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During the reign of King Narai in , the Netherlands seized a vessel, flying the Portuguese flag, in the Gulf of Tonkin. The goods on board the vessel, however, belonged to the King of Ayutthaya, thus triggering a dispute between the Thais and the Dutch. In , a group of Chinesemen laid siege to a Dutch trading station in Ayutthaya and in retaliation, Dutch ships were sent to blockade the Gulf of Thailand.

Thailand was compelled to sign a treaty with the Netherlands on 11 August The treaty itself was composed of two documents, one long and one short. The contents of the latter can be summarised as follows :. The Dutch were free to trade in Thailand, without any restrictions, but were required to pay taxes and dues in accordance with the normal practice. Thailand would refrain from employing Chinese on Thai ships; any such ships with Chinese on board were liable to be seized by the Dutch.

The Dutch East India Company had a monopoly on the export of deer hides and cattle hides from Thailand.

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The long document, however, contained one additional point stipulating that in cases in which employees of the Dutch East India Company committed a serious crime in Thailand, the King of Ayutthaya had no authority to pass judgment. Such employees were instead required to be handed over to the head of the Company, to be punished in accordance with Dutch law.

This clause was in violation of Thai sovereignty and was the initial example of extraterritoriality, but it must be kept in mind that the treaty was signed following the blockade by Dutch ships.

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The above incident portrays the danger that politics can easily interfere with trade. In any case, the Netherlands ' sea power was not long-lasting and they were eventually replaced by England. Once to political issues had passed and the Dutch concentrated only on trade, the rifts between Thailand and the Netherlands ceased to exist.

The Dutch trading missing thus continued its operations until the fall of Ayutthaya in They established a trading station at Ayutthaya but trade with the Thais did not yield a good profit and the trading station was subsequently shut down in In , a number of Englishmen fled from Cambodia and in they reestablished their trading station in Ayutthaya. The English did not seem all too interested in trade with Thailand, but the Thais appeared to welcome such trade.

The proposal was not only turned down, but the Company even went so for as to assist Songkhla in rebelling against Ayutthaya. In sum, Thailand not only opened her door to trade with all foreign countries, but she in fact desired to have contacts with England in order to balance the influence of the Dutch. England, however, was not pleased with her trade with the Thais, claiming that Thailand 's foreign trade at that time was a state monopoly.

In order to be imported or exported, certain goods had to be bought or sold only through the Royal Warehouse Department. Although other goods could be bought or sold freely by private traders, the government reserved the right of pre-emption to trade such goods ahead of the Company. The Company therefore requested that the Thai authorities clearly stipulate the type and quantity of goods to be traded by the Royal Warehouse Department. The Thais, naturally, were unable to comply with this request. The Thai authorities were not the only ones to practise a trade monopoly.

The English East India Company also desired to exercise its own monopoly where England was concerned, that is, it sought to prevent other Englishmen outside the Company from trading with Thailand. Some employees of the company, however, engaged in their own private trade. Moreover, some Englishmen not connected with the Company, commonly known as interlopers, also were engaged in trade.

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Phaulkon was by origin a Greek, who since his youth had sought employment on board English ships. In , he entered Ayutthaya alongside George White, who appointed him to be his representative. Phaulkon also had his own ship for trading with Thailand but this ship was wrecked at the same spot as that of a Thai envoy to Iran. In any case, by Phaulkon had become an interpreter for the Royal Warehouse Department.

Officers of the English East India Company disliked Phaulkon since he had once been an interloper who had competed with the English for trade. Therefore, when an English trading station burned down in , Phaulkon was accused of complicity.

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In actual fact, Phaulkon was not on good terms with the English but tried to maintain friendly relations with them by sending expensive gifts for George White to distribute in London, including a present for the King of England. The Thai envoy, on his way to France in , also passed through England. The root of the difficulties and rift centred on private trade. Although Phaulkon was a Thai government official, with the duty of conducting trade in the name of the Phra Klang the Minister of the Treasury , he also engaged in his own private trade.

At the same time, White was engaged in his own trade, although his ships, which were sent to trade with foreign countries such as India, always flew the Thai flag. Thus, whenever trouble arose, it also meant that Thailand would have to become involved. Owing to the above obstacle, the Company and the Royal Warehouse Department were unable to reach agreement. In , a dispute broke out between Samuel White and a trader from Golconda in India. In actual fact, the Company itself was displeased with White, whom they regarded as an interloper.

Therefore, in , the Company sent two frigates to Mergui to capture the city.

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They were also instructed to seize Thai vessels stationed there and toapprehend Englishmen employed by the Thai government, including Samuel White. However, the Thai Governor of Mergui came to the rescue and repelled the attacks. Thailand then declared war against the English East India Company in and contacts with the English were terminated. A review of the above incidents demonstrates that the Thai side welcomed trade with the English, but the latter were unable to make a good profit owing to what they claimed was the Royal Ware house Department 's monopoly on trade.

