Tự Đức was the last emperor of the Nguyen dynasty and reined from 1847 to 1883. He is considered to be the last independent emperor of Vietnam. He continued the tradition of social closure started by his ancestors, closing Vietnam off to foreigners and modernizing influences and expelling those foreigners living in Vietnam. His persecution of the Christian population (a belief he considered perverse) caused a considerable amount of anger among the large powers of Europe and led to France’s conquest of Saigon which forced Tự Đức to eventually capitulate and sign over South Vietnam as a French colony (known then as Indochina). For many, this surrender to the French was tantamount to treason.