Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Indochina - Wikisource, the free online library (2023)

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Catholic Encyclopedia
IndochinaVonthomas kennedy


From volume 7 of the work.

Indochina, the easternmost of South Asia's three great peninsulas, is bordered on the north by the Assam Mountains, the Yun-nan Plateau, and the Kwang-si Mountains; to the east with the province of Kwang-si (Canton), the Gulf of Tong-king and the sea of ​​China; to the south with the China Sea, the Gulf of Siam and the Strait of Malacca; to the west it borders the Gulf of Martaban and the Bay of Bengal. This area is politically divided into: Upper and Lower Burma, which belong to Great Britain; the Malay Peninsula, which England shares with Siam; the kingdom of Siam; and French Indochina, which includes the colony of Cochinchina, the vassal kingdoms of Cambodia and Annam, the protectorates of Tong-King and Laos, and, although not a geographical part of Indochina, the territory of Kwang-chau-wan leased in 1898 during ninety-nine years by the Chinese government. The length of the peninsula from the Chinese border to Cape Cambodia is about 1,200 miles; At its widest point between the Gulf of Tong-King and the Bay of Bengal, its width is 1000 microns. Its approximate area is 735,000 square miles, or about a quarter of the area of ​​the United States. The population is estimated at 34,000,000, that is, 40 inhabitants per square mile. This article only makes general reference to the British territories and Siam, for further details the reader is referred to the articles on India and Siam in the Catholic Encyclopedia.


While Indochina exhibits a degree of uniformity in its physical form, in the ethnological relationships of its inhabitants, and, to a lesser extent, in its fauna and flora, it lacks the political unity that characterizes its sister peninsula, Hindustan. Since both this lack of unity and the comparatively desolate state of the Indochinese peninsula are due almost entirely to the nature of the land, any attempt to treat its history intelligently must, of course, be preceded by a clear description of the natural formation of the peninsula. Civilization, peoples and products. In Indochina we have a vast territory almost four times the size of France, blessed with soil capable of producing almost any crop, free from the barren wastes that taint so many countries at the same latitude, and richly watered by innumerable rivers and streams whose mineral the wealth is not much inferior to the agricultural possibilities, endowed by nature with numerous and splendid ports, a natural meeting point for traders between the West and the Far East, in the middle of an ocean of immense islands, many of them unsurpassed in wealth of their soil - and yet, despite all these natural advantages, they exhibit a backwardness which is difficult at first to understand. Although this may be due to some extent to the character of the inhabitants, the reason for Indochina's backwardness compared to Hindustan is, as already mentioned, mainly geographical. Francis Garnier, the famous explorer of the peninsula, compared the territory with the human hand with outstretched fingers. The fingers are used to roughly indicate the course of the five main rivers that originate in the northern highlands of the peninsula: the Song-koi (Red River) that flows through Tong-king, the Me-kong that flows through from Laos and Cambodia. , Me-nam through Siam, and Salwin and Irrawaddy through Burmah. The upper basins of these rivers are effectively separated from each other by high mountain ranges, the geographical continuation of the Great Tibetan Plateau. Descending south, the river valleys widen, the ground sinks rapidly, and consequently the change in climate, soil, animal and plant life is much more abrupt than that caused by a mere change in latitude. Thus, while the mountains between the river basins constituted an effective obstacle to the feeling of national unity among the tribes upstream of the great rivers, the difficulties presented by rapid climate change served as an almost equally effective check on their growth. natural tribal, the ancient times caused by migration along the banks of rivers. In India, on the other hand, where all major rivers except the Indus run parallel to the equator, this natural population increase could take place without requiring entirely new climatic and agricultural conditions.

The most important mountain ranges are the mountains of Assam (the Blue Mountain, 7,100 feet) and the Arakan-Yoma between the Brahmaputra and the Irawadi, the Shañ-Yoma between it and the Salwin, which reaches a height of 10,500 feet; the Tanen-taung-gyi mountains between Me-kong and Salwin (Lai-pang-ngoun in Shan country, 8100 feet). The mountains between the Me-kong and the Song-koi continue south as the Annamite Coast Range between the Me-kong and the sea, turning west as it reaches the south of the peninsula, thus describing a figure that may Compared to a rough S, they have a very important impact on the climate of different countries. Another chain runs parallel to the west coast, with many peaks over 7,000 feet.

Ethnology and history of native peoples

The early periods of Indochina's history are shrouded in obscurity, illuminated only by scattered glimmers of information to be gleaned from a comparative study of its people, languages, civilizations, and customs. Its original inhabitants are now generally accepted to have been savage tribes of Malay origin, probably from the Pacific islands, and are represented today by the numerous savage tribes scattered over the great eastern range from Yun-nan to China Cochin China. They go by different names in different places: Moïs in Annam, Pnongs in Cambodia, Khas in Laos, etc. They probably occupied most of the peninsula at first, but were pushed into the mountains by the invading peoples, where they drove -one miserable day. , although practically independent existence. They are generally small (around 1.5 m), dodicocephalic, with a dark complexion and wavy hair. The differences of type found between them are mainly due to intermarriage with members of the invading races who fled to the mountains to escape war, justice, or creditors. They represent all degrees of civilization, from the near-absolute savagery of the Khas and Souïs on the banks of the Se-bang-hieng on the western slopes of the Annamite Range to the semi-civilization of the Muongs in northeast Tong-King and the Los of the Lang-son river. The Muong may be more closely related to the Lao (see below); Its writing is phonographic and differs from the ideological characters of the Chinese and Annamese, while its language bears more than the usual resemblance to Laotian. The further south you go, the less civilized the hill tribes become, a phenomenon attributed to people's growing fear that their wives will be kidnapped from the plains by kidnapping gangs to be used as slaves in markets in Laos, Siam , and Cambodia. This form of slave hunting is mainly practiced by Lao people. The various tribes of the Annamite Range are called Phou-tays, Souïs, Bahnars, Stiengs, Moïs, Kuoys, Pnongs, etc.: almost all of them are of Malay origin and their language always resembles Laotian.

In a very distant time, two great streams of immigrants arrived in Indochina. The first of these streams consisted of ethnic Aryan tribes who arrived from northern India via Burma and Siam: a Cambodian royal house tradition makes the area around Benares the cradle of the Khmer people. The Aryans drove the natives into the mountains and conquered the districts now known as Laos, Cambodia, Siam, Cochin-China, and central and southern Annam. That all of these areas were once inhabited by the mighty Khmer Empire seems to be evidenced by the many monuments and inscriptions that exist, by the striking similarity between the constitutions of Cambodia and Siam, and by the many similarities between Khmer features, legends, and languages. and Ciampas. It seems impossible to definitively date or order the Aryan and Mongol invasions of Indochina. However, we can reasonably assume that the Khmer preceded the yellow race peoples, unless, in fact, the organization of their empires was much more rapid.

The second early stream of immigration was that of the Mongols from the South China Plateaus. They first settled in Tong-king, then moved further south, occupying northern Annam and founding the Annamite Empire. If local legends are to be believed, these invaders, henceforth referred to as Annamites, mixed freely with the primitive inhabitants and gradually absorbed them. A reference to the Annamites as thedelivery(i.e., the "big toe": the wide separation of the big toe from the others remains a distinctive feature of the Annamites), recorded in Chinese annals from 2357 B.C. BC gives us a faint clue to the great antiquity of the Annamite race, believed by some anthropologists not to have descended from the Chinese but to be contemporary with them. However, according to Annamite legends, its first rulers were descended from Chinese royalty, and the Chinese dynasty ruled Annam until 257 BC. as vassals of the Celestial Empire. From 257 to 110 B.C. The Annamite Empire was ruled by two native dynasties, both feudal lords of China, but in the last year China occupied Annam and from 110 B.C. Until the year 930 AD. C., Annam was administered by Chinese governors, except during the reigns of a few short-lived native dynasties.

We also owe our first documentary information on the Khmer Empire to the Chinese annals. From this we learn that China transformed the Khmer into a vassal state at the beginning of our era, although the complete absence of any mention of Angkor in Chinese records until 1296 suggests that China's suzerainty was perhaps rather obscure in nature. Since its subjugation by China must be taken as the first indication of Khmer decline, our documentary information on the Khmer Empire, scant as it may be, relates only to the period of its decline. What the history of the Khmer civilization looked like remains a mystery, but its glorious remains are testimony enough to the power of the Khmer at the time of their greatness. Only a nation that did not fear invasion could have undertaken public works of this magnitude; A long period of peace was essential for the realization of such monuments and for the development of this high level of civilization, the remains of which indicate a culture without equal in the Far East. The striking resemblance of the carvings and features of the statues to Hindu artwork clearly shows that the artistic greatness of the nation coincided with Aryan rule and that the decline of the Khmer is likely due to the weakening of the Aryan Khmer element in the population, brought about by intermarriage with the surrounding yellow races and the Malays. A second indication of the decline of the Khmer was the founding of the kingdom of the Ciampas in central and southern Annam around the fifth century. It is now indisputable that the Khmer and the Ciampas belonged to the same race, although some hold that the latter belonged to an Indian immigration after that of the Khmers.

Little historical information is available about Indochina for the first nine centuries AD. In the early 10th century, Annamite chiefs revolted, throwing off the Chinese yoke and founding a native dynasty, although China continued to exercise nominal suzerainty over Annam until French intervention in the 19th century. At this point Annamese influence extended only to Tong-king and northern Annam, but thereafter Annam, undeterred by China, directed all his forces against the Ciampas. The fierce resistance to Annamese influence can be gauged by the fact that, despite almost constant warfare, Hue was still the capital of the Ciampese kingdom in the 15th century. Later the Ciampas were forced to relocate to the southern provinces and chose Chaban as their headquarters, but by the end of the 15th century Chaban was also taken over by the Annamites and by the end of the 17th century the kingdom of Ciampas had disappeared. . The fall of the Khmer Empire occurred around the same time. In 1658, the Cambodian king was defeated by the combined Annamites and Ciampas on the northern frontier of Cochinchina and forced to recognize himself as a vassal of Annam. After the outbreak of civil war in his territories, Annam intervened to restore peace in 1675, installing a king in Odong and another in Saigon in the process of pacifying the country. In 1689, Annam took advantage of the new revolution in Cambodia to establish a royal commissioner in the country, who colonized various districts with Annam criminals. The kingdom of Annam now included all areas of the modern countries of Tong-king, Annam, and Cochin-China and was also the supreme commander of Cambodia. South Annam and Cochin China formed a province administered by a governor from the Nguyen family.

The last decades of the 18th century are marked by the great uprising calledTay Shon Tanga Tac(The War of the Great Mountains of the West), which gave its leaders, two brothers of the Nguyen family, Nguyen van Nhac and Nguyen van Hue, the name "Tay-Shons". The uprising was initially a complete success, the last member of the Le royal family being forced to seek refuge in China. Subsequently, Nguyen-an, Hereditary Governor (Chu) of the Southern Province managed to enlist French help, capturing Saigon from the Tay-shons in 1789 and Hue in 1801. In 1802 he entered Ke-so (Hanoi), the capital of the Tong king, and had himself proclaimed emperor. title of Gia-long-a, would make his name famous.