On the other hand, the Company itself sought to secure its own monopoly by not permitting private English traders to compete with the Company. The violent incidents which occurred resulted from the actions of Englishmen employed by the Thai authorities. Therefore, the lesson which can be drawn from this incident is that Thailand should exercise caution in employing foreigners and should take precautions to ensure that such foreigners serve the country 's interests and not their own.

He died, however, the following year, in In , Monsignor Pallegoix, the Bishop of Heliopolis, along with a number of French Jesuit missionaries, arrived in Ayutthaya to propagate their religion. These missionaries were granted land and lodgings, besides being accorded facilities to build a prayer hall. In , a group of Islamic missionaries arrived from Acheen or Aceh in Sumatra but were unsuccessful in their efforts to propagate their religion.

The French missionaries were heartened by this and took it as an indication that the Thais might be inclined towards Roman Catholicism. In , a ship was sent by the French East India Company to trade with Thailand and was warmly received by the Thais.

Phya Pipatkosa was dispatched as the first Thai envoy to France to forge friendly relations with that country. The Thais intended to offer Songkhla which at the time was rebelling against Thai rule to the French, but Phya Pipatkosa 's ship was wrecked and he died before ever reaching France. It has already been mentioned that Phaulkon had converted from the Anglican faith to Roman Catholicism in Phaulkon, meanwhile, aimed to promote friendly relations and trade with France since he was not on good terms with the English East India Company.

Frere Tachard, a French priest, acted as interpreter. This time, the Thais sent lower ranking officials, Khun Pijaiwanit and Khun Pijitmaitri, for the sole purpose of asking France to appoint an embassy to Thailand to sign a treaty of friendship. In , the French sent the Chevalier de Chaumont as ambassador to sign the said treaty.

He was accompanied by the Abbe de Choisy.


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The primary aim of the French Embassy was to try to convert King Narai to Christianity, while the Thais sought to conclude a treaty of friendship and trade with the French. King Narai refused to change his religion but agreed to sign a convention with France which facilitated French trade with the Royal Warehouse Department.

The French were required to pay the usual customs and dues. They were also given a monopoly over the tin trade in Thalang Phuket. At the same time, Songkhla was ceded to the French. The manager of the French company was also given the authority to punish company employees who were guilty of criminal offenses.

The above convention was only a provisional document. Thailand dispatched a third diplomatic mission to France, headed by Phra Wisutsuntorn Kosapan , and astute diplomat, and accompanied by de Chaumont. The French wished to acquire Mergui instead of Songkhla, but Kosapan pointed out that Mergui was a long distance away from the Thai capital. Contacts by sea would have to take a detour around the Malay Peninsula, while trips by land would consume a lot of time. Upon consulting their map, the French found this to be the truth. In actual fact, however, Mergui was a port of great importance to Thailand since it provided an outlet to the Indian Ocean.

Some historians believe that the Thai mission aimed to ask French troops to come to Thailand but there is no evidence to support this theory. What the Thais actually sought were experts in various fields, including military affairs, although it is doubtful that this included French troops. Father Tachard also accompanied the mission. The agreement, which was concluded in , was a commercial treaty which granted a number of special privileges to French companies, such as exemption from customs and duties in trading with Ayutthaya.

The exemption did not, however, include prohibited goods such as white saltpetre, black saltpetre, sulphur, fire arms and other weapons, for which permission had to be sought. The French company was given a monopoly over the tin trade in the town of Thalang Bangklee and was permitted to establish branches on the islands near Mergui. Moreover, if employees of the Company were involved in a legal dispute, the matter was to be decided by the Company 's Chief stationed in the town of the dispute, who had been accorded judiciary power by the French king.

In cases in which company employees were embroiled in a dispute with individuals not connected with the company, such dispute was to be decided by a Thai judge, sitting with a French representative. The Thais did not of their own free will give the French Company Chief the authority to decide legal cases in Thailand since this constituted a violation of Thai sovereignty. The administration of foreigners residing in Thailand at the time involved dividing such foreigners into separate categories, based on their nationality. An officer was appointed as the head of each category and was placed under the supervision of Thai government officials, who answered to the Phra Klang.

This arrangement was aimed at resolving problems which could arise since each people had a different culture. Therefore, the granting of judiciary authority constituted a special privilege which did not correspond with Thai traditions. The Thais had only acquiesced because of Phaulkon, who was a key figure in the negotiations, not to mention the presence of a large number of French troops in the country. Thailand 's only objective was to seek friendly relations and trade ties with France, while the French had political aims, that is, to convert the Thai king to Christianity.

The stationing of French troops in Thailand also posed a threat to the independence of the Thai nation. For this reason, King Petraja decided to get rid of Phaulkon and the French in order to maintain Thai independence. The move was clearly not due to any animosity towards foreigners on the part of the King since the Portuguese and the Dutch were allowed to go about their business peacefully. It was established to limit presidential war powers, but it gave presidents the right to commit troops for sixty days with only the conditions being to consult with and report to Congress—conditions presidents often feel free to ignore.

