Saturday, October 31, 2009

The transfer of western military technology to Vietnam in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: the case of the Nguyen.

Frederic Mantienne
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 10/1/2003

Vietnamese rulers of the Nguyen Dynesty showed considerable interest in foreign military technology. Their adoption and adaptation of this technology constitute an important chapter in the history Vietnam's relations with the West.
The first French military operation against Vietnam can be dated to April 1847, when a naval engagement between Vietnamese vessels and the French navy occurred off the coast of Tourane (Da Nasng). In their reports, French officers mentioned five Vietnamese corvettes of typical European design, as well as traditional war junks. (1) Later, during the colonial conquest between 1858-84, French officers were consistently and greatly impressed by the strength and design of the citadels they had to storm to take different parts of the country. In both cases, specialists in the French navy and army emphasised the excellent Vietnamese adaptations of European techniques to local conditions. This study focuses on Vietnamese mastery of fortifications and naval arts from the late eighteenth through the first half of the nineteenth centuries.
Vietnam in the eighteenth century: the transfer of European military technology
From roughly 1600 onward, what had been the kingdom of Dai Viet was divided into two parts. In the North, usually known to Europeans as Tonkin, the Le Dynasty was on the throne but the real power belonged to a succession of Lords (Chua) from the Trinh family. In the South, the Nguyen Lords governed from what is now Hue; they were nominally under Le suzerainty but enjoyed de facto independence. Their kingdom, called Cochinchina by Westerners, gradually expanded to the bottom of the Mekong Delta. After several decades of sporadic warfare through the first half of the seventeenth century, the two sides reached a truce which lasted until the outbreak of the Tay So'n conflict in 1771. The three Tay So'n brothers, who took the name of their village in the upland region of Binh Dinh province, succeeded in overthrowing both the Nguyen and the Le/Trinh ruling houses but never completely consolidated their power. After three decades of warfare, the Nguyen defeated them and founded an imperial dynasty ruling over a unified Vietnamese kingdom.
Although both the Trinh and Nguyen Lords were anxious to acquire guns of European manufacture during the seventeenth century, technologies related to fortifications and ship building seem to have been of little interest to them. (2) The 'importation' of military technology became particularly important in Vietnam during the Tay Son civil war. After a key Tay Scan victory in 1773, and the subsequent death of almost all princes of the Nguyen family, the last one to resist-Nguyen Anh, the future Emperor Gia Long (r. 1802-20)-was forced to free deep into the Mekong Delta. The young prince became acquainted in 1776 or 1777 with a French missionary, Pierre Pigneaux de Behaine, Bishop of Adran, who was then living in Ha Tien. Nguyen Anh managed several times to raise troops to fight the Tay So'n, but every year between 1775 and 1788, the powerful Tay So'n armies and fleet routed his forces and occupied more of the Delta, driving him back into the marshlands and then off the mainland to the islands in the Gulf of Siam.
The centre of Tay So'n power was located in what had been the central provinces of the Nguyen kingdom; they could therefore rely on the most populous provinces to raise soldiers. Their armies have often been said to number as many as 200,000 men and sometimes more. Nguyen Anh, by contrast, could only rely on the sparse ethnic Vietnamese population in the southern part of the Delta, along with Chinese and Malay settlers in the area. In terms of numbers, these heterogeneous forces were not a real match for the large armies of the Tay So'n, who also had a powerful navy consisting of hundreds of war galleys and smaller boats, strengthened by Chinese pirates manning their junks. The combined operations of Tay So'n naval and land forces led to several severe defeats for Nguyen Anh's forces. They were unable to resist the incursions made every year in the South by the Tay So'n forces to carry off the rice crop, nor could they defend Saigon. Pigneaux convinced the young prince that he would only be able to offset Tay So'n military superiority by using European equipment and tactics. (3)
The turning point coincided with Pigneaux's voyage to Pondicherry and then to France between 1785 and 1789, when he signed a military treaty with the French court on Nguyen Anh's behalf. In the end he was unable to persuade the French court to follow through on the treaty, but he did succeed in raising enough money and arousing sufficient French interest in Nguyen Anh's future to put together several cargoes of arms and ammunition coming from Pondicherry and Mauritius. Several of the vessels stayed in Cochinchina and were chartered by Nguyen Anh with their crews, along with a handful of French officers whom the bishop persuaded to sign up. They were mainly naval officers, but two were army specialists well acquainted with artillery and fortification techniques. It has generally been asserted that up to 400 Frenchmen served in Nguyen Anh's army, but this figure is grossly exaggerated. (4) On the basis of contemporary French sources, we can establish that there were at most less than 100 Frenchmen in Cochinchina before 1792, and only a few remained after that point--probably twelve officers and several soldiers. During the years 1799-1802, when the fiercest fighting took place prior to Nguyen Anh's conquest of Vietnam, only four naval officers were still in Cochinchina. (5) It is therefore impossible to say that they personally altered the course of events. However, they trained Nguyen Anh's army in new technologies and shared combat techniques which allowed his soldiers and seamen to balance the superiority of the Tay So'n's armies.
The European technologies used in fortifications and shipbuilding during the final decades of the eighteenth century lasted for a long period in Vietnamese history. They were still developed and improved during the reigns of Gia Long, Minh Mang (1820-40) and Thieu Tri(1841-7). This article will therefore mainly concentrate on these three rulers.
The art of defence works is very old in Vietnam. The oldest large fortification is the capital of King An-Du'o'ng in Co-Loa, 15 km outside Hanoi. Dating from the third century BCE, this fortress includes three different lines of curvilinear form, the first and largest measuring 3 km by 2 km. The second one is 6.5 km long and the third one 1.6 km long, surrounding the citadel and the palace. The walls, some 10-12 metres high, are made of earth and are still visible. It should be noted that the plan of this citadel is adapted from a Chinese model, especially the rectangular form of the innermost ramparts.
