The Nationalist Movement in Indo-China
Q.1. Write a note on
(a) What was meant by the ‘civilizing mission’ of the colonisers?
(b) Huynh Phu So.
(a) Unlike other colonisers, the French colonisers did not aim only for economic exploitation of their colonies. The French colonising mission was also driven by the idea of a ‘civilising mission’. Just as the British had done in India, the French claimed that they would introduce modern, civilised life to the Vietnamese.
The French believed that like all other Europeans it was their duty to civilise the colonies even if this meant destruction to local cultures, religion and traditions.
Kipling called it white man’s burden. It was thought that it might be possible only if the advanced countries established their colonies over the backward and uncivilised people.
(b) Huynh Phu So :
After the occupation of Vietnam, the French tried to reshape the social and cultural life of the people. Vietnam’s religious beliefs were a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism, and local practices. Christianity was intolerant of this easy-going attitude of the Vietnamese and viewed the Vietnamese tendency to revere the supernatural as something to be corrected.
However, the religious beliefs among the peasantry were shaped by a variety of syncretic traditions i.e., aiming to bring together different beliefs and practices seeing their essential unity rather than difference.
These traditions combined Buddhism and local beliefs. The policy of the French gave rise to many movements. Some supported the French but others inspired movements against colonial rule.
One such movement was founded by Huynh Phu So. It was Hoa Hao. He performed miracles and helped the poor. His criticism against useless expenditure had a wide appeal. He also opposed the sale of child brides, gambling and the use of alcohol and opium.
The French tried to suppress the movement. He was declared mad and was called the Mad Bonze. They sent him to a mental asylum. But the doctor who had to prove that he was insane became his follower. In 1941, even the French doctors declared that he was sane. The French authorities, however, exiled him to Laos. Many of his followers were sent to concentration camps.
Political parties often drew upon their support but they could neither control nor discipline their followers. Yet the significance of such movement in arousing anti-imperialist sentiments should not be underestimated.
Q.2. Explain the following –
(a) Only one-third of the students in Vietnam would pass the school-leaving examinations.
(b) The French began building canals and draining lands in the Mekong delta.
(c) The government made the Saigon Native Girls School take back the students it had expelled. [CBSE 2014(D)]
Why did a major protest erupt in 1926 in the Saigon Native Girls School in Vietnam ? Explain. [CBSE 2014]
Describe the incident that took place in 1926 in Saigon Native Girls School.
(d) Rats were most common in the modern, newly built areas of Hanoi.
(a) This was largely because of a deliberate policy of failing students, particularly in the final year, so that they could not qualify for the better-paid jobs. Usually, as many as two-thirds of the students were failed, (b) The French began by building canals and draining lands in the Mekong delta to increase cultivation.
The vast system of irrigation works – canals and earthworks – built mainly with forced labour, increased rice production, and allowed the export of rice to the international market. The area under rice cultivation went up from about 274,000 hectares in 1873 to around 1.1 million hectares in around 1900 and about 2.2 million in 1930.
Vietnam exported two- thirds of its rice production and by 1931, had become the third largest exporter of rice in the world.
(b) In 1926, a major protest erupted in the Saigon Native Girls School. A Vietnamese girl sitting in one of the front seats was asked to move to the back of the class, and allow a local French student to occupy the front bench. She refused. The principal, also a colon (French people in the colonies), expelled her.
When angry students protested, they too were expelled, leading to a further spread of open protests. Seeing the situation getting out of control, the government forced the school to take the students back.
(c) The French part of Hanoi was built as a beautiful and clean city with wide avenues and a well-laid-out sewer system, while the ‘native quarter’ was not provided with any modem facilities. The refuge from the old city drained straight but into the river or, during heavy rains or floods, overflowed into the streets.
Thus, what was installed to create a hygienic environment in the French city became the cause of the plague. The large sewers in the modern part of the city, a symbol of modernity, were an ideal and protected breeding ground for the rats.
The sewers also served as a great transport system, allowing the rats to move around the city without any problem. And rats began to enter the well-cared homes of the French through the sewage pipes.
