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French Indochina (previously spelled as French Indo-China; french: Indochine française; vi, Đông Dương thuộc Pháp, , lit. 'East Ocean under French Control; km, សហភាពឥណ្ឌូចិន), officially known as the Indochinese Union (french: Union indochinoise, link=no; vi, Liên bang Đông Dương, link=no, , lit. 'East Ocean Federation') and after 1947 as the Indochinese Federation (french: Fédération indochinoise, link=no; vi, Liên đoàn Đông Dương, link=no), was a grouping of French colonial territories in
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
until its demise in 1954. It comprised
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...
,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...
(from 1899), the Chinese territory of
Guangzhouwan Guangzhouwan, officially Kouang-Tchéou-Wan, was a small enclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' i ...
(from 1898 until 1945), and the
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
ese regions of
Tonkin Tonkin, also spelled ''Tongkin'', ''Tonquin'' or ''Tongking'', is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a ...
in the north, Annam in the centre, and
Cochinchina Cochinchina or Cochin-China (; vi, miền Nam; km, កូសាំងស៊ីន, ; french: Cochinchine; zh, 交趾支那, ''Jiāozhǐ zhīnà'') is a historical exonym and endonym, exonym for part of Vietnam, depending on the contexts. So ...
in the south. The capital for most of its history (1902–45) was
Hanoi , population_total = 8,053,663 ( 2nd) , population_as_of = 2019 , population_demonym = Hanoian , population_density_km2 = auto , population_urban = 3,962,310 , population_density_urban_km2 = 14708.8 , popula ...

Hanoi
;
Saigon Ho Chi Minh City ( vi, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh; or ), commonly and formerly officially known as Saigon ( vi, Sài Gòn; or ), is the largest city in , situated in the . In the southeastern region, the city surrounds the and covers about . P ...

Saigon
was the capital from 1887 to 1902 and again from 1945 to 1954. The
Second French Empire The Second French Empire (; officially the French Empire, ), was the 18-year Imperial Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial or The Imperial may also refer to: Places United States * Imperial, Cali ...

Second French Empire
annexed Cochinchina and established a protectorate in Cambodia in 1862 and 1863 respectively. After the
French Third Republic The French Third Republic (french: Troisième République, sometimes written as ) was the system of government adopted in History of France, France from 4 September 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, ...
took over northern Vietnam through the Tonkin campaign, the various protectorates were consolidated into one union in 1887. Two more entities were incorporated into the union: the Laotian protectorate and the Chinese territory of Guangzhouwan. The French exploited the resources in the region during their rule, but also contributed to improvements of the health and education system in the region. Nevertheless, deep divides remained between the natives and the colonists, leading to sporadic rebellions by the former. After the
Fall of France The Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of German ...
during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the colony was administered by the
Vichy government Vichy France (french: Régime de Vichy) is the common name of the French State () headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951), generally known as Philippe Pétain (, ), Marshal P ...
and was under Japanese occupation until March 1945, when the Japanese overthrew the colonial regime. After the
Japanese surrender upright=1.35, Representatives of the Empire of Japan stand aboard prior to signing of the Instrument of Surrender. The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced by Japanese Emperor Hirohito on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 19 ...
, the
Viet Minh , leader= Ho Chi Minh, successor=Viet Cong The Viet Cong ( vi, Việt Cộng; ), officially known as the National Liberation Front of Southern Vietnam ( vi, Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng miền Nam Việt Nam), was an armed communist ...
, a communist organization led by
Hồ Chí Minh
Hồ Chí Minh
, declared Vietnamese independence, but France subsequently took back control of French Indochina. An all-out independence war, known as the
First Indochina War The First Indochina War (generally known as the Indochina War in France, and as the Anti-French Resistance War in Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates ...
, broke out in late 1946 between French and Viet Minh forces. To counter the Viet Minh, the
State of Vietnam The State of Vietnam ( vi, Quốc gia Việt Nam; Chữ Nôm: 國家越南; french: État du Viêt-Nam) was a member of the French Union and a country (from 21 July 1954 to 26 October 1955) that claimed authority over all of Vietnam during the F ...
, led by former Emperor
Bảo Đại Bảo Đại (, vi-hantu, , lit. "keeper of greatness", 22 October 191330 July 1997), born Nguyễn Phúc Vĩnh Thụy, was the 13th and final Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sov ...
, was proclaimed in 1949. French efforts to reunite Vietnam were unsuccessful. On 22 October and 9 November 1953, the
Kingdom of Laos The Kingdom of Laos was a constitutional monarchy that ruled Laos beginning with its independence on 9 November 1953. It survived until December 1975, when its last king, Sisavang Vatthana, Laotian Civil War, surrendered the throne to the Pathet ...
and
Kingdom of Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–Th ...
proclaimed their respective independences. Following the Geneva Accord of 1954, the French withdrew from Vietnam, which had been split into the two countries (until 1976), and French Indochina was no more.


