1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Korat

KORAT, the capital of the provincial division (Monton) of Nakawn Racha Sema, or “the frontier country,” in Siam; in 102° 5′ E., 14° 59′ N. Pop. about 7000, mixed Cambodian and Siamese. It is the headquarters of a high commissioner and of an army division. It is the terminus of a railway from Bangkok, 170 m. distant, and the distributing centre for the whole of the plateau district which forms the eastern part of Siam. There are copper mines of reputed wealth in the neighbourhood. It is the centre of a silk-growing district and is the headquarters of the government sericultural department, instituted in 1904 with the assistance of Japanese experts for the purpose of improving the quality of Siamese silk. The government is that of an ordinary provincial division of Siam. A French vice-consul resides here. Since the founding of Ayuthia in the 14th century, Korat has been tributary to, or part of, Siam, with occasional lapses into independence or temporary subjection to Cambodia. Before that period it was probably part of Cambodia, as appears from the nature of the ruins still to be seen in its neighbourhood. In 1896 the last vestige of its tributary condition vanished with the introduction of the present system of Siamese rural administration.