Gia-long was now the undisputed lord of all the territories (except Laos) that make up what is now French Indochina, and he devoted all his energies to organizing the country. To him the peninsula owes the number of its canals and roads, especially the great road that crosses Annam and Tong-king from Saigon and ends via Hue and Hanoi at Lang-song on the Chinese border. Minh-mang (1820-41), Gia-long's successor, was distinguished as much by his hatred of Europeans as his father's by his benevolence toward Europeans. During the reign of Minh-mang (1834), Siam wrested Cambodia from Annam and made it a tributary to the Siamese government by annexing the provinces of Battambang and Siem-reap (see below).Cambodia) in Thai territories. It was the policies pioneered by Minh-mang that eventually led to the French intervention, whose history is so closely tied to that of Christianity that it is best viewed under that heading.

Meanwhile, the center of the Indochina peninsula had been the scene of a third invasion. Whether the Thai or the Shan (both terms meaning "free"), the last of the great invading peoples, originally came from Northeast China or the South China Plateaus is still a matter of debate; They appear for the first time in history at the beginning of our era when they inhabited the upper basin of the Irrawaddy. As with other invasion breeds, our information on the history of the Thai is very scant. After settling in areas now known as Laos and Shan states, they began their southward march towards the end of the sixth century, extending their rule to the Gulf by 1160, the date fixed by an inscription from Siam. They soon divided into two branches: thethailandés-nyai- the current "Great Thaï" or Shans, of which the Laotian are direct descendants - and thethai-us, the “little Thais” or Siamese twins, whose history is discussed in more detail on p.SOY. The Shan were the first to establish a powerful empire. According to their own history, all of the early Thai conquests up to the end of the 13th century can be attributed to the Shan. Later, his power began to wane while that of the Siamese twins increased. Incessant wars with Burma and China in the 14th and 16th centuries led to a sharp reduction in the size of the Shan territories, and by the end of the 17th century Shan power was represented mainly by the kingdom of Laos with Vien-tian as its capital. Weakened by protracted feuds with the hill tribes, the Laotians were unlucky enough to turn to Siam for help. From then on, Siam gradually extended its rule over the Laotian states, and by the mid-18th century, Laos was a Siamese dependency. The Laotians tried to shake off the Siamese yoke in 1767 after the Burmese sacked Ayuthia, but their attempt was unsuccessful. In 1820, the king of Vientian, angered by the ruthless plundering of Siamese officials behind Siam, made a last-ditch effort to break the shackles that bound the nation to him. The Siamese general Praya Mitop (to this day the bogeyman of Laotian children) was immediately sent against Vien-tian, seized and destroyed the city, burning dozens of people alive and, obeying the true Eastern ethic of war , directed every barbarity imaginable. to show people the horror of Siamese wrath. Luang Prabang, the most important Laotian center after Vien-tian, showed more prudence on this occasion and remains the main center of the Laotian nation, albeit subject to the many humiliations that the Orientals repeatedly inflicted on the subject native races. Eastern Laos (see below) became a French protectorate in 1893.

Leaving aside the savage tribes that inhabit the mountainous area, the present racial distribution is as follows: (1) The French colony of Cochinchina, for which only adequate statistics are available, includes in its population 1,968,000 Annamese and 232,000 Cambodians (Khmer). ), 92,000 Chinese, 7,200 European (including about 2,500 French soldiers); (2) in Annam and Tong-king the population is almost entirely Annamite; (3) Cambodia is populated by the descendants of the ancient Khmer and Ciampas, as well as some Annamese and Chinese colonies; (4) The people of Laos (the Loatiners) are probably the purest race of Indochina and the direct descendants of the Thai or Shan nation.


French Indochina, which includes all of the east and much of the northern and southern parts of the peninsula, is bordered to the north and northeast by the Chinese provinces of Yu-nan and Kwang-si; it borders to the east and southeast with the Gulf of Tong-King and the China Sea; to the west by a conventional line between Siam and Cambodia, and then by the right bank of the Me-kong that separates it from Siam and Burma. Its area has been estimated at 262,000 square miles, but this does not include: (a) the provinces of Battambang and Siem-reap, which were returned to Cambodia under the Franco-Siamese treaty of 1907; (b) the neutral zone, 25 kilometers wide (about 15.5 miles) on the right bank of the Mekong, under French control; (c) the new region between the Me-kong and Me-nan basins, estimated to be about 77,000 square miles, recently left to French influence. The Annamite Range stretches from the extreme north, where it branches into numerous jagged, rugged mountain ranges, to Cape St. Jacques in the south. It is covered for the most part by dense forests and towards the center and south it is so close to the sea that sometimes it seems to rise abruptly from the water. This area separates the Mekong River basin from the Tongking and Annam river systems. French Indochina has approximately 1,500 miles of coastline. Beginning in the north, the first 375 miles of coastline are washed by the Gulf of Tong-King. Around 100 miles long, the sea is dotted with islands, including Ka-bao, Kak-ba and the Pirate Islands, long the retreat of Chinese privateers. South of Kak-ba, the coast is flat and marshy and characterized by the numerous estuaries of the Thai-bing, Song-koi, Song-ma and Song-ka rivers, whose alluvial deposits have formed the Tong-King delta as well like the fertile plains of Thanh-hoa and Nghe-an. From Cape Bung-kwiua to Cape St. Jacques, steep headlands, the termination of the smaller mountain ranges branching off the Annamite Range, alternate with low, sandy plains formed by the innumerable short rivers that flow from the mountains to the China Sea. The main ports are the Hue River (in Thuan-an), Turan Bay, Kwi-hnon and Song-kau Ports, Van-fong Bay, Nah-trang Bay, Kam-rang Bay and the bay of Fan-thiet.

From Cape St. Jacques to Ha-tien, the coasts are again low and cut by the many estuaries of the Me-kong, the alluvial deposits to which this fertile part of Indochina owes its existence. From Hatien to the conventional Siamese border, cliffs alternate with sandy plains. The Me-kong, the great river to which much of Indochina owes its fertility and territory, rises in the central Asian highlands and is already a mighty river when it enters the peninsula. Due to its many rapids, the river can only be used for navigation in limited sections below the Khone rapids. Even further ahead there are still smaller rapids, but they do not present an insurmountable traffic obstacle. Navigation is easy from Pnom-pehn, where the river divides into two branches. These branches known to French colonists asIn front of the riverand theriver later- in turn they are subdivided and form the network of streams that are the main means of communication between the various commercial centers of Kochi, China and Cambodia. Reference will be made later to other important flows when dealing with the divided political division.

climatic and hygienic conditions

Although the climate of Indochina in general, like that of other tropical inland countries, is characterized by great heat and humidity, there are great differences in the climatic conditions of the various districts. In Kochi (China), the rainy and dry seasons alternate with extreme regularity and correspond to the monsoon. The northeast monsoon, which blows from October to April, is the dry season, when the thermometer shows values ​​between 78.8° and 80.6° during the day and 68° at night. By mid-April, the monsoon moves southwest, temperatures climb to 98°, and the daily rainy season begins. Cambodia's climate is generally similar to Cochinchina's, except that the heat is much more severe in the north as there is no sea breeze. In Annam, the weather is less regular. The heavy rains do not coincide with the southwest monsoon interrupted by the Annamite Range, but usually fall during the northeast season. In Hue, they start in December and last until September, with temperatures dropping below 60°C and rains so constant and abundant that it is often impossible to leave the house for several days in a row. The other seasons are by no means without rain; However, there is no regularity in the intervals between the showers, which are very strong but last only a few hours. Tong-King has two very clearly defined seasons that correspond to the monsoons: a winter from October to April and a summer during the rest of the year. April and October are themselves transition months and are somewhat similar to our spring and fall. In winter the temperature is comparatively low, the thermometer drops to 42° or 40° and a white frost occurs. At this time of year, the wind blows from the northeast, but when it turns to the south, the thermometer suddenly rises to 10, 12 or even 20 degrees. The weather is very changeable, sometimes bright and clear, sometimes misty and rainy. However, heavy rains are rare and the length of winter allows you to regain strength after the busy summer. From January to April, fine rain falls almost continuously. In the last month, the wind turns to the southeast and the temperature rises to 75°. In July and August, the hottest months, the temperature fluctuates between 80 and 86 °C, although it is not uncommon for the thermometer to rise to 95 °C, 100 °C and even 104 °C, staying that way for several days. In summer, the rains are scarce and are usually very intense, accompanied by violent storms. The heaviest rains fall between May and August, and in the last month 10 cm of precipitation has been recorded in 24 hours.

There are clear differences between the climatic conditions in northern and southern Laos. In general, there are two well-defined seasons: the dry season from October to March, with occasional rains, and the wet season from April to October, when it rains abundantly and almost daily. In the north of Laos, the temperature is relatively low during the first season of December and January, with 43°C (even in the highest districts). In summer, especially April and May, the heat is overwhelming: the temperature often rises to 100° and 104° and there is little difference between daytime and nighttime readings. The climate in southern Laos is much more tolerable and does not display the rapid temperature fluctuations that are common in the north. The northern areas of Indochina, especially Tong-King, are often hit by typhoons, the southern areas are very rare. Two types are distinguished: (1) continental cyclones, which originate in Siberia and eastern China and move towards the sea; (2) Typhoons originating in the Pacific Ocean. Although typhoons are common in both seasons, they are much more violent in winter. When the barometer drops to 28.5°, a typhoon can be predicted with certainty. Despite the tremendous speed of its rotation, the typhoon's progress is comparatively slow, and observatories on China's southern coast generally receive telegraphic warnings in time to allow ships and residents to shield themselves from its approach. The typhoons of 1851 and 1882, when the sea flooded the north coast of Tong-king, are the most violent on record. Father Legrand de la Lyraie reports that in 1851 10,000 people died as a result of encroachment from the sea. In 1882, at high tide, the sea level rose 27 feet above its normal level, and 40,620 bodies were recovered, 205 having disappeared entirely.

The climate in Indochina is very unhealthy for Europeans as they will never get used to it. As a general rule, the mountainous and forested regions are the most unhealthy, a phenomenon that is due in part to the accumulation of animal and vegetable waste in the dense scrub, undisturbed for centuries, and in part to the humidity caused by the night mists and the excessive density of vegetation occurs. Here intermittent fevers (such as the terrible forest fever) and dysentery threaten the residents at any time of the year, sparing neither the settlers nor the natives. A sensible exploitation of the wood, for which adequate means of transport are still lacking, or the deforestation of the vast areas of forest that cover the territory, should have a positive impact on the sanitary conditions of these regions. The low, cultivated levels are the least unhealthy, for here too intermittent fevers are not uncommon, not of the severity seen elsewhere. In no district can the European escape dysentery and anemia, but by avoiding heavy exercise and all excesses, and by protecting himself against the extreme heat of the day and the humidity of the night, he can escape all the most serious bouts of disease. Regular stays in less strict countries to regain your strength are of course essential. The Lake Districts are the most tolerable for Europeans; Regular sea breezes greatly counteract the ill effects of the weather and make sleeping easier. Winters in Tong-king, which require warmer clothing and even artificial heating of houses, allow the settler to regain strength after the harsh summer. However, the hot season is terrible and intermittent fevers, liver diseases and cholera wreak havoc on the French troops. For Europeans, employment in industry or agriculture is always fatal. Thanks to its favorable location along the coast, Annam's summer heat is less extreme and disease is not as common or severe as in Tong-king. Of all the parts of Indochina, the heat of Cochinchina is the hardest test for foreigners as the temperature continues to rise, especially in areas far from the sea. Only the most careful avoidance of the midday heat and every unusual effort can protect the European. He must also take great care to guard against temperature fluctuations, as even the slightest fluctuation at night is often enough to trigger bouts of dysentery that are nearly impossible to cure. Forested and mountainous, Laos is generally very unsanitary, the climate made even more unbearable for foreigners by the difficulties involved in lack of proper or regular communication with Tong-king and Annam.