At the end of the fourteenth century, Ho Quy Ly, a usurper who would later be captured by the Chinese, erected a fortress in Thanh Hoa province. This fortress was square, 500 m by 500 m, made of earth faced with stones. Some of these stones, measuring 7 m in length and 1.5 m in height, weighed 16 tons. in the fifteenth century, different fortresses were built by order of King Le Thanh Ton (r. 1459-97): in Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Dong Hoi and the Porte d'Annam. Some fortifications (Hanoi and Thanh Hoa) were built on the Chinese square model, while those located in mountainous areas were built in the shape of the mountains, similar to the Great Wall in China. (6) During the 1600s, the Nguyen Lords built a complex system of defence works on their northern border in order to repel the expeditions of their enemies from Tonkin. This system included several walls (those of Tru'o'ng Du'c and Dong Ho'i), some 10 km long, with a fortress at Dinh Moi where the headquarters, granaries and provincial administration of Quang Binh were located. The Dong Ho'i wall marked the border between the two Vietnamese kingdoms. This fortified border, similar to the Great Wall or the various fortified walls (limes) established by the Romans at the borders of their empire, was very effective. Several major attacks by the Trinh forces were repelled by the Nguyen armies during the seventeenth century, resulting in a stalemate between the two 'kingdoms' that lasted one hundred years. (7)
The art of fortifications, then, was known to the Vietnamese people, mainly based on the Chinese standard, the square or rectangular shape. After warfare between Tonkin and Cochinchina effectively ended in 1672, there is little evidence of any new military building. During the eighteenth century, however, the Tay So'n war triggered a revival in the importance of fortifications in Vietnam, as there were many sieges and new fortresses were built on both sides. The Tay So'n fortified their capital Cha Ban, near Thi Nai (also an important military port, north of Qui Nho'n) with walls around the city and a citadel which would witness several sieges. We can only suppose that these fortifications were made of earth walls topped by bamboo, using older Chain walls made of brick.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Anh developed Saigon into his capital; the city and surrounding area were known as Gia Dinh. From this base he resisted the Tay Scan and eventually began his reconquest of the entire country. It took him many years to reach that point, however. As noted, every spring the Tay Scan sent large armies and fleets to secure the rice harvest in the Gia Dinh area. Nguyen Anh's meagre forces were routed repeatedly, and the prince was compelled to leave the city and, indeed, the country for a period of exile. He subsequently made his way back, and in July 1789 the Bishop of Adran returned to Saigon from France via Pondicherry. One of Nguyen Anh's first moves was to take advantage of the military knowledge of the French officers by asking them to draw up plans for, and supervise the construction of, a modern citadel of European design for Saigon. The plan was made by Theodore Lebrun and Victor Olivier de Puymanel; 30,000 people were mobilised to build the citadel. The inhabitants of Saigon and their mandarins were heavily taxed for the work, and the workers were pressed so hard that a revolt broke out. (8)
The citadel was built of stone; the perimeter measured 4,176 metres. Although built on a typical Vauban model, the Saigon citadel has nonetheless often been described as being 'Chinese' in style, designed as an eight-diagram city, in the octagonal form of a lotus flower, with eight gates. (9) (Sebastien Le Prestre [1633-1707], Lord of Vauban and Marshal of France, organised the defence of France's borders by building or reshaping more than 300 citadels and fortified cities. His Treatise on the attack and defence of citadels was published posthumously in 1737, and his ideas on fortifications were followed in Europe for more than a century. Forts built according to his designs could be found in colonial cities such as Pondicherry, Madras and Calcutta.)
This contradictory point can be studied more in detail, since it will help to emphasise some characteristics of the citadel built in Saigon in 1790. Contemporary Vietnamese sources concerning the activities of European mercenaries who assisted Nguyen Anh are rather scarce, and the citadel suffered from the same silence. The Hoang Viet nhat thong du' dia chi, a gazetteer compiled in 1806 by Le Quang Dinh by order of Gia Long, does not mention anything about the citadel. Gia Dinh thanh thong chi, a description of Gia Dinh written during Minh Mang's reign by Trinh Hoai Du'c, seems to have carefully omitted any reference to foreigners or their achievements. Dai Nam liet truyen, a compendium of Nguyen biographies also written under Minh Mang, has less than two pages dedicated to the Bishop of Adran and the officers who followed him to Cochinchina, but still nothing regarding the citadel. (10) The only mention of the citadel built in 1790 is found in the Dai Nam nhat thong chi, a complete geography of Vietnam; it has been used as a reference to describe the design of the first citadel-octagonal, lotus-shaped with eight gates-and to conclude that the design was 'Chinese'. This book was written during the reign of Tu Du'c (1848-83), however, a long time after the destruction of the citadel. The details as to the citadel's design seem to be more poetic or rhetorical than based on reality. (11) Fortunately, we can refer to contemporary accounts. First, there are two contemporary maps of Saigon, done in 1799 and 1815 respectively, with a very clear view of the citadel. On both maps the citadel clearly appears as built on a square plan, with four main towers at angles, and six outer half-towers and their horn-works and mounds, in the Vauban style. It is impossible to see any octagonal design in this. (12)
Moreover, foreign visitors who visited the first citadel in the early 1820s had no doubt about its design. John Crawfurd wrote that 'the citadel of Saigon, or rather of Pingeh, is, in form, a parallelogram ... I conjecture, from appearance, that the longest side of the square may be about three-quarters of a mile in length'. George Finlayson described the structure as 'of square form, and each side is about half a mile in extent'. (13) A third traveller, John White, saw only four of the eight gates, but Crawfurd is more explicit on this point: 'With the exception of the four principal gateways... the gates consist of four large and as many small ones.' (14) The four small gates observed by Crawfurd conform to the principles of Vauban: sometimes opening directly into the ditches, they were intended for the garrison to sally out quickly and attack the besieging forces. This explanation in terms of eight gates seems more reasonable, particularly when one considers that the plan was not octagonal.
As to the issue of whether this citadel was of 'Chinese' design, we will again refer to the two maps, which clearly show a perfect 'Vauban', and to the testimonies of the three visitors. According to Crawfurd, 'the original plan appears to have been European, but left incomplete. It has a regular glacis, an esplanade, a dry ditch of considerable breadth, and regular ramparts and bastion ... The interior is neatly laid out and clean, and presents an appearance of European order and arrangement.' Finlayson described it as 'a fortress which has been constructed of late years, on the principles of European fortification. It is furnished with a regular glacis, wet ditch, and a high rampart, and commands the surrounding country.' (15) To complete these elements on the European design of the first citadel of Saigon built by Nguyen Anh, one can refer to Louis Malleret's study of its foundations, which were discovered in the 1920s. (16)
Can we say that the citadel was of 'Chinese style' because of its square design? It must be emphasised that the French engineers, Lebrun et Olivier, did not choose the site, since they used the compound of an older citadel. Even so, this location was perfect for building a citadel, whatever the style: an elevation close to the river, with three sides bordered by natural water (Saigon River, Arroyo Chinois and Arroyo de l'Avalanche). (It must be pointed out that the site of the citadel fitted perfectly the requirements of geomancy, with its north-west/south-east orientation-clearly indicated by the compass rose on the 1815 map-and the three courses of water providing the vital energy, together with a strong natural defence.) The square structure appears to be the most suitable for the natural conditions of the site, whatever the Chinese tradition. A perfect example--still--standing--of a square Vauban citadel similar to Saigon is the citadel built on the island of Re, near La Rochelle on the French coast.
