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Vietnam, anti-colonial, nationalist, and communist movements, 1900–1939

Daniel Hémery


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Of all the national and revolutionary movements that emerged between World Wars I and II in the European colonial empires of Asia and Africa, those of Indochina were, aside from those of India, the most precocious, most diversified, most radical, and most dynamic. Vietnam lay at the heart of nationalism in the Indochinese peninsula. In Vietnamese society the nationalist project was elaborated slowly in the image offered by colonial France, itself the product of a powerful nationalism. Two figures came to embody Vietnamese nationalism: Phan Boi Chau (1867–1940) and Phan Chu Trinh (1872–1926). Phan Boi Chau, an intellectual from Nghe An, gathered around him patriotic intellectuals in order to define a new nationalist path. From 1902 he crisscrossed the country from North to South to articulate this new way. In 1905 he went into exile in Japan and led young partisans in activities against the colonial French power. His group established active exchanges with the Japanese Pan-Asiatics, the Chinese Guomindang of Sun Yat-sen, Chinese and Japanese anarchists , and the Chinese constitutionalist movement of Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao. In exile first in Japan, and after his expulsion in 1908, in China, he sought to create a revolutionary organization composed of young men with political and military education in Japan. The organization gained the attention of the educated Vietnamese ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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