Government of French Indochina

The authority of the French Republic is represented by the Governor-General, whose powers were defined by a decree of April 21, 1891. Having the exclusive right to correspond with the French government, he is in direct communication and not only in France with ministers in France, but also with the French diplomatic mission in the Far East. He has full control of the land and naval forces in Indochina, and only in the case of an emergency requiring immediate action can a military or naval operation be carried out without his authorization. He is also responsible for the organization and direction of the local police and public services. All or some of his powers may be delegated to the Lieutenant General of Cochinchina or to the Resident Superior of any of the other political departments. In addition to their political and diplomatic relations with the rulers of the vassal territories, Resident Superiors are responsible for local budgets and the general administration of the political departments to which they are assigned. The governor-general is assisted by two councils, thesupreme councilof Indochina and thedefense council. The former include the Governor General (President), the Commanders-in-Chief of the French naval and military forces, the Lieutenant General of Cochinchina, the Resident Superiors of the other divisions, the heads of various councils, and two indigenous members appointed annually by the Governor. General. This council meets every year to consider the general budget of Indochina (including Kwan-chau-won since 1900) and the local budgets for the five sub-areas, to allocate the necessary military and naval funds, and to discuss general matters of public concern. The venue of the meeting is at the discretion of the Governor-General. Hedefense councilThe heads of all major divisions of the land and sea forces participate in the congress, which is also chaired by the governor-general. The main focus of the deliberations is on measures to maintain peace in the territories. Although all royal authority rests with French representatives, certain local powers in matters of purely native interest are exercised by native rulers.

Justice administration

When France took possession of its Indochinese territories, it faced a very serious legal problem. The natives, of course, had to be judged by their own laws, which were not only completely unknown to Europeans, but were either written and untranslated, or customary and unformulated. The appearance of numerous excellent treatises on native law in French made it possible for Europeans to study it. A decree of 25 January 1854 stipulated that, henceforth, the Annamite Law should govern all civil and commercial agreements and disputes between natives and Asiatics in general, while all other cases should be decided under French law. The chief magistrate of the French possessions is theFiscal Generalin Saigon. There is currently a three-chamber Supreme Court of Appeal for Indochina, two in Saigon and one in Hanoi. Three mixed courts were established to decide civil disputes: in Saigon, Hanoi and Haiphong. In Saigon there is a general court of first instance; Trial courts (first class) in Mytho, Vinh-long, Hanoi and Haiphong and (second class) in Bentré, Chaudoc, Travinh, Long-xuyen, Cantho and Pnom-penh. In Cochinchina, French courts have the power to decide even purely indigenous disputes, and here there is no trace of the old indigenous judiciary. Some of the native dishes are mentioned in Annam's treatment.

public education

Despite the growing tendency to centralize all the basic government offices, the organization of public education in the different departments is still entrusted to the five territories.Advice. Here, a brief overview of the education system in Cochin-China can be given where it is only well developed at present. The direction of education in this colony is entrusted to oneDirector, reporting directly to the Lieutenant General. Each town of importance has its owncanton school(primary school) where local children from the age of six learn French and Quoc-Gnu, as well as basic arithmetic. Hedistrict schools(district schools) provide post-secondary education and are run by a European teacher assisted by local teachers. Heprofessional schoolin Saigon aims to produce skilled workers for various trades (e.g. bookbinders, furriers, bodybuilders, etc.), with a dedicated staff of faculty providing practical instruction, while academic instruction is provided by staff from the Collège Chasseloup- Laubat. This last university, together with that of Mytho, is the main educational institution of the peninsula.chinese character schools, in which the ideal Chinese and Annamite characters are taught, are preserved by ancient native scholars in almost all cantons. Other than that, education only in Indochina is free. Following the native custom throughout the Far East, the French do not concern themselves with the education of native women. For the daughters of European or European and local parents, themunicipal institutionwas established, like aKindergarten. The director and staff of these two institutions are appointed by the Mayor of Saigon. In 1809 theFrench school in the Far Eastwas established in Saigon for the study of the history, races, language and religions of Indochina, while in recent years abig schoolit was established as Cholon to provide young Chinese with the education they had previously sought in Japan. The recent organization of aSuperior Council of Indigenous Educationfor Indochina is another example of France's growing desire to respect the ancient civilization of the people while instilling in them a reasonable familiarity with Western lore. The numerous schools of the various orders are continued under the heading "Christianity."

Political divisions in French Indochina

(1) Cochinchina

This term, which previously applied to the areas of the Annamite Empire (Tong-king, Annam and Cochinchina), is now restricted to the French colony in the southeast of the peninsula. Cochin is bordered by Cambodia and Binh-Thuan (Annam) Province to the north and northeast, the China Sea to the east and south, and the Gulf of Siam to the west. Its area is estimated at 23,000 square miles, its population at 2,973,128 inhabitants (1909). For administrative reasons, the colony is divided into 21 coloniesdistricts(districts), consisting of 207cantonsand 2,425 parishes. EachdistrictIt is run by a French civil servant called "der".Administrator of Indian Affairs, and through hiscouncilvoters a special budget, calledregional budget. Cochin China also includes the islands of Poulo Condore, the largest of which serves as a prison for criminals with a sentence of at least ten years. Cochin China is represented in Parliament by one deputy. Cochin-China lies on the route from Europe and India to Japan and China and seems inherently destined to play a leading role in the development of the Far East. Its plains, irrigated by the different branches of the Mekong and innumerable canals and streams (the so-called natural channels that connect them), must be among the most fertile in the world. More than a quarter of the total area is devoted to rice cultivation, of which 2,000,000 tons are produced annually. After rice, the main crops are areca, peanuts, peppers (whose cultivation has increased significantly in recent years), areca nuts, pineapples, blackberries, corn, cotton and indigo. River and sea fishing provide employment for a large number of local inhabitants; more than 75,000 ships are active in this industry. Cochin-China is one of the largest rice-producing countries in the world and its main export is brown rice ($30,000,000 in 1907). The rice is mainly shipped to China, Manila, Japan, France, and other European countries. The other major exports are fish and fish oil ($2,000,000), pepper ($1,385,000), live animals, cotton, gamboge, indigo, hides, silk, and woods (bamboo, ironwood, rattan, tamarind, etc.). There are some important salt mines at Bien-hoa and Chau-doc; Cochin China owes the latter the stones needed for road construction.

Saigon, the former capital of French Indochina, sits on the Saigon River about 60 kilometers from the coast. It has a population of 50,870 inhabitants, of which 5,000 are French. Due to the great depth of the river, ships of greater tonnage can go upstream to the port of Saigon, from which 824 ships of 1,290,430 tons were unloaded in 1907. Under the French, Saigon acquired the appearance of a European city. The streets are wide, well planned and adorned with gardens and monuments. It has a famous collection of Indochinese flora and fauna in its botanical and zoological gardens, while its government palace enjoys architectural fame throughout the Far East. Saigon is one of the seven charter cities in French Indochina. The mayor is elected under a restricted suffrage: hiscouncilIt also includes ten French members and four local councillors. Cholon, the main commercial center (population 163,000), is about four miles southwest of Saigon. It is mainly inhabited by the Chinese, who almost monopolize trade here, as in the entire peninsula. It is the center of the rice trade, here the rice is prepared and packaged. Cholón is connected to the capital by a steam train and a stream. The first leads through the famous "Plains of Tombs", a vast and desolate desert with imposing mausoleums and humble tombs. This is the Annamite Cemetery and the sadness of the scene is enhanced by the treeless and almost green character of the landscape. The Mayor of Cholón, appointed by the Governor General, is assisted by three deputies—one French, one Annamese, one Chinese—and nine councilors, three from each of the representative races. The French are appointed by the Lieutenant General; the Annamites and the Chinese through thenotables(see below, under Annam) among residents. Mytho (226,000), the main city of the city of the same namedistrict, was the former capital of the Annamite province of Dinh-Toung. It is located on the left bank of the northern branch of the Mekong, about 23 miles from the sea and 44 miles from Saigon, to which it is connected by rail and ship.river message service. As the center of a rich rice-growing region, it is an important port of call for merchant ships.

(2) yo

Annam formerly comprised nine of the thirty-one provinces that made up the Annamite Empire. Tong-King consisted of sixteen and Cochin-China of six provinces, today comprising twelve provinces, including Thanh-hoa, Nghe-an and Ha-tinh declared their territory by treaty of June 6, 1884. Its coast extends from Cape Bake in the south to the border of Tong King, about 26 miles northeast of Thanh-hoa, that is, about 810 miles. It is bordered by Tong-King to the north, Laos, from which it is separated by the Annamite Range, and Cochin-China to the west, while the China Sea washes over it to the south and east. Of the innumerable rivers, only the Song-ma and Song-ka are significant, which irrigate the rich alluvial plain of the extreme north of the territory. The mountainous region between Annam and Laos, known as the Mois, Pou-euns and Phou-tays areas, is a direct dependency of Annam. The distance between the sea and the foot of the mountains varies from eighteen to fifty miles. The area of ​​Annam is about 52,000 square miles and the population is 7,096,465 according to a recent estimate (1909). Although increasing attention has been paid to the people outside of Annamite in recent years, even a rough estimate of their numbers is impossible; The area of ​​its territory is approximately 27,000 square miles. Hue (100,000 inhabitants), the capital of Annam, is located on the left bank of the river of the same name. It consists of two distinct parts: the citadel, fortified according to the plans of French engineers and occupied by the French and Annamese governments and French troops, and the districts occupied by the natives. Annam's main ports are Turan, Kwi-nhon and Xuan Day.

Although Annam's soil is extremely fertile and excellent for growing a wide variety of crops, its virtues are marred, on the one hand, by the terrible droughts of the dry season, which, unlike the climate of Cochinchina, also it is their summer: and on the other hand by the devastating floods of the rivers that are born in the mountains and then rush into the sea. Although two crops are planted each year, one in three fails and the rice produced is not enough to meet local needs. To overcome these obstacles to cultivation, appropriate irrigation systems and flood protection must be implemented on a large scale. Tea and coffee, the cultivation of which is a relatively recent experiment by Europeans, are now cultivated on a large scale, and the excellence of the former suggests that Annam will quickly become a serious rival to India and China in the production of these high-quality products. tea. . Other agricultural products include corn, sugar, potatoes, cotton, peanuts, berries,ordinary tick(Castor), Indigo, Coca, Areca, Tobacco and Cinnamon. Apart from agriculture, Annam's main industries are rice threshing and winnowing and oil extraction, cotton husking, and jute, indigo and tobacco manufacturing. Silk is manufactured everywhere, but little emphasis is placed on high-quality production. Of greater importance is the creson, in the manufacture of which the Annamites surpass the Chinese. Both river fishing and sea fishing are of great importance. Dried fish is an important part of the diet here, as in other parts of Indochina. The sugar industry is monopolized by the Chinese. The Kwi-nhon, Phu-yen, Binthuan and Ha-tinh salt mines provide enough surplus over local needs to enable the export of more than one million tons of salt per year. Pure anthracite coal is mined at Nong-son in Turan province; The mine is situated some forty miles from the coast on the bank of a river whose mouth is unfortunately blocked by a barge. There are copper mines at Duc-bo and gold mines at Bong-nieu. The latter have been worked by the locals for centuries and are currently being exploited by a French company. The domestic animals are the buffalo, the ox, the horse and the pig. In the uninhabited areas of the interior there are numerous tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, peacocks and numerous species of reptiles. Game species include teal, snipe, wild goose and quail.

