Tonkin Woman smoking Opium. North Vietnam 1895.
Femme fumant de l’opium.
Autor: Du Monde Souvenirs de Voyages, Paris, L. Boulanger, editeur. 1895
The Tonkin Protectorate was a territory under French protection. The Treaty of Hué, signed in 1884, established in Tonkin – a region corresponding to the north of present-day Vietnam – a political authority distinct from that exercised in the protectorate of Annam: the Vietnamese territory which, after the conquest of Cochinchina, remained under the authority of the Nguyễn dynasty, was henceforth divided in two.
Officially still under the monarchical authority of the Emperor of Annam, Tonkin was quickly managed as a colony, with the resident-general having all the powers. In 1887, Tonkin, like Annam and Cochinchina, was placed under the authority of the Governor General of French Indochina, who was based in Hanoi. Tonkin was called in Vietnamese Bac Kỳ (“Northern Country”), or Bac Bộ (“Northern Region”), the second term being preferred by the nationalists. Its population was estimated at 8 million in 1940.