nlike many other European countries that sought out the territory in Southeast Asia merely for increasing their power through trade, the French first began interactions with the region as early as the 17th century. Alexandre De Rhodes began an expedition to the Southeast Asia region with the desire to expand the Jesuit missionaries throughout the region to further their belief. For many years until the 18th century, the Jesuits expanded and created many missionaries throughout the region. The 18th century had brought an astronomical expansion in the trading markets throughout Europe and Asia as all the European superpowers began colonizing all of Southeast Asia to further their trading “empires.” The French would also begin to participate, not at the same level as countries such as the Netherlands or Great Britain, but more in moderation. At that time the French believed to confine their participation in Southeast Asia to religious advancement and moderate trading. It wasn’t until the 19th century until things would begin to take a turn and the French would become a major participant in Vietnam’s history.


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