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Vietnam. Government/History 354 Campbell University. Location. Vietnam is surrounded by China to the north; Laos, Cambodia and the Gulf of Siam to the west; and the Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea to the east . . Characteristics.

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Vietnam l.jpg

Vietnam

Government/History 354

Campbell University


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Location

Vietnam is surrounded by China to the north; Laos, Cambodia and the Gulf of Siam to the west; and the Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea to the east.


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Characteristics

  • Vietnam is slightly larger than New Mexico in land area (128,066 sq miles).

  • Most land is mountainous or hilly. Only 20% is arable.

  • The climate is hot and humid, subject to the Monsoons.

  • Its population is 84 million. 86.2%Viet (Kinh) with significant Chinese and Montagnard minorities.

  • 80.8% express no religious preference, 9.% are Buddhist & 6.7% Catholic.


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After Effects of War

  • Following the end of the war in 1975, Vietnam engaged in reeducation and collectivization, Soviet style.

  • From 1975 into the 1990s, refugees fled Vietnam, many as boat people. They were accepted:

    • United States – 823,000

    • Australia & Canada – 137,00 each.

    • France – 96,000.

    • Germany & U.K. – 19, 000 each

  • The Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong were temporary refuges.

Vietnamese child in Thailand, 1980


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Economy

  • Up to the time of its fall, the Soviet Union was Vietnam’s principal supporter.

  • In 1986, Doi Moi (Renovation) was instituted. The GNP is now growing at the rate of 8.4% annually.

  • Per capita income rose from $220 per person to $638 per person in 2005.

  • The U.S. is its primary export partner (22.2%)

Nguyen Tan Dung was elected P.M. in 2006 at the age of 56.

China is Vietnam’s primary import partner.


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Recent Foreign Relations

  • Invaded Cambodia in 1978. Was punished by a Chinese military campaign in 1979.

  • Withdrew from Cambodia in 1989.

  • Normalized relations with U.S. in 1995.

  • Is a member of ASEAN & AFTA and is seeking membership in the WTO.

Ho Chi Min City in the rain. Tourism has become a significant source of income.

Vietnam’s beaches are among the most beautiful in the world.


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Early History

  • The Hung Dynasty (2879-258 B.C.) was established by Hung Vuong, son of the Lac Dragon Lord, and Au Co, a Chinese immortal. The kingdom was called Van Lang.

  • In the 6th Century B.C., established wet rice culture and tidal irrigation under feudal Lac Field Lords.

Upper Red River delta looking toward Yunnan Province, China.


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Formation of Nam Viet

  • An Duong Vuong conquered Van Lang in the 3rd B.C. and united it with Thuc to form Au Lac.

  • Following the fall of the Qin Dynasty, Trieu Da established Nam Viet in 207 B.C. It included Au Lac and extended from Canton to Hue.

  • In 111B.C., Nam Viet became a province of Han China and remained so to until 939A.D.

Hue City Gate


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The Trung Sisters

  • Han Chinese rule became increasingly oppressive. Increased taxes and cultural conformity were demanded, including a patriarchal family structure.

  • In 39 A.D., the Trung sisters lead a revolt in Tongkin and ruled jointly for two years, then committed suicide in the face of massive Chinese retaliation.

A celebration of the Trung sisters’ revolt.


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Champa

  • Kiu-lien revolted against China in 192 A.D. to establish the independent Champa (Lin- Yi) with its capital at Indrapura.

  • The Chams were an Indianized Malay people who were involved in the spice trade and vied for territory with the Khmers of Funan/Chenla.

Cham towers between Hue and Danang


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Questions

  • Q1. Which country accepted most of the refugees from Vietnam?

  • A1. The USA. The number was 823,000.

  • Q2. What was Doi Moi?

  • A2. It means “renovation.” The Communist government opened the economy to private enterprise.

  • Q3. Why did China attack Vietnam in 1979?

  • A3. To support its client state, Cambodia.


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More Questions

  • Q4. During which years was Vietnam first a province of China?

  • A4. 111 BC to 939 AD.

  • Q5. Who were the Lac Lords?

  • A5. Native Vietnamese feudal chieftains who controlled irrigation and owned large rice land estates.

  • Q5. Who were the Trung sisters?

  • A5. They led a revolt against the Chinese in 39 AD and ruled jointly for two years before committing suicide.


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Still More Questions

  • Q6. Who were the Chams?