History


First French Interventions

French–Vietnamese relations started during the early 17th century with the arrival of the
Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbolism ...
missionary
Alexandre de Rhodes Alexandre de Rhodes (15 March 1593 – 5 November 1660) was an Avignonese Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbre ...
. Around this time, Vietnam had only just begun its "Push to the South"—"Nam Tiến", the occupation of the
Mekong Delta The Mekong Delta ( vi, Đồng bằng Sông Cửu Long, literally ''Nine Dragon river delta'' or simply vi, Đồng Bằng Sông Mê Kông, "Mekong river delta"), also known as the Western Region ( vi, Miền Tây) or South-western region ( vi ...

Mekong Delta
, a territory being part of the
Khmer Empire The Khmer Empire ( km, ចក្រភពខ្មែរ), or the Angkorian Empire ( km, ចក្រភពអង្គរ, link=no), are the terms that historians use to refer to Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ព ...

Khmer Empire
and to a lesser extent, the kingdom of
Champa Champa (Cham Cham or CHAM may refer to: Ethnicities and languages *Chams The Chams or Cham people ( Cham: ''Urang Campa'' / ꨂꨣꩃ ꨌꩌꨛꨩ, vi, người Chăm or người Chàm, km, ជនជាតិចាម), are an ethni ...

Champa
which they had defeated in 1471.Kahin. European involvement in Vietnam was confined to trade during the 18th century, as the remarkably successful work of the Jesuit missionaries continued. In 1787,
Pierre Pigneau de Behaine Pierre Joseph Georges Pigneau (2 November 1741 in Origny-en-Thiérache – 9 October 1799, in Qui Nhơn), commonly known as Pigneau de Béhaine (), also Pierre Pigneaux, Bá Đa Lộc ("Pedro (name), Pedro" wikt:百, 百wikt:多, 多wikt:祿, ...
, a French Catholic priest, petitioned the French government and organised French military volunteers to aid Nguyễn Ánh in retaking lands his family lost to the Tây Sơn. Pigneau died in Vietnam but his troops fought on until 1802 in the French assistance to Nguyễn Ánh.


19th century

The
French colonial empire The French colonial empire () comprised the overseas colonies, protectorates and League of Nations mandate, mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. A distinction is generally made between the "First French Co ...
was heavily involved in Vietnam in the 19th century; often French intervention was undertaken in order to protect the work of the
Paris Foreign Missions Society The Society of Foreign Missions of Paris (french: Société des Missions Etrangères de Paris, short M.E.P.) is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC ...
in the country. For its part, the
Nguyễn dynasty Nguyễn is the most common Vietnamese surname / family name. Outside of Vietnam, the surname is commonly rendered without diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term gl ...
increasingly saw Catholic missionaries as a political threat;
courtesan Courtesan, in modern usage, is a euphemism for a prostitute, particularly one with wealthy, powerful, or influential clients. The term historically referred to a courtier, a person who attended the Royal court, court of a Monarchy, monarch or oth ...

courtesan
s, for example, an influential faction in the dynastic system, feared for their status in a society influenced by an insistence on monogamy. In 1858, the brief period of unification under the Nguyễn dynasty ended with a successful attack on Tourane (present day
Da Nang Da Nang (also written as Đà Nẵng, Danang,See also Danang Dragons The Danang Dragons are a Vietnamese professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on ...

Da Nang
) by French Admiral
Charles Rigault de Genouilly Admiral Pierre-Louis-Charles Rigault de Genouilly (, 12 April 1807 – 4 May 1873) was a French naval officer. He fought with distinction in the Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February ...

Charles Rigault de Genouilly
under the orders of
Napoleon III Napoleon III (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; 20 April 18089 January 1873) was the first President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is t ...

Napoleon III
. Prior to the attack French diplomat Charles de Montigny's efforts to reach a peaceable solution had failed. Seeing no other recourse, France sent Genouilly forward in a military effort to end Vietnam's persecution and expulsion of Catholic missionaries.Tucker, p. 29. Fourteen French gunships, 3,300 men including 300 Filipino soldiers provided by the Spanish attacked the port of Tourane causing significant damage and occupying the city. After fighting the Vietnamese for three months and finding himself unable to progress further in land, de Genouilly sought and received approval of an alternative attack on Saigon.Chapuis (2000), p. 48. Sailing to southern Vietnam, de Genouilly captured the poorly defended city of Saigon on 17 February 1859. Once again, however, de Genouilly and his forces were unable to seize territory outside of the defensive perimeter of the city. De Genouilly was criticised for his actions and was replaced by Admiral Page in November 1859 with instructions to obtain a treaty protecting the
Catholic faith The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Chri ...