Actually the only clear evidence of 'Chinese' design was the decoration of the gates, which Finlayson described as 'handsome and ornamented in the Chinese style'. Crawfurd noted that 'the large gateways are built of stone and lime, and are very substantially constructed, although a Chinese tower with a double-canopied roof gives them a grotesque and unmilitary appearance'. White remarked too that the gates were reinforced by iron structure as in Europe. (17)
The Saigon citadel was called upon to demonstrate its strength only once, and that was not against the Tay So'n. In 1832, a revolt under the leadership of Le Van Khoi broke out in the South against Minh Mang, and the insurgents were eventually besieged in the citadel by the imperial army. The siege lasted for two years (1834-5), and many assaults were successfully repelled before the citadel fell. It should also be noted that the imperial army used tactics recommended by Vauban to conduct such a siege, opening trenches to approach the walls. (18)
Let us now return to the Tay Son conflict. The citadel of Saigon was of vital importance for Nguyen ,Anh; once it was completed, he obtained a real stronghold in the South, and from that time onward, the Tay So'n never again attempted to take Saigon. The building of the citadel was a turning point, allowing him to finally think of reconquest and not just of resistance; as we will see, deterrence was based on stone, but also on wind, meaning the navy. A few years later, the command of fortifications helped Nguyen Anh in his bid for Vietnam. Every year his fleet used to leave Gia Dinh and sail northward in June-July-when monsoon winds are blowing from the southwest--to join his land forces in Tay So'n territory and launch joint campaigns. When the monsoon reversed, the fleet had to sail south, using winds blowing from the northeast.
In 1794, after a successful campaign in the area of Nha Trang, instead of retreating to the south before the monsoon reversed, Nguyen Anh established a citadel at Duyen Khanh, near the town. Built by de Puymanel in 1793, the citadel was garrisoned under the command of the eldest son and heir of Nguyen Anh, Prince Canh, assisted by the Bishop and de Puymanel. The Tay So'n besieged the citadel in May 1794, but failed to take it. (19) Shortly after the end of the siege, the Nguyen forces returned to Nha Trang from Saigon and resumed military operations in the area after the garrison had been relieved. For the first time since the beginning of the war, Nguyen Anh's forces had managed to stay during the bad season in an area traditionally under the control of the Tay So'n. The Saigon and Duyen Khanh citadels therefore played a very important part in his success, not so much from a military point of view--although the siege of Duyen Khanh had been a real battle--as from a psychological one. Saigon acted as a powerful deterrent, and Duyen Khanh was a thorn in the flesh of the Tay So'n.
By the time the war was over and Vietnam reunified under Emperor Gia Long in 1802, only two citadels had been built, under the direction of French officers. It is clear, however, that Gia Long and Minh Mang were convinced of their efficiency, since peacetime would witness the building of thirty-two new Vauban-style citadels between 1802 and 1844: eleven under Gia Long, twenty under Minh Mang and one under Thieu Tri. These new citadels formed a formidable network across the kingdom, stretching from north to south, from Cao Bang to Ha Tien. Table 1 is a list of these citadels, with the date their construction was begun (when available) and the form of their structure. (20)
The first observation to be made about these fortresses a la Vauban built during the nineteenth century is their form, which was hexagonal or pentagonal (with a few square-shaped exceptions). The Vauban design usually meant that they were laid out with as many towers as possible in order to confront enemies with the maximum defensive strength, contrary to the Chinese traditional square or rectangular design. These polygonal designs were used under Nguyen Anh/Gia Long between 1790 and 1820; the best examples are Bac Ninh, Vinh and Saigon. As far as we can determine, during Minh Mang's reign the form of the newly built citadels changed to the square or rectangular pattern, with only four towers at the corners. The Saigon citadel provides an excellent example of this change. Built in 1790 on the Vauban model on a square design with ten towers (four inner ones and six outer ones), it was dismantled in 1835 on Minh Mang's orders following the Le Van Khoi rebellion. Immediately thereafter, Minh Mang began building a new citadel, this time with a much simpler design, squared with only four towers.
Can one conclude, then, that Vauban's European style was abandoned for more traditional Chinese models? It has been asserted that without the assistance of European advisors, Vietnamese engineers were no longer able to build structures of European design and this explains the return to a traditional Chinese square or rectangular model after Gia Long's reign. In fact, however, the new citadels built after 1822 were actually designed according to the latest innovations in fortifications developed in Europe at the time. For example, the Saigon citadel rebuilt in 1836 was rectangular in form, with large towers at the four corners. The outer towers and horn-works, so particular of the Vauban design created when artillery used to have a shorter range, were no longer used. Its layout is very similar to fortresses built in France under the first Empire (1804-14). One thinks in particular of Fort Liedot on the Atlantic coast and most of the forts constructed thereafter, including the ones surrounding Paris erected after 1840. (21) In the 1830s and 1840s, the same kinds of forts and citadels were being built in both Vietnam and Europe. Far from simplifying Vauban's plans because of their supposed inability to build something of such complexity, then, Vietnamese engineers were on the contrary following the latest European techniques.
Another example of this adaptation to the latest European innovations is provided by Finlayson, who visited Hue in 1822 and marvelled at its citadel, still under construction. As he put it: This part of the wall has been finished in the course of the present year, in a very complete manner. The present king [Mirth Mang], however, is not altogether pleased, as his predecessor was, with the principles of Vauban. He has accordingly built the embrasures on a plan of his own invention. The order of them is quite reversed, that is, they are narrow towards the ditch, and wide towards the rampart!
