The Info List - French Cochinchina

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French Cochinchina
(sometimes spelled Cochin-China) (French: Cochinchine Française, Vietnamese: Nam Kỳ, Hán tự: 南圻), was a colony of French Indochina, encompassing the Cochinchina
region of southern Vietnam. Formally called Cochinchina, it was renamed in 1946 as Autonomous Republic
of Cochinchina, a controversial decision which helped trigger the First Indochina War. In 1948, the autonomous republic, whose legal status had never been formalized, was renamed as the Provisional Government of South Vietnam
(not to be confused with the 1969–1976 Viet Cong government). It was reunited with the rest of Vietnam
in 1949. In Vietnamese, Cochinchina
was called Nam Kỳ (Southern country) although the independentists preferred to use the term Nam Bộ (Southern region).


1 French conquest 2 Administration 3 End 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading

French conquest[edit]

Main article: Cochinchina
Campaign For a series of complex reasons, the French government
French government
of Napoleon III, with the help of Spanish troops arriving from the colonial Philippines in the Spanish East Indies, invaded the southern part of Vietnam, then known in the West as Cochinchina. In September 1858, France
occupied Đà Nẵng (Tourane). On February 18, 1859, they conquered Saigon
and three southern Vietnamese provinces: Biên Hòa, Gia Định and Định Tường; the Vietnamese government was forced to cede those territories to France
in June 1862. The southernmost part of Vietnam, which was until then called Lower Cochinchina
(Basse-Cochinchine) by the French, became a colony known as Cochinchina.[1] Administration[edit] Main article: French Indochina In 1867, the provinces of Châu Đốc, Hà Tiên and Vĩnh Long were added to French-controlled territory. In 1864 all the French territories in southern Vietnam
were declared to be the new French colony of Cochinchina, which would be governed by Admiral Marie Jules Dupré from 1871 to 1874. In 1887, it became part of the Union of French Indochina. Unlike the protectorates of Annam protectorate and Tonkin protectorate, Cochinchina
was ruled directly by the French, both de jure and de facto, and was represented by a deputy in the National assembly. Together with Tonkin, it was one of the economic centers of French Indochina. Fifty-one Vietnamese rebels were executed following the 1916 Cochinchina
uprising. In 1933, the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
were annexed to French Cochinchina. In July 1941, Japanese troops were based in French Cochinchina
(a de facto occupation). After the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, Cochinchina
was returned to French rule. End[edit] Main articles: Japanese coup d'état in French Indochina
French Indochina
and First Indochina War In 1945, Cochinchina
was ruled directly by the Japanese after they had taken over from the French in March. In August, it was briefly incorporated into the Empire of Vietnam. Later that month, the Japanese surrendered to the Việt Minh
Việt Minh
during the August Revolution.[2] On September 2, 1945 Việt Minh
Việt Minh
established Democratic Republic
of Vietnam
with territory of Annam, Tonkin and Cochinchina.[2] The independentists held the general election on January 6, 1946
in order to establish the first National Assembly in Vietnam.[3] The elections were supposedly organized in all areas of Vietnam
including Cochinchina, but the southern colony was by then back under the control of the French. On June 1, 1946, whilst the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
leadership was in France
for negotiations, southern autonomists proclaimed a government of Cochinchina, at the initiative of High Commissioner
High Commissioner
d'Argenlieu and in violation of the March 6 Ho–Sainteny agreement. The colony was proclaimed an "Autonomous Republic" .[4] War between France
and the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
followed (1946–54). Nguyễn Văn Thinh, the first head of its government, died in an apparent suicide in November of the same year. He was succeeded by Lê Văn Hoạch, a member of the caodaist sect. In 1947, Nguyễn Văn Xuân replaced Lê and renamed the "Provisional Government of the Autonomous Republic
of Cochinchina" as the "Provisional Government of South Vietnam", overtly stating his aim to reunite the whole country.[5] The next year, the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam
Provisional Central Government of Vietnam
was proclaimed with the merger of Annam and Tonkin : Xuân became its Prime minister and left office in Cochichina, where he was replaced by Trần Văn Hữu. Xuân and the French had agreed to reunite Vietnam, but Cochinchina
posed a problem because of its ill-defined legal status. The reunification was opposed by the French colonists, who were still influential in the Cochinchinese council, and by Southern Vietnamese autonomists: they delayed the process of reunification by arguing that Cochinchina
was still legally a colony - as its new status as a Republic
had never been ratified by the French National Assembly - and that any territorial change therefore required the approval of the French parliament. Xuân issued a by-law reuniting Cochinchina
with the rest of Vietnam, but it was overruled by the Cochinchinese council.[6] Cochinchina
remained separated from the rest of Vietnam
for over a year, while former Emperor Bảo Đại
Bảo Đại
- whom the French wanted to bring back to power as a political alternative to Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
- refused to return to Vietnam
and take office as head of state until the country was fully reunited. On March 14, 1949, the French National Assembly voted a law permitting the creation of a Territorial Assembly of Cochinchina. This new Cochinchinese parliament was elected on April 10, 1949, with the Vietnamese representatives then becoming a majority. On April 23, the Territorial Assembly approved the merger of the Provisional Government of South Vietnam
with the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam. The decision was in turn approved by the French National Assembly on May 20,[6] and the merger was effective on June 4.[7] The State of Vietnam
could then be proclaimed, with Bảo Đại
Bảo Đại
as head of state.[6] See also[edit]