Catholic faith
in Vietnam while refraining from making territorial gains. Peace negotiations proved unsuccessful and the fighting in Saigon continued. Ultimately in 1861, the French brought additional forces to bear in the Saigon campaign, advanced out of the city and began to capture cities in the Mekong Delta. On 5 June 1862, the Vietnamese conceded and signed the
Treaty of Saigon Treaty of Saigon may refer to: *Treaty of Saigon (1862)The Treaty of Saigon was signed on 5 June 1862 between representatives of the French Empire and the last precolonial emperor of the House of Nguyen, Emperor Tự Đức. Based on the terms o ...
whereby they agreed to legalize the free practice of the Catholic religion; to open trade in the Mekong Delta and at three ports at the mouth of the Red River in northern Vietnam; to cede the provinces of Biên Hòa, Gia Định and Định Tường along with the islands of Poulo Condore to France; and to pay reparations equivalent to one million dollars.Llewellyn. In 1864 the aforementioned three provinces ceded to France were formally constituted as the French colony of Cochinchina. Then in 1867, French Admiral Pierre de la Grandière forced the Vietnamese to surrender three additional provinces, Châu Đốc, Hà Tiên and Vĩnh Long. With these three additions all of southern Vietnam and the Mekong Delta fell under French control. In 1863, the Cambodian king
Norodom Norodom ( km, នរោត្តម ; born Ang Voddey ( km, អង្គវតី ); 3 February 1834 – 24 April 1904) was the King of Cambodia The monarchy of Cambodia is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is ...
had requested the establishment of a French protectorate over his country. In 1867,
Siam ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai language, ...
(modern
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
) renounced
suzerainty Suzerainty () is a relationship in which one state or other polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized soci ...
over Cambodia and officially recognised the 1863 French protectorate on Cambodia, in exchange for the control of
Battambang Battambang ( km, ក្រុងបាត់ដំបង) is the capital of Battambang province Battambang ( km, បាត់ដំបង, , lit. 'Lost Stick') is a provinces of Cambodia, province () of Cambodia in the far northwest of the cou ...

Battambang
and
Siem Reap Siem Reap ( km, សៀមរាប, ) is the second largest city of Cambodia, as well as the capital and largest city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia. Siem Reap has French Protectorate of Cambodia, French colonial and Chinese ...

Siem Reap
provinces which officially became part of Thailand. (These provinces would be ceded back to Cambodia by a border treaty between France and Siam in 1906).


Establishment

France obtained control over northern Vietnam following its victory over China in the
Sino-French War The Sino-French War (, french: Guerre franco-chinoise, vi, Chiến tranh Pháp-Thanh), also known as the Tonkin War and Tonquin War, was a limited conflict fought from August 1884 to April 1885. There was no declaration of war A declaration ...
(1884–85). French Indochina was formed on 17 October 1887 from Annam,
Tonkin Tonkin, also spelled ''Tongkin'', ''Tonquin'' or ''Tongking'', is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a ...
,
Cochinchina Cochinchina or Cochin-China (; vi, miền Nam; km, កូសាំងស៊ីន, ; french: Cochinchine; zh, 交趾支那, ''Jiāozhǐ zhīnà'') is a historical exonym and endonym, exonym for part of Vietnam, depending on the contexts. So ...
(which together form modern
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
) and the
Kingdom of Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–Th ...
;
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...
was added after the
Franco-Siamese War The Franco-Siamese War of 1893 was a conflict between the French Third Republic The French Third Republic (french: La Troisième République, sometimes written as ) was the system of government adopted in History of France, France from 1870, ...
in 1893. The federation lasted until 21 July 1954. In the four protectorates, the French formally left the local rulers in power, who were the Emperors of Vietnam, Kings of Cambodia, and Kings of Luang Prabang, but in fact gathered all powers in their hands, the local rulers acting only as figureheads.


Vietnamese Rebellions

While the French were trying to establish control over Cambodia, a large scale Vietnamese insurgency – the Cần Vương movement – started to take shape, aiming to expel the French and install the boy emperor Hàm Nghi as the leader of an independent Vietnam. The insurgents, led by , Phan Chu Trinh, , Trần Quý Cáp and Huỳnh Thúc Kháng, targeted Vietnamese Christians as there were very few French soldiers to overcome, which led to a massacre of around 40,000 Christians. The rebellion was eventually brought down by a French military intervention, in addition to its lack of unity in the movement. Nationalist sentiments intensified in Vietnam, especially during and after
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...
, but all the uprisings and tentative efforts failed to obtain sufficient concessions from the French.


Franco-Siamese War (1893)

Territorial conflict in the Indochinese peninsula for the expansion of French Indochina led to the Franco-Siamese War of 1893. In 1893 the French authorities in Indochina used border disputes, followed by the Paknam naval incident, to provoke a crisis. French gunboats appeared at Bangkok, and demanded the cession of Lao territories east of the
Mekong River The Mekong or Mekong River is a trans-boundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rive ...

Mekong River
. King
Chulalongkorn Chulalongkorn ( th, จุฬาลงกรณ์, 20 September 1853 – 23 October 1910) was the fifth monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or ...

Chulalongkorn
appealed to the British, but the British minister told the king to settle on whatever terms he could get, and he had no choice but to comply. Britain's only gesture was an agreement with France guaranteeing the integrity of the rest of Siam. In exchange, Siam had to give up its claim to the Thai-speaking Shan region of north-eastern Burma to the British, and cede Laos to France.


Further Encroachments on Siam (1904–07)

The French continued to pressure Siam, and in 1902 they manufactured another crisis. This time Siam had to concede French control of territory on the west bank of the Mekong opposite
Luang Prabang Luang Phabang, (Lao language, Lao: wikt:ຫລວງພະບາງ, ຫລວງພະບາງ/wikt:ຫຼວງພະບາງ, ຫຼວງພະບາງ) or ''Louangphabang'' (pronounced ), commonly Transliteration, transliterated into We ...

