, not everything has been resolved and things cannot just go back to business as usual. I now have much more demands on my time than I did before and would not be able to post as often as I had been even if I wanted to. There may not even be a reason to as I may no longer have any readers (it would certainly be understandable). So, all I can say for right now is that I have not gone anywhere, I will probably be posting in the future but it will necessarily be much more infrequent than before. I do still feel as though I should work out the dilemma that caused my original absence which I have yet to do. So, that is all for now and for anyone who is still checking in and reads this, I thank you for your patience and especially thank those who did not choose to think the worse of me for my absence.
Until next time,
stay "mad" my friends.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
|King Sisavang Vong with French officials|
Since Laos was not considered very strategically important, the Japanese garrison was rather small and while the Japanese allowed the French colonial regime to remain in power, there was no love lost between the two sides. The Japanese leadership had stressed that this was a racial war, a pan-Asian movement to eradicate the ‘white skinned devils’ and the French never expected the peace to be indefinite. In those parts of Indochina where French colonial rule was most unpopular, this was a significant threat. The Japanese enjoyed forcing the French to bow and scrape to them and, in Vietnam for example, the locals liked seeing it as well and many Vietnamese began peppering their speech with Japanese phrases, a clear sign of who was really in charge. The French Governor-General of Indochina, Admiral Jean Decoux was not willing to do nothing while this was happening and to do what he could to strengthen the French position in areas where resistance had been the least active. French attitudes themselves had also changed with the establishment of the Vichy regime and this played a part as well.
The Prince was a nationalist and opposed to the French colonial regime. He argued that by giving up territory to Thailand, the French had failed to protect Laos which meant that the protectorate treaty was invalidated and that Laos should align itself with Japan and oppose France. King Sisavang Vong, however, argued in turn that it hardly made sense to hold France responsible for this loss while allying with those that had actually taken Lao territory. The French had, he reasoned, at least tried to defend Laos whereas Japan had backed Thailand which had attacked them. This difference of opinion reached the boiling point in 1945 when, clearly losing the war, Japan launched a surprise attack on the French, seizing control of Indochina and then urging the leaders of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to declare independence and join the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in solidarity with Japan. In Cambodia, King Norodom Sihanouk did so, proclaiming the independence of the Kingdom of Kampuchea and, likewise, in Annam the Emperor Bao Dai declared the independence of the Empire of Vietnam in cooperation with Japan. The Kingdom of Laos, however, was to be a different story. Despite the fact that, for the moment, the Japanese still held the upper hand, King Sisavang Vong refused to cooperate and plainly asserted that this era of Japanese dominance was a temporary anomaly and that he supported keeping faith with France and having Laos resume its place in the French colonial union when the war was over.
Meanwhile, at the time of the Japanese takeover, the French in Laos had fled to the jungles and mountains to form a pro-Allied, anti-Japanese resistance. King Sisavang Vong supported this group and his son and heir, Crown Prince Savang Vatthana was the leader of the Lao insurgents who fought against the Japanese occupation, with the Free French, on the Allied side. These Franco-Lao forces were, like the faction of Prince Phetsarath, short of heavy weapons but they did receive some support from the Allies and were able to take control of several rural areas and hold them. French and British special forces infiltrated the region to aid in the fight but they still lacked the firepower for major offensive operations. Nonetheless, they were able to be a considerable problem for the Japanese whose authority was mostly confined to the urban areas where Lao Issara under Prince Phetsarath was struggling to run an effective government with nothing to work with. Eventually, they began to cooperate with the anti-French and anti-Japanese forces of the VietMinh, which posed as a nationalist group but was really led by the communists under the Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh. This was also an example of how the Allies had very different agendas. The French and the British, anxious to maintain their empires, backed the pro-French forces of Crown Prince Savang Vatthana while the United States, which opposed the reestablishment of colonial empires, gave support to the VietMinh which opposed the French as well as the Japanese. It would take quite a few years but this American policy would ultimately prove detrimental to all and most costly to the United States itself.