A small space is dedicated to the description of the domestic organization of Annam, which formerly (and still with more or less severe modifications) extended to the Tong king and Cochinchina. The entire constitution is patriarchal, i. h the sovereign, the “Son of Heaven”, the “Infallible”, is also considered the Father and High Priest of the community. The emperor thus enjoys absolute authority, at least in theory; His acts should not be questioned by his subjects any more than the acts of parents by his children. He is supported by aEra-Mateor private council, without whose advice he does not make any important decisions. Apart from this idea of ​​absolute authority, which is more sentimental than effective, there is complete equality among registered citizens; Everyone has the right to public office, and the only social distinctions are the accidental ones derived from wealth or position. Residents are divided into two classes: registered (registered, Dzan-bo) and those not registered (not registered, Dzan-lan). The latter refers to citizens considered too poor to be taxpayers. Only registered citizens enjoy civil rights, and the government only retains their number. This list of taxpayers is the basis of any population estimate, assuming the ratio of taxable to nontaxable citizens is one in fifteen. Only registered citizens can become "notable" (ie hold office). According to the importance of your positionnotablesThey are divided into two classessignificantYirrelevant. Henotables, who are designated by their ancestors for a specific period of time (although this varies from place to place), form theCity hall, in which thesmaller personalitiescan advise, but does not have the right to vote. In addition to his duties as councillor, eachsignificantly notablefulfills a special function in the community. The mayor appointed by theimportant personalitiesHe is the only official whose election must be subject to government approval. He is neither president nor president of the Council, but only his representative. It is his duty to comply with all government orders regarding his community, collect taxes and, as the head of the community police, bring all violators to justice. The constitution of the superior councils corresponds to that of the local councils, and its attributions are strictly defined by law and custom.

In Annam, the legislative and judicial powers are never separated. Every criminal or civil trial begins in the community and is first investigated by the municipal government, which, after hearing the evidence, issues a verdict or, if the matter is serious, refers the case to the sub-community court. prefecture or prefecture. The jurisdiction of each court is carefully defined in the Annamite Law. Very serious matters must be presented to the provincial governor, and any death sentence must be approved by the Emperor before it can be carried out. In civil matters, disputes between members of the same family are usually decided by the head of the family, whose decision is rarely subject to appeal.

There are very few countries where education is more important than Annam, and very few where instruction is less scientific and less practical. Almost every village has its own school and illiteracy is very rare among the locals. Although all state functions are publicly announced, the instruction is limited to the country's history, customs and laws, and the principles of Confucianism. Even among the most learned there is an absolute and general ignorance of our physical, mathematical and natural sciences. Although schooling is not compulsory, few children say goodbye to community schools, which are run by private tutors who rely on parental contributions. After leaving private schools, those who wish to continue their studies attend district schools, whose directors are appointed by the State. state exams (Department) take place regularly and successful students are exempt from any military service.

The Annamite is short in stature, its limbs are short, its body is well built but unattractive, its hair is black and coarse, its mouth is large, its lips are thick, its nose is flat, and its nostrils are dilated. Its skull is short and quite broad, its cheekbones are prominent, its eyes are diamond-shaped, its complexion varies from brown to yellow. In Annam, both men and women wear their hair in a bun, but in Tong-king, women wear their hair in ringlets around their heads. The great stain on the character of the Annamites is an overwhelming tendency to deceit and dishonesty, which Christianity, as hostile French officials testify, has done much to eradicate. Generally sober and industrious, the Annamite is very attached to his family and home, and while he is naturally kind and timid, he occasionally displays a courageous contempt for death. His literature, dedicated to song, poetry, theater and festivals, consists mainly of ballads, dramas, romances and legends -almost all taken from Khmer religious traditions-, as well as innumerable philosophical treatises. Although, in theory, as Buddhists, Annamites should not believe in a god (at least in the Western acceptance of the term) to whom they pray.bee fat(the Supreme Being), the ruler of the world, whose image stands on the altar by the fireplace in almost every home. They are also not without their superstitions, as malicious geniuses rule over even the most educated. In fact, the absolute idea of ​​Buddhist nirvana has no more influence on the popular masses today than Confucianism has on the rich. The true religion of the Annamites is ancestor worship. Each house has its own altar dedicated to the ancestors, before which the head of the family, on certain occasions (for example, at the beginning of the New Year, on the anniversary of the death of his paternal ancestors for four generations), sits. He prostrated all his relatives in their presence and offered wine, rice and aromatic branches on them. These ceremonies are performed in the morning when the manes are due to arrive and again in the afternoon when they leave. On Tet, the beginning of the year, they are held on three consecutive days. In wealthy families a certain part of their property is reserved for the needs of this cult, and the chief concern of the Annamites is to leave a son—since women have no right to officiate—to exercise their subservient honours.

Polygamy is recognized by Annamese law, but only the first wife is married officially and with all the formal rites. If the first wife dies, the husband can take another official wife, even if he still has second-rate wives. After the death of the husband, all family administration falls to the official wife, except for sacrifices made by the eldest son. Even during their marriage, the son rarely left his parents' house; Leaving the house without his father's permission violates both the laws of morality and the laws of the state. It is precisely this principle that marks the marked difference between Annamese and Western legislation. The Annamite lawgiver is not concerned with individuals and their interests; he leaves his defense and protection to the family and the community. The purpose of the Annam laws is to look after the family and society and ensure obedience to paternal and royal authority.

(3) Rey Tong

Tonking is bordered by China to the north and northeast, the Gulf of Tonking to the east, Annam to the south, and Laos to the west. Its area is about 43,600 square miles; The population is estimated at ten to fifteen million. Its surface can be divided into three distinct sections: (1) the flat alluvial plain (the delta) to the south and east, which accounts for about one seventh of the total surface; (2) an intermediate plateau of about 15,000 square miles and (3) the mountainous and mineral region bordering China. The delta, which alone has about 10,000,000 inhabitants, is the great industrial center and bears a striking resemblance to Cochinchina both in the fertility of its soil and in the number of its waterways. The main rivers are the Song-koi (Red River), which rises in Yu-nan, and its two main tributaries, the Song-lo and Song-bo (the Clear and Black rivers). Connected by a variety of channels andstreamsThese provide a simple though slow means of communication between the various commercial centers, but their usefulness is seriously hampered by the vehemence of their currents during the rainy season, and by the bars, ridges, and shoals that impede their course. The conspicuous absence of tall trees in the delta is due to typhoons; The great forests of the interior are practically undeveloped due to the lack of adequate transportation. It is a remarkable fact, for which there seems to be no scientific explanation, that along the Tong-king coast there is only one tide a day for most of the year. It is believed that this is the only part of the world where this phenomenon occurs.

As everywhere in Indochina, rice is the main crop. There are two crops a year, but periodic failures, here as in Annam, contrast unfavorably with the consistency of the crops in Cochinchina. Maize, sugarcane, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, and tea are also extensively cultivated. All European vegetables thrive in the country, and experimental coffee plantations have met with gratifying success. The gardens surrounding the towns are full of banana, orange, papaya, tamarind, cinnamon and pineapple trees. Cotton and mulberry trees are grown everywhere along the river banks, while jute cultivation has increased significantly in recent years. Some of Tong-king's mines are important, although the country's turbulent history has prevented their development. Along the coast there is a large base of excellent quality anthracite which is currently being processed in Hongay and Ke-bao Island. Almost all types of minerals can be found in mountainous regions, but few attempts have been made to exploit them. Lead, silver-plated copper, sulfur, tin, cinnabar, and saltpeter have received attention; However, the gold mines are almost abandoned and work has ceased in the silver and iron mines.

Although Tong-king's rule closely resembles Annam's, there are some distinct differences, all of which tend to magnify France's influence. In Tong-king, the position of France is not limited to the general direction of the central government and public services as in Annam: the 1884 treaty authorizes the appointment along with Annamese officials,residentsin all large centers where their presence should be considered desirable. Although these officials are not involved in the details of local administration, they control the actions of the district mandarins and are thus effectively in charge of the political, judicial, and financial administration of the interior. Hanoi (106,260), the capital of Tong-king, replaced Saigon as the capital of French Indochina on January 1, 1902. It is located on the right bank of the Song-koi, about 130 kilometers from the coast. Founded in the first centuries of our Common Era, until recently it was little more than a group of native peoples. Today, freed from the swamps that disfigured it, it is fast becoming a charming city. Its verdant gardens, lush bushes, and picturesque mix of native and European buildings provide a pleasant setting for the famous Vong Dinh Pagoda. The railway from Hanoi to Haiphong goes over the huge bridge over the Song-koi. Given the extreme turbulence of the river during flood season, this bridge (approximately 1.25 miles long) must be considered a triumph of engineering. Hai Phong, Tong-king's main trading port, lies at the confluence of the Cua-cam and Song-tam-bac rivers, about twenty miles from the coast. Ships with a draft of more than 20 feet can only pass through the barrier at high tide. When Haiphong was ceded to France by Annam in 1874, the city was just a small native market; Today it is a prosperous city with more than 20,000 inhabitants. Hanoi and Haiphong are incorporated cities governed by a mayor and a municipal council. In addition to the mayor, who is appointed by the governor-general, each council consists of fourteen members, ten from French residents and naturalized French citizens and four from notables. In Hanoi, the four native councilors must be Annamites; in Hai Phong there are two Annamese and two Chinese.

(4) Cambodia

Cambodia, the center of the former Khmer Empire, is bordered to the north and northwest by the territories of Siam and Laos; to the east in Annam; to the south in Cochin China; in the southwest in the Gulf of Siam. Celebrating the restoration of the provinces of Battambang and Siem-Reap, which are home to the famous ruins of Angkor, the capital of the Khmer Empire.supreme councilMeeting in Pnom-Penh in December 1907, on this occasion King Sisowath declared the deep gratitude that Cambodia owed to France. Cambodia's area is about 37,500 square miles; The population is estimated at 1,500,000 to 2,500,000. Cambodia's population lives almost exclusively near ports and river banks. The country is covered in vast forests in which Gamboge, Gum Lake and Cinnamon grow and is frequented by elephants, tigers and a myriad of other game species. From the elevated regions of the western territory they pour torrential torrents which, when they reach the plain, become great rivers and soon empty into the sea or the Me-kong. The main agricultural products are rice, cotton, areca nut, indigo, mulberry, cardamom and pepper. In recent years, successful experiments have been carried out on tea and coffee plantations. Fishing is an important industry in the country, not only for the fish that live in the Mekong and along the coasts, but also for the production of mother-of-pearl and seashells. The small port of Ha-tien has become the central market for the mother-of-pearl industry, which is virtually monopolized by the Annamites. Woven by Cambodian women using a method handed down from a bygone civilization, silk fabrics are highly sought after. Cambodia has iron, gold, and sapphire mines that are generally undeveloped. Since it is a maritime country, it has a dynamic trade. It is almost entirely in the hands of the Chinese, who import European goods and export rice, pepper, mother-of-pearl, shells, and silk. Jet is located on Fu-kwok Island; Of these, the natives make lovely gold-mounted jewelry, which is in great demand.