  • A6. An Indianized Malay people who lived in the southern part of Vietnam and became independent of China in 192AD.

  • Q7. Who was Trieu Da?

  • A7. The Chinese general (war lord) who founded Nam Viet in 207 BC, after the fall of the Qin Dynasty.


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Dai Viet Independence

  • Chinese suzerainty over Vietnam was destabilized by:

    • The Thai kingdom of Nan Chao briefly seizing control of the country in 862.

    • The collapse of the Tang Dynasty in 907.

  • In 939, Ngo Quyen, a Vietnamese general, pushed Chinese forces out of the country.

  • In 968, Dinh Bo Linh, a local chieftain, united the country and established a peasant mobilization system capable of producing a 100,000 man militia, called the Ten Circuit Army.


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March South

  • Binh Bo Linh died in 979. Le Hoan, his military commander, seized the throne, repulsed a Song Chinese attempt to regain control of Vietnam and began the “March South” in 982 by sacking Indrapura.

  • By 1079, the Chams were forced to cede three northern provinces. Vietnamese peasants quickly occupied the land and converted it to rice production, delta by delta along the narrow coastal plain.


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Ly Dynasty

  • Le Hoan was succeeded in 1009 by Ly Cong Uan, commander of the palace guard. He took the reign name of Ly Thai To and established his capital at Dai La (Hanoi). The dynasty lasted until 1225.

  • The Ly kings established a stable and prosperous state:

    • Buddhism became the state religion.

    • Copied the Chinese civil service model with examinations and a nine-grade rank structure.


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Tran Dynasty

  • Tran Thai Tong founds the Tran dynasty thru marriage to a Ly princess in 1225. The Tran had served as regents to the Ly Dynasty for many years.

  • Under the Tran dynasty (1225-1400), the country prospered and flourished. The Tran retained continuity of rule thru ritual and ideology, made extensive land reforms, introduced standardized dike construction, improved public administration thru bureaucratic forms, and encouraged the study of Chinese literature.


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The Mongols

  • Between 1257 and 1287, the Mongols attempted three invasions of Vietnam. The first two were defeated thru strategic withdrawal. The third involved destruction of a force of a ½ million troops and a 400 ships by General Tran Hung Dao.

  • The Chams defeated the Mongols thru equally heroic guerrilla warfare.

Kublai Khan


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Le Dynasty

  • Dynastic decline led the Ming Dynasty to intervene in Vietnam in 1407. A 20 year period of harsh and exploitive rule followed.

  • In 1418, Le Loi led the Lam Son Uprising which resulted in the defeat the Chinese army after 10 years of guerrilla warfare and established the Le Dynasty (1426-1788), a cultural highpoint.

  • In 1471, Le Thanh Ton conquers Champa. Only the area around Nha Trang remained under Cham control. At the same time, Laos became a vassal state.


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Early Christian Contact

  • In 1615, the Jesuits open a mission in Hoi An (Fai Fo), south of Danang. Alexander de Rhodes devises a system for Romanizing Vietnamese called quoc ngu, which he used to write a catechism.

  • Converted 6,000 Vietnamese before being forced to leave the country in 1630.

Alexander de Rhodes


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Vietnam Partitioned

  • The Trinh-Nguyen Wars (1627-73) resulted from General Mac Dang Dung’s attempt to seize the Le throne in 1527. The Trinh and the Nguyen entered the civil war. Each claimed to be defending the Le.

  • The Chinese recognized the claims of each: Trinh in the north and Nguyen in the south.

  • In 1631, the Nguyen built an 18 foot-high wall 11.5 miles long with fortifications from the Annam Mts. to the sea near Dong Hoi (close to the 17th parallel) to defend against Trinh attacks.


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Tayson Rebellion (1771-1802)

  • The Tayson rebellion ended the rule of the Trinh, Nguyen and puppet Le dynasty. The rebellion was a reaction to uncontrolled inflation, famine and confiscatory taxes. The goal was to eliminate the Nguyen dynasty and redistribute the property of the rich.

  • The rebellion was led by three brothers from the village of Tayson in the South who took the Nguyen sir name.

  • The Taysons deserve credit for the first Tet Offensive in 1789. On January 25, in a five-day campaign Nguyen Hue (reign name Quang Trung) defeated a Chinese force of 200,000 that had invaded the North to support the Le dynasty.


