The book “Paul Doumer, Governor General of Indochina, Pedal of Colonies” by Amaury Lorin has shed light on the historical role of an individual, that is Paul Doumer, the head of the ruling apparatus. in Indochina, the period 1897-1902. He left a deep impression on a historical period filled with mixed light and dark.
Removing the dark, judging from the bright spot, it can be seen that in his 5-year term Paul Doumer has created a “big turning point” for Indochina (Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia) along with the fact that there are many trees. bridges and infrastructure throughout the country: Long Bien bridge (Hanoi), Trang Tien bridge (Hue), Binh Loi bridge (Saigon), Hai Phong port, trans-Indochina railway system, Van railway Male. Paul Doumer also plays an important role in culture and science: Building an elevated resort in Dalat, establishing many research institutes such as the French Ancient Far East Institute – EFEO, Hanoi Medical University, Nha Trang Pasteur Institute… has a long-term development purpose in Vietnam.
From a governance perspective Paul Doumer is effective administrator . The essence of governance is that the right thing, the right person, the right place, the right time . He has done all that and produced clear results after 5 years in power in Indochina. Go back to a historical point when the Governor-General of Indochina Armand Rousseau died suddenly in December 1896 in Hanoi. Paul Doumer at that moment appeared as a suitable person, the person that France needed for Indochina. Among all the manpower of the French political apparatus, Paul Doumer is known “as a man of steel spirit, persistent will and extraordinary working capacity”. He is best prepared to perform such a difficult task. He is the man chosen by historical moments. That means finding the right person, in the right place at the right time.
When arriving in Indochina, Paul Doumer recorded the plagued financial situation, especially in the North and the Middle period. He has defined a clear mission: to bring Indochina out of stagnation, to revive the precarious financial situation and restore the prestige of the government. The initiatives or solutions proposed by Paul Doumer as the head of Indochina are not entangled with immediate events, but rather are considered in pursuit and purposeful implementation of policy and ambitious. Right choice and work, combined with will, pragmatism, and perseverance helped Paul Doumer sculpt an Asian colony like an unstoppable “wheelchair.” Modern Indochina is built on a deliberate act and a continuous series of bold steps by Paul Doumer.
With efforts to overcome obstacles, Paul Doumer has achieved results that many previous predecessors could not do. Specifically, after 5 years when Paul Doumer took power, Indochina no longer had to rely on the French budget, but even became a useful “prop” for French capitalism. Revived, self-reliant, and well-organized, Indochina became a profitable colony for the first time, with its commercial exchange value doubling in the year to 1.5 billion francs. Paul Doumer, who created economic prosperity for Indochina, helped France significantly consolidate its power position, especially the race to confront France with England in the mid-nineteenth century. and twentieth century. At the same time, during the time of Paul Doumer, a tightly structured and stable state apparatus was formed, which only began to work after he left Indochina to maintain the essential characteristics of it until World War 2.
As the embodiment of a historical phenomenon, representing France, Governor-General of Indochina Paul Doumer during his tenure never ceased to be out of trouble. However, beyond a term of “rescheduling”, beyond the mission of being the head of the ruling apparatus in Indochina, he instilled in this land his own personality, but inevitably. from restrictions and setbacks.
Source: Institute of Strategic Leadership