Q.3. Describe the ideas behind the Tonkin Free School. To what extent was it a typical example of colonial ideas in Vietnam ? [CBSE 2009 (F), 2013 (O)]
Ideas behind Tonkin Schools :
- Spread of Western-style Education : These schools were started in 1907 to provide a Western-style education. This education included classes in science, hygiene and French (these classes were held in the evening and had to be paid for separately).
- To consolidate their power : The French were faced with yet another problem in the sphere of education: the elites in Vietnam were powerfully influenced by Chinese culture. To consolidate their power, the French had to counter this Chinese influence. So they systematically dismantled the traditional educational system and established French schools for the Vietnamese.
- Educated labour for administration : The French needed an educated local labour force.
- To demonstrate superiority of French culture : Many scholars believed that by learning the language, the Vietnamese would be introduced to the culture and civilisation of France. This would help create an ‘Asiatic France solidly tied to European France’. The educated people in Vietnam would respect French sentiments and ideals, see the superiority of French culture, and work for the French
It was a typical example of colonial ideas as
- Civilising Mission : Like the British in India, the French claimed that they were bringing modern civilisation to the Vietnamese. They took for granted that Europe had developed the most advanced civilisation. So it became the duty of the Europeans to introduce these modern ideas to the colony even if this meant destroying local cultures, religions and traditions, because these were seen as outdated and prevented modem development.
- Racial Discrimination policy : The French considered themselves as superior race. They started policy of discrimination even in schools also. The front rows in the schools were reserved for the French students only.
- Justification of French rule : School textbooks glorified the French and justified colonial rule. The Vietnamese were represented as primitive and backward, capable of manual labour but not of intellectual reflection; they could work in the
fields but not rule themselves; they were ‘skilled copyists’ but not creative. School children were told that only French rule could ensure peace in Vietnam.
- Use of education to change the values and culture : By introducing French schools the French tried to change the values, norms and perceptions of the people, to make them believe in the superiority of French civilisation and the inferiority of the Vietnamese.
- Failing the Vietnamese in the final year : Only the Vietnamese elite – comprising a small fraction of the population – could enroll in the schools, and only a few among those admitted ultimately passed the schoolleaving examination. This was largely because of a deliberate policy of failing students, particularly in the final year, so that they could not qualify for the better-paid jobs.
Q. 4. What was Phan Chu Trinh’s objective for Vietnam ? How were his ideas different from those of Phan Boi Chau ? [CBSE March 2011]
Both Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chau Trinh were Vietnamese nationalists to the core. Both were absolutely anti-colonialists and worked to free Vietnam from the French domination.
Chau and Trinh, both wanted to modernise Vietnam.
In short, both Chau and Trinh were looking at the same end – a free sovereign modern Vietnam.
However, they differed on the means to pursue the same end. Their views on different issues can be briefly tabulated as follows :
Q. 5. How did the textbooks represent Vietnamese during the period of French colonization? Explain. [CBSE 2014]
- School textbooks glorified the French and justified colonial rule while Vietnamese were represented as primitive and backward.
- They were capable of manual labour but not of intellectual reflection.
- They could work in the fields but not rule themselves.
- They were ‘skilled copyists’ but not creative.
- School children were told that only French rule could ensure peace in Vietnam. Since the establishment of French rule, the Vietnamese peasant no longer lives in constant terror of pirates.
Q.6. To counter the Chinese influence what steps did the French take in the sphere of education? What were the two broad opinions on this question? [CBSE 2012]
(1) To counter Chinese influence, the French took the following steps:
- They dismantled the traditional education system of Vietnam.
- They established French school of Vietnamese.
- They propagated Western culture among Vietnamese youths.
- The few who learnt French and acquired French culture were to be rewarded with French citizenship.
(2) Two broad opinions:
- Some emphasized the need to use the French language as medium of instruction.
- Others were opposed to French being the only medium of instruction. They suggested French to be taught in higher classes and Vietnamese in lower classes.
Q.7. How was the idea of “looking modem” implemented in Tonkin Free School ? Explain. [CBSE 2012]
- Students were suggested to adopt the Western-style of education.
- This education included classes in science, hygiene, and French.
