What happened in the years leading up the French colonisation of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam? How did Cambodian rulers become so dependent on either Siam or Vietnam for protection?
Time period covered: 1789 - 1887
In this episode, Lachlan bridges the gap between Cambodia’s ‘middle period’ and the dawn of French colonisation of Indochina. Beginning with the French revolution and its links with the eventual Khmer Rouge revolution, we then explore the imposition of Vietnamese control on Cambodia in the 19th century, as well as the story of a French naturalist who visited the region. The episode ends with the different ways in which the French conquered Cambodia and Vietnam.
The story of Cambodia’s ‘years of calamity’ and the influence of this period on the psyche of a country dominated by the ascendant Siam and Vietnam is explored. We even have an introduction to the early years of Saloth Sar, otherwise known as Pol Pot.
David Chandler A History of Cambodia
Henri Mouhot Travels in Siam, Cambodia and Laos
Philip Short Pol Pot: History of a Nightmare