Luang Prabang
and around Champasak in southern Laos, as well as western Cambodia. France also occupied the western part of
Chantaburi Chanthaburi ( th, จันทบุรี, ; Chong language, Chong: จันกะบูย, ''chankabui'',องค์ บรรจุน. ''สยามหลากเผ่าหลายพันธุ์.'' กรุงเทพฯ: มต ...
. In 1904, to get back Chantaburi, Siam had to give and Koh Kong to French Indochina. Trat became part of Thailand again on 23 March 1907 in exchange for many areas east of the Mekong like
Battambang Battambang ( km, ក្រុងបាត់ដំបង) is the capital of Battambang province Battambang ( km, បាត់ដំបង, , lit. 'Lost Stick') is a provinces of Cambodia, province () of Cambodia in the far northwest of the cou ...
, Siam Nakhon and
Sisophon Serei Saophoan ( km, ក្រុងសិរីសោភ័ណ, , "Beautiful Freedom"), is the capital and largest city of Banteay Meanchey Province Banteay Meanchey ( km, ខេត្តបន្ទាយមានជ័យ, , "Fortress of ...
. In the 1930s, Siam engaged France in a series of talks concerning the repatriation of Siamese provinces held by the French. In 1938, under the
Front Populaire The Popular Front (french: Front populaire) was an alliance of left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that ...
administration in Paris, France had agreed to repatriate
Angkor Wat Angkor Wat (; km, អង្គរវត្ត "Temple city/city of temples") is the largest religious structure (temple complex) in the world by land area, measuring , located in Cambodia. Originally constructed as a personal mausoleum for ...

Angkor Wat
,
Angkor Thom Angkor Thom ( km, អង្គរធំ ; literally: "Great City"), (alternative name: Nokor Thom, ) located in present-day Cambodia, was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire, Khmer Empire. It was established in the late twe ...

Angkor Thom
,
Siem Reap Siem Reap ( km, សៀមរាប, ) is the second largest city of Cambodia, as well as the capital and largest city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia. Siem Reap has French Protectorate of Cambodia, French colonial and Chinese ...

Siem Reap
, Siem Pang and the associated provinces (approximately 13) to Siam. Meanwhile, Siam took over control of those areas, in anticipation of the upcoming treaty. Signatories from each country were dispatched to Tokyo to sign the treaty repatriating the lost provinces.


Yên Bái mutiny (1930)

On 10 February 1930, there was an uprising by Vietnamese soldiers in the French colonial army's Yên Bái garrison. The Yên Bái mutiny was sponsored by the Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng (VNQDĐ). The VNQDĐ was the Vietnamese Nationalist Party. The attack was the largest disturbance brewed up by the Cần Vương monarchist restoration movement of the late 19th century. The aim of the revolt was to inspire a wider uprising among the general populace in an attempt to overthrow the colonial authority. The VNQDĐ had previously attempted to engage in clandestine activities to undermine French rule, but increasing French scrutiny of their activities led to their leadership group taking the risk of staging a large scale military attack in the
Red River Delta The Red River Delta or Hong River Delta ( vi, Châu thổ sông Hồng) is the flat low-lying plain formed by the Red River and its distributaries merging with the Thái Bình River in northern Vietnam , image_map = , m ...
in northern Vietnam.


Left opposition and the 1940 uprising in Cochinchina

In Cochinchina where French rule had the distinction of being direct and therefore more sensitive to political shifts in Paris, it was punctuated by periods of relative liberalisation. The most significant was during the 1936–1938
Popular Front A popular front is "any coalition of working-class and middle-class parties", including liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent ...
government led by Leon Blum which appointed as governor-general of Indochina . Liberal-minded, in Cochinchina Brévié tried to defuse an extremely tense political situation by amnestying political prisoners, and by easing restrictions on the press, political parties, and trade unions. Saigon witnessed growing labour unrest culminating in the summer of 1937 in general dock and transport strikes. In April of that year the Vietnamese Communists and their Trotskyist left opposition ran a common slate for the municipal elections with both their respective leaders Nguyễn Văn Tạo and Tạ Thu Thâu winning seats. The exceptional unity of the left, however, was split by the lengthening shadow of the
Moscow Trials The Moscow Trials were a series of show trials held in the Soviet Union at the instigation of Joseph Stalin between 1936 and 1938 against Trotskyism, Trotskyists and members of Right Opposition of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. There wer ...
and by growing protest over the failure of the Communist-supported Popular Front to deliver constitutional reform. Colonial Minister Marius Moutet, a Socialist commented that he had sought "a wide consultation with all elements of the popular [will]," but with "Trotskyist-Communists intervening in the villages to menace and intimidate the peasant part of the population, taking all authority from the public officials," the necessary "formula" had not been found. In April 1939 Cochinchina Council elections Tạ Thu Thâu led a "Workers' and Peasants' Slate" into victory over both the "bourgeois" Constitutionalists and the Communists' Democratic Front. Key to their success was popular opposition to the war taxes ("national defence levy") that the Communist Party, in the spirit of Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance, Franco-Soviet accord, had felt obliged to support. Brévié set the election results aside and wrote to Colonial Minister Georges Mandel: "the Trotskyists under the leadership of Ta Thu Thau, want to take advantage of a possible war in order to win total liberation." The Stalinists, on the other hand, are "following the position of the Communist Party in France" and "will thus be loyal if war breaks out." With the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Hitler-Stalin Pact of 23 August 1939, the local Communists were ordered by Moscow to return to direct confrontation with the French. Under the slogan "Land to the Tillers, Freedom for the workers and independence for Vietnam", in November 1940 the Party in Cochinchina obliged, triggering a widespread 1940 Cochinchina uprising, insurrection. The revolt did not penetrate Saigon (an attempted uprising in the city was quelled in a day). In the Mekong Delta fighting continued until the end of the year.