Finlayson added that the embrasures constituted 'the only objectionable part of the work'. However, a footnote from the editor corrected the author, asserting that this mode of construction of embrasures had long been recommended and had in fact been used in Europe for several decades. (22)
Both cases--the new citadel of Saigon and the modifications to its counterpart in Hue--demonstrate that Minh Mang's engineers were perfectly aware of the latest developments and improvements in the art of fortifications in Europe and were immediately adapting them in their own work. We can suppose that this information was provided by Jean-Baptiste Chaigneau, one of the two naval officers who stayed in Hue after the end of the war, as he went back to France in 1819 and then returned to Vietnam two years later. He is known to have brought back several books which had been ordered by Gia Long, including the latest scientific and technical studies. (23) Chaigneau's role as the supplier of the latest European books on these subjects is suggested by the fact that the citadels erected by Gia Long (before Chaigneau's departure in 1819) were built on a Vauban plan, while after his return to Vietnam early in Minh Mang's reign, all those for which we have a plan or a description followed a square design (see Table 1).
As mentioned above, the Saigon citadel was built under the direction of Puymanel and Lebrun, and Duyen Khanh under Puymanel; these two officers left the country well before the end of the war. When Gia Long started to build other citadels after 1802, only four Frenchmen were still living in Vietnam--a physician and three naval officers--and there is no proof that they could have been involved in the building of the citadels. Quite the contrary, all available accounts confirm that Vietnamese engineers alone drafted the plans and supervised these constructions. (24) They had been trained by Lebrun and Puymanel in Vauban's art of fortifications, and they also had several books and drawings translated by the Bishop of Adran. For example, there is a map dated 1773 entitled 'A military map [containing] all the main parts [for defensive and offensive attacks] of a site built based on the memoirs of Marshall de Vauban by J. E. Duhamel, royal engineer'. This work, which was still available in Vietnam in 1921, included the Vietnamese translations for the different names and descriptions of the various parts of fortifications conceived by Vauban; it had certainly been used for the training of Vietnamese engineers. (25) A special corps was also formed for building and for maintaining these citadels; the creation of this Giam thanh (Citadel supervision) office under the Ministry of War underlined the importance given by Gia Long to this matter. (26)
These citadels were quite perfect replicas of Vauban's designs, but they were nevertheless adapted to Vietnamese particularities. First, and most important in Vietnamese eyes, all of these structures matched the requirements of traditional geomancy: they were built in propitious places where natural irregularities in the landscape such as the rivers and the hills embodied the presence of positive forces and prevented negative ones from reaching them. Accordingly, Father Leopold Cadiere, who had considerable anthropological expertise in the culture of central Vietnam, thought that the massive building standing in front of Hue citadel which houses the watchtower and flagpole had no real military importance, but was actually a second geomantic 'screen'--the first one being a hill south of Hue--blocking the entrance of the citadel and the palace to reinforce their spiritual defences. The citadels were all built on an north-northwest/ south-southwest axis, thereby guaranteeing strength and prosperity. (27)
It has already been noted that all of the citadels built under Gia Long were of polygonal form, generally hexagonal or pentagonal. There are three major exceptions: Saigon, Hue and Hanoi. In these places, the design is square or rectangular, and therefore less efficient--militarily speaking--than the model set up by Vauban and used at that time (except Saigon, because of the three sides protected by natural water courses). We can only guess that Gia Long respected the traditional Sino-Vietnamese design for the two Vietnamese capital cities, as well as for his temporary capital in Saigon. It should also be mentioned that the gates of all the citadels were topped with Chinese-style pavilions, which were not common in Vauban fortresses in France. The high watchtowers dominating the citadels, too, were Chinese and not part of Vauban's design.
The introduction of Vauban's precepts in Vietnam at the end of the eighteenth century provoked considerable change--indeed, a revolution--in the Vietnamese art of fortifications. While Vietnamese engineers were educated by French officers, they were thereafter able to undertake the construction of citadels themselves without foreign assistance. At the time these citadels were recognised as unique in Asia, including the European colonies. Vietnamese engineers adapted imported techniques to local traditions and remained up to date on the technical innovations. From the end of the eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries, they assimilated and adapted in remarkable ways European techniques in this field. By way of comparison, the French attache to the Anglo-French military expedition against China in 1860, who studied the fortifications of both the walled cities and the forts defending Tianjin, observed that the Chinese were still at the starting gate when it came to fortifications, barely at the level of the European Middle Ages in terms of defending and attacking fortified points. (28)
Following the Tay So'n war, the European-style citadels built during peacetime became the symbols of, and the homes to, imperial power, as the Emperor's provincial representatives lived in them. Undoubtedly, this countrywide network of citadels helped the Nguyen in consolidating its new regime, as it was a formidable aid in repulsing the numerous local revolts which broke out during the dynasty's early years. Clearly the Nguyen understood very well how useful these citadels were for building a centralised and powerful state, a lesson which their European counterparts had long grasped.
Navy and shipbuilding
Let us now turn to the merchant and military navies. In earlier centuries, both Tonkin and Cochinchina were remarkable in that they had no trading fleet. Writing in the seventeenth century, Alexaudre de Rhodes noted that the Vietnamese in Tonkin never traded outside of the kingdom, for several reasons. First, they did not know the art of navigation and were only involved in exchanges along the coast. Second, their boats were not strong enough to sail on the high seas. Finally, the rulers did not allow their subjects to leave the kingdom. (29) Except for coastal navigation by small vessels, we have little evidence of Vietnamese boats sailing to foreign countries; in most cases, it is not clear whether those that did belonged to Chinese or Vietnamese. It seems nevertheless that small boats did go from Cochinchina to Siam during the seventeenth century, carrying Vietnamese traders under the cover of official embassies to the court of Ayudhya. In 1682, a French missionary and two English traders chartered a small Vietnamese fishing boat and hired a Portuguese seaman to sail from Tonkin to Ayudhya. The fact that a Vietnamese boat did sail to Siam was reported as an exceptional case by the missionaries. (30)
It was a characteristic of the two Vietnamese polities--Tonkin and Cochinchina--that neither was directly involved in any form of trade outside their country: all imported products were delivered to Vietnamese ports by foreign merchants on foreign vessels, and exports were shipped in the same way. Most foreign trade was thus totally dependent on the good will and the interests of foreign actors, whether Chinese or European.