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Emperor Gia Long

  • Nguyen Anh was the last of the Nguyen royal line. He took refuge in Thailand from the Tayson rebels, but returned in 1788 to captured Saigon, then Hue in 1801 and Hanoi in 1802.

  • His successful restoration of unity to the country was partially based on support from the French. A French missionary, Bishop Pegneau de Behaine, took up his cause, traveled to France in 1787 and arranged a treaty with Louis XVI that provided military assistance. That was just a year before the French revolution.


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Gia Long (Cont’d)

  • The Franco-Vietnamese treaty granted the French a monopoly on Vietnamese external trade, an island, the port of DaNang and allowed missionary activity in exchange for military aid.

  • Nguyen Anh took the reign name of Gia Long [a contraction of Gia Dinh (Saigon area) and Than Long (Hanoi area)] when he proclaimed himself emperor of Nam Viet.

  • He took Hue as his capital and built the Purple Forbidden City.

Gia Long


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Questions

  • Q1. What was the Ten Circuit Army? Who organized it?

  • A1. A peasant militia capable of producing a 100,000 man force. It was designed to defend 10 geographic districts (circuits), each composed of 10 armies of 10 brigades each, ten companies strong. Founded by Binh Bo Linh in 968.

  • Q2. What and where was Indrapura?

  • A2. It was the capital of Champa, located between Hue and Danang.


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More Questions

  • Q3. How did General Tran Hung Dao destroy the Mongol fleet of 400 ships in 1287?

  • A3. He drove steel tipped spikes into the bed of the Bac Dang River, then lured the fleet into the river at high tide.

  • Q4. When and why was Vietnam first partitioned?

  • A4. It was partitioned during the Trinh-Nguyen Wars (1627-1673), when the Nguyen built a wall from the mountains to the sea near Dong Hoi in 1631.


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Still More Questions

  • Q5. What factors led to the Tayson Rebellion?

  • A5. Taxation, inflation, famine and dislike of the Nguyen dynasty.

  • Q6. When was the first Tet Offensive?

  • A6. In 1789, against Chinese forces stationed around Hanoi. Led by Nguyen Hue, one to the Tayson brothers.

  • Q7. What is quoc ngu? Who invented it?

  • A7. A system for writing Vietnamese using Romanized script. It was invented by Alexander de Rhodes, a Jesuit missionary.

  • Q8. The Lam Son Uprising led to the establishment of what dynasty?

  • A8. Le Loi led the uprising to establish the Le dynasty.


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And Still More Questions

  • Q9. What were the conditions of the Franco-Vietnamese Treaty of 1787?

  • A9. In return for military assistance, the Vietnamese granted the French a monopoly on external trade, an island, the port of Danang and the right to proselytize.

  • Q10. What was Nguyen Anh’s reign name? What did it symbolize?

  • A10. Giah Long. It symbolized unity of the north and south. Gia came from Giah Dinh(Saigon area); Long from Than Long (Hanoi area).


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The Christian Wedge

  • In 1820 & 1833, reinstitution of repressive taxes and cultural Sinification led to rebellions in Giah Dinh.

  • By 1841, there were 450,000 Christians in southern Vietnam.

  • Emperor Minh Mang attempted to suppress Christianity by banning missionaries and closing ports to Europeans.

  • In 1846, the French blockaded and then bombarded Tourane killing thousands to free a condemned priest.


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Cochin China

  • In 1858, the death of a French and a Spanish priest led to joint expeditionary force capturing Tourane.

  • In 1859, the French captured Gia Dinh (Saigon) and the surrounding provinces in 1862.

  • Emperor Tu Duc signed the Treaty of Saigon in 1862: ceding three provinces in the Gia Dinh region, opening three ports to international trade, granting the right to navigate the Mekong and agreeing to pay a P 4 million indemnity.

  • Tu Duc redirected his forces to Bac Bo to suppress a large Christian supported rebellion in 1865.


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Exploring the Back Door

  • In 1866, Francis Garnier and Doudart de Lagree charted the Mekong in search of a navigable route into South China. None was found.

  • They did find that extensive trade passed through Tonking.

  • After de Lagree died, Garnier continued the mission all the way to Shanghai by joining the Yangtze River. He covered 5,392 miles

Stamp issued in 1943 honoring Francis Garnier.

He received the Victoria medal for his exploration of the Mekong.


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The Red River Alternative

  • In 1868, Jean Dupuis (a trader), among many, discussed opening a Red River route to China with Garnier and others.

