Colonialism in Vietnam
HI 427: The Vietnam War
Coming of The Europeans
better known as Gia Long,
united the various sections of the country in
He used the French who helped
build his citadel at Hue.
France developed an interest in
Indochina at a time when China was being carved up during the
Opium Wars in the 1840s.
Key Dates for the
Colonization of Indochina
1842- Britain gains Hong Kong.
1846-French intervene in Danang.
1847-The French destroy a
Vietnamese squadron near Tourane.
1858-France occupies Tourane.
1859-France seizes Saigon.
1873-France occupies Hanoi.
1884-France proclaims a
protectorate over Indochina.
Analysis of French
Colonization of Vietnam
Seen as an example of the
White Mans Burden.
French rule was haphazard at
Indochina was a drain on the
French National Economy.
Some raw materials generated
funds such as tin, rubber, and coal.
Most money came from the French
estates and the French occupation troops.
French Rule was Cruel
French Colonial Government
Colonial governors reflected
their political supporters in Paris.
Between 1902 and 1945, Indochina
had 23 governors.
Indochina did not have a
coherent colonial policy.
Since Paris did give their
governors the direct guidance to governing Indochina.
Appearance of Independence
The Vietnamese and the French
Vietnamese never received the
same pay as the French.
Even in the military Vietnamese
never the same honors.
Vietnamese intellectuals found
social advancement closed to them.
The French still used the
The Rise of Opposition to
With the coming of the worldwide
depression, both rubber and rice prices collapsed.
This gave birth to Vietnamese
opposition to French rule.
The first was the
Trotskyite Party of Indochina.
The Second was the
Indochinese Communist Party.
Organization Opposition to
and the Fall of France
With the Fall of France,
Indochina could never count on aid from France.
The Japanese wanted to cut off
sources of outside aid for China.
Washington had hoped that the
French in Indochina could bluff Tokyo.
With no aid coming, the Vichy
French recognized Japanese predominant position in Asia.
The Might of Japan
Negotiations were held between
Japan and the French in Hanoi.
When negotiations reached an
impasse, Japan attacked in September.
The Japanese sized the outposts
on the Chinese border, occupied Haiphong, and airfields in northern Vietnam.
On Jan. 9, 1941, Thailand
attacked southern Vietnam.
Giving Tokyo a reason to move on
The American Response to
Japanese Moves in South Vietnam
The US froze Japanese assets in
the United States on July 26, 1941.
Also established a trade embargo
on Japan to include Iron and Petroleum products.
And The Result Was . . .
FDR Had A Different View
The Free French in Vietnam
Though that they would have to
make some kind of move before the war ended.
Roosevelt distrusted the French
and ordered the services chiefs that no aid go to the French.
Still the French planned a coup
but the Japanese struck first on
March 9, 1945.
The French barely made it out of
Vietnam to China, but the U.S. would not
provide any aid.
The Japanese responded by
creating an independent Vietnam under
Early History of the
After the round-up by the French
of the membership of the ICP.
Many fled to Southern China.
The Chinese Warlords in the
region saw aiding the ICP as means of getting their hands on the Tonkin.
Even before any collaboration
with the warlords took place, Ho Chi Minh decided to broaden his base of
In May 1941, the
Ho Chi Minh
Born in 1890 as Hoang Tru.
1911 Sails to France to study
Forms the Vietnam Independence
Collaborates with the American
to rescue downed American pilots.
The Trains the Vietminh and
OSS sent in special teams to
train the guerillas.
By March 1944 Ho and the ICP
establishes a provisional government.
The Vietminh start to disarm the
Japanese as quickly as possible before the British and Chinese arrive.
Ho looked to the United States
It was denied.
Myth and Mystery of Vietnamese
Not much is known of early
The northern part of the country
was part of Kwantung Province in China.
This region was called
meaning the Southern Viet, in 111 BC.
Soon this area was crushed by
the Chinese and annexed
For the next 1000 years it was
par of the Chinese Empire.
Ruled by a governor.
Chinese settlers moved into the
Overtime Chinese rule became
The first revolt was led by the
in 39 AD.
Within a year Vietnam was free
from Chinese rule.
The Chinese returned in 43 AD.
The Trung Sisters committed
Additional Vietnamese Resistance
to Chinese Rule
Another revolt occurred in 248
AD and two between 544-47 AD.
The Chinese called the region
By 940 the Vietnamese won their
independence from China.
But the Chinese maintained
suzerainty until the arrival of the French in 1883.
The first victims of Vietnamese
expansionism were the Chams.
By 1400 the Vietnamese were in
control of Hue and overwhelmed the Chams.
The Vietnamese established
farming settlements along the Khmer border.
By 1658 all of Vietnam north of
Saigon was in control of the Vietnamese.
Soon the Vietnamese exerted
suzerainty over the Khmer like China did over them.
Failures of Vietnamese Colonialism
The Vietnamese rarely
incorporated the conquered people into Vietnamese society.
The hill peoples, later called
by the French, would be a case in point.
Soon friction developed between
the two sections of Vietnam.
Two ruling dynasties emerged,
in the South, and the Trinhs in the North.
Neither could dominate the other
until the rise of a new figure,
Tay-Son, who managed to unify Vietnam.
However, civil wars opened the
way for the French.
Map of Vietnam