24 April 2012

French Monopolize Vietnam Opium Trade

Fire in the Lake by Frances Fitzgerald, Excerpt

Once they had conquered Vietnam, the French looked to their new colony to become a source or raw materials for their burgeoning industrial plant and a buyer for their manufactured goods. Given the particular geography of the country, the French enterprise consisted of the creation of large plantations and the development of mines to extract the rich deposits of coal, zinc, and tin. They also established a government monopoly on salt, alcohol, and opium, and raised the prices on these goods to six times what they had been before the occupation.

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