45 Facts About French Indochina


French Indochina, officially known as the Indochinese Union and after 1947 as the Indochinese Federation, was a grouping of French colonial territories in Southeast Asia until its demise in 1954.

FactSnippet No. 999,324

Second French Indochina Empire annexed Cochinchina and established a protectorate in Cambodia in 1862 and 1863 respectively.

FactSnippet No. 999,325

The French Indochina exploited the resources in the region during their rule, but contributed to improvements of the health and education system in the region.

FactSnippet No. 999,326

Ultimately in 1861, the French Indochina brought additional forces to bear in the Saigon campaign, advanced out of the city and began to capture cities in the Mekong Delta.

FactSnippet No. 999,327

French Indochina was formed on 17 October 1887 from Annam, Tonkin, Cochinchina and the Kingdom of Cambodia; Laos was added after the Franco-Siamese War in 1893.

FactSnippet No. 999,328

From 1 January 1898, the French Indochina directly took over the right to collect all taxes in the protectorate of Annam and to allocate salaries to the Emperor of the Nguyen dynasty and its mandarins.

FactSnippet No. 999,329

French Indochina gunboats appeared at Bangkok, and demanded the cession of Lao territories east of the Mekong River.

FactSnippet No. 999,330

French Indochina continued to pressure Siam, and in 1902 they manufactured another crisis.

FactSnippet No. 999,331

The new social circumstances in French Indochina were brought about by the establishment of industrial companies by the French such as the Union commerciale indochinoise, the Est Asiatique francais shipping company, the Chemin de fer francais de l'Indochine et du Yunan railway company, as well as the various coal exploitation companies operating in Tonkin, these modern companies were accompanied by an influx of French tea, coffee, and rubber plantation magnates.

FactSnippet No. 999,332

The French Indochina accused Phan Chau Trinh and Phan Boi Chau of the plot, Phan Chau Trinh was sent to Poulo Condor, and Phan Boi Chau fled to Japan and thence, in the year 1910, he went to China.

FactSnippet No. 999,333

The French Indochina attributed this to them being more stable rulers than the Siamese who had ruled over them for a century before the establishment of the French Indochina protectorate over their country.

FactSnippet No. 999,334

French Indochina contributed significantly to the French war effort in terms of funds, products and human resources.

FactSnippet No. 999,335

However in 1916, the Duy Tan Emperor was accused by the French Indochina of calling for his subjects to resist French Indochina rule and after his deposition he and his father were exiled to the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

FactSnippet No. 999,336

French Indochina invoked a supposed "German connection" between the Vietnamese revolutionaries and the German Empire, alleging that Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Beijing were the sight of German agents hoping to help the Vietnamese revolutionaries as they shared the same goal, namely to defeat the French Indochina.

FactSnippet No. 999,337

The motivations of this revolt are disputed as contemporary French colonial officials attributed it to Chinese opium smugglers, while the Canadian historian Geoffrey C Gunn thinks that it was a political revolt.

FactSnippet No. 999,338

French Indochina centralised all local police forces and developed an intelligence service, these policies would lead to the creation of the Surete generale indochinoise, which sought to monitor and police anti-French activities both inside and outside of French Indochina.

FactSnippet No. 999,339

French security was expanded because of fears of German involvement with their enemies in the Far East, Gaston Ernest Liebert, the French consul in Hong Kong and a major player for the intelligence services coordinated by the political affairs bureau of French Indochina, noted that Vietnamese revolutionaries and Germany both shared the same interest .

FactSnippet No. 999,340

French Indochina was to meet with Ho Chi Minh, who at that time used the name Ly Thuy, one of Ho's many aliases.

FactSnippet No. 999,341

French Indochina's policies benefited collaborators while they were instrumental in repressing dissidents.

FactSnippet No. 999,342

In 1920 the French Indochina established provincial advisory councils in the Kingdom of Laos.

FactSnippet No. 999,343

In March 1925 the French Indochina built a war monument resting on two sculpted Asian elephants to commemorate those that died fighting in World War I in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh, the opening ceremony brought together a crowd which contained "people of all races and all religions".

