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The Colonial BastilleA History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940$
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Peter Zinoman

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520224124

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520224124.001.0001

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Colonial Prisons in Revolt, 1862–1930

Colonial Prisons in Revolt, 1862–1930

(p.136) 5 Colonial Prisons in Revolt, 1862–1930
The Colonial Bastille

Peter Zinoman

University of California Press

This chapter examines a handful of the best-documented prison revolts in French Indochina prior to 1930 to illustrate some of the reasons for the profound instability of the colonial prison system. It explains that the rebellion on Poulo Condore in 1890 shows how grievances against the legal system played a catalytic role in revolts and that the uprisings in Poulo Condore in 1918 and Lai Chau in 1927 illustrate the explosive combination of autocratic management and the rapid turnover of prison directors. It also discusses the reasons for external attacks on prisons.

Keywords:   prison revolts, French Indochina, colonial prison system, Poulo Condore, legal system, Lai Chai, autocratic management

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