Tag Archives: France

Vietnam Notebook: The 19th Century – From Gia Long to Paul Doumer

President of France Paul Doumer (1857-1932)

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the French theory of colonial exploitation held that the colonies should enrich the mother country, but all Paul Doumer could do was to bring self-sufficiency. He could raise enough through his taxes to support the cost of the huge bureaucracy and that was about it. The French talked about their civilizing mission, but in fact the result for the peasant was social dislocation and impoverishment. The French did build up the economic infrastructure—railroads, bridges and the like—but by and large it benefited only the wealthy and the French themselves… More>>

The Binh Xuyen: Order and Opium in Saigon

Bảo Đại and his followers on accession

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In 1950 the CIA’s Colonel Lansdale reported that:

“The Binh Xuyen were participating in one of the world’s major arteries of the dope traffic, helping move the prize opium crops out of Laos and South China. The profits were so huge that Bao Dai’s tiny cut was ample to keep him in yachts, villas, and other comforts in France.”More>>