Cambodia is divided into 57 provinces and the administration differs little from that of Tong-king. Pnom-Penh (50,000 inhabitants) on the right bank of the Mekong is the capital of the country and seat of the royal residence. Its mayor is always chosen by the Governor-General from among the high officials of Indochina. The municipal council also includes five French and three Asian (Cambodian, Annamese and Chinese) councillors, all appointed by the resident superior on the mayor's recommendation. Kampot, located off Fu-kwok Island, is a major port of call for coastal traders. Near the north coast of Tonli Sap, amidst dense forests are the ruins of Angkor Thom (Great Angkor), once the capital of the Khmer Empire. Its former extent can be traced from the remains of the fortifications, fifty feet wide and thirty feet high, and the moat, 380 feet wide, surrounding the ruins. There were once four entrances to the city via bridges supported by giant statues. Inside the walls there are still magnificent palaces, bastions, terraces, a magnificent three-storied temple with concentric galleries, on top of which rise forty-two towers (covered with delicate carvings, like the walls, and a central tower 130 feet high). height, towering over the central colonnade.Between these ruins and the lake stands the Temple of Angkor-Wat, perhaps the largest and most magnificent man-made monument in the Far East.It is made of huge blocks of sandstone, many of which weigh more than eight tons and strike assembled with the greatest precision, although no cement was used.The surrounding galleries, the towers, the gigantic and seemingly endless stairways, the square and round pillars are covered with carvings that rival the finest remnants of Hindu art (cf. Clifford, “Further India”, pp. 146-66 It is impossible to pinpoint the date this temple was built, but we can surmise that its construction must have taken place during the golden period of power and civilization khmer. It is also debatable whether the temple was dedicated to the Buddha or whether the shrine in the central tower, adorned with giant statues facing the cardinal directions, contained a giant lingam, but given the numerous lingams that have been found in various parts of Cambodia, Common crawl en The latter is the more likely opinion case.

Although their type has generally been greatly altered by intermarriage with other races, the Cambodian or Khmer still retain Aryan characteristics. Taller than the Annamese or Thai, their eyes are seldom slanted, their noses straight, and although their complexion is now yellow, they keep their agglutinative or polysyllabic language intact in the midst of races that speak isolated or monosyllabic languages. Although they are lazy, addicted to opium and incapable of almost any occupation, apart from their mysterious and glorious past, they exert a great attraction on sociology students for their sweetness and courtesy. Loyalty and her innate pride, which makes her succumb to any misery rather than work for another. They practice a slightly Brahmanical Buddhism. They are very superstitious, believing that the sound of trumpets drives away evil spirits and that a man seen silhouetted in the sky above the horizon in an open field is doomed to an early death. Attached to each pagoda is a college of bigwigs, highly regarded by each class. Bigwigs are easily distinguished from the rest of the population by their shaved heads and yellow tunics; They are forced to be celibate, live in communities and depend for their livelihood on the rice they receive every day cooked in the villages. At certain times they gather the men in the pagoda and read the sacred books, which are written in a language that is often incomprehensible to the readers and the public. In addition to religious books and novels about the Buddha's past lives, the libraries associated with the pagodas contain ancient works dealing with astrology, palmistry, Cambodian vernacular, and Pali, along with works on education and historical treatises, which unfortunately only belong to takes her back to more recent times. The bonzes are also the teachers of Cambodian youth and the only teaching staff in the kingdom, except, of course, for the Catholic orders. The Khmer are monogamous and very attached to their families. Weddings, religious ceremonies, the celebration of the first day of the year, the ceremony of the first haircut, which occupies an important place in social life, are occasions of great joy. Theater is the great national entertainment, from the Royal Theater in Pnom-penh to small traveling shows that take place under palm trees or fruit trees. The roles are played by little girls, around fourteen years old, dressed exactly as seen on the bas-reliefs on the ancient ruins.

(5) Laos

The principalities of the Lao or Lawa nation, at the height of their history, encompassed the entire Mekong Valley from China to Cambodia, the upper Menam Basin, and part of the Salwin Basin. Today its extension is limited to the Me-nam valley (western Laos), under the jurisdiction of Siam, and the Me Kong valley (eastern Laos), under the protection of France, and this article concerns us only. French Laos is bordered on the north by China, on the east by the Tong-king and Annamite Range, on the south by Cambodia, while on the west it is separated from the Siamese and British territories by the Me-kong, except that a narrow strip of land in the right bank of the Mekong and west of Luang Prabang with an average width of about fifty miles belongs to French Laos. Within these limits, Laos has an area of ​​98,000 square miles and a population of perhaps 1,000,000. The entire north of the country is occupied by a high and compact mountain range, between the crests of which the Me-kong has carved a narrow and rocky course. Around 18 degrees north latitude, the basin widens and the river continues its course through mountainous plains, which continue to widen until it reaches the delta. The entire country is covered by a vast forest that covers the slopes of the mountains, crowning their peaks, descending into deep gorges and spreading out across the plains. Almost all species of trees grow in this wonderfully fertile soil. The plains produce teak, benzoin, cinnamon, gamboge, and cardamom, while the higher elevations produce oak, chestnut, elm, and other tree species generally associated with countries in more northerly latitudes.

Laotians have settled in small towns along the banks of the river. Its cabbage, banana and cocoa plantations stand out pleasantly against the shady background of the forest. In these small settlements spared from the forests, rice cultivation is the main activity. Buckwheat, potatoes, peaches, pears, plums and various other fruits are also grown. Tea is produced in significant quantities and as a sign of its unsurpassed quality it can be mentioned that the famous teas reserved for the Emperor of China are cultivated here. Laos has no coastline, but river fishing is important. The Me-kong produces a huge fish that the natives callPla Buche, which when dried is an important part of the local diet. Another industry of Laotians is the raising of cattle and buffaloes for the Cambodian and Siamese markets. There are some important iron ore mines in Laos that are being worked by the local people. The deposits of sapphire, copper and gold are very numerous; Gold can also be found in the beds of various streams. The country has many sulphurous hot springs and several notable salt mines. Numerous concessions have recently been awarded to French mining companies, but progress is currently far behind schedule due to the country's near commercial inaccessibility. Building the long-planned railway to link Laos to the coast would give the country a chance to compete in foreign markets, but before a technically difficult line could be built, a huge one would have to be built. The development of the country will be a financial success. The Laotian government is headed by a French administrator on behalf of the king; Six thirteenths of the administration is run by Cochin China, five thirteenths by Annam-Tong-King and two thirteenths by Cambodia.

Larger than the Annamite, the Laotine is more graceful, though less robust. His forehead is high and narrow, his face is long and oval, his complexion varies from yellow to brown. His eyes are generally slanted, characteristic of so many Far Eastern races, his hair is straight and black, and he rarely wears a mustache or beard. Cheerful and indolent, it limits its efforts to the imperative of the moment, and the fertile and inexhaustible soil of its smiling valleys makes any serious struggle superfluous. The men only work six months a year, preparing the rice fields, fishing, hunting or fishing in the big river.whenThey guide her through the most dangerous rapids with careless skill. The memory of the year is passed in peace in the midst of their families, and all work is henceforth assigned exclusively to the women, without in any way diminishing their unshakable happiness. A word of anger, a quarrel, is unknown in the Lao house; The most serious misfortunes are accepted in the spirit of calm resignation that results equally from the attractive disposition of people and their religious beliefs. In Luang Prabang, the residence of the king and the French administrator, Laotian life can be experienced in the most favorable conditions. Located in the middle of high mountains covered with primitive forests, life in this city is an endless succession of walks, choral entertainment in the cool of the night, dances, theaters, regattas, etc. The old capital, Vien-tien, was destroyed by the Siamese. in 1828, it is already covered with jungle. Apart from its historical associations, today it contains nothing to attract the visitor except the remains of the palace and a pagoda, which are still unparalleled in Laos for the beauty of architecture and originality of decoration. The Catholic Vien-tien is of greatest interest as the scene of the first attempt to preach Christianity in the then Kingdom of Laos. Portuguese Jesuit Giovanni Maria Leria preached the gospel here for five years until he was forced to leave the monastery in December 1647 due to fierce resistance from bigwigs.

In both Laos and Annam, Buddhism can no longer be considered a folk religion, although its teachings are somewhat influenced by folk beliefs. His philosophy is barely understood by a few big shots and educated laymen, and is a mystery to the masses. Today's Laotians are nature lovers and fatalists.Pha ya gnome phi ban, the great boss of thefi-ba(or Geniuses), watches over all beings on this earth and sends his emissaries every day to distribute sickness and health to people in accordance with the ordinances established from eternity. With a strange contempt for the consequences of his fatalism, the Laotian believes that to be the, the proximate cause of all good and evil, are open to prayer. The supposed intervention of these hidden powers is a sufficient explanation for any natural phenomenon. When a native gets sick and conventional medicine fails, thephthey are the cause and only the magician can save the sick. The consulted magician, after certain forbidden prayers, proceeds to bury an egg halfway into a bowl of rice. A few additional kernels are then dropped onto the egg, and the odd or even number remaining in it is conclusive evidence of the presence or absence ofFiin the patient's body. If available, theFihe is asked about his wishes in the same way. Is the sacrifice of a buffalo or a pig what she wants? According to Laotian beliefs, spirits are everywhere and great care must be taken to preserve health and life. HeEnglishstalks the boatmen who do not comply with their prayers and offerings; Hebe the mascotand thephi-locinfest the towns; Hephi-huenOnly the daily offerings of water and rice placed on the small altars built for this purpose near the huts can prevent them from entering the house and seeping into the bodies of the owners. There are certain men in LaosPhi-Pop-of those who are said to communicate with demons and have the miraculous power to make themselves invisible, to introduce evil spirits into people's bodies to consume their vital organs, etc. Once a native is suspected of belonging to this class, he is no longer tolerated in the village, but is banished to one of the many villages which are specially reserved for him.Phi-Popand avoided by all travelers. Although amulets are widespread in Laos. They are rarely used on the body. Selling boar's teeth, deer antlers, and religious verses as amulets is a major requirement for big shots.

(6) Kwang-chua-wan

Under the terms of the Franco-Chinese Agreement of April 10, 1989, China agreed to lease a bay on its southern coast to France and, among other concessions, also granted the latter country permission to build a railway line currently in the planning stages. of construction - from Tong-king to Yun-nan. The group of small islands at the entrance to the bay was ceded to France in August 1899, the total French territory now having an area of ​​approximately 200 square miles and a population of 180,000. The bay is close to the Hai Nan Strait, about 200 miles west-southwest of Hong Kong. It has two narrow and easily defended entrances, is about twenty miles long, and is perfectly sheltered from storms. A large river flows into the bay, and on its banks is the village of Chek-hem, an important commercial center with extensive coastal trade. Imports include cotton, cotton and opium yarn; The main export products are peanuts, mats, sacks and candles. Since ownership of the bay includes control of Lei-chau, Lien-chau, and Ka-chau prefectures, the entire Lei-chau peninsula is under French influence.


