King Vajiravudh's moral concepts for citizenship

Ratana Tanadbanchee Tungasvadi, University of Pennsylvania


King Vajiravudh ruled Thailand from 1910 to 1925. Influenced by his successful father, King Chulalongkorn, he had the strong intention to develop his country and make it prosperous. Face with internal and external problems, especially his people's morality problems and their lack of real understanding of the nation's concept, he introduced a nation-building program with the promotion of the ‘three institutions’—the nation, monarch, and religion—in order to gain unity in the country's development process. He also intended to prepare his people for the contemplated democratic changes. He saw that as citizens the people had the duty to themselves to participate in the development process. Thus, human resource development was begun. He actively promoted the concept of citizenship which, in his view, was associated with moral values and a sense of duty. Well equipped with knowledge and understanding of moral concepts from both the East and West, he wisely selected those concepts that were appropriate to the Thais and the existing circumstances in Thailand, without sacrificing too much of the Thai identity. He drew moral concepts from Buddhism, Thai values as well as British Victorian values, and his own thinking. Thus, he uniquely blended the modern and the traditional as well as the East and the West. Inculcating selected moral concepts, he utilized various instructional techniques as well as the creation of organizations and forms modeled on his own education and experience both from Thailand and abroad. The impact of his attempts on the Thai people and Thailand has been uneven. The king himself made a unique blend of modern and traditional in his attempt. Despite his short reign and the intangible nature of moral concepts and citizenship, his influence was felt during his reign and has continued to the present time.

Subject Area

Educational theory|Education history|Educational sociology

Recommended Citation

Tungasvadi, Ratana Tanadbanchee, "King Vajiravudh's moral concepts for citizenship" (2004). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3125907.