Between the rivers and tides: a hydraulic history of the Mekong Delta, 1820-1975
This historical study of the water environment and water projects in the Mekong Delta examines exchanges between engineers and local people that defined regional identities tied to the surrounding water landscape. Chapter One begins in 1820 with Nguye˜n-era canal projects and histories of the region. This thesis traces the impacts of both physical water projects and the creation of spatial narratives that defined the region and its waterways as Vietnamese space. Chapter Two focuses on subsequent French colonial efforts to build a permanent water network through dredging and settlement measures from 1880--1930. Chapter Three examines the "agricultural crisis" and its roots in combined environmental and social problems during colonial rule. Chapter Four examines the post-1945 establishment of "liberated zones" and the effects of wartime responses to land redistribution in polarizing the water landscape Chapter Five examines the effect of the polarized landscape and escalated military conflict on the water landscape from 1960 to 1975, arguing that it resulted in a fragmentation of water resources and management. Sources used include Nguye˜n histories, French colonial engineering reports, Vietnamese public works documents, oral histories, and American military sources.
- History