There are numerous references to classical Indochina.Criss, that is to say. h The Golden Isle as first appreciated, or the Golden Chersonese, in early Western literature. In the "Antiquities of the Jews", Josephus identifies it with the Ophir from which Solomon drew his supply of gold. Cosmas Indicopleustes, the Alexandrian monk, visited between 530 and 550 and was the first to spread clear ideas about the relative position of this country compared to other countries in the Far East. Much of our earliest information on native customs comes from Blessed Odoric de Pordone, a Franciscan who traveled the Oriente between 1318 and 1330. But it was only after Vasco da Gama's circumnavigation of the Cape of Good Hope in 1497 that the Communication between the West and the Far East became more regular and the work of evangelization could begin in earnest.

The rise of Christianity in Indochina can be accurately dated to the early 16th century, when it was preached by some Portuguese missionaries. The first missions do not seem to have impressed the natives much, perhaps because of the great hatred of Europeans instilled in the Eastern countries by the atrocities of the Portuguese filibusters, but rather because of the arrival of Jesuit missionaries in the first decades. of the 17th century. Christianity of the century immediately began to advance rapidly. In both Cochinchina and Tong-king the Jesuits worked with incredible zeal from 1618 on. Between 1627 and 1630, Fathers Alejandro de Rodas and Antoine Márquez of the French Province converted more than 6,000, including numerous bigwigs who, during the temporary expulsion of the Jesuits, dictated by fear of their miraculous success, kept the faith alive. . The Christian community grew so rapidly that in 1659 the spiritual administration was entrusted to Bishop Tong-king and Cochin-China. Pallu and Monsignor de la Motte-Lambert, first Apostolic Vicar of the Society for Foreign Missions. Under his leadership parishes were founded, seminaries built, and many donations from the Amantes de la Croix (that is, worshipers of the cross) established. Recognizing that friendly relations with a Catholic country must inevitably instill a greater respect for and knowledge of Christianity, Monsignor Pallu's main objective was to establish commercial relations between France and Tong-king. In 1672, he urged the French minister Colbert to establish a French trading post in that country and then asked Louis XIV to use his influence to persuade King Le-hi-tong to allow freedom of Christian worship. Louis sent a letter to the Annamese monarch, accompanied by gifts, in which he made proposals for a trade agreement between the countries, described the beauty and greatness of the Christian faith, and urged the king to protect and embrace it. Although Luis's mission did not result in the lifting of the ban on Catholic worship, he did ensure Christians a few years of relative peace and an end to the many annoyances inflicted on them by greedy and spiteful mandarins. In 1678, the Tong-king Apostolic Vicariate was divided into two vicariates, the Eastern and Western Tong-king Vicariates; The first was entrusted to the Spanish Dominicans, who would later bear the brunt of the terrible persecutions, and the second to the Society for Foreign Missions. Rapidly growing religious influence soon led to renewed persecution, and for more than 100 years the missionaries had to contend with every conceivable obstacle. Repeatedly driven from land, they had scarcely lost sight of the coast when they turned their ships ashore. His relentless and determined zeal during this time does not present any of the surprising situations that frame the story; Only when the day of active persecution later called for martyrs and thousands of Annamites, a race whose name has become synonymous with inconstancy, joyfully gave their lives for faith, do we realize how exceedingly fruitful the struggle had been. ministry of the Annamites to these hidden apostles.

On November 2, 1741, he was born in Béhaine, France, a man who would profoundly influence all of Indochina's subsequent religious and secular history. That was Pierre-Joseph Pigneaux. After the usual preparation for the priesthood, in 1765 he set out for the Far East and there he showed such zeal that in 1771 he was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Kochi (China) and Bishop of Adran. On one of his journeys through his spiritual addictions, he met Nguyen-an, then a fugitive from the rebel Tay-shons. A friendship quickly developed between the bishop and the exiled prince, who had been trying in vain for years to regain the lost kingdom from him. Pigneaux offered to enlist the help of France against the Tay-shons. Nguyen-an accepted the proposal and entrusted his youngest son and the great seal of Cambodia to the bishop as his credentials at the French court. Without delay, Monsignor Pigneaux proceeded to France and, as Plenipotentiary to the Annamite Prince, signed a convention on November 28, 1787, according to which France would help Nguyen-an to recover his throne in exchange for the port of Turan and the city should Poulo-Condore Island, as well as the exclusive privilege of trading with Cochinchina. Secure of French help, the bishop returned to his vicariate, but on arrival he was dismayed to discover that France, probably because of the terrible internal crisis, had completely abandoned its project of helping Nguyen-an. The Monsignor immediately left for Pondicherry. Pigneaux managed to get 20 officers and about 500 men to accompany them. Thanks to this support of force - by no means insignificant compared to the ill-armed and undisciplined Annamite Nguyen - An not only managed to recapture the lost territories from him in Cochinchina, but also became Emperor of Annam.

During the reign of Gia-long (Nguyen-an), Christianity made great strides throughout the Annamite Empire, as if preparing for future trials. In 1819 the Christian community included four bishops, 25 European and 180 native priests, 1,000 catechists, and 1,500 nuns. Gia-long was succeeded by the cruel and prodigal Minh-mang (1820-41), who immediately expressed his fierce hatred of Christianity. After firing M. Chaigneau, the French consul and Gia-long's trusted friend, he launched a campaign to wipe out all traces of Christianity from his empire. First, he issued an order expelling all new missionaries and summoning those already in the country to court, believing that the flock, deprived of shepherds, would disperse. Their goal, however, was immediately frustrated by the zeal of the missionaries, who disobeyed the decree no matter the personal danger, and by the venality of the mandarins, who, provided they had enough bribes, were always ready to close eyes when they had news. they were missionaries arrived at the port. The appearance of the viceroy of Cochin-China, an old soldier from Gia-long, who fearlessly reproached Minh-mang for his persecution of the missionaries to whom his father owed his throne, prevented for a time the emperor from taking more serious measures. but the viceroy's death in 1832 was quickly followed by the edict of January 6, 1833, ordering all Christians to renounce their faith and trample on the crucifix as a sign of the sincerity of their recantation. All churches and religious houses were to be razed and the teachers of Christianity were to be treated with the utmost severity. In 1836 all ports except Turan were closed to Europeans and the priests were sentenced to death. Ships entering the port were subjected to strict controls and all officers were ordered, under threat of severe punishment, to pursue the missionaries, for which special troops were also deployed. A secret clause in the edict ordered the immediate dispatch of all the priests to the capital. These edicts marked the beginning of a persecution that lasted, with brief interruptions, fifty years.

In 1833 Father Gaglin, Pro-Vicar of Cochinchina, was arrested and beheaded. Father Marchand was sentenced to "one hundred wounds" in 1835 and Father Cornay to dismemberment in 1837. The Monsignor expected martyrdom. Boray in 1838, that year Bishop Delgado, then eighty-four years old, died in prison, his curate (81 years old) was executed along with dozens of Dominicans and native Christians. In 1840 Father Delamotte died in prison. Intrepid missionaries traveled from place to place to offer the comfort of religion and teach their spiritual children, and they managed to keep the lamp of faith burning during this terrible time. The fidelity of the natives to their shepherds deserves not a little credit; Regardless of the danger, they housed the forbidden priests and escorted them by hidden routes to their nearest hideout and place of service, and though the prisons were full of Christians, apostates were exceedingly rare. Even the unfortunate Christians who had abandoned their religion under terrible torture almost always took the first opportunity to reconcile with the Church, from which they had strayed only because of their physical weakness.

With Minh-mang's death in 1841, the persecution lessened somewhat. Lacking the energy of his predecessors, the new Emperor Tien-tri (1841-1847) was also disillusioned by English successes in China and the imminent threat that France must intervene if persecution continued. In 1844, Cochinchina was divided into the East and West Cochinchina Vicariates Apostolic, while in 1846 the West and South Tong-King Vicariates Apostolic replaced the former West Tong-King Vicariate. Cambodia and the northern provinces of Cochinchina were combined into new vicariates in 1850. Tu-duc's accession to the throne in 1848 was quickly followed by an edict fixing a price on the heads of the missionaries. In 1851 a second edict was issued, accusing Christians of conspiring against the emperor and ordering European priests to be thrown into the sea or rivers and native priests cut in two. The first result of this bloody edict was the beheading of Fathers Augustin Schoffler (1851) and Bonnard (1852). In 1855 a general ban was issued for Christians; Christian mandarins were ordered to renounce the faith within one month, and all others within six months. A US$480 reward was offered for the imprisonment of any European and a US$160 reward was offered for the imprisonment of any native priest. The persecution was now renewed with increasing ferocity, and finally Napoleon III decided to intervene. However, the ships escorting the French convoys were separated in a storm, deprived of the strength to impress the native potentate, and the embassy was unable to accomplish anything tangible. Before his departure, the French plenipotentiary, M. de Montigny, had the unfortunate idea of ​​threatening Annam with French revenge if the executions of Christians continued. As a result, the Annamese authorities only suspected that the Christians had invited the French to intervene, and henceforth there was both a political and a religious motive for the persecution. On July 20, 1856, Father Tru was beheaded and the general slaughter of Christians began. The Spanish bishop, Monsignor Díaz, was executed in 1857; In January 1858, a village occupied by Christians was burned down and all the inhabitants were killed. In the fall of 1858, spurred on by the massacre of their compatriots, France and Spain took steps to demand reparation for the violence against the Christians of the Annamite Empire (then numbering some 600,000). On August 31, 1858, the joint expedition led by Vice Admiral Rigault de Genouilly and Colonel Lanzanrote captured Turan and resisted all attempts by the Annamites to drive them out. After waiting in vain for reinforcements for several months, Genouilly, finding that disease was decimating his troops, changed tactics, sailing south and capturing Saigon early in 1859, but was again prevented from bringing his advantage home by lack of of adequate forces. Seeing no opportunity for reinforcements as France was fully occupied with the war against Italy, Genouilly only held the fort south of Saigon, sailed back to Turan, and retook possession of the city.

Meanwhile, the persecution raged with constant violence: Bishop Hermosilla and three other Spanish bishops, 28 Dominicans, and thousands of Christians were tortured and executed. Two other European priests who had been imprisoned and tortured were saved from execution only by the peace treaty of June 1862. Perhaps the greatest glory of this sacrificial mission, however, lies in the number of local Christians who joyfully gave their lives. by faith. In just over four years (1957-1962), the list of martyrs included 115 Annamese priests (one third of the native clergy), 100 Annamese nuns, and more than 500 believers. This list of executions only gives a vague impression of the horrors of the time. All the prisons were full of professors of the faith; Eighty monasteries and almost a hundred cities, the centers of the Christian community, were razed to the ground and their inhabitants scattered throughout the country. According to the most conservative estimate, of the 300,000 Christians thus dispersed, some 40,000 died of abuse, starvation and unprecedented misery, while all the belongings of the rest were confiscated.

