state of vietnam, quoc gia viet nam
Ngày Xanh [Days of Youth] 6 June 1949. Cover illustration.
A PDF of chapter two on the Republic of Cochinchina can be found here.
My dissertation reframes the First Indochina War as a Vietnamese civil war that was simultaneously a colonial and Cold War conflict. To accomplish this, the chapters focus on the efforts of lesser-studied non-communist parties, personalities, and state projects, and their relation to both domestic Vietnamese opponents and French colonial policy. Because this subject is usually depicted simply as a French war waged against the Vietnamese revolution, histories have largely omitted these figures and the states that they supported: the Empire of Vietnam, the Republic of Cochinchina, the Provisional Central Government, and the State of Vietnam. By incorporating these rival state projects into the history of the First Indochina War, this study shows that the conflict was a process that emerged from within late-colonial society and continued into the post-colonial. The central tension was between rival political projects seeking primacy over movements to reform or revolutionize Vietnamese society and state, and the different political models that they utilized. That framework allows us to understand why a great many Vietnamese chose to oppose the revolutionary Democratic Republic of Vietnam and how they came to support various, alternative state projects in collaboration with France. Finally, this dissertation shows how the refusal of France to trust or empower these moderate Vietnamese groups led to the collapse of French influence in Vietnam and the failure of the State of Vietnam.



Introduction – Autonomous Vietnam                                                                                             

Chapter One: Colonial Civil War, 1919 – 1939                                                                          

Chapter Two: The Republic of Cochinchina, 1945 – 1946                                                        

Chapter Three: Revolution & Revolt, 1945 – 1946                                                                    

Chapter Four: The Bảo Đại Solution, 1947-1949                                                                       

Chapter Five: The State of Vietnam                                                                                             



My research is based in the following archives:

Vietnam National Archives Center I (Hanoi); Center II (HCM City); Center III (Hanoi); Center IV (Dalat)
Service historique de la Défense (Vincennes)
Archives nationales d’Outre mer (Aix-en Provence, France)
Centre des Archives diplomatiques, Ministère des Affaires étrangères (La Courneuve, France)
Archives nationales (Pierrefitte-sur-Seine)
Archives départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône (Marseille)
Archives départementales des Alpes-Maritimes (Nice)
Great Britain
The National Archives (Kew Gardens)
United States
US National Archives and Records Administration (College Park, MD)
JFK Presidential Archive
Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Archive
LBJ Presidential Archive