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.

The Province of Burma; A Report Prepared on Behalf of the University of Chicago

Alleyne Ireland (1871–1951) was a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in London who, in 1901, was appointed by the University of Chicago to head a commission to study colonial administration in the Far East. Ireland’s first major project, published in 1907, was this exhaustive, two-volume study of Burma, at the time under British rule as a province of the Indian Empire. Volume one contains a general description of Burma, a history of Britain’s acquisition of the colony, and chapters on the people, government, general administration, civil service, police administration, judicial administration, prison administration, and educational system. Volume two is devoted to economic and administrative affairs, including financial administration, the land revenue system, public works, trade and shipping, and the administration of forests, towns, villages, and harbors. Twenty-one appendices provide additional detail, including economic and demographic statistics, the texts of treaties, agreements, and reports, a bibliography, and a glossary of Indian and Burmese words. At the end of volume one is a large foldout map of Burma by Edinburgh mapmakers John Bartholomew & Co.