World War II

In September 1940, during Pacific War, World War II, the newly created regime of Vichy France granted Japan's demands for military access to Tonkin following the Japanese invasion of French Indochina, Japanese occupation of French Indochina, which lasted until the end of the Pacific War. This allowed Japan better access to China in the Second Sino-Japanese War against the forces of Chiang Kai-shek, but it was also part of Japan's strategy for dominion over the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Thailand took this opportunity of weakness to reclaim previously lost territories, resulting in the Franco-Thai War between October 1940 and 9 May 1941. The Thai forces generally did well on the ground, but Thai objectives in the war were limited. In January, Vichy France, Vichy French naval forces decisively defeated Thai naval forces in the Battle of Ko Chang. The war ended in May at the instigation of the Japanese, with the French forced to concede territorial gains for Thailand. On 9 March 1945, with Liberation of France, France liberated, Germany in retreat, and the United States ascendant in the Pacific, Japan decided to take complete control of Indochina and Japanese coup d'état in French Indochina, destroyed the French colonial administration. Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were proclaimed as independent states, members of Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese kept power in Indochina until the news of their government's surrender came through in August. The general disorganization of French Indochina, coupled with several natural disasters, caused a Vietnamese Famine of 1945, dreadful famine in Northern and Central Vietnam. Several hundred thousand people – possibly over one million – are believed to have starved to death in 1944–45.


First Indochina War

After the World War, France petitioned for the nullification of the 1938 Franco-Siamese Treaty and reasserted itself in the region, but came into conflict with the
Viet Minh , leader= Ho Chi Minh, successor=Viet Cong The Viet Cong ( vi, Việt Cộng; ), officially known as the National Liberation Front of Southern Vietnam ( vi, Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng miền Nam Việt Nam), was an armed communist ...
, a coalition of Communism, Communist and Vietnamese nationalism, nationalists led by Ho Chi Minh, Hồ Chí Minh, founder of the Indochinese Communist Party. During World War II, the United States had supported the Viet Minh in resistance against the Japanese; the group had been in control of the countryside since the French gave way in March 1945. American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Roosevelt and General Joseph Stilwell, Stilwell privately made it adamantly clear that the French were not to reacquire French Indochina after the war was over. He told Secretary of State Cordell Hull the Indochinese were worse off under the French rule of nearly 100 years than they were at the beginning. Roosevelt asked Chiang Kai-shek if he wanted Indochina, to which Chiang Kai-shek replied: "Under no circumstances!" After the close of hostilities in WWII, 200,000 Chinese troops under General Lu Han (general), Lu Han sent by Chiang Kai-shek entered northern Indochina north of the 16th parallel to accept the surrender of Japanese occupying forces, and remained there until 1946. This was in accordance with the instructions made by General Douglas MacArthur in General Order No. 1, of Sept. 2, 1945. Working with the Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng, VNQDĐ (broadly the Vietnamese equivalent of the Chinese Kuomintang), to increase their influence in Indochina and put pressure on their opponents. Chiang Kai-shek threatened the French with war in response to manoeuvering by the French and Ho Chi Minh against each other, forcing them to come to a peace agreement. In February 1946 he forced the French to surrender all of their concessions in China and renounce their extraterritorial privileges in exchange for withdrawing from northern Indochina and allowing French troops to reoccupy the region starting in March 1946. After persuading List of Vietnamese monarchs, Emperor
Bảo Đại Bảo Đại (, vi-hantu, , lit. "keeper of greatness", 22 October 191330 July 1997), born Nguyễn Phúc Vĩnh Thụy, was the 13th and final Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sov ...
to abdicate in his favour, on 2 September 1945 President Ho Chi Minh declared independence for the North Vietnam, Democratic Republic of Vietnam. But before September's end, a force of British and Free France, Free French soldiers, along with captured Japanese troops, restored French control. Ho Chi Minh agreed to negotiate with the French in order to gain autonomy, but the Fontainebleau Agreements of 1946 failed to produce a satisfactory solution. Bitter fighting ensued in the
First Indochina War The First Indochina War (generally known as the Indochina War in France, and as the Anti-French Resistance War in Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates ...
as Ho and his government took to the hills. In 1949, in order to provide a political alternative to Ho Chi Minh, the French favored the creation of a unified
State of Vietnam The State of Vietnam ( vi, Quốc gia Việt Nam; Chữ Nôm: 國家越南; french: État du Viêt-Nam) was a member of the French Union and a country (from 21 July 1954 to 26 October 1955) that claimed authority over all of Vietnam during the F ...
, and former Emperor Bảo Đại was put back in power. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia became associated states of the French Union and were granted more autonomy. However, 1950 was the turning point of the war. Ho's government was recognised by the fellow Communist governments of China and the Soviet Union, and Mao Zedong, Mao's government subsequently gave a fallback position to Ho's forces, as well as abundant supplies of weapons. In October 1950, the French army suffered its first major defeat with the battle of Route Coloniale 4. Subsequent efforts by the French military managed to improve their situation only in the short term. Bảo Đại's State of Vietnam proved a weak and unstable government, and Norodom Sihanouk's Cambodia proclaimed its independence in November 1953. Fighting lasted until May 1954, when the Viet Minh won the decisive victory against French forces at the gruelling Battle of Dien Bien Phu, battle of Điện Biên Phủ.