Far from being the result of a change in Tu-duc's sentiments, the peace of 1862 which ended this terrible period was due solely to his fear that the revolutionary party which had risen up in Tong-king might obtain the support of France. Under this treaty, Annam ceded the southern provinces of Cochin-China (Bien-hoa, Saigon and Mytho) to France, paid compensation of US$4,000,000 to France and Spain, and guaranteed freedom of worship unless coercion was used to to force the natives to become Christians against their will - a strange warning given the "force" that had been employed in previous years. Freed from the prohibition of ostracism and impregnated by the blood of so many martyrs, the missions once again began to bear rich fruits. The bravery shown by the Christians in the face of torture and death had greatly impressed the natives, and when they saw that converts were no longer viewed with marked disapproval by the government, they hastened to educate themselves in the Christian faith. permission. In 1865, 1,365 adults were baptized; In 1869, the number baptized was 4,005. An even greater number of Annamites approached the missionaries and asked that their children be accepted into the Church, although they said they were too old to change their religion. In 1863, Monsignor Miche used his influence with King Norodum of Cambodia to achieve the treaty by which Cambodia was placed under the protection of France.

While the southern Christians thus enjoyed complete freedom from interference, their brethren in other parts of the Annamite empire were not equally favoured. Being remote from the center of French power on the peninsula, they faced much bullying and harassment due to hatred from the Mandarins. Discontent among the pagan natives culminated in the murder of Francis Garnier and four companions by Black Flags on December 21, 1873. Fearing the consequences, the mandarins had already given in to the Monsignor's influence. Puginier and Monsignor Sohier and expressed their willingness to sign an agreement that would guarantee the safety of Christians and foreigners, when a letter was received from M. Philastre, the French inspector of native affairs in Saigon, announcing the suspension of all negotiations ordered until their completion. arrival. . Defying all precepts of precaution and the repeated warnings and pleas of Monsignor Puginier, that official ordered the immediate evacuation of Tong-king, which led France to break faith with the large group of Christians who accepted Garnier's proposals and promised Support France in its efforts to guarantee religious freedom and civil recognition for Christians. Misinterpreting the French departure as a weakness, as Monsignor Puginier had foreseen, the pagans were now ready to vent their hatred towards the Christians. The entire Western Tong-king vicariate was completely destroyed; that of Southern Tong-king was left in ruins. Faced with this system of general slaughter, the missionaries had given the believers permission to take up arms when the persecution came to an abrupt and remarkable end. In Nghe-an (Northern Annam) province, one of the periodic local uprisings with which Annamite history is plagued had reached ominous proportions: the royal forces had been soundly defeated in several reinforcements, much of the country was inside by a short time. the country fell into rebel hands, and it only required the defection of a few high dignitaries, who later wavered in their loyalty, to ensure the complete success of the revolution. In this crisis, the mandarins were quick to call on the Christians, whom they had left to slaughter and plunder only days before, to defend their rightful authority. Reinforced by the Catholics, the regular army defeated the rebels in consecutive skirmishes and quickly restored calm throughout the area. On March 15, 1874, a new treaty was signed between France and Annam, which expressly guaranteed freedom of religion and the safety of missionaries. All ordinances against Christians were repealed; The Annamites were given complete freedom to accept and practice Christianity. Religion should not be an impediment to public employment; all terms and phrases in public codes, etc., objectionable to Catholics should be removed; Priests and bishops were given complete freedom to move around the empire without being subjected to interrogation or espionage; All confiscated property that has not yet been occupied must be returned to its Christian owners.

From 1874 to 1882 the Christians enjoyed a period of relative peace, but in the last year the mandarins began to flout the treaty so roundly that France was again forced to intervene. Failing to reach a satisfactory agreement with the mandarins, Commander Riviére captured the Hanoi Citadel on April 25 and then occupied Nam-dinh, but was killed in a skirmish with the Black Flags on May 19. On May 26, Father Becket and many of his catechists and his flock were beheaded by the Annamites. Tu-duc rejected a proposal in council to order a general massacre of Christians. This was one of the last important acts of the Annamite monarch and contrasted favorably with his general policies during his long reign (1847-1883). Surprised by his inaction, France sent strong reinforcements under General Bouet and General Courbet. The bombardment of Thuan-an and the capture of Hue resulted in the Treaty of August 25, 1883. However, as the Black Banners continued their massacres and looting in Hanoi, Admiral Courbet moved against Son-tai, despite out of desperation to defend, he captured the city on December 17. To avenge his defeats, the Annamite authorities immediately declared a general massacre of Christians. Troops were spread throughout the country to rob, burn, loot, kill and leave no trace of Christianity in the country. The French troops, for their part, achieved victory after victory: Bac-ninh, Kep, Thai-nguyen and Hung-hao were taken one after another, and on June 2, 1884, a treaty was signed granting compensation to the Christians. and a general amnesty. for Christians the promised had supported France. But the ambush of the Annamese and the Chinese against the French at Bac-le (June 24, 1884) clearly showed the confidence that could be placed in the faith of the Annamese. France immediately attacked China, crushing the Chinese fleet, bombarding Fou-chou, and blockading Formosa. This swift action so healthily terrified the Chinese government that they hastened to make peace on June 9, 1885. The Franco-Annamese Treaty of 1884 was ratified on February 23, 1886. Annam became a French protectorate and the influence that China's 400-year rule over its affairs ended.

A detailed description of the sufferings of the missions during the "Great Massacres" cannot be attempted here. The following figures from Piolet (op. cit. infra, II, pp. 470-1) will sufficiently illustrate the cruelty of the massacre and the fierce determination of the Annamese authorities to destroy all traces of the Christian faith. The martyrs in East Cochinchina included 15 priests (7 local), 60 catechists, 270 nuns, 24,000 Christians (out of 41,234); All charitable institutions and ecclesiastical buildings in the mission, including the episcopal curia, churches, presbyteries, two seminaries, a printing press, 17 orphanages, 10 monasteries, and 225 chapels, were destroyed. In southern Cochinchina, in Quang-tri province alone, ten native priests and 8,585 Christians were massacred; the other two provinces produced hundreds of martyrs; Two thirds of the churches, presbyteries, etc. of the mission were looted and burned. In Southern Tong-king Mission, 163 churches were burned; 4,799 Catholics were executed while 1,181 died of hunger and misery. These figures apply only to the year 1885; In 1883/84 eight French missionaries, a native priest, 63 catechists and 400 Christians were massacred at West Tong-king, while only 10,000 Catholics escaped. The carnage even spread to the remote forests of Laos, where seven missionaries, several local priests and thousands of Catholics were killed.

Current state of the Catholic Church in French Indochina

Although only 25 years ago enduring persecution unprecedented since the fiercest days of the Reformation, the Catholic Church in Indochina has never been in as prosperous a state as it is today (1910). Beginning with 5,287 adult conversions in 1887, the annual number has grown rapidly and steadily, now averaging about fifty thousand. It will be instructive to compile here the most recent statistics (early 1909) for the twelve vicariates apostolic, while the reader is cautioned that the vicariates should not be considered conclusive as to the geographic areas to which their names indicate.

(1) West Cochin China: Rev. Msgr. Mossard, titular Bishop of Medea (residence, Saigon); Total population: 1,566,000; Catholics: 63,640; catechumens, 1600; Priests: 134 (58 Europeans); 50 catechists; 2 seminars with 122 students; 72 Brothers of the Christian Schools; nuns (Carmelites, Saint Paul of Chartres, Filles de Marie), 6 houses with 713 sisters; 237 churches and chapels; 122 schools with 7,960 students; 15 orphanages with 1,109 inmates; 15 hospitals; 15 pharmacies;

(2) East Cochin China: Rev. Mgr Grangeon, Titular Bishop of Utina (Residence, Bihn-dihn, Annam); total population: 3,500,000; Catholics: 83,000; catechumens, 10,000; Priests: 101 (64 Europeans); 83 catechists; 2 seminars with 204 students; Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, 1 house with 6 nuns; Lovers of the Croix, 10 houses with (in 1901) 238 religious; 555 churches and chapels; 42 schools with 1889 students; 20 orphanages with 1,567 inmates; 1 hospital; 3 pharmacies;

(3) North Cochin China: Rev. Mgr Allys, Titular Bishop of Phacusa (Residence, Hue, Annam); Population: 2,700,000; Catholics: 58,633; priests, 100 (48 Europeans); 47 catechists; 2 seminars with 123 students; Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, 3 houses with 11 religious; Filles de Marie, 18 houses with 523 religious; Brothers of the Christian Schools, 1 house with 8 religious; 205 churches and chapels; 30 schools with 707 students; 3 orphanages with 478 inmates; 2 hospitals (1 for lepers); 8 pharmacies;

(4) Cambodia: Rev. Msgr. Bouchut, Titular Bishop of Panemotic (Residence, Pnom-penh); Population: 2,300,000; Catholics: 36,107; catechumens, 4,500; priest, 77 (45 Europeans); 95 catechists; 1 seminary with 103 students; Sisters of Providence 168 (37 European); Girls of Marie, 32; 156 churches and chapels; 72 schools with 4,235 students; 6 orphanages with 951 inmates; 7 hospitals; 5 pharmacies;

(5) Laos - formerly part of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam - established May 4, 1899: Vicar, Msgr. Cuaz, Titular Bishop of Hermopolis Minor (residence, Nong-seng); Population: 2,500,000 (about a third on French territory); Catholics: 10,682; catechumens, 1172; 33 priests, 29 of them European; 33 catechists; 1 seminar with 8 students; Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, 2 houses with 8 nuns; Croix lovers, 15; 54 churches and chapels; 35 schools with 797 students; 22 orphanages with 304 inmates;

(6) Maritime Tong King - installed 15 Jan 1901: Rev. Mgr Marcou, Titular Bishop of Lysiade (residence, Phat-siem); Population: 2,000,000; Catholics: 90,000; priest, 88 (33 Europeans); catechists, 172 seminaries 2, with 223 students; Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, 3 houses with 12 religious; Lovers of the Croix, 6 houses with 112 religious; 356 churches and chapels; 453 schools with 10,400 students; 5 orphanages with 1,173 inmates; 8 hospitals (2 for lepers with 324 patients);

(7) King Tong of the South: vicar, Monsignor Pineau, Titular Bishop of Calama (residence, Xa-doai); Population: 2,000,000; Catholics: 132,266; catechumens, 350; Priests: 115 (37 Europeans); 280 catechists; 2 seminars 342 students; Lovers of the Croix, 6 houses with 148 religious; 395 churches and chapels; 182 schools with 5,932 students; 6 orphanages with 1,730 inmates; 12 pharmacies;

(8) Western Tong kings: vicar, Mgr Gendreau, Titular Bishop of Chrysopolis (residence, Hanoi); Population: 2,200,000; Catholics: 140,379; catechumens, 6329; Priests: 134 (42 Europeans); catechists, 380; Seminars 2 with 288 students; Carmelites, 1 house with 17 religious; Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, 1 house with 35 religious; Lovers of the Croix, 16 houses with 330 religious; 502 churches and chapels; 600 schools with 17,480 students; 5 orphanages with 2,436 inmates; 5 hospitals, 2 pharmacies;

(9) Upper Tong King, erected April 15, 1895: Rev., Mgr Ramoud, Titular Bishop of Linoe (Residence, Hang-hoa); Population: 2,000,000; Catholics: 21,130; 47 priests (28 Europeans); 87 catechists; 1 seminar with 64 students; Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, 2 houses with 12 religious; Lovers of the Croix, 4 houses with 106 religious; 117 churches and chapels; 75 schools with 1,599 students; 3 orphanages with 165 inmates; 7 hospitals (3 for lepers); 5 pharmacies;

These nine Apostolic Vicariates were entrusted to the Society for Foreign Missions (Paris). the remaining three are administered by the Dominicans.

