NCERT Class 10 History Emerging from the Shadow of China

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Emerging From The Shadow Of China Class 10 Social Science NCERT

Class 10 Social Science students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter Emerging From The Shadow Of China in standard 10. This NCERT Book for Grade 10 Social Science will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks

Emerging From The Shadow Of China NCERT Class 10

Emerging from the Shadow of China

Indo-China comprises the modern countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (see Fig. 1). Its early history shows many different groups of people living in this area under the shadow of the powerful empire of China. Even when an independent country was established in what is now northern and central Vietnam, its rulers continued to maintain the Chinese system of government as well as Chinese culture. Vietnam was also linked to what has been called the maritime silk route that brought in goods, people and ideas. Other networks of trade connected it to the hinterlands where non-Vietnamese people such as the Khmer Cambodians lived.

1.1 Colonial Domination and Resistance

The colonisation of Vietnam by the French brought the people of the country into conflict with the colonisers in all areas of life. The most visible form of French control was military and economic domination but the French also built a system that tried to reshape the culture of the Vietnamese. Nationalism in Vietnam emerged through the efforts of different sections of society to fight against the French and all they represented French troops landed in Vietnam in 1858 and by the mid-1880s they had established a firm grip over the northern region.

After the Franco-Chinese war the French assumed control of Tonkin and Anaam and, in 1887, French Indo-China was formed. In the following decades the French sought to consolidate their position, and people in Vietnam began reflecting on the nature of the loss that Vietnam was suffering. Nationalist resistance developed out of this reflection. The famous blind poet Ngyuyen Dinh Chieu (1822-88) bemoaned what was happening to his country: I would rather face eternal darkness Than see the faces of traitors. I would rather see no man Than encounter one man’s suffering. I would rather see nothing Than witness the dismembering of the country in decline.

1.2 Why the French thought Colonies Necessary

Colonies were considered essential to supply natural resources and other essential goods. Like other Western nations, France also thought it was the mission of the ‘advanced’ European countries to bring the benefits of civilisation to backward peoples. The French began by building canals and draining lands in the Mekong delta to increase cultivation. The vast system of irrigation works – canals and earthworks – built mainly with forced labour, increased rice production and allowed the export of rice to the international market. The area under rice cultivation went up from 274,000 hectares in 1873 to 1.1 million hectares in 1900 and 2.2 million in 1930. Vietnam exported two-thirds of its rice production and by 1931 had become the third largest exporter of rice in the world. 

This was followed by infrastructure projects to help transport goods for trade, move military garrisons and control the entire region. Construction of a trans-Indo-China rail network that would link the northern and southern parts of Vietnam and China was begun. This final link with Yunan in China was completed by 1910. The second line was also built, linking Vietnam to Siam (as Thailand was then called), via the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. By the 1920s, to ensure higher levels of profit for their businesses, French business interests were pressurising the government in Vietnam to develop the infrastructure further.


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