Geneva Agreements

On 20 July 1954, the Geneva Conference (1954), Geneva Conference produced the Geneva Agreements between North Vietnam and France. Provisions included supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Indochina, granting it independence from France, declaring the cessation of hostilities and foreign involvement in internal Indochina affairs, and delineating northern and southern zones into which opposing troops were to withdraw. The Agreements mandated unification on the basis of internationally supervised free elections to be held in July 1956. It was at this conference that France relinquished any claim to territory in the Indochinese peninsula. The United States and South Vietnam rejected the Geneva Accords and never signed. South Vietnamese leader Diem rejected the idea of nationwide election as proposed in the agreement, saying that a free election was impossible in the communist North and that his government was not bound by the Geneva Accords. France did withdraw, turning the north over to the Communists while the
Bảo Đại Bảo Đại (, vi-hantu, , lit. "keeper of greatness", 22 October 191330 July 1997), born Nguyễn Phúc Vĩnh Thụy, was the 13th and final Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sov ...
regime, with American support, kept control of the South. The events of 1954 marked the beginnings of serious United States involvement in Vietnam and the ensuing Vietnam War. Laos and Cambodia also became independent in 1954, but were both drawn into the Vietnam War.


United States Involvement

In 1954 the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu the United States interest in intervening grew tremendously, including some senators who called out for large scale bombing campaigns, potentially even nuclear weapons. President Dwight Eisenhower, even though he did not believe a military victory, believed in the domino theory, where if Vietnam were to fall to communism then there would be multiple other countries that would fall to the ideology in Southeast Asia, from Vietnam to India there would be a dramatic shift in global power. Eisenhower chose to not put boots on the ground, but his decision to start to get involved likely is more important to the countries eventual step into the country than Johnson's decision to take that last step. Eisenhower had a further impact in that he would continue to provide support for future presidents policy in the country, Lyndon B. Johnson and Gerald Ford both used him to large extents, Kennedy did have several meetings with him in the White House, and Nixon was mostly on his own, but considering their familial ties there was inevitably some ideas that were considered that otherwise would not have been. As he was so involved the United States policy in French Indochina his influence is hard to underestimate.


Administration

The government of French Indochina was headed by a List of governors-general of French Indochina, Governor-General and a number of French residents. The Governor-General was assisted by a system of different government agencies, however these agencies functioned only to be consultants to help the Governor-General perform his role and exercise his powers. The protectorates of Cambodia, Annam, Tonkin, and Laos all had Residents-Superior while the colony of Cochinchina had a List of administrators of the French colony of Cochinchina, Governor. In the protectorates the indigenous administrations were nominally combined with the French administration, but in the colony of Cochinchina as well as "colonial cities", such as Đà Nẵng in Annam, the French maintained direct rule. All constituent countries of French Indochina had their own legal systems. In Annam and Tonkin the laws of the Nguyễn dynasty, such as “Sắc” (敕, "Imperial Order"), “chi” (ordinance), and “du” (decree), remained in effect but were subordinate to the laws of the French administration. The government-general of French Indochina as well as its powers were established and amended through presidential decrees. The Governor-General held supreme power power in French Indochina over the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government and had the power to appoint the residents below him. The Governor-General was also in charge of all the military affairs of the country, among their responsibilities were the ability to set up an army corps, deploy the French Indochinese military forces, and issue conscription orders. However, the Governor-General was not in charge of actually commanding the military forces during actual military campaigns and battles. The Governor-General was also the chairman of the ''Indochinese Supreme Council'' (later renamed to the ''Indochinese Government Council'') which was the highest government agency in charge of general affairs. Other government agencies of the Government-General of French Indochina include the Indochinese Defense Council, Mine Consultancy Committee, the Indochinese Education Consultancy Council, the Supreme Council for Exploitation of Colonies, the Indochinese Economic and Financial Interests Assembly, etc. In the protectorates of Annam and Tonkin the government of the Nguyễn dynasty shared its power with the French administration ''de jure'' but were ''de facto'' directly ruled by the French colonial apparatus. The Residents-Superior and Governor of Cochinchina did not have legislative powers only executive. While the Emperors of the Nguyễn dynasty did maintain their legislative powers, all imperial decrees had to be approved by either the Resident-Superior of Annam or by the Governor-General of French Indochina. Until the early 20th century the Gia Long era ''Hoàng Việt luật lệ'' (皇越律例), sometimes known as the "Gia Long Code", remained the main civil code of the Nguyễn dynasty until the Emperor issued the nearly identical ''Civil Code of Annam'' and ''Civil Code of Tonkin''. A number of the legal documents in effect in the French Republic were also applied to French Indochina, these included the ''Napoleonic Code, Code Napoléon'' of 1804, the ''Code de commerce'' of 1807, the ''Code d'instruction criminelle'', and the French penal code of 1810. These laws took effect in French Indochina on the date that the Governor-General issued decrees that they would also apply to the federation. The legislative decrees of the Governor-General had to be sent to the Minister of Colonies for consideration, the Minister would then approve or disapprove The decrees. However, the Minister of Colonies was not entitled to make any amendments to the decrees and if they wished to alter it they would have to draft it and then send the draft to the President of France. Only French Presidential decrees could overturn the decrees of the Governor-General. Executive decrees did not have to be sent to the Metropolitan France for review and immediately came into effect. Throughout Vietnam thousands of villages had their own independent legal codes that governed the social relations within the village community, thousands of written regulations existed and the central administration often recognised them. However, both the government-general of French Indochina and the government of the Nguyễn dynasty attempted reform these rules and regulations in their favour. To expand their power into Vietnamese hamlets and villages the French administration issued models for the villages to follow, but many Vietnamese villages still functioned independent of the French and Nguyễn administrations.