- Traditionally, Vietnamese youths kept long hair. They were asked to cut their hair short.
- These schools encouraged students to wear western clothes to play western games.
- French promoted the youths to study Western customs.
Q.8. How did the long war between the US and Vietnam come to an end ? Describe. [CBSE 2012]
- The US failed to achieve its objective. Vietnam’s resistance could not be crushed.
- It proved costly to the US. There were high casualties on the US side.
- It was the first war shown on television. Battles were shown on the daily news world over.
- People were disillusioned with the US and its policy of war was criticized.
- Widespread questioning of government policy strengthened moves to end the war. Finally, a peace treaty was signed in Paris in January 1974.
Q.9. Explain the reasons for the French Colonisers to scrap the bounty programme for rat hunting in 1902-03. [CBSE 2014]
What was the purpose to start the ‘Rat Hunt’ programme by the French in Vietnam in 1902? How the purpose got defeated?[CBSE 2012]
Describe the ‘Rat Hunt’ activity introduced by the French in Vietnam. [CBSE 2015 (O)]
- The modern part of Hanoi was struck by bubonic plague. To fight the plague, French started Rat Hunt programme in 1902.
- The people were paid for each rat they hunted.
- The purpose of rat hunt was finally defeated.
- The French hired Vietnamese workers to catch the rats and paid them for the same. This proved a failed attempt.
- Vietnamese befooled the government by just showing the tail and allowing the rate to go free.
- They took it as a way to earn a profit. Defeated by the resistance of the weak, the French were forced to scrap the bounty programme.
Multiple Choice Questions
1. Why was the Tonkin Free School started in 1907 in Vietnam? [AI 2012]
(a) To provide modern education.
(b) To provide western-style education.
(c) To provide education to Vietnamese only.
2. Who among the following was the founder of ‘Hoa Hoa Movement in Vietnam’. [AI 2012]
(a) Phan Chu Trinh
(b) Liang Qichao
(c) Phan Boi Chau
(d) Huynh Phu So
3. Which one of the following was NOT an impact of the Great Depression of 1930’s on Vietnam? [Delhi 2011]
(a) Vietnam was occupied by Japan.
(b) The price of rice and rubber fell.
(c) There was an increase in unemployment.
(d) There were rural uprisings.
4. Which one of the following was an impact of the Great Depression of 1930s on Vietnam? [AI 2011]
(a) Japan defeated and occupied Vietnam.
(b) Price of rice and rubber increased.
(c) There was a decrease in unemployment.
(d) There were uprisings in rural areas.
5. Which one of the following statements is not true about the Trung sisters of Vietnam? [AI 2011]
(a) The Trung sisters fought against French domination.
(b) They fought against Chinese domination.
(c) Phan Boi Chau wrote a play on the lives of the Trung sisters.
(d) They chose death over surrender to enemies.
6. Which one of the following is true about Phan Chu Trinh? [Foreign 2011]
(a) He was educated in the Confucian tradition.
(b) He was influenced by Liang Qichao.
(c) He wrote the book, ‘The History of the Loss of Vietnam’.
(d) He wanted Vietnam to be a democratic republic.
7. In which famous battle were the French defeated ?
(a) Dien Bien Phu
(c) Nghe An
(d) Phan Boi
8. Which European country colonised Vietnam?
9. Which society did Phan Boi Chau form?
(a) Hoa Hao
(b) Revolutionary Society
(d) Party of Young Annan
10. In which of the following areas of Vietnam did the French build a canal to increase the cultivation for export?
(a) in Hanoi
(b) in Laos
(c) in the region of Mekong delta
(d) in the region of South Vietnam
11. By whom was the Democratic Republic of Vietnam formed?
(a) Ho Chi Minh
(b) Bao Dai
(c) Phan Boi Chau
(d) Ngo Dinh Diem
12. At which of the following places were the French finally defeated by the Vietnamese in 1954?
(b) Dien Bien Phu
13. By which of the following persons was the Vietnamese Communist Party established in 1930?
(a) Ngo Dinh Diem
(b) Bao Dai
(c) Sun Yat-Sen
(d) Ho Chi Minh
14. What does NLF stand for?
(a) National Liberation Force
(b) National Liberation Front
(c) National Land Force
(d) National Legal Foundation
15. What is referred to as the Ho Chi Minh Trail?
(a) A long road made by Ho Chi Minh.
