Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144882
Title: PARIS DE L’ANNAM, PERLE DE L’EXTREME-ORIENT : COMPARISONS IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT OF SAIGON AND HANOI DURING FRENCH COLONIAL RULE
Authors: CHUA WEI ZE JOEY
Issue Date: 23-Apr-2018
Citation: CHUA WEI ZE JOEY (2018-04-23). PARIS DE L’ANNAM, PERLE DE L’EXTREME-ORIENT : COMPARISONS IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT OF SAIGON AND HANOI DURING FRENCH COLONIAL RULE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis argues that the contrasts in physical makeup between Hanoi and Saigon distinguished them politically and economically within the French Indochinese imperial system. However, in terms of social order, the two cities were developed similarly to reinforce the dominance of the Franco-European ethnicity. Hanoi and Saigon were different in their functionalities. Saigon would see itself being integrated into the global capitalist system. The French harnessed comparative advantages in developing industrial facilities and commercial services in Saigon, designed to ensure that the French could compete with other colonial port cities in the region. Hanoi, on the other hand, was established to be a political centre for the newly-expanded French territories in Southeast Asia. The movement to the recently-conquered urban centre of Tonkin region would provide a clean slate from which administration and colonial politics could be established. The French thus turned the former imperial capital into a French city of their own, building administrative buildings worthy of majesty and imperium. Hanoi would thus become the imperial capital for French Indochina as Saigon would become the financial hub. These differing functions nonetheless do not hide the fact that both Hanoi and Saigon were designed as “colonial cities”. The two cities were used as socio-cultural tools by the French, to legitimise their supreme power and entrench their authority over a far-larger indigenous Asian population. Keeping key parts of the city-centres built in brick free-standing residences with suitable living space, reserved exclusively for European inhabitants, kept European standards of living in the colonies luxurious and elite. Using French names on roads and locations further reinforced the French dominance and imperial links between the French state and Indochinese history, that ensured regular remembrance of French “heroes” and personalities. Hanoi and Saigon were very much similar in their socio-cultural functions, designed to maximise French power.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144882
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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