FactSnippet No. 999,344

In Cochinchina where French Indochina rule had the distinction of being direct and therefore more sensitive to political shifts in Paris, it was punctuated by periods of relative liberalisation.

FactSnippet No. 999,345

The general disorganization of French Indochina, coupled with several natural disasters, caused a dreadful famine in Northern and Central Vietnam.

FactSnippet No. 999,346

French Indochina denounced the Japanese claims to have liberated Vietnam from France with the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere announced by Tojo and mentioned how the Japanese looted shrines, temples, eggs, vegetables, straw, rice, chickens, hogs and cattle for their horses and soldiers and built military stations and airstrips after stealing land and taking boats, vehicles, homes and destroying cotton fields and vegetable fields for peanut and jute cultivation in Annam and Tonkin.

FactSnippet No. 999,347

The Japanese spread false rumours that the French Indochina were massacring Vietnamese at the time to distract the Vietnamese from Japanese atrocities.

FactSnippet No. 999,348

French Indochina commemorated the August revolution against the Japanese, after the Japanese surrendered on 15 August 1945 then the Viet Minh started attacking and slaughtering Japanese and disarming them in a nationwide rebellion on 19 August 1945.

FactSnippet No. 999,349

On 26 September 1945 Ho Chi Minh wrote a letter calling for struggle against the French Indochina mentioning they were returning after they sold out the Vietnamese to the Japanese twice in 4 years.

FactSnippet No. 999,350

French Indochina accused them of changing history in exchange for only a few tens of thousands of dollars, and the Presidium of international Vietnamese studies in Hanoi did not include any Vietnamese women.

FactSnippet No. 999,351

French Indochina 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.

FactSnippet No. 999,352

In 1949, in order to provide a political alternative to Ho Chi Minh, the French Indochina favoured the creation of a unified State of Vietnam, and former Emperor Bao Ðai was put back in power.

FactSnippet No. 999,353

French Indochina efforts were made more difficult due to the limited usefulness of armoured tanks in a jungle environment, lack of strong air forces for air cover and carpet bombing, and use of foreign recruits from other French Indochina colonies .

FactSnippet No. 999,354

In October 1950, the French Indochina army suffered its first major defeat with the battle of Route Coloniale 4.

FactSnippet No. 999,355

Subsequent efforts by the French Indochina military managed to improve their situation only in the short term.

FactSnippet No. 999,356

Provisions included supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of French Indochina, granting it independence from France, declaring the cessation of hostilities and foreign involvement in internal French Indochina affairs, and delineating northern and southern zones into which opposing troops were to withdraw.

FactSnippet No. 999,357

Government of French Indochina was headed by a Governor-General and a number of French residents.

FactSnippet No. 999,358

Principal religion in French Indochina was Buddhism, with Mahayana Buddhism influenced by Confucianism more dominant in Vietnam, while Theravada Buddhism was more widespread in Laos and Cambodia.

FactSnippet No. 999,359

Principal reasons why French settlement did not grow in a manner similar to that in French North Africa were because French Indochina was seen as a rather than a, and because Indochina was distant from France itself.

FactSnippet No. 999,360

French Indochina became widespread among urban and semi-urban populations and became the principal language of the elite and educated.

FactSnippet No. 999,361

Today, French Indochina continues to be taught as a second language in the former colonies and used in some administrative affairs.

FactSnippet No. 999,362

Funding for the colonial government came by means of taxes on locals and the French Indochina government established a near monopoly on the trade of opium, salt and rice alcohol.

FactSnippet No. 999,363

The French Indochina administration established quotas of consumption for each Vietnamese village, thereby compelling villagers to purchase and consume set amounts of these monopolised goods.

FactSnippet No. 999,364

Later the French Indochina would seize all of the German Speidel Company's warehouses and would sell the seized goods at low prices both to Vietnamese consumers and Chinese exporters to try and increase revenue.

FactSnippet No. 999,365

The success of rubber plantations in French Indochina resulted in an increase in investment in the colony by various firms such as Michelin.

FactSnippet No. 999,366

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.

FactSnippet No. 999,367

The French colonists built a number of cities and towns in Indochina which served various purposes from trading outposts to resort towns.

FactSnippet No. 999,368