(b) A road which connected Eastern Vietnam with Western Vietnam.
(c) An immense network of roads made to transport men and material from North to South.
(d) A trail made in Vietnam for rock climbing.
16. In Indo-China who was referred to as ‘Colon’ ?
(a) The Vietnamese who could speak French.
(b) The French citizens living in Vietnam.
(c) Residents of a colony.
(d) Colonised part of Indo-China.
17. Which of the following was the most important cause of colonisation of Vietnamese by the French ?
(a) Need for surplus-labor.
(b) Need for French industrial goods.
(c) Need for land for housing.
(d) Need for constant supply of raw materials.
18. Which of the following best explain civilizing mission?
(a) A belief that the Europeans are the most superior and has a duty to civilize the natives of colonies.
(b) A mission sent from Europe to spread Christianity among the natives.
(c) A mission to destroy culture of the natives.
19. Why did the French followed a deliberate policy of failing the Vietnamese students in the final year ?
(a) So that the Vietnamese could not qualify for better paid jobs.
(b) Because the students were not intelligent enough to pass.
(c) Because the Vietnamese could not grasp the French language well.
20. In 1926 why was there a major protest movement in Saigon Native School?
(a) The girls were ordered to cut their hair short.
(b) Many girls were made to fail in the examination.
(c) A Vietnamese girl sitting in the front was asked to move to the back seat.
(d) The Vietnamese girls were inspired to protest against the school authorities.
21. What kind of party was the party of Young Annan, set up in 1920 ?
(a) A political party
(b) A social activist party
(c) A religious party
(d) A reformist party
22. Which of the following statements best explains syncretic tradition?
(a) An ancient tradition
(b) A modern tradition
(c) A tradition that combines Buddhism with local beliefs
(d) A tradition that reflects only the local beliefs.
23. The Trung sisters were well-known in Vietnamese history because
(a) They were saintly and beautiful.
(b) They ruled Vietnam between BC 39 – BC 43.
(c) They were patriots who fought to save Vietnam from the Chinese attack.
(d) They were well-known poets of ancient Vietnam.
24. Indentured labour referred to
(a) slave labour.
(b) labour of the colonies.
(c) contracted labour of plantations.
(d) bonded labour
25. Which of the following movements started in Vietnam in 1868 against the spread of Christianity by the French?
(a) The Scholars Revolt
(b) The Hoa Hao Movement
(c) Go East Movement
(d) The Liberation Movement
26. By which country was the ‘Domino Effect’ theory advocated?
27. When and where was the Peace Settlement signed to end the conflict between Vietnam and the USA ?
(a) 1970 — in New York
(b) 1972 — in Saigon
(c) 1973 — in Hanoi
(d) 1974 — in Paris
28. Which of the following was the most visible form of French control of Vietnam?
(a) Cultural domination
(b) Military and economic control
(c) Industrial development
(d) Religious domination
29. According to the French the best way to civilize the natives was
(a) to introduce agriculture
(b) to develop industries
(c) to introduce western education among the natives
(d) to introduce religious reforms
30. With what main aim did the French introduce the French language as a medium of instruction?
(a) The educated Vietnamese would be able to handle office work better.
(b) The French believed that educated in French, the Vietnamese would respect French sentiments.
(c) They believed that educated Vietnamese would become French teachers.
(d) None of the above.
31. Why did America decide to intervene in Vietnamese Civil War?
(a) America wanted to occupy Vietnamese territories.
(b) America wanted to check the spread of communism by destroying the communist Vietnamese government.
(c) America wanted to help Ngo Dinh Diem, the autocratic ruler of South Vietnam.
(d) America wanted to control the natural resources of Vietnam.
32. In 1603 why did the rat hunt begin in Vietnam?
(a) the rats spoil food grains.
(b) people were unable to control the breeding of rats.
(c) rats began to enter the homes of well-cared.
(d) the rat carried the germs of bubonic plague.