|King Sisavang Vong|
King Sisavang Vong still ended up presiding over the independence of the Kingdom of Laos. The French were quick to grant Laos complete autonomy within the French union in recognition of the King’s loyalty but later they agreed to complete independence in the hope that this would save Laos from the communist contagion that was infecting Vietnam. Like his one-time prime minister Prince Phetsarath, King Sisavang Vong died in 1959, perhaps not so beloved but certainly respected by his people who had greater affection for him as time went on and so many of his predictions were proven correct. He was succeeded by his son King Savang Vatthana who would preside over a civil war in his country fought by three factions, a conflict that spilled over from the communist struggle to dominate Vietnam. When the United States pulled out of the region the communists quickly took power across Indochina and in Laos the King was deposed, replaced by a socialist dictatorship subservient to Hanoi and would die years later in a communist concentration camp.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Russians would be wise to ignore the sizeable community of communist traitors in their midst who are nostalgic for the “good old days” of the Soviet Union when they were a superpower. Russia is actually much stronger in many ways today than it ever was as the Soviet Union (neither have ever been as strong as Imperial Russia was at its peak under the first Nicholas). The mistakes Russia has made today are major ones that I think may have already doomed them but it is nothing like the multitude of smaller mistakes that the Soviets made on a daily basis. Putin himself is responsible for the best and the worst of what Russia is doing today. He has, at least, given Russia a chance to survive though he had to metaphorically make a deal with the devil in terms of foreign policy to do it, the Russians have a chance to take what they have been given and change direction. Putin being one of those rare leaders today who actually does, I think, want his nation to survive and be significant, has given Russia the time to have that chance to do the right thing. All depends on what the Russians do with their opportunity. If they carry on they are doomed but if they use the time Putin has purchased for them to restore the monarchy, revive traditional Russian culture and change direction on the world stage they can not only survive but become immensely successful and possibly go on to save a great many others. However, admitting that changes will need to be made will be difficult so we shall have to wait and see on that score.
The internationalist, revolutionary clique has taken hold of the continent and almost every country (like most of the rest of the world) is either a republic or, even if still a monarchy, has been gripped by the republican mentality. Europe is being wiped out on every level. It is being wiped out spiritually, the churches are empty and church leaders care more about “social justice” than salvation. It is being wiped out economically, Greece is just the canary in the coal mine, virtually every country is on track to go the same way. It is being wiped out demographically, native Europeans have all but stopped reproducing while the birthrate of non-Europeans is healthy and boosted by continued non-European immigration (whether legal or illegal) into the continent so that native, ancestral Europeans being wiped out in a human tidal wave of foreign cultures, peoples and religions becomes a mathematical certainty. If you think it cannot happen, go look for some Algonquians, Manchurians or Egyptians (not the Arabs, but the original folks who built the Sphinx) and then get back to me. I would say Europe is being wiped out militarily but that has pretty much already happened. After cutting their own throats in two world wars the Europeans have found that socialism is expensive. After World War II, European countries found that they could not afford both an empire and a welfare state, more recently they have learned that they cannot even afford “free” healthcare and pretty much any sort of military at all. Britain is a heart-breaking example for no matter who is in power in Westminster, the NHS just gets bigger and the royal armed forces just get smaller and smaller.
So, what is to become of Europe? What is to become of the heartland of western civilization? Well, as usual, there are only two options. Either Europe continues on its present course and grows weaker and weaker until it dies completely or else it takes radical action to change direction. If it chooses to die, then it is gone and none of this matters at all anymore. Monarchy will not survive, the changes in succession laws prove that, because monarchy runs counter to the revolutionary “values” of the EU elites. If Europe dies and monarchy survives it will be monarchies that are raised up after the EU has collapsed, representing totally different peoples with totally different religions, languages and cultures. If that death does not happen, however, monarchists such as ourselves are still not in the free and clear. The EU, as stated, is firmly in the grip of the internationalist elite right now and one of the problems is that they have forbidden any reasonable debate on their position. There is a nationalist counter-movement forming across Europe in many countries but because the traditionalists are shunned or forbidden to speak or equated with the lunatic fringe when they do, the crazy club has more often than not become the only alternative many people see. These people are not monarchists though they will, for the sake of history, tradition and so on, refrain from attacking monarchs so long as those monarchs do not oppose them.
Even among those that are not particularly anti-royalist in their views, I worry that, as things grow worse and if European peoples finally feel compelled to make such a choice, they may view their royals as part of the problem rather than the solution. After all, for all the talk of monarchs being non-political and non-partisan, what they usually mean is that a monarch is not allowed to be politically “right”, traditional, conservative or to advocate for their own position. Everyone knows perfectly well that monarchs and royals are allowed and even encouraged and celebrated to take political positions and champion certain causes so long as they are ones which the internationalist elite approves of. Things like reaching out to religious groups (provided they are not Christian), racial or sexual minorities, environmentalism or calling for something meaningless but grandly benevolent sounding like “sustainability” is all perfectly fine. Anything, however, that could be considered in any way “right-wing” is certainly not. Additionally, royals have all been brought up in this particular environment and through no fault of their own have often been taught to think a certain way. I happen to think that the current way leads to ruin and if the peoples of Europe one day decide they would rather not be ruined, I am increasingly concerned as to whether or not the remaining royals will be able to “abandon ship” before they are dragged down as well.