By contrast, the military navy was strong in both size and quality. The defeat of a fleet sent by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) against Cochinchina in 1643 demonstrated the strength and fighting spirit of its navy, and in doing so made a name for the kingdom?' However, all its military vessels were galleys, which though remarkably efficient for naval battles along the shores and in the numerous coastal estuaries, did not perform well in deep waters and could not move far away from the coast. The only large sailing vessels were visitors, either Chinese junks or European square-rigged ships.
This situation changed completely during the Tay So'n war, however, particularly between 1790 and 1802. Both the military and merchant navies developed the capacity for blue-water travel during this time. In Vietnam, all major cities are located either on the coast or along rivers with navigable watercourses; it was therefore essential to have a good navy in order to set up combined naval and land operations. From 1775 until 1788, the Tay So'n's large fleets were regularly sailing south to seize the newly harvested rice crop in Gia Dinh and transport it back to their territories, which permanently suffered from food shortages. The Tay So'n were able to conduct such operations every year, since they easily outnumbered the smaller Nguyen fleet. As early as 1781, the Bishop of Adran convinced Nguyen Anh to charter Portuguese vessels of European design, together with their crew and, indeed, their guns. The first experience, however, was a disaster. For unknown reasons, two of the Portuguese vessels fled the battle, while the crew of the third one was killed by angry Vietnamese soldiers.
It was only several years later that the situation changed in favour of Nguyen Anh. This occurred when the Bishop returned from France and Pondicherry with some private aid, including two vessels from the latter colony. These ships delivered military equipment and stayed on in Saigon in the Nguyen service. They were manned first by French and Indian sailors, then by Vietnamese under the command of French officers. These vessels were the foundation for the construction of an impressive Vietnamese fleet, both a military and a merchant one. During the following years, Nguyen Anh purchased or chartered abroad several more European vessels, and by the final years of the war his fleet had become very impressive in size. Vietnamese traditional galleys and small sailing boats formed the bulk of this fleet; however, as early as 1794, two European vessels were operating together with 200 of each of these two types against the Tay So'n stronghold near Qui Nho'n. In 1799 a British trader named Berry witnessed the departure of the fleet sailing down the Saigon River; he saw 100 galleys, 40 junks, 200 smaller boats and 800 carriers led by 3 European sloops. In 1801, one division of Nguyen Anh's navy included 9 European vessels armed with 60 guns, 5 vessels with 50 guns, 40 with 16 guns, 100 junks, 119 galleys and 365 smaller boats. (32)
Not all of these so-called 'European vessels' had been purchased overseas; most of them had in fact been built in the remarkable shipyard set up by Nguyen Anh in Saigon. He himself supervised the work, spending several hours a day there. As one witness recorded, 'One principal
tendency of his ambition is to naval science, as a proof of this he has been heard to say he would build ships of the line on the European plan.' (33) As early as 1792, fifteen frigates were under completion, with a design that was partly Chinese (the stern and bow) and partly European; they carried fourteen guns. In 1804, Roberts, an English East India Company envoy to the Court of Hue gave a description of some of these mixed vessels; it seems that several types existed, more or less close to European or Chinese original models. They were, in his view, 'originally built as a junk, but [with] the upper works finished in the European manner and rigged as a ship. The King had originally 17 junks, or Tows [Viet. tau], similar to those'. The American John White saw similar vessels during 1819-20, praising their seaworthiness and the quality of their construction. (34) We clearly have here a typical case of mixing local and imported techniques.
The acquisition of European know-how was possible due to a simple but clever idea: an old European vessel had been dismantled into its separate pieces, and then rebuilt so that Vietnamese carpenters could learn the finer points of European shipbuilding for large square-rigged vessels. At the same time, when the vessel was reassembled, a brand-new vessel was produced on the model of the old one. Berry said that Portuguese carpenters were working there; it is likely that Chinese carpenters had been hired as well, since war junks were also built in the shipyard. Nguyen Anh himself learned carpentry and was very able at it. He absorbed navigational theory from the French books translated by the Bishop, particularly Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopedie, whose chapters and plates referring to shipbuilding were especially detailed. (35)
The efficiency and know-how of the Saigon shipyards were highly praised by all European traders and sailors who visited the city during the years 1790-1802. Berry described the three European vessels built there as making 'a most respectable appearance'. During White's visit to Saigon in 1819, he praised the installation as equal to any in Europe. Roberts described the mixed designed vessels he saw in Tourane bay as 'remarkably well constructed'. (36) The three large European vessels were commanded by French officers, only four of them participating in the last and decisive battles of 1801-2. Concerning the number of French officers and sailors who enlisted in Nguyen Anh's navy, it was noted that between during 1790-2 there is evidence of no more than 80 officers and sailors in Vietnam, and most of them left in 1792. One must assume, then, that only a very small number of naval officers and sailors were sailing on Nguyen Anh's vessels between 1792 and 1799. This means that all the crews and officers of the vessels--whether of European or mixed design--were Vietnamese, and had been trained to man these large square-rigged European vessels. The French captains vouched for their courage and skills. In 1822, Chaigneau told British visitors that Vietnamese 'made brave and expert seamen'. (37)
The combined use of large European wind-powered vessels (with considerable superiority in terms of artillery) and traditional galleys gave Nguyen Anh a real advantage over Tay So'n naval forces. As early as 1792-3, hundreds of Tay Son galleys were sunk or taken during raids by European-designed vessels with heavy firepower. (38) At other times, a mixture of both models gave the upper hand to the Nguyen forces. The combined navy played a particularly important role during the decisive battles of 1801-2 (for example, in Thi Nai, near Qui Nho'n and in Hue), where both sides employed huge forces on land and sea.
The period 1790-1802 marked a revolution in the Vietnamese attitude towards the sea and towards overseas countries. In less than twelve years, the Vietnamese people, who had earlier been described as totally unfit for long-distance navigation, were able to welcome foreign techniques which were not so easy to master, to adapt them to their local conditions, to build a formidable and efficient navy and to man their vessels on high seas, whether for trade or for war--and all this with a minimum of foreign help. One confirmation of this comes from the British, who reported at the very beginning of the nineteenth century the extent of the threat the Vietnamese navy could pose for British maritime interests if the French were able to form a settlement there and develop the navy : 'They might form a navy not only superior to any maritime force we have in India [,] but even to enable them to cope with every part of the world'. (39) The second point is emblematic of the new opening of Vietnam to the sea: the embassy dispatched by Gia Long to China to obtain his investiture from the Qing Emperor went by sea rather across the northern land border, as had been the case for centuries.
