Ted Robert Gurr's hypotheses on political violence and James C. Scott's on patron-client relations are used to explain why modernizing policies of the Siamese government provoked rebellions in Chiang Mai in 1889 and in Phrae in 1902. The article suggests that the rebellions resulted from Siamese government attempts to increase its revenues and control in the North. In Chiang Mai and Phrae these attempts simultaneously threatened the livelihood and security of ordinary peasants, who formed the base of the rebellions, and groups outside the ranks of ordinary peasants, who provided leadership. Modifications of Gurr's and Scott's work are suggested which can be tested and further refined, or rejected, in the study of other rebellions.

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