How will the forces of Imperialism and Colonialism come to the region of Indochina? What role will Europeans play in shaping what will eventually become the state of Cambodia?
Time period covered: 1500 - 1825
Cambodia’s transitionary period will also see the start of European influence in the region. What did these early encounters look like? The ridiculous story of Ruiz and Veloso, two ‘adventurers’ from Spain and Portugal who attempt to take over the country is relayed. Lachlan also spends some time introducing what the larger forces of colonialism looked like around the globe at this time. The attention then shifts to France as we look to foreshadow the coming imposition of control from Europe that will culminate in ‘French Indochina’ being eventually established.
The story of Pierre De Behaine, a French missionary stationed in Vietnam, is told as we look to set up the long and tangential relationship between Vietnam and France. The period of conflict within Vietnam and the eventual unification of that kingdom by Emperor Gia Long – with help from the aforementioned missionary – is also related to Cambodian history, particularly the infamous Cambodian folktale of ‘the master’s tea’; a story about Vietnamese cruelty to the Khmer that can still be heard today.
Briggs, L.P. ‘Spanish Intervention in Cambodia’, T'oung Pao, Second Series, Vol. 39, 1950
David Chandler A History of Cambodia
Alex Hinton Why Did They Kill?