After the final victory over the Tay So'n in 1802, Nguyen Anh put his fleet to rest. It seems that only two European-style vessels were still in service during the 1810s. This abandonment of the navy seems to have been mainly the result of budgetary problems, as the government was then spending large amounts on building up fortifications and public works such as roads, canals, dikes, etc. As early as 1819, however, there is evidence of a new start in shipbuilding; Gia Long re-established a significant force and personally went to supervise the shipyards. (40)
There is evidence of a similar technical continuity and quality for shipbuilding during Minh Mang's reign, based on several accounts by foreign visitors stating that junks and European-style vessels and mixed ones were coexisting. These visitors also praised the quality of Vietnamese vessels, John White held the Vietnamese navy in high regard, as did Crawfurd, who commented that 'their vessels, it has been remarked by good judges, are the best description of native craft anywhere to be seen in India, and fit to encounter without danger the worst weather'. As for Vietnamese sailors, Crawfurd added, 'I know no people of the east so well fitted to make expert mariners'. In 1847, when the French navy engaged Vietnamese naval forces for the first time, the vessels destroyed included not only war junks, but also five fine corvettes. (41)
The European vessels built for the navy were also used for trading. Not only did they regularly ship rice from the south to the centre of Vietnam, but they were also used for overseas missions. Gia Long had put an end in 1802 to the commercial missions sent overseas to purchase arms and ammunition, but Minh Mang resumed this custom. The trading missions were also intended to be an opportunity for Vietnamese crews and officers to train for high-sea navigation, as well as the use of Western techniques. In 1823, Minh Mang expressly instructed the crews to learn how to use navigation instruments, to take bearings, and generally speaking to train for manning European square-rigged vessels on the high seas. In 1835, similar instructions continued to insist on the importance of learning naval techniques, routes and topography; in 1842, it was Minh Mang's successor, Thieu Tri, who gave such instructions. (42)
The political will to learn foreign techniques remained constant throughout Minh Mang's reign, reaching a peak in the late 1830s, when he ordered the purchase of steamships. Vietnamese envoy Phan Huy Chu in 1833 had seen one for the first time in Batavia, an American naval vessel, and another emissary, Ly Van Phuc, described one during his trip to Calcutta. Vietnam's first steamship was purchased on the orders of Minh Mang in 1839; three more followed-named Yen Phi, Vu Phi and Hu'o'ng Phi-and in 1844 an even larger one was bought, called the Dien Phi. (43)
It is remarkable that the Vietnamese used steamboats as early as 1839. After all, the French never utilised steamboats on a commercial basis before 1816-18, and even then only on a small scale for coastal navigation. The first steamships in the English and French navies were not commissioned until the end of the 1820s. In Asia, the Dutch commissioned the first steamboat for their navy in 1837, and the first commercial one followed one or two years later. (44)
It is useful to make a comparison with Siam at this point. Only during the 1830s did King Rama III (r. 1824-51) decide that state vessels should be exclusively European models. (45) In other words, the Siamese were talking of sailing boats when Vietnam was already investing in steamships. Although I have not studied the situation in other Asian countries (it would be interesting to make a comparison with China and Japan), it seems that Vietnam was one of the countries most interested in European naval techniques among Asian nations during the first half of the nineteenth century. This interest peaked when an attempt was made in 1839 to copy a steamboat in the Hue shipyards, though the effort was unsuccessful. The Vietnamese skill for copying foreign techniques had reached its limits when confronted by the complexity of a steam engine; knowledge of foreign science could not be dodged. This fascinating Vietnamese attempt to catch up with the latest Western techniques marked not only the strong will of the Emperor Minh Mang to obtain foreign techniques for his country, but also the limits of this policy. Was it really possible for Vietnam to receive the techniques without consenting to learn the principles of Western science? (46)
From 1790 until the advent of French colonisation, we can say that Vietnam mastered naval techniques, cleverly developed the skill and the capacity to build European vessels, and was able to man them for both war and trade. This policy was not limited to the emergency wartime situation, but continued after the end of the war, during the reigns of Gia Long and Minh Mang. It was not an ad hoc policy of only one emperor facing the urgent situation of war, but rather was a constant policy during the first three Nguyen reigns.
Open or closed door policy?
Based on the two examples studied in this essay, fortifications and the navy, we have seen how Vietnamese emperors of the Nguyen dynasty showed a constant interest in obtaining European techniques. More interestingly, one can better appreciate how they constantly kept abreast of technical improvements and received and adapted these improvements, whether for improving their fortifications or ameliorating their navy. Nor was this interest limited exclusively to military matters.
In conclusion, these examples of European techniques imported and adapted in Vietnam make a point regarding its policy during the first half of the nineteenth century. It has been argued that not only were foreign techniques not rejected, in fact they were widely accepted. It is important to emphasise, moreover, that Minh Mang's reign did not signal a U-turn away from the policy of his father; on the contrary, one can note a development in efforts to look beyond Vietnam for foreign goods and techniques, and obviously for the latest ones. Gia Long and Minh Mang were thus strongly aware of the European threat, and did everything possible to keep Western political influences away from their kingdom: their refusal of official missions, both English and French, and their will to control European trade, as well as their hostility towards Christians, were clearly the consequences of such fears. On the other hand, they were very open to other aspects of the external world, including the European one. They were eager to maintain their independence in an Asian world close to collapse under the weight of European expansion, rather than bent on closing their minds to the outside world. The constant adoption and adaptation of European techniques provide clear evidence of this fact. TABLE 1: Citadels built by the Nguyen Location of the Citadel Design Saigon (1790) Square Duyen Khanh (1793) Unknown Vinh (1803?), Thanh Hoa (1804) Hexagonal Hue (1805) Square Bac Ninh (1805 earth, 1825 laterite, 1845 bricks) Hexagonal Quang Ngai (1807) Pentagonal Hai Duong (1807) Pentagonal Ha Tinh (earth, 1810?), Thai Nguyen (1813) Square Vinh Long (1813) Hexagonal Khanh Hoa (1814) Unknown Binh Dinh (1817) Unknown Hung Hoa (1821) Square Son Tay (1822) Square Quang Binh and Cao Bang (1824) Unknown Dinh Tuong (1824) Unknown Quang Yen (1827) Unknown Nghe An (1831) Unknown Hung Yen (1832) Square Nam Dinh (1833) Square Ha Tinh (1833) Square Quang Nam (1833) Unknown An Giang (Chau Doc), Ha Tien, Land Son (1834) Unknown Hanoi (1835) Square Gia Dinh (Saigon, rebuilt) (1836) Square Phu Yen, Binh Thuan, Quang Tri (1837) Unknown Bien Hoa (1838) Unknown Tuyen Quang (1844) Unknown
(1) Archives des Missions Etrangeres de Paris [hereafter cited as AMEP], vol. 568, folio 342, letter from Mgr Forcade to Foreign Missions seminary, 2 June 1847.