Demographics


Population

The Vietnamese people, Vietnamese, Lao people, Lao and Khmer people, Khmer ethnic groups formed the majority of their respective colony's populations. Minority groups such as the Muong people, Muong, Tay people, Tay, Chams, and Jarai people, Jarai were collectively known as Degar, Montagnards and resided principally in the mountain regions of Indochina. Hoa people, Ethnic Han Chinese were largely concentrated in major cities, especially in Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, where they became heavily involved in trade and commerce. In addition, there was also a tiny French minority which accounted for 0.2% of the population (or 39,000 people) by 1940. Around 95% of French Indochina's population was rural in a 1913 estimate, although urbanisation did slowly grow over the course of French rule.


Religion

The principal religion in French Indochina was Buddhism, with Mahayana, Mahayana Buddhism influenced by Confucianism more dominant in Vietnam, while Theravada, Theravāda Buddhism was more widespread in Laos and Cambodia. In addition, active Catholicism, Catholic missionaries were widespread throughout Indochina and roughly 10% of Tonkin's population identified as Catholic by the end of French rule. Cao Đài's origins began during this period as well.


French settlements

Unlike French Algeria, Algeria, French settlement in Indochina did not occur at a grand scale. By 1940, only about 34,000 French civilians lived in French Indochina, along with a smaller number of French military personnel and government workers. Of these almost half, 16,550, lived in Cochinchina, the vast majority living in Saigon. The principal reasons why French settlement did not grow in a manner similar to that in French North Africa (which had a population of over 1 million French civilians) were because French Indochina was seen as a (economic colony) rather than a (settlement colony helping Metropolitan France from being overpopulated), and because Indochina was distant from France itself.


Language

During French colonial rule, the French language was the principal language of education, government, trade, and media and French was widely introduced to the general population. French became widespread among urban and semi-urban populations and became the principal language of the elite and educated. This was most notable in the colonies of Tonkin and Cochinchina (Northern and Southern Vietnam respectively), where French influence was most heavy, while Annam, Laos and Cambodia were less influenced by French education. Despite the dominance of French in official and educational settings, local populations still largely spoke their native languages. After French rule ended, the French language was still largely used among the new governments (with the exception of North Vietnam). Today, French continues to be taught as a second language in the former colonies and used in some administrative affairs.


Economy

French Indochina was designated as a (colony of economic exploitation) by the French government. Funding for the colonial government came by means of taxes on locals and the French government established a near monopoly on the trade of opium, salt and rice wine, rice alcohol. The French administration established quotas of consumption for each Vietnamese village, thereby compelling villagers to purchase and consume set amounts of these monopolised goods. The trade of those three products formed about 44% of the colonial government's budget in 1920 but declined to 20% by 1930 as the colony began to economically diversify. The colony's principal bank was the Banque de l'Indochine, established in 1875 and was responsible for minting the colony's currency, the French Indochinese piastre, Indochinese piastre. Indochina was the second most invested-in French colony by 1940 after Algeria, with investments totalling up to 6.7 million francs. Beginning in the 1930s, France began to exploit the region for its natural resources and to economically diversify the colony. Cochinchina, Annam and Tonkin (encompassing modern-day Vietnam) became a source of tea, rice, coffee, Black pepper, pepper, coal, zinc and tin, while Cambodia became a centre for rice and pepper crops. Only Laos was seen initially as an economically unviable colony, although timber was harvested at a small scale from there. At the turn of the 20th century, the growing automobile industry in France resulted in the growth of the natural rubber, rubber industry in French Indochina, and plantations were built throughout the colony, especially in Annam and Cochinchina. France soon became a leading producer of rubber through its Indochina colony and Indochinese rubber became prized in the industrialised world. The success of rubber plantations in French Indochina resulted in an increase in investment in the colony by various firms such as Michelin. With the growing number of investments in the colony's mines and rubber, tea and coffee plantations, French Indochina began to industrialise as factories opened in the colony. These new factories produced textiles, cigarettes, beer and cement which were then exported throughout the French Empire.


