The Colonization of Indochina


La colonisation de l’Indo-Chine: L’Expérience anglaise (The colonization of Indochina: the English experience) is an 1892 case study of the British colonial experience in Asia and its lessons for France in the administration of French Indochina (present-day Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam). The author, influential French essayist and colonial theorist Joseph Chailley-Bert (1854–1928), was a passionate advocate of reforming France’s colonization practices and governing strategies, which he argued were deficient in both design and execution, and of the need to draw upon the successful experiences of the British and other colonial powers. Part one the book is devoted to the British colony of Hong Kong, with chapters covering the initial penetration and occupation, economic development, and methods of governance and administration. Part two is devoted to the colony of Burma and contains chapters on the same general topics. Chailley-Bert concluded that colonial success was dependent on “good colonists, good laws, and good administrators.” His work proved to have great influence on French colonial policy.

Last updated: September 18, 2015