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BAO DAI was the last Emperor of VIETNAM who ruled the country from 8th January 1926 to 30th August 1945 . He was the thirteenth and final Emperor of the NGUYEN DYNASTY , the last ruling Dynasty of VIETNAM . He was Emperor of ANNAM and de jure monarch of TONKIN, which were then protectorate in FRENCH INDO-CHINA . But before that we must know the hierarchy of Emperors of VIETNAM who remained on the throne for short periods from 1883 to 1926 . They were as follows : 1. DUC DUC ( 20th July 1883 to 23rd July 1883 ) ; 2. HIEP HOA ( 30th July 1883 to 29th November 1883 ) ; 3. KIEN PHUC ( 2nd December 1883 to 31 July 1884 ) ; 4. HAM NGHI ( 2nd August 1884 to 19 September 1885 ) ; 5. DONG KHANH ( 19th September 1885 to 28th January 1889 ) ; 6. THANH THAI ( 2nd February 1889 to 3rd September 1907 ) ; 7. DUY TAN ( 5th September 1907 to 6th May 1916 ) ; 8. KHAI DINH ( 18th May 1916 to 6th November 1925 ) . Emperor BAO DAI was born on 22nd October 1913 as NGUYEN PHUC VINH THUY in the palace of DOAN TRANG VIEN in HUE , the capital of VIETNAM . His father was Emperor KHAI DINH and his mother’s name was DOAN HUY , the second wife of the Emperor . As we know that ever since the FRENCH government took control of the region in the late nineteenth century , VIETNAM was split into three areas : 1. The Protectorate of ANNAM ; 2. TONKIN ; and 3. The colony of COCHINCHINA . And from the beginning of NGUYEN DYNASTY in 1802 , VIETNAM had been ruled from HUE as its capital . At the age of nine , young child NGUYEN PHUC VIEN THUY was sent to FRANCE to get education at the LYCEE CONDORCET . Then he studied at PARIS INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL STUDIES . When his father died, he was made the Emperor of VIETNAM on 8th January 1826 with his era name as BAO DAI . Even after becoming Emperor , he didn’t ascended to the throne yet and returned to FRANCE to continue his studies . He ascended to the throne in 1832 . He was married with MARIE THERESE NGUYEN HUU THI LAN who was a VIETNAMESE CATHOLIC and she was given title as Empress NAM PHUONG . Apart from that he had many concubines and mistress .


During the second world war , Imperial JAPAN took over FRENCH INDO-CHINA in 1940 . NAZI GERMANY had virtually occupied FRANCE during the second world war . So, the FRENCH government shifted to a resort town of VICHY , though PARIS remained ostensibly its capital . When JAPAN occupied INDO-CHINA , they didn’t eject the FRENCH colonial administration, the occasional authorities directed policy from behind the scenes in a parallel of VICHY FRANCE . However , in 1945 , the FRENCH were ousted, Emperor BAO DAI was coerced to declared VIETNAM independent from FRANCE as a member of JAPAN’S “GREATER EAST ASIA CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE”. The country now became the EMPIRE OF VIETNAM . When JAPAN surrendered to the ALLIES power in August 1945 , VIET MINH under the leadership of HO CHI MINH aimed to take power in a free VIETNAM . By virtue of his political stance against the FRENCH and due to the famine of 1945 , HO CHI MINH was able to persuade Emperor BAO DAI to abdicate the throne on 25th August 1945 . The Emperor was told to hand over the power to the VIET MINH . BAO DAI was appointed the “SUPREME ADVISOR” to the government of DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (DRV) led by HO CHI MINH which proclaimed independence of VIETNAM 🇻🇳 on 2nd September , 1945 . DRV was then ousted by the newly constituted the FRENCH FOURTH REPUBLIC in November 1946 .


Emperor BAO DAI left his post of SUPREME ADVISOR in 1946 and moved to HONG KONG . The FRENCH and VIET MINH— both unsuccessfully solicited him for political support . On the other hand , at home in VIETNAM , Anti-Commmunist coalition called NATIONAL UNION , comprising of South VIETNAMESE leader NGO DINH DIEM , political and religious leaders like : CAO DAI , HOA HAO and VNQDD came into existence. The NATIONAL UNION persuaded Emperor BAO DAI to seek independence of VIETNAM to get support of the UNION . This also persuaded him to reject VIET MINH overtures and enter into negotiations with the FRENCH . Thus , Emperor BAO DAI signed an agreement called HA LONG BAY AGREEMENT with FRANCE . However , no actual power was transferred to VIETNAM . So, this agreement was vehemently criticized by the NATIONAL UNION including NGO DINH DIEM . To escape the resulting political tension , Emperor BAO DAI travelled to EUROPE on four months pleasure , that’s why he was called a NIGHT CLUB EMPEROR . After a lot of persuasion by the FRENCH authorities , Emperor BAO DAI returned to VIETNAM to sign a second HA LONG BAY AGREEMENTS on 5th June 1948 . This agreement also contained a similar weak promises like that of the first one . So, finally the ELYSEE Accords were signed on 9th March , 1949 between the FRENCH President VINCENT AURIOL and Emperor BAO DAI , according to which was established the STATE OF VIETNAM , in which Emperor BAO DAI was declared as the chief of the state . But the country was still partially autonomous inviting criticism from all corners and the Emperor got reputation as a FRENCH PUPPET . Due to popular support of VIET MINH , a full-fledged civil war broke out in view of clashes between armed outfits of VIET MINH and FRENCH-BACKED REGIME . COMMUNIST victory of CHINA in 1949 and SOVIET recognition of DRV government in VIETNAM led to further revival of the fortune of the VIET MINH . However , the US reacted by extending deplomatic recognition to BAO DAI’S government in March 1950 . Despite this , the war between the VIET MINH and the FRENCH COLONIAL FORCES started to go badly for FRENCH . It culminated into a major victory for the VIET MINH at DIEN BIEN PHU . This led to a peace pact between the FRENCH and the VIET MINH . This is known as GENEVA ACCORDS , according to which VIETNAM was portioned at the 17th Parallel Line between the North and South VIETNAM . The North side of VIETNAM was given to DRV and Emperor BAO DAI remained the ‘Head of State’ of South VIETNAM . But Emperor BAO DAI moved to PARIS and appointed NGO DINH DIEM as his Prime Minister .





Published by ARBIND KUMAR



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