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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

The Thai Nguyen Rebellion

The Thai Nguyen Rebellion

(p.158) 6 The Thai Nguyen Rebellion
The Colonial Bastille

Peter Zinoman

University of California Press

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

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