(2) Pierre-Yves Manguin, Les Portugais sur les cotes da Vietnam et du Campa (Paris: EFEO, 1972), pp. 205-7; Leopold Cadiere, 'Le quartier des Arenes. 1. Jean de la Croix et les premiers Jesuites', Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Hue [henceforth BAVH], 11, 4 (1924): 307-32; Li Tana, Nguyen Cochinchina. Southern Vietnam in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Ithaca: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, 1998), pp. 43-5; Frederic Mantienne, 'Le recours des etats de la Peninsule Indochinoise a l'aide europeenne dans [eurs relations ([XVI.sup.eme] -[XVIII.sup.eme] siecles)', in Guerre et paix en Asie du Sad-Est, ed. Nguyen The Anh and Alain Forest (Paris: Harmattan, 1998), pp. 55-84.
(3) Frederic Mantienne, Les relations politiques et commerciales entre la France et la Peninsule Indochinoise (Paris: Les Indes Savantes, 2002), vol. II, pp. 147-50.
(4) See, for example, Alexander Barton Woodside, Vietnam and the Chinese model. A comparative study of Nguyen and Ch'ing civil government in the first half of the nineteenth century (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971), p. 16.
(5) Mantienne, Relations politiques et commerciales, pp. 184-8.
(6) Louis Bezacier, 'L'art et les constructions militaires annamites', BAVH, 28, 4 (1941): 340-3 and Bezacier, 'Conception du plan des anciennes citadelles-capitales du Nord Vietnam', Journal Asiatique, 240, 2 (1952): 185-95. There are many interesting pictures in Hippolyte Le Breton, Le vieux An-Tinh (Hanoi: EFEO reprint, 2001).
(7) Leopold Cadiere, 'Le mur de Dong-hoi. Etude sur l'etablissement des Nguyen en Cochinchine', Bulletin de l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient [henceforth BEFEO], 6 (1906): 138-40.
(8) Archives du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, Paris [hereafter cited as AMAE], serie Asie, vol. 19, folios 376-7, letter from De Guignes to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 Dec. 1791.
(9) See, for example, Woodside, Vietnam and the Chinese model, p. 17 and p. 298 note 20; and Le Thanh Khoi, Histoire du Viet Nam des origines a 1858 (Paris: Sudestasie, 1992), p. 337. A detailed study of the citadel is in Louis Malleret, 'Elements d'une monographie des anciennes fortifications et citadelles de Saigon', Bulletin de la Societe des Etudes Indochinoises, 4 (1935): 5-108.
(10) A full translation of the entry, for Bishop Pigneaux de Behaine appears in Leon Vandermeersch, 'Autour des honneurs funebres decernes a l'Eveque d'Adran au Vietnam', Vietnamologica, Tapsan Phat huy Viet Nam hoc/Revue d'etudes vietnamologiques/Journal of Vietnamological Studies, 3 (1998): 121-42.
(11) A translation of the description is in Malleret, 'Elements d'une monographie', pp. 56-7.
(12) 'Plan de la ville de Saigon. Fortifiee en 1790. Par le Colonel [Vict.sup.r] Olivier. Reduit du grand plan leve par ordre du Roi en 1795. Par M. Brun ingenieur de sa Majeste. Par In. [M.sup.e] Dayot 1799', in a document entitled 'Memoire sur la cote et les ports de la Cochinchine par [J.sup.e]-[M.sup.e] D'Ayot, mandarin a la Cour de Cochinchine'; 'Plan de Gia-dinh et des environs, dresse par Tran Van Hoc, le [4.sup.e] jour de la [12.sup.e] lune de la [14.sup.e] annee de Gia Long (1815)', engraved and printed in Jean-Marie Dayot, 'Pilote Cochinchinois': Atlas de la Cochinchine (Paris: Depot General de la Marine, 1818). The two maps are reproduced in Malleret, 'Elements d'une monographie', plates XI and XII.
(13) John Crawfurd, Journal of an embassy from the Governor-general of India to the courts of Siam and Cochin China (London: Henry Colburn, 1828), p. 223; George Finlayson, The mission to Siam and Hue the capital of Cochin China in the years 1821-2 (Singapore and Bangkok: Oxford University Press and the Siam Society reprint, 1988), p. 312.
(14) John White, A voyage to Cochin-China (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1824), pp. 220-6; Crawfurd, Journal of an embassy, p. 224.
(15) Ibid., pp. 223-4; Finlayson, Mission to Siam, p. 312.
(16) Malleret, 'Elements d'une monographie', pp. 48-52 and plates XVI-XVII.
(17) Finlayson, Mission to Siam, p. 312; Crawford, Journal of an embassy, p. 224; White, Voyage to Cochinchina, pp. 220-6.
(18) Jules Silvestre, 'L'insurrection de Gia-Dinh. La revolte de Khoi (1832-1835)', Revue Indochinoise [henceforth RI], 18, 7-8 (1915): 1-37.
(19) AMEP, vol. 746, folio 472, letter from Le Labousse to Boiret, 13 May 1795; cited in Adrien Launay, Histoire de la Mission de Cochinchine (1658-1823). Documents historiques (Paris: Les Indes Savantes, 2000 reprint), vol. III, p. 288.
(20) This list is based primarily on Leopold Cadiere, 'Notes sur le corps du genie annamite', BAVH, 8, 4 (1921): 287; Cadiere had compiled the list of citadels from Vietnamese sources. Information on the designs comes from various sources used in this article and also from the memos and notes of French officers who served in Vietnam during the second half of the nineteenth century; see, for example: Louis Kreitmann, Le service du genie au Tonkin (Paris: Berger-Levrault & Cie, 1889). Three citadels have received particular scholarly attention. For Saigon, see Malleret, 'Elements d'une monographie'; for Hue, Lt.-Colonel Ardant du Picq, "Les fortifications de la citadelle de Hue', BAVH, 11, 3 (1924): 221-45; and on Bac Ninh, General Ardant du Picq, 'Histoire d'une citadelle annamite: Bac-Ninh', BAVH, 22, 3-4 (1935): 237-412. For Vinh and Ha Tinh, see Le Breton, Le vieux An-Tinh, pp. 248-9, 256, and plates XCV and CIII.