Of the larger monarchies, the one that worries me the least is the venerable Kingdom of Denmark. As the oldest monarchy in the western world, it has the deepest roots, remains very popular and the current Queen has shown herself to be someone less than enthusiastic about many of the changes that have happened in Europe. The Crown Prince is popular and seems to be taking care to not go too far in any direction so that I think Denmark is relatively safe. Norway, on the other hand, is one that concerns me a great deal. I would expect no problems while King Harald V lives but the next generation worries me a great deal. The Crown Prince and Princess have done it all from promoting man-made global warming in Greenland (despite coming from a country in which oil production is very important) to promoting the cause of transvestites in Nepal, there is scarcely a “progressive” cause they have not taken up. It also doesn’t seem to have won them any fans on the left as members of the Labor Party have, since 2012, started joining with the Socialist Left to support abolishing the monarchy. If there is a major shift in Norway in the future, I could easily see the monarchy being viewed in a very negative way by those who would come to power.
I have no fear for Britain as long as the Queen lives but I think when the sad day comes that Her Majesty is called to her eternal reward there could be trouble in Britain and I am almost certain there will be trouble in numerous Commonwealth Realms. Charles may not be given a chance and even if he were to cut his own reign short in favor of William (in the manner of the King Juan Carlos of Spain) it would only be a temporary fix as making the monarchy a popularity contest can last only until you have someone unpopular who is unwilling to abdicate. However, for Britain, the royals themselves are not the primary cause for concern that I have but just the overall direction the country has been going in with the new succession law, the abolition of the House of Lords (in all but name and it could be gone in name as well in the future) and regionalism breaking up the country into insignificant mini-states that will have to be forever dependent on some larger power.
Friday, August 14, 2015
|Prajadhipok signs the first constitution|
There was a failed royalist counter-coup in 1933 and the fallout from that probably helped persuade the King to abdicate and leave the country in 1935. He would die in exile in England in 1941 (soon to be, officially, “enemy” soil) and was succeeded by his nephew King Ananda Mahidol, who was only nine years old. The young King of Siam was to have a troubled and tragically short life. His parents were traveling, studying and living abroad when he was born in Germany (his younger brother, the current King, was born in the United States). His father died when he was only four and, in fear of his safety, his grandmother suggested that he not return home after the 1932 coup that stripped the monarchy of its power. As such, the prince spent most of his earliest years in Switzerland. According to the new constitution, it was up to the cabinet to choose a successor to the throne when King Prajadhipok abdicated and it was they who chose Ananda Mahidol to be king, Rama VIII. Siam had, of course, not really become democratic at all but was being ruled by a select group of elites with military backing and they realized that having a child monarch who was living and studying in another continent would be no threat to their continued hold on power.
|King Ananda Mahidol|
When World War II broke out in Europe and France came under German attack, Phibun saw an opportunity for Thai expansion. Fighting broke out on the border between French Indochina and Thailand in October of 1940 and in January of 1941 Phibun launched a full-scale invasion of Laos and Cambodia. The French colonial army was outmatched and fared poorly. Most of Laos was overrun relatively quickly and though more resistance was offered in Cambodia, the French only won a single significant victory in the Franco-Thai War before the Empire of Japan intervened and brought both sides together for peace talks in Saigon. Japan backed Thailand and as Germany backed Japan the French had little choice but to concede to most Thai demands. Border territories in southern Laos and northwest Cambodia were ceded to Thailand and soon the Vichy French regime was obliged to allow Japan to occupy Indochina. However, many Thais were more concerned than pleased over the expansion of their country. The war had earned the Phibun regime the enmity of Britain and France and left Thailand with no leverage against Japan. Phibun tried to win over the British and Americans but it was to no avail given all that had happened and the increasing Japanese military build-up in the region.
