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Imperial IntoxicationAlcohol and the Making of Colonial Indochina$
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Gerard Sasges

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824866884

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824866884.001.0001

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The Great Service

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(p.98) 5 The Great Service
Imperial Intoxication

Gerard Sasges

University of Hawai'i Press

Driven by the attempt to create a centrally planned market in alcohol, the Department of Customs and Monopolies expanded rapidly after 1897, employing thousands of European and indigenous agents who staffed not only large urban offices but also some of the state’s most far-flung outposts. The Department enforced two very different types of legislation: the first entailed techniques of regulation and management, while the second required direct and often violent intervention that saw tens of thousands of ordinary Indochinese searched, fined, and incarcerated. Indigenous Customs agents were central to the Department’s operations. The stories of these indigenous agents illustrate the complex and overlapping ways identities were articulated in colonial Indochina, and how they evolved under the impact of education, increasing professionalization, new forms of association, and new habits of consumption and leisure.

Keywords:   Indochina, Vietnam, Colonialism, collaboration

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