(21) Pierre Rocolle, 2000 ans de fortification francaise (Paris: Ch. Lavauzelle, 1973) and Remy Desquesnes et al, Les fortification du littoral La Charente Maritime (Chauray: Editions Patrimoines & Medias, 1993), pp. 24, 189-94.
(22) Finlayson, Mission to Siam, p. 362. The original design for Fort Boyard, dated 1801, shows similar embrasures, but they were not used when the fort was finally erected in the 1840s; Duquesnes et al., Fortifications du littoral, pp. 224, 230.
(23) A. Salles, 'J-B. Chaigneau et sa famille', BAVH, 10, 1 (1923): 77-8.
(24) John Crawfurd, 'Crawfurd's report on the state of the Annamese Empire', in Alistair Lamb, The Mandarin Road to old Hue (London: Archon Books, 1970), p. 268.
(25) Cadiere, 'Notes sur le corps', p. 285. The original title of the map is 'Carte militaire [comprenant] toutes les principales parties [qui servent a l'attaque et a la defense] d'une place dressee sur les memoires du Marechal de Vauban par J.E. Duhamel, ingenieur du Roi, 1773'.
(26) Vo Liem, 'La capitale du Thuan-Hoa (Hue)', BAVH, 3, 3 (1916): 279.
(27) Leopold Cadiere, 'La merveilleuse capitale', BAVH, 3, 2 (1916): 247-72; Gustave Dumoutier, 'L'astrologie, consideree plus specialement dans ses applications a l'art militaire', RI, 17, 11-12 (1914): 455-75, especially p. 457; and Dumoutier, 'L'astrologie chez les Annamites. Ses applications a l'art militaire', RL 18, 7-8 (1915): 101-26. See also Ardant du Picq. 'Fortifications de la citadelle' and 'Histoire d'une citadelle'.
(28) Count Escayrac de Lauture, Memoires sur la Chine (Paris: Le Magasin Pittoresque, 1865), pp. 71-4.
(29) Alexandre de Rhodes, Divers voyages et missions en la Chine et autres royaumes de l'Orient avec son retour en Europe par la Perse et l'Armenie (Lille: Desclee, De Brouwer et Cie, 1883 reprint), p. 181.
(30) AMEP, vol. 652, folios 39-42, 'Journal de De Bourges' (1682). Embassies to the Siamese court are mentioned in letters from Langlois to Mgr Laneau, 1 Feb. 1689 (vol. 736, folio 174); and from Labbe to Mgr Laneau, 5 Feb. 1691 (vol. 736, folio 671).
(31) W. J. M. Buch, 'La Compagnie des Indes neerlandaises et I'Indochine', BEFEO, 36 (1936): 182-3.
(32) AMEP, vol. 299, folio 70, letter from Lavoue to Liot, 29 May 1794; Nguyen The Anh, 'An English memoir on Vietnam (1803)', Van Hod Nguyet San, 14, 8-9 (1965): 1369-70; AMEP, vol. 801, folio 867, letter from Barisy to Letondal, 11 Apr. 1801.
(33) Nguyen The Anh, 'English memoir', p. 1371; Nguyen Anh's attention to the shipyard is mentioned in AMEP, vol. 746, folio 392, letter from Le Labousse to Foreign Missions seminary, 24 July 1792.
(34) AMEP, vol. 746, folio 392, letter from Liot to Foreign Missions seminary, 18 July 1792; 'Narrative of Roberts' mission to Hue, 1804', in Lamb, Mandarin Road, p. 225; P. Midan, 'Les Europeens qui ont vu le vieux Hue: John White', BAVH, 24, 2-3 (1937): 133-4.
(35) The information on Vietnamese know-how is drawn from Nguyen The Anh, 'English memoir', p. 1371 and AMEP, vol. 746, folio 871, letter from Le Labousse to Foreign Missions seminary', 24 Apr. 1800.
(36) Nguyen The Anh, "English memoir', p. 1369; P. Midan, 'Europeens qui ont vu le vieux Hue', pp. 242-3; 'Narrative of Roberts' mission', p. 205.
(37) 'Crawfurd's report', pp. 263-4.
(38) For more details on these operations see Mantienne, Relations politiques et commerciales, vol. II, pp. 152, 190-3.
(39) Nguyen The Anh, 'English memoir', p. 1373.
(40) Paul Huard and Maurice Durand, Connaissance du Vietnam (Hanoi: Imprimerie Nationale/EFEO, 1954), p. 229.
(41) AMEP, vol. 568, folio 342, letter from Mgr Forcade to Foreign Missions seminary, 2 June 1847; 'Crawfurd's report', pp. 263-4; Midan, 'Europeens qui ont vu le vieux Hue', p. 260.
(42) Cheng Ching-ho, 'Les "missions officielles dans les Ha Chau" ou "Contrees meridionales" de la premiere periode des Nguyen', trans. Claudine Salmon, BEFEO, 81 (1994): 105-6 , 109, 111.
(43) Phan Huy Chu's account is in Hai trinh chi lu'oc = Haizheng zhilue--Recit sommaire d'un voyage en mer, trans, and ed. Phan Huy Le et al (Paris: Association Archipel, 1994), pp. 75-6; the other ships are mentioned in Cheng Ching-ho, '"Missions officielles"', pp. 111, 113-14.
(44) Denys Lombard, '"Pirates malais"-premiere moitie du XIXe siecle', Archipel, 18 (1979): 248; F. J. A. Broeze, 'The merchant fleet of Java (1820-1850)', Archipel, 18 (1979): 279.
(45) Jennifer W. Cushman, 'Siamese state trade and the Chinese go-between, 1767-1855', Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 12, 1 (1981): 53.
(46) Woodside, Vietnam and the Chinese model, p. 283.
Frederic Mantienne is Associate Researcher at the Laboratoire Peninsule Indochinoise, under the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient in Paris. His e-mail address is
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