Bao Dai

Bao Dai (bou dĪ) [key], 1913–97, emperor of Annam (1926–45) and chief of state of Vietnam (1949–55). Born Prince Nguyen Vinh Thuy, he was the son of Emperor Khai Din and succeeded to the throne in 1926, but did not occupy it until 1932. Bao Dai cooperated with both the Vichy French and Japanese during World War II, but in 1945 the Viet Minh nationalists under Ho Chi Minh forced his resignation. The emperor returned in 1949 as head of the new state of Vietnam, which included Annam plus Tonkin and Cochin China. After Vietnam's partition (1954) he accepted Ngo Dinh Diem as prime minister. In 1955 Diem engineered a referendum that abolished the monarchy and assumed control. Bao Dai subsequently lived in exile, primarily in France.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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