The Thai Nguyen Rebellion

Peter Zinoman

in The Colonial Bastille

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2001 | ISBN: 9780520224124
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925175 | DOI:
The Thai Nguyen Rebellion

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This chapter focuses on the Thai Nguyen rebellion, the largest and most destructive anticolonial uprising in French Indochina. It describes how an eclectic band of political prisoners, common criminals, and mutinous prison guards seized the Thai Nguyen Penitentiary in August 1917. Though the French forces were able to retake the penitentiary after five days of intense fighting, the mopping-up campaigns in the surrounding countryside stretched on for six months and led to hundreds of casualties on both sides. It suggests that the penitentiary provided a discrete site where traditional class and regional divisions might be overcome and new ideas of fraternity and community could develop, flourish, and serve as a powerful foundation for collective resistance to the colonial state.

Keywords: Thai Nguyen rebellion; anticolonial uprising; French Indochina; political prisoners; penitentiary; collective resistance; colonial state

Chapter.  17923 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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