Actually, the internal political divisions of Thailand allowed the Allies to respond differently. The Thai ambassador in Washington DC, an aristocrat who disapproved of the Phibun regime’s alliance with Japan, refused to deliver the declaration of war and the United States refused to recognized the actions of the Phibun government as legitimate. The regent for King Ananda Mahidol had not signed the declaration of war and so, lacking royal approval, the American government considered it invalid. A “Free Thai” movement (Seri Thai) was formed to coordinate underground resistance to the Japanese. The Thai embassy in Japan actually supplied information to the American OSS (fore-runner of the CIA) and though Britain had declared war on Thailand, the British also worked with Thai exiles that opposed the Japanese occupation of their homeland. The widow of King Prajadhipok, Queen Rambai Barni, in England became a leading member of the Free Thai Movement. The internal opposition to the Phibun regime steadily increased as the glow of the initial Japanese victories dissipated and the effects of the war began to set in. There was only one major market for exports, only one source of imports (Japan in both cases), the economy went into nosedive and Allied aircraft were soon bombing Bangkok. Those in the underground at least also knew what the war situation was, that the Allies were pushing forward and nowhere were the Japanese able to stop their steady advance.
|The King in 1938|
It was to no avail as in 1944 the National Assembly removed Phibun from power, taking their example from the removal of Mussolini the previous year. The next prime minister pledged public support for Japan but in private backed the Free Thai Movement. Free Thai forces made plans and preparations for a massive uprising against the Japanese in 1945 but the atomic bombings and subsequent unconditional surrender of Japan prevented this. British-Indian troops moved in to occupy Thailand and take the surrender of Japanese forces in the country and Thailand was forced to return the territory they had gained by allying with Japan. Phibun was arrested and, under pressure from the Allies, put on trial for collaboration with the Axis powers. However, he was acquitted and in 1948, following another coup, actually became prime minister again, renewing his anti-Chinese campaign which was much more popular with the Allies that it had been before. Overall, there was some division over how to deal with Thailand since, while Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand etc had declared war on the country, the United States had not and while the British and Commonwealth countries wanted punishing terms on Thailand, the United States opposed these. As such, America made no demands on Thailand while the kingdom had to negotiate separate peace treaties with the U.K. and Australia, including reparations (in the form of rice shipments) to Malaysia.
|King Ananda Mahidol|
World War II was a critical period for Thailand. The power of the monarchy had been shaken by the 1932 coup, a king had abdicated and left the country in fear of his life. Siam, soon to be Thailand, rushed to become like other countries but the result was a military dictatorship followed by a succession of governments dominated by political in-fighting and one coup after another, a cycle which still continues today. Thailand has never known the sort of order that existed before 1932 to date. Phibun gained no small amount of popularity for his actions during the war and expanding the territory of Thailand. Given some of his actions, a few historians have speculated that he might have done away with the monarchy had events unfolded differently. As it was, Thailand suffered considerably from the war but still emerged better off than most would have expected. Despite being an enemy of the victorious Allies, Thailand was not harshly punished, its leaders were not prosecuted and it maintained its independence. The arrival of the handsome, young King after the war was like a savior returning to his people. The hardships of military rule as well as the chaos and often criminality of the civilian regimes inadvertently worked together to make the monarchy more revered and even more politically critical than anyone around in 1932 would have thought possible. Even while Thailand remains a constitutional monarchy, the King has been able to wield considerably more influence than any other national leader because he alone is regarded as being concerned with Thailand as a whole rather than himself or a particular faction. Thailand entered World War II with the monarchy at its lowest point but it ultimately emerged from the conflict and post-war chaos as strong as it had ever been.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
In 1714 the Stuart Queen Anne passed away and the Hanoverians came to England to take up the British throne with the coronation of King George I. As in Hanover, the new Prince of Wales was excluded from the halls of power by his father and not given anything to do of any significant importance. When he proved more popular than his father the situation did not improve and George I actually separated his son from his children, later allowing him to visit his children only once a week. Naturally, Prince George began to associate with the King’s political enemies and the rift between him and his father only widened. They remained bitter and unreconciled until George I died in 1727, in Hanover, and his son became King George II of Great Britain & Ireland. He didn’t even attend his father’s funeral but no one in England seemed to hold it against him. Prior to his accession, George II had become very disgusted with politics and to the extent that he did involve himself in government it was mostly in the directions that Queen Caroline advised. He was more interested in battles, buttons and regimental uniforms than he was in politics.
The King actually got out in front of his government in supporting the Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary, Maria Theresa, in the War of the Austrian Succession in his capacity as Elector of Hanover. He was convinced that a Hapsburg defeat would allow France to threaten Hanover and possibly dominate Europe though it was a struggle to get the British government to go along. The King had also been thwarted in his efforts to reform and strengthen the British army which Parliament always wanted to downsize. When war came, King George II was in his element and famously led British troops (as part of a wider coalition) to victory over the French at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743. This would be the last time that a reigning British monarch led his troops personally on the battlefield though it did not result in the boost to his popularity that most might have expected. Most viewed it as essentially a war between Prussia and Austria, a German affair that no Englishman should have to risk his life or his pocketbook for. In the end, peace was finally settled but not before an off-shoot of the conflict nearly cost King George II his British throne.
