French Colonization In Vietnam

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There 's so much grey to every story - nothing is so black and white. Same is true for French colonization in Vietnam that lasted more than six decades, being a part of so-called Indochina.
The French government created an ideology to justify their expansion in Asia and Africa: “civilizing mission” in order to develop those regions and introduce modern political ideas, social reforms, industrial methods and new technologies. But in fact, the civilizing mission was nothing more than a plausible exuse. Vietnam was seen as an economic exploitation colony, French government was driven by imperialistic demand for resources, cheap labor and raw materials. The development of Vietnam as a nation was scarsely considered, except where it
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Since ancient times there was no individualism in Vietnamese society. After World War I, Vietnam experienced accelerated cultural and social modernization: burgeoning print capitalism, the shift from a character- based writing system to a Romanized alphabet, the implementation of a French educational system in place of the mandarin exam system, and the emergence of women readers.
Besides, colonialism also produced a physical transformation in Vietnamese cities. Traditional local temples, monuments and houses, some of which had stood for a millennium, were declared derelict and destroyed. Buildings of French architecture and style were erected in their place. The Vietnamese names of cities, towns and streets were changed to French names. Significant business tended to be conducted in French, rather than local languages. If not for the climate and people, some parts of Hanoi and Saigon could have been mistaken for parts of Paris, rather than a Southeast Asian capital. However, I had an impression that exactly because of French presence in Vietnam, Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh city) obtained it’s unique eclectic style. In their colonial stay of fewer than 100 years in old Saigon, the French left behind a rich architectural heritage reflecting shifting trends from the Second Empire and Third Republic to, even later, art deco and Le Corbusier. With high ceilings and fans, louvered doors and windows, the colonial buildings were ideally suited to Vietnam’s muggy climate. By the 1930s, the French had developed a unique Indo-Chinese architecture, fusing Western and Asian elements, a style reflected in the Vietnam History Museum and the botanical gardens. They also created broad, tree-lined boulevards and dense, walkable side

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