Protectorate of Annam Protectorate of Tonkin French Indochina List of French possessions and colonies List of administrators of the French colony of Cochinchina State of Vietnam


^ Pierre Brocheux and Daniel Hémery, Indochine : la colonisation ambiguë 1858-1954, La Découverte, 2004, p. 34-35 ^ a b http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5139/ ^ http://www.hcmulaw.edu.vn/hcmulaw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=348:cttctn1946-mmslsctcdcvn&catid=103:ctc20061&Itemid=109 ^ Frederick Logevall Embers of War
Embers of War
Random House 2012 p. 137 ^ Philippe Devillers, Histoire du viêt-nam de 1940 à 1952, Seuil, 1952, pp 418-419 ^ a b c Philippe Franchini, Les Guerres d'Indochine, vol. I, Pygmalion - Gérard Watelet, Paris, 1988, pp. 399-406 ^ Fac-similé JO du 5 juin 1949, French Cochinchina, Legifrance.gouv.fr.

Further reading[edit]

Encyclopedia of Asian History, Volume 4 (Vietnam) 1988. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vietnam
- A Long History by Nguyễn Khắc Viện (1999). Hanoi, Thế Giới Publishers ArtHanoi Vietnamese money in historical context WorldStatesmen- Vietnam

v t e

French Indochina


France–Asia relations French colonial empire France– Vietnam
relations France–Thailand relations France–China relations

Constituent territories

Cochinchina Tonkin Annam Cambodia Laos Guangzhouwan Provisional Central Government of Vietnam State of Vietnam


French assistance to Nguyễn Ánh
French assistance to Nguyễn Ánh
(1777–1820) Lê Văn Khôi revolt
Lê Văn Khôi revolt
(1833–35) Bombardment of Tourane
Bombardment of Tourane
(1847) Siege of Tourane
Siege of Tourane
(1858) Cochinchina
campaign (1858–62) Tonkin Campaign
Tonkin Campaign
(1883–1886) Sino-French War
Sino-French War
(1884–1885) Pacification of Tonkin Franco-Siamese War
Franco-Siamese War
(1893) Holy Man's Rebellion (1901-1936) World War I 1916 Cochinchina
uprising Thái Nguyên uprising War of the Insane Bazin assassination Yên Bái mutiny World War II French–Thai War (1940–1941) Japanese invasion of French Indochina Japanese coup d'état in French Indochina August Revolution Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic
of Vietnam First Indochina War Battle of Dien Bien Phu Partition of Vietnam


Treaty of Versailles (1787) Treaty of Saigon (1862) Treaty of Huế (1863) Second Treaty of Saigon (1874) Treaty of Huế (1883) Geneva Conference (1954)

French personalities

Alexandre de Rhodes Pierre Pigneau de Behaine Jean-Baptiste Chaigneau Jean-Baptiste Cécille Charles de Montigny Charles Rigault de Genouilly Amédée Courbet Henri Rivière Francis Garnier Ernest Doudart de Lagrée Auguste Pavie Albert Sarraut


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Clipperton Island

Overseas territory (French Southern and Antarctic Lands)

Île Amsterdam Île Saint-Paul Crozet Islands Kerguelen Islands Adélie Land

Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean

Bassas da India3 Europa Island3 Glorioso Islands2, 3 Juan de Nova Island3 Tromelin Island4

1 Also known as overseas regions 2 Claimed by Comoros 3 Claimed by Madagascar 4 Cl