Infrastructure

image:Long bien bridge.jpg, Paul Doumer Bridge, now Long Biên Bridge. image:Bâtiments 172.jpg, Musée Louis Finot in
Hanoi , population_total = 8,053,663 ( 2nd) , population_as_of = 2019 , population_demonym = Hanoian , population_density_km2 = auto , population_urban = 3,962,310 , population_density_urban_km2 = 14708.8 , popula ...

Hanoi
, built by Ernest Hébrard in 1932, now the National Museum of Vietnamese History When French Indochina was viewed as an economically important colony for France, the French government set a goal to improve the transport and communications networks in the colony. Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon became a principal port in Southeast Asia and rivalled the Singapore in the Straits Settlements, British port of Singapore as the region's busiest commercial centre. By 1937 Saigon was the sixth busiest port in the entire French Empire. In 1936, the North–South Railway (Vietnam), Trans-Indochinois railway linking Hanoi and Saigon opened. Further improvements in the colony's transport infrastructures led to easier travel between France and Indochina. By 1939, it took no more than a month by ship to travel from Marseille to Saigon and around five days by aeroplane from Paris to Saigon. Underwater telegraph cables were installed in 1921. French settlers further added their influence on the colony by constructing buildings in the form of Beaux-Arts architecture, Beaux-Arts and added French-influenced landmarks such as the Hanoi Opera House (modeled on the Palais Garnier), the St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi, Hanoi St. Joseph's Cathedral (resembling the Notre Dame de Paris) and the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica. The French colonists also built a number of cities and towns in Indochina which served various purposes from trading outposts to resort towns. The most notable examples include Sa Pa in northern Vietnam, Da Lat, Đà Lạt in central Vietnam and Pakse in Laos.


Architectural legacy

The governments of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have previously been reluctant to promote their colonial architecture as an asset for tourism; however, in recent times, the new generation of local authorities has somewhat 'embraced' the architecture and advertise it. The heaviest concentration of French-era buildings are in
Hanoi , population_total = 8,053,663 ( 2nd) , population_as_of = 2019 , population_demonym = Hanoian , population_density_km2 = auto , population_urban = 3,962,310 , population_density_urban_km2 = 14708.8 , popula ...

Hanoi
, Da Lat, Đà Lạt, Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City, Huế, and various places in Cambodia and Laos such as
Luang Prabang Luang Phabang, (Lao language, Lao: wikt:ຫລວງພະບາງ, ຫລວງພະບາງ/wikt:ຫຼວງພະບາງ, ຫຼວງພະບາງ) or ''Louangphabang'' (pronounced ), commonly Transliteration, transliterated into We ...

Luang Prabang
, Vientiane, Phnom Penh,
Battambang Battambang ( km, ក្រុងបាត់ដំបង) is the capital of Battambang province Battambang ( km, បាត់ដំបង, , lit. 'Lost Stick') is a provinces of Cambodia, province () of Cambodia in the far northwest of the cou ...

Battambang
, Kampot (city), Kampot, and Kép.Bailey.


See also

* Indies, East Indies * French Union * List of Governors-General of French Indochina * Political administration of French Indochina * List of French possessions and colonies


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * Brocheux, Pierre, and Daniel Hemery. ''Indochina: An Ambiguous Colonization, 1858–1954'' (University of California Press; 2010) 490 pages; a history of French Indochina. * * * * * * * * * * * Harris, Richard. "Indochina and the French" ''History Today'' (Feb 1955) 5#3 pp 84–94. * * * Logevall, Fredrik. ''Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam'' (2014). Pulitzer Prize * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Watson, D. R. (1970) "The French and Indo-China" ''History Today'' (Aug 1970, Vol. 20 Issue 8, pp 534–542; online survey * *


External links

*
The Colonization of Indochina
', from around 1892 *
Indochina
', a tourism book published in 1910 * Pierre Brocheux
Colonial Society (Indochina)
in

* [https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb32697929f/date Annuaire général de l'Indo-Chine française] – BnF {{coord, 21.0333, N, 105.8500, E, source:wikidata, display=title French Indochina, Former countries in Southeast Asia Former colonies in Asia French colonisation in Asia, Indochina Former French colonies, Indochina Former countries in Cambodian history Former countries in Vietnamese history History of Laos 19th century in Vietnam 20th century in Vietnam 19th century in Cambodia 20th century in Cambodia 19th century in Laos 20th century in Laos 1887 establishments in French Indochina, * 1954 disestablishments in French Indochina, * 1887 establishments in Cambodia 1953 disestablishments in Cambodia 1887 establishments in Laos 1954 disestablishments in Laos 1887 establishments in Vietnam 1954 disestablishments in Vietnam 1887 establishments in the French colonial empire 1954 disestablishments in the French colonial empire New Imperialism French colonial empire French Union Second French Empire French Third Republic French Fourth Republic Cambodia–France relations France–Laos relations France–Vietnam relations 1945 disestablishments in French Indochina, * 1945 disestablishments in Cambodia 1945 establishments in Laos 1945 establishments in Vietnam 1945 disestablishments in Vietnam 1945 establishments in the French colonial empire 1945 disestablishments in the French colonial empire States and territories established in 1887 States and territories disestablished in 1954 Former polities of the Cold War