The Last Gasp of a Dying Empire: Why the French Recolonized Indochina after World War II
Matthew G. Willis
Dr. Thomas Zoumaras, Faculty Mentor
Recent scholarship on the Vietnam War has focused primarily on the conflict in Vietnam after the United States entry or the reasons behind it. However, in order to understand why it is that the United States was drawn into Vietnam, it is imperative to understand why the French attempted to recolonize Vietnam. This paper looks at the reasons for and motivations behind the French recolonization of Vietnam. Using primary sources from the United States State Department and secondary sources of French Indochina and the First Indochina War, it is possible to piece together motivations for French recolonization using logical reasoning and statements made by French policy makers. It can be seen that the primary reasons for French recolonization were to maintain the Great Power status, regain national pride, and to protect the economic investments needed to rebuild the French economy.
Keywords: Vietnam, First Indochina War, France, Imperialism, Great Power Status, National Pride
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: VH 1324