Indochina, French


Indochina, French
   French indochina, or L'union indochinoise, was the name given in 1887 to the countries of southeast Asia under the French protectorate and colonized by France. They comprised as first the three parts of Vietnam (Cochin China, Annam, and Tonkin) and Cambodia, then Laos after 1893, and the territory of Guangzhouwan after 1900. The expeditions sent to protect Christian missionaries by napoléon III were the origin of these conquests. Tourane (today Danang) was taken in 1858, then Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and all of Cochin China. The protectorate of Cambodia, while disputed by siam (Thailand), was established shortly afterward. France then conquered Tonkin after a conflict with China (1882-85). The government, under the authority of a governor-general, had its headquarters at Hanoi and enforced, in spite of native resistance, an economic exploitation of the region that was typical of the period. Cities were created or modernized, the infrastructure improved, and French culture was imposed or adopted by a segment of the population that saw it as an opportunity for change or personal advancement. France finally left the region after the national wars of the 1950s.
   See also dien bien phu; ho chi minh.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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