Pacific Rim and French influence

French Influence in the Pacific Rim To understand the interrelatedness of our modern world, we trace the steps which brought us to our current stage.One example of bringing this understanding is a study of French influence in the Pacific Rim. Here, we trace its origins, review an event where third party international involvement occurred, and describe the resultant situation today.
The beginnings of western imperialism may be traced to the Mediterranean. The center of western civilization began with the Mediterranean world during the time known as the classical age. As the circle of this concept expanded, we date this connection to Asia with the voyages of Vasco De Gama in the 1500s. For a time there were different empires: Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, French, British, and the short-lived German and Italian empires in Africa and other regions. As such of the Southeast Asian Pacific Rim fell under the socio-political, economic influence of the French colonial power. In recent years, popular upheaval has sought to shake the chains of oppression.
One such example is that of Vietnam. From the colonial period, France colonized Vietnam. After World War II, the Vietnamese began resisting the French rule with help of Communism. As France was losing its grip on the nation, the United States stepped in to try and halt the tide of communist advance in the region. This failing on the part of the French and subsequent American involvement culminated in the Vietnam War of the 1960s. During the 1900s, many of the traditional colonies of the European expansion won their independence from the West in terms of self-governing autonomy. This trend continues.
The result of such changes in the Pacific Rim region is the south East Asian environment of today. To bring more political and economic strength, there has been recent progress towards the formation of an entity called the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC). It represents the beginning of a regional community of countries to cooperate through integrated trade and cultural relations. Even though these countries have severed their colonial ties, they sometimes still feel the yoke of subjugation. To the anger of many of the Pacific Rim countries, France continues to use the region for nuclear testing. Grassroots movements against the dumping of hazardous wastes in the Pacific or the transshipment of wastes or of plutonium have risen against these policies. It seems that although these are sovereign nations, they must still battle imperialism in the form of protecting the environment.
Here, we studied French influence in the Pacific Rim to bring about a more global understanding of events and their relationship to the present. We traced the origins of French influence in the region, reviewed an event where third party international involvement occurred, and described the resultant situation today. We traced the steps which brought us to our current stage to bring a greater understanding to our current worldview.
Waddell, Eric. 1993. Review of France and the South Pacific: A Contemporary History, by Stephen Henningham. The Contemporary Pacific 5 (2): 472-74.