(10) Central Tong King: vicar, Monsignor Munagorre y Obyneta, Titular Bishop of Pityus (residence, Bui-chu); Population: 2,000,000; Catholics: 219,650; 114 priests (22 Europeans); 259 catechists; 2 seminars with 150 students; Third Order of Santo Domingo, 16 houses with 427 sisters; Lovers of the Croix, 3 houses with 33 religious; Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, 15; 615 churches and chapels; 679 schools; 5 orphanages with 500 inmates; 7 hospitals (5 for lepers with 500 inmates);

(11) East Tong kings: vicar, Monsignor Arellanos, Titular Bishop of Cocussus (residence, Hai-duong); Population: 2,000,000; Catholics: 54,200; catechumens, 400; 57 priests (17 Europeans); 110 catechists; 2 seminars with 102 students; Third Order of Santo Domingo, 4 houses with 81 religious; Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, 2 houses with 23 religious; 264 churches and chapels; 104 schools; 4 orphanages with 352 inmates; 7 hospitals;

(12) King Tong of the North: vicar, Monsignor Velasco, Titular Bishop of Amorium; Population: 2,500,000; Catholics: 31,016; 40 priests (20 Europeans); 66 catechists; 2 seminars with 46 students; Third Order of Santo Domingo, 2 houses with 45 religious; Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, 3 houses with 12 religious; 162 churches and chapels; 167 schools; 3 orphanages with 43 inmates; 1 hospital

Grand total of the twelve vicariates (an asterisk indicates that the statements are incomplete); Population (estimated) 27,266,000; Catholics: 940,703; catechumens, 24,351*; bishops, 12; Priests, 1,046 (433 Europeans); catechists, 1662; 21 seminaries with 1775 students; 109* convents with 3122* sisters; 3,618 churches and chapels; 80* brothers from Christian schools; 2,561 schools with 50,999* students; 97 orphanages with 10,808 inmates; 70* hospitals; 50* pharmacies.

Formation of native clergy, religious institutions, etc.

Indochina has more native clergy than any other mission country in the world. Their close knowledge of the sentiments and superstitions of their compatriots, whose mentality is so different from that of the Western races, makes them an invaluable service to missions. They gave abundant testimony of the steadfastness of their faith in times of persecution, when their steadfastness rivaled that of their European apostles. 26 of them have already been declared venerable. In accordance with the stipulations of the synod of 1795, each priest chooses from among the leading Catholic families of his district a certain number of the most promising boys: since the choice from among the Christian flock is universally recognized as a great honor for the family, the choice for the priest it is not difficult to recruit a sufficient number of newcomers. Their education usually begins between the ages of ten and twelve; They attend to the priest, study the Chinese characters and learn some basic Latin. At the age of seventeen or eighteen, those who have demonstrated a genuine vocation are sent to the seminary for studies proper to the priesthood; the others remain with the priest until they are twenty or twenty-two years old and are sent to the school of catechists. Every priest is expected to put forward at least one candidate for the priesthood each year, but the Christian spirit of the people is so healthy that the seminaries cannot accommodate all who seek admission. After a course of six or seven years, candidates undergo a rigorous catechetical examination to assess their ability to teach Christian doctrine. If they are successful, they receive a catechist diploma, are assigned to one of the parishes (each must have at least three) and begin their actual apostolate. Under the direction of the priests, they instruct the catechumens, prepare the people to receive the sacraments, minister to the sick, and perform many of the lesser duties of the ministry. After about six years of this valuable training, catechists who have distinguished themselves by exemplary conduct and Christian zeal are sent to the theological seminary, where, after three years of additional training, they are admitted to the priesthood, generally between the ages of thirty. and five forty.

The main religious institute for women in Indochina is the (native) Congregation of the Mistresses of the Croix, which in Cochin China recently changed its bylaws and adopted the title of Filles de Marie. Founded more than two centuries ago, they, like the native priests, demonstrated unwavering faith throughout the persecutions, sheltering refugees, caring for the sick and wounded, bringing food and comfort to captives, and in many cases giving them viaticum. who brought their faith with them wanted to seal with their blood. The aims of the Congregation are personal sanctification, works of charity and the formation of catechumens. Since priests and catechists are often unable to fulfill all the duties of the rapidly expanding missions, they are often called upon to travel to remote villages and teach the truths of Christianity to rude and uneducated newcomers. This apostolate was blessed with marvelous results: for the activity of a single religious (Sister Mieu), Father Gernot, the new apostolic provost in Saigon, declared that he owed 1,200 converts. The command itself was the first justification of femininity in Indochina. Living in the midst of a pagan society that viewed women as creatures of an inferior order and their education as worthless, these sisters exemplified the Catholic ideal of the dignity of women. In Indochina, as in many other countries, Catholicism has the merit of having assumed the task of educating indigenous women, a task in which it is still alone today.

The Brothers of the Christian Schools first appeared in Indochina in 1867, but their numerous and prosperous schools were closed in 1881-1882 by order of the colonial administration, which seldom showed due appreciation for the great civilizing work accomplished by their missions. . Since their withdrawal in 1895, they have played an even greater role in native education and today run many prosperous schools.

The Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres and the Sisters of Providence also provide important services to the missions. In addition to the Saigon military hospital, the former have opened numerous orphanages and hospitals for lepers (for example, in Hue); The latter were entrusted with the main mission schools in many districts, the Holy Childhood Orphanage, and several local hospitals.

It is impossible to do adequate justice to the service rendered throughout the peninsula by the Society for Foreign Missions, the Order of Santo Domingo and, in earlier times, the Society of Jesus in the name of Christianity and civilization. The value of their services to the cause of religion can be judged by the current health and vitality of the Church in Indochina while, as pioneers of civilization, they have labored single-handedly for centuries to improve the lot of the natives, and continue to do so. today he is practically the only civilizing actor in these vast areas. The general respect that the inhabitants have for the Western races was earned by the French missionaries who, abandoned by their compatriots, had to endure torture and death with their flock when all prudence seemed to urge them to flee. The native Christians did not judge France for her past transgressions of the faith, or for her unsympathetic government (see Akhalbert, op. cit., infra, passim), but for her noble sons, who, in the call of duty, sacrificed all with a voluntary assent to French rule. To the missionaries we owe our present knowledge of the languages, the history and the customs of the inhabitants. The ingenious system (quoc-gnu), with which we can represent the anamitic sounds in our letters with the help of certain accents and signs, which we owe to the Jesuits. This system, which spared both Annamites and Westerners the innumerable labor required to master the complicated Annamite ideographic system, is now taught in all Christian and government schools. The Foreign Mission Society was the first to publish dictionaries of the various Indochinese languages ​​and dialects; He has regularly provided interpreters for the French government and has worked hard to command respect for French authority among the locals, services that few impartial scholars of Indochina history would claim have so far been rewarded.

For a comprehensive and scholarly compiled bibliography, see Cordier, Bibliotheca Sinica (Paris, 1904-) or Idem, Bibliotheca Sinica: Essay on a Bibliography of Works Relative to the Indo-Chinese Peninsula in the T'oung P'ao Archives for study. . . de l'Aise Orientale (second series), IV (Leyden, 1903-). For the geography, hydrography, etc., of the Peninsula, see Reclus, New Universal Geography, VIII (Paris, 1883); Pavia, Indochina Pavia Mission, 1879-95. geography and travel (Paris, 1899-1906); de Lanessan, La Colonization française en Indo-Chine (Paris, 1895), which also provides an excellent account of the state of French possessions towards the end of the nineteenth century; Henri d'Orléans, author of Tonkin (Paris, 1894), translation of Pitman, Around Tonkin and Siam (London, 1894); Garnier, Voyage of Discovery in Indochina (2 vols., Paris, 1873). For the history of the aborigines, populations, etc., see Launay, History of Annam (Paris, 1884); Legrande de la Lyraie, Historical Notes on the Annamese Nation (Paris, undated); Truong-vinh-ky, Ancient History Lesson (Saigon, 1875); The Annamites: Religions, Manners, Customs (Paris, 1906), ed. chalamel; Trips of the Jesuit Fathers to Siam (Paris, 1686); Remusat, New Asiatic Mixtures (Paris, 1829); Pallegoix, Description of the Kingdom of Thailand in Siam (Ligny, 1954); a standard work on Siam: Campbell, Noyes on the Antiquities, etc., in the Cambodian Journal of the Royal Geog. Soc., XXX (London, 1860) 182-98; Mouhut, Travels in the Central Part of Indochina (2 vols., London, 1864); Bastion, A visit to the cities in ruins, etc. of Cambodia in the Journal of the Royal Geog. Soc, XXXV, (London, 1865), 74-87; Delaporte, Voyage to Cambodia Khmer Architecture (Paris, 1880); Reinach, Le Laos (Paris, undated); Aymonnier, Trip to Laos (Paris, 1895); Idem, Le Cambodge (3 vols., Paris, 1900-04); Lemire, Le Laos Annamite (Paris, 1894); Tunier, Note on French Laos (Paris, 1900); For information on Annamite law, see Philastre, Le Code Annamite (2 vols., Saigon, 1876). The following works may also be consulted, particularly in relation to the French occupation: De Caillaud, Histoire de l'intervention francaise au Tonkin (Paris, 1880); Barral, French colonization in Tonkin and Annam (Paris, 1899); of Bissachère, present State of Tonkin, Cochinchina, etc. (Paris, 1812); Monnier, The Tour of Asia: Cochinchina, Annam, Tonkin (Paris, 1896); Bonhoure, L'Indo-Chine (Paris, 1900); From Tong-kin and L'Intervention française (Paris, 1897); Lagrillière-Beauclerc, Across Indochina (Paris, 1900); Neton, Indochina and its economic future (Paris, 1903); Cord, On the Colonies of Asia and the Indian Ocean (Paris, 1900); Ajalbert, The destinations of Indochina (Paris, 1909); Madrolle, Indochina (travel guide, Paris, 1902). Much valuable information, especially about ethnography, mother tongues, religions, and customs, has yet to find its way into book form. To do this, consult the archives of the Bulletin des Etudes Indo-Chinoises de Saigon (Saigon); Bulletin of the French School of the Far East (Hanoi); International Journal of Sociology (Paris); Bulletin of the Norman Geographical Society (Rouen); The New Review (Paris); General Directory of Indochina (Paris). For Trade: French Indochina: General Report on Customs Statistics (Annual, Hanoi); Indochina Economic Bulletin. For the Catholic missions and their history, see Le Blant, Les martyrs de Extreme-Orient et les persecutions Antiques (Arras, 1877); Launay, General History of the Society of Foreign Missions (3 vols., Paris, 1804); Ditto, French Indochina at Piolet, French Catholic missions in the 19th century, II (Paris, s.d.), 407 sq. ft.; Lesserteur, The First Native Priests of Tonkin (Lyon, 1883); Faure, Bishop Pigneaux de Béhaine, Bishop of Hadran (Saigon, 1897); Louvet, The Religious Cochinchina (2 vols., Paris, 1885); Dépierre, Situation of Catholicism in Cochinchina at the end of the 19th century (Saigon, 1900); Pallu, History of the Cochinchina Expedition (1861) (Paris, 1864); Diplomatic Documents: Tonkin Affairs (1874-1883) (Paris, 1883); Lesserteur, Paul Bert and the Tonkin Missionaries (Paris, 1888); The Annals of the Propagation of the Faith and of the Missions Catholicæ, passim.


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