The Bonnie Prince and his Jacobites, in their plaids and kilts with white roses in their bonnets, occupied Edinburgh, won a surprising victory at Prestonpans over General John Cope and then invaded England, very nearly reaching London where George II had ships prepared to take him to Hanover if the need should arise. However, aside from a few hundred volunteers, England did not rally to the Prince as he had promised his chieftains they would. Most Englishmen neither loved nor hated George II with any great passion and were content to ‘wait and see’ how events would unfold. If the Prince was victorious, they would cheer his arrival and say “good riddance” to George of Hanover but if he should lose, they were content to go on with business as usual and no one wanted to risk backing a loser and being condemned as traitors. With the odds so heavily stacked against the Jacobites, most Englishmen wouldn’t risk backing him until he won another great victory and that chance would never come as the Scottish chieftains overruled their Prince and marched back to Scotland. They won another victory over General Hawley at Falkirk but continued to retreat until their ragged remnant was crushed at the Battle of Culloden by the King’s son the Duke of Cumberland in 1746. King George II and the House of Hanover was secure on the British throne and would never be so troubled again.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Reports came to the King from the border provinces of Cambodians being oppressed and mistreated by the Thais and Japanese but King Monivong was powerless to do anything about it. The French were still in control but the Japanese were effectively in control of them and the French were not about to do anything to anger Japan and risk being treated like every other European population in the Japanese-occupied territories. Full of sorrow and frustration for the state of his country, King Monivong washed his hands of his mostly ceremonial position in government and retired to Kampot. Not long after, he died on April 24, 1941 in Bokor. He was supposed to be succeeded by his son Prince Sisowath Monireth but the French thought that Prince Norodom Sihanouk would be more loyal to their interests and enthroned him instead as the new King of Cambodia on May 3, 1941. For the next few years, Cambodia was relatively calm though, like the rest of Indochina, it had to bear a double burden with the French and Japanese to support. The young King Norodom Sihanouk spent most of his time on sporting activities with the occasional tour of the countryside, waiting for events to unfold.
Also among the prominent demonstrators was Son Ngoc Thanh who would have a long history as a republican rebel in Cambodia. He was an admirer of Japan and the pan-Asian movement with a long history of supporting what he termed “National Socialism”. When the demonstration was broken up, he fled to Japan but would be back in due time as a long-standing enemy of King Sihanouk. Of course, after the initial offensive in late 1941 and early 1942, things went from bad to worse for the Empire of Japan. The year 1942 saw the Imperial Japanese Navy suffer a crippling defeat at the Battle of Midway followed by the horrific defeat at the Battle of Guadalcanal. Allied counter-offensives throughout 1943 were fiercely resisted but everywhere victorious and 1944 saw the Japanese invasion of India end in total failure and the near collapse of Japanese forces in the region. The British-led offensive into Burma made steady progress so that the fall of Thailand and Indochina seemed to be inevitable. By 1945 the Allies had taken or were in the process of taking Borneo, The Philippines and were approaching the Japanese home islands. The situation was desperate and Japan tried to make a last-minute effort to gain more local support by sponsoring declarations of independence for the occupied countries of French Indochina.
|Kingdom of Kampuchea flag|
King Sihanouk decided to cooperate and seize this opportunity to assert Khmer independence, even though the Japanese did not entirely trust him as he was thought to be too friendly with the French. Perhaps in an effort to keep the King in check, the Japanese brought Son Ngoc Thanh back from Japan and installed him as Minister of Foreign Affairs and then a couple of months later as Prime Minister. The Latin-style written version of the Khmer language was abolished in favor of the old script and the country was renamed from the Kingdom of Cambodia to the Kingdom of Kampuchea. However, the regime did not have long to live as the war situation was rapidly worsening for Japan. In August of 1945 the Empire of Japan surrendered to the Allies and the collapse of the Kingdom of Kampuchea was only a matter of time. That time officially ran out in October as Allied forces (mostly British-Indian troops) moved in to disarm the Japanese and take their surrender. With the Allied victory the French in Indochina were liberated and returned to power (at least in those areas where the British rather than the Chinese oversaw the Japanese surrender). The French Far East Expeditionary Corps, formed to fight the Japanese, arrived too late to fight Japan but served to restore French authority in the region.
|Son Ngoc Thanh|