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Director: Bai An Tran, Ph.D.

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Abdication of Bao Dai, Emperor of Annam

Emperor Bao Dai

(AUGUST, l945)

The happiness of the people of Vietnam!

The Independence of Vietnam!

To achieve these ends, we have declared ourself ready for any sacrifice and we desire that our sacrifice be useful to the people.

Considering that the unity of all our compatriots is at this time our country's need, we recalled to our people on August 22: "In this decisive hour of our national history, union means life and division means death."

In view of the powerful democratic spirit growing in the north of our kingdom, we feared that conflict between north and south could be inevitable if we were to wait for a National Congress to decide us, and we know that this conflict, if it occurred, would plunge our people into suffering and would play the game of the invaders.

We cannot but have a certain feeling of melancholy upon thinking of our glorious ancestors who fought without respite for 400 years to aggrandise our country from Thuan Hoa to Hatien.

Despite this, and strong in our convictions, we have decid- ed to abdicate and we transfer power to the democratic Republican Government.

Upon leaving our throne, we have only three wishes to express:

l. We request that the new Government take care of the dynastic temples and royal tombs.

2. We request the new Government to deal fraternally with all the parties and groups which have fought for the independence of our country even though they have not closely followed the popular movement; to do this in order to give them the opportunity to participate in the reconstruction of the country and to demonstrate that the new regime is built upon the absolute union of the entire population.

3. We invite all parties and groups, all classes of society, as well as the royal family, to solidarize in unreserved support of the democratic Government with a view to consolidating the national independence.

As for us, during twenty years' reign, we have known much bitterness. Henceforth, we shall be happy to be a free citizen in an independent country. We shall allow no one to abuse our name or the name of the royal family in order to sow dissent among our compatriots.

Long live the independence of Vietnam!

Long live our Democratic Republic!

Source: La Republique [Hanoi], Issue no.1 (October 1, 1945), translated in Harold R. Isaacs (ed.), New Cycle in Asia (1947), pp. 161-162. 

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