French colonialism in Vietnam was resisted at many levels and in various forms.
(i) In the late 19 th century, resistance to French
domination was led by Confucian scholar - activists. Nationalist like Phan Boi Chau became a major figure in the anti-colonial resistance. He formed the Revolutionary Society (Duy Tan Hoi) in 1903, with Prince Cuong De as the head. In his book Phan Boi Chau lamented the loss of sovereignty and the severing of ties with China. He was a traditional reformist who believed in monarchy.
(ii) Other nationalists like Phan ChuTrinh (1871-1926) was intensely hostile to the monarchy +and opposed to the idea of resisting the French with the help of court. He did not want a wholesale rejection of Western civilisation. He wanted to establish a democratic republic.
(iii) Early Vietnamese had a close relationship with Japan and China. In the first decade of 20th century a ‘Go East Movement, become popular. In 1907-08 some 300 Vietnamese students went to Japan to acquire modern education. Many of them wanted to drive out the French and re-establish the Nguyen dynasty.
(iv) Inspired by the development in China, Vietnamese students organised the Association for the Restoration of Vietnam. Their objective was to set up a democratic republic.