The impact and consequences of global and civil wars in Cambodia are often overshadowed by the developments in neighboring Thailand and Vietnam. One of the earliest empires in the Southeast Asian region was the Khmer Empire (802–1431 ce), which was centered in modern-day Cambodia. The large majority of Cambodia’s population are Khmer. Between the fall of the Khmer Empire and the establishment of the French protectorate in 1864, the Cambodian kingdom experienced a period of decline and territorial loss to its neighbors, Siam (Thailand) and Vietnam.

French Colonial Rule and World War II

The establishment of the French protectorate in Cambodia was, for France, a way to protect their new colony in Cochinchina (South Vietnam) from Thai and British interests and was, for Cambodia, a means of ...

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