Taksin was born on April 17, 1734, in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Of Chinese-Thai heritage, Taksin was taught by a Thai nobleman who enrolled him in the royal service. As a military leader, he reunited Thailand, or Siam, after its defeat at the hands of the Burmese in 1767. Taksin was a better military man than a politician. His rule as king was ineffectual. He was executed in 1782, and Rama I succeed him.