The French established control over the Vietnamese countryside in the middle-to-late-nineteenth century and proceeded to institute changes in administration and laws which opened up rural Vietnam to the forces of the world market. Markets for foreign and native products were soon developed through the sponsorship of French exporters and importers. The development of land markets was also aided by the French administrators. These administrators and legal advisers transformed Vietnamese property institutions by reinterpreting Vietnamese practices into compatibility with French conceptions of private and public property categories. The new categories were conducive to market exchange and through the market process, peasants and villages lost their rights to land and large shares of the agricultural produce. The variability of market demand and prices along with an unregulated extension of usurious moneylending resulted in rapid concentration of landed wealth in the hands of absentee landlords.
KeywordsCredit Market Communal Land Land Market Rice Export French Administration
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