Since Vietnam, the act has done little to prevent presidents from unilaterally launching invasions. President Obama did not seek congressional authorization before ordering the US military to join attacks on the Libyan air defenses and government forces in March After the bombing campaign started, Obama sent Congress a letter contending that as Commander-in-Chief he had constitutional authority for the attacks.

This is different from normal legislation which requires approval by simple majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.. President Wilson : Wilson had disagreements with Congress over how the peace treaty ending World War I should be handled. Presidents often have a wide range of influence on US foreign policy.

Throughout U. The Supreme Court of the United States has considered congressional-executive and sole-executive agreements to be valid, and they have been common throughout American history. This clause also allows lower-level officials to be appointed without the advice and consent process. Thus, the President is responsible for the appointment of both upper- and lower-level diplomats and foreign-aid workers.

Both the Secretary of State and ambassadors are appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The President has the power to appoint diplomats such as the Secretary of State , giving him or her substantial influence in US foreign policy. Presidents are often depicted as speaking for and symbolically embodying the nation: giving a State of the Union address, welcoming foreign leaders, traveling abroad, or representing the United States at an international conference.

All of these duties serve an important function in US foreign policy. The secretary of state and secretary of defense play key roles in assisting the president with foreign policy. The presidential cabinet has several secretaries who aid the president in foreign affairs. This includes the secretary of state and the secretary of defense. The Secretary is a member of the cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence.

The current Secretary of State is John Kerry, the 68 th person to hold the post. The specific duties of the Secretary of State include:.

Most of the domestic functions of the Department of State have been transferred to other agencies. Those that remain include storage and use of the Great Seal of the United States, performance of protocol functions for the White House, and the drafting of certain proclamations. The Secretary also negotiates with the individual states over the extradition of fugitives to foreign countries.

Under Federal Law, the resignation of a President or of a Vice-President is only valid if declared in writing in an instrument delivered to the office of the Secretary of State. Accordingly, the resignations of President Nixon and of Vice-President Spiro Agnew, domestic issues, were formalized in instruments delivered to the Secretary of State. As the highest-ranking member of the cabinet, the Secretary of State is the third-highest official of the executive branch of the Federal Government of the United States, after the President and Vice President.

Six Secretaries of State have gone on to be elected President. Flag of the Secretary of Defense: The flag of the secretary of defense. The foreign service employs about 12, people domestically and internationally. It supports United States Diplomatic missions around the world, including ambassadors to various nations. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a defense Minister in many other countries. The Secretary of Defense is appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the senate.

The individual is by custom a member of the cabinet and by law a member of the National Security Council. The Secretary of Defense is in the chain of command and exercises command and control, subject only to the orders of the President, over all Department of Defense forces Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps for both operational and administrative purposes.

Only the Secretary of Defense or the President can authorize the transfer of operational control of forces between the three Military Departments and between the combatant commands. While the Chairman may assist the Secretary and President in their command functions, the Chairman is not in the chain of command. Secretary of Defense is a statutory office. Prominent bureaucratic organizations shaping U. There are several bureaucratic organizations that are actively involved in shaping U.

The Department was created in and was the first executive department established. The Department is led by the Secretary of State, who is nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and is a member of the Cabinet. As stated by the Department of State, its purpose includes:. The Department — headed by the Secretary of Defense — has three subordinate military departments: the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force.

The Military Departments are each headed by their own Secretary, appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. It is an executive agency that reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence with responsibility for providing national security intelligence assessments to senior U. Intelligence-gathering, a core function of the agency, is performed by non-military commissioned civilian intelligence agents, many of whom are trained to avoid tactical situations.

The CIA also oversees and sometimes engages in tactical and covert activities at the request of the U. Often, when such field operations are organized, the U. This clause provides Congress with the power to regulate commerce overseas. Mexico threatened to invade Texas. The President gathered troops near Corpus Christi. Mexican troops moved into the same area and the two forces clashed. The President claimed that Mexico had passed the boundary into the United States. Some individuals in Congress, including Abraham Lincoln, wondered if this was true.

However, U. The Korean War was the first modern example of the U. This has been repeated in every armed conflict since that time. However, beginning with the Vietnam, Congress has given other forms of authorizations to declare war. Some debate continues about whether the actions are appropriate. The tendency of the Executive Branch to engage in the origination of such a push, its marketing, and even propagandizing or related activities to generate such support is also highly debated. Johnson and His Advisors : Johnson being shown a map of an area in Vietnam.

The police action spiraled into a war-like situation quickly, although it was one war never waged by Congress. Therefore, in light of the speculation concerning the Gulf of Tonkin and the possible abuse of the authorization that followed, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in It requires the president to obtain either a declaration of war or a resolution authorizing the use of force from Congress within 60 days of initiating hostilities with a full disclosure of facts in the process.

The constitutionality of the resolution has never been settled. Some presidents have criticized it as an unconstitutional encroachment upon the president. Some legal scholars maintain that offensive, non-police military actions, while a quorum can still be convened, taken without a formal Congressional declaration of war is unconstitutional. They believe this because no amendment with two-thirds majority of states has changed the original intent to make the War Powers Resolution legally binding.

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