unit banner

Unit 4: Nationalism, Industrialism, and Imperialism

Lesson B: Resistance to European Rule in India and SE Asia

Activity 9: Examining Perspective through Letters

In a previous activity, you learned that people with different perspectives might view an image differently. Next, you are going to explore how people from similar backgrounds might view the same event through different perspectives.

When the French took over Vietnam, the king was overthrown. Many supporters became rebel fighters and continued to fight the French military. At the same time, other Vietnamese accepted French rule and went to work for the French government.

In the next activity, you will examine the contents of two letters. Hoang Cao Khai wrote the first letter. He accepted French rule and worked for the government.

Phan Dinh Phung wrote the second letter in response to the letter he received from Hoang Cao Khai. Phan Dinh Phung was a revolutionary fighter who went into the mountains and continuously fought for Vietnamese independence.

Both of these men were Vietnamese and had similar backgrounds. As you examine the two letters respond to the following questions.

Notebook Icon

Written Activity - Notebook

In your notebook, respond to the following questions:

  • What are each writer's main concerns?
  • Why might one person from Vietnam want to continue to fight while another person from Vietnam chooses to accept French rule?
  • What might explain how each writer's perspective is different?
Document 1: Letter from Hoang Cao Khai           Document 2: Letter from Phan Dinh Phung
image of classroom blackboard with world history written on it

Classroom Activity - Examining Perspective through Letters

Discussion Icon Discussion

Directions: Prepare a response to the discussion question(s) below. Follow your teacher's directions to participate in your class discussion.

  • If you were a citizen of Vietnam at the time of French takeover, what would you have done? Would you have continued to fight the French or would you have accepted French rule? Why?
  • What might be the impact of you making the choice you made and how might this perspective help you justify your decision?
Download Icon

Select the link to review the Discussion Scoring Tool (pdf).


❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