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Social Science: Events and Processes - Nationalist Movement in Indo- China - French Colonialism in Indo-china

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Describe the 'Rat Hunt' activity introduced by the French in Vietnam.

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Solution

The deplorable condition of sanitation in Hanoi resulted in plague striking the city. Rats entered the houses through sewage and spread bubonic plague in the city. The French, distraught, started the rat hunt mission in 1902. They hired Vietnamese workers to catch rats for a bounty. Thousands of rats were caught for money and the Vietnamese came up with innovative ideas to make money and also oppose the colonial rule. They discovered that by collective bargaining they could demand more bounty. Since rat tails were collected as proof before the money was paid, some Vietnamese cut-off rats' tails and let them free so that can collect money repeatedly. Some even bred rats for the money they fetched. Seeing their folly, the French ultimately stopped the bounty for rat's tail programme and the rat-hunt came to an end. The plague also became worse from 1903.

Concept: Nationalist Movement in Indo- China - French Colonialism in Indo-china
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