The French Protectorate, Rural Life and the Rise of Cambodian Nationalism

Dec 02, 2019, 10:12 AM
What did French control of Cambodia look like? How did this ‘Protectorate’ function? What are the origins of Cambodian nationalism? What was life like for your average Khmer in the early 20th century?

Time Period Covered 1880 – 1938

This episode centres around Cambodian history as the French instigate the colonisation of Indochina. We learn about the early reactions to French rule, as well as the treatment of the Khmer by the imperial power and how the 'protectorate' functioned. The murder of the French 'resident' Felix Louis Bardez  in a rural hamlet also prompts a discussion of the culture of the Khmer living in the areas outside of the major towns and cities based on May Ebihara's groundbreaking work. This episode continues detailing the early life of Saloth Sar, and his family, as well as introducing Son Ngoc Thanh, and the first Khmer language newspaper 'Nagaravatta'.

Episode Content


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David Chandler A History of Cambodia
Ben Kiernan How Pol Pot Came to Power
Philip Short Pol Pot: History of a Nightmare
May Ebihara Svay: A Khmer Village in Cambodia