  • In 1873, Garnier was asked to mediate a dispute over shipping on the Red River involving Dupuis. He unilaterally declared the river open to international trade and seized Haiphong. He was later killed in a battle with Black Flag pirates.

  • Based on Garnier’s initiative, a treaty was signed in 1873 confirming the open status of the Red River and opening three ports in Tonking.


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French Indochina

  • Three countries formed Indochina: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

  • In 1863, the Franco-Khmer treaty established a protectorate over Cambodia.

  • The Thais then confronted the French with a secret Thai-Khmer treaty. In 1867, Thais gained sovereignty over Battambang and Siem Reap in return for giving up claims of suzerainty over Cambodia.


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French Indochina (Cont’d)

  • In 1882, Henri Riviere attempted to clear the Red River of pirates, only to be defeated by the Black Flag. The French claimed mandarin obstruction in violation of the 1873 treaty.

  • The Vietnamese are forced to agree to a French protectorate over the entire country in 1883-4.

  • In 1885, the Vietnamese seek Chinese assistance. The French naval forces easily best the Chinese leading to the Treaty of Tientsin. The Chinese recognized the French protectorate and granted the right to build a RR from Hanoi to Kunming.


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Indochinese Union

  • In 1887, the French formally established the Indochinese Union composed of Tonking, Annam, Cochin, Cambodia and Laos (added as a protectorate in 1893). Each was administered as a separate province.

  • The Vietnamese emperor was stripped of all authority. A Resident Superior governed in his name.

  • In 1898, the French took over tax collection and the payment of officials.


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Questions

  • Q1. How many Christians were in southern Vietnam by 1841?

  • A1. 450,000.

  • Q2. Why were the Vietnamese monarchs opposed to Christianity?

  • A2. It was heterodox and considered subversive?

  • Q3. What were the provisions of the 1862 Treaty of Saigon?

  • A3. The Emperor ceded three provinces in the Gia Dinh region, opened three ports, granted the right to navigate the Mekong and agreed to pay a P 4 million indemnity.


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More Questions

  • Q4. Why did Emperor Tu Duc sign the Treaty of Saigon rather than fight?

  • A4. He had little real support among the people, overestimated the strength of French forces and had to cope with a Christian supported rebellion in Bac Bo.

  • Q5. For what was Francis Garnier awarded the Victoria medal?

  • A5. His exploration of the Mekong River from Saigon to Shanghai.


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Still More Questions

  • Q6. What was the allure of opening the Red River?

  • A6. It provided a backdoor into China.

  • Q7. Who were the Black Flag pirates?

  • A7. Composed of largely of Chinese soldiers who fled south after the Taiping rebellion. They were frequently in the service of the mandarin.

  • Q8. How did the French acquire a protectorate over Cambodia?

  • A8. The Franco-Khmer Treaty of 1863. The treaty was welcomed by the Cambodians.


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The Rise of Nationalism

  • 1885-1913 - Can Vuong (Aid the King).

  • Phan Boi Chau.

    • 1902 – Published Ryukyu’s Bitter Tears.

    • 1904 – Founded Duy Tan Hoi (Reformation Society).

    • 1905 – Published History of the Loss of Vietnam.

    • 1906-07 – founded the Viet Nam Cong Hien Hoi (Vietnam Public Offering Society) in Japan.

    • 1912 - Founded the Viet Nam Quang Phuc Hoi (Vietnam Restoration Society).

Phan Boi Chau was arrested in 1925.


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Rise of Nationalism (Cont’d)

  • Ho Chih Minh

    • 1919 – Tried to petition Woodrow Wilson in Paris.

    • 1920 – Was a founding member of the French Communist Party.

    • 1925 - Founded the Revolutionary Youth League

    • 1926 - Wrote The Revolutionary Path.

    • 1930 – Founded Indochina Communist Party (ICP).

    • 1941 – Established the Viet Minh.

Ho Chi Minh


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Rise of Nationalism (Cont’d)

  • Nguyen Thai Hoc

    • 1927 – Founded the Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang (VNQDD) or Vietnamese Nationalist Party on the KMT model.

    • 1930-31 – Ordered the Yen Bay mutiny as part of a general uprising. It is suppressed and VNQDD crushed.

    • 1936 - The ICP organized a Democratic National Front.

  • Bao Dai returned from France in 1932 to head reformed monarchy. Ngo Dinh Diem was Minister of Interior and head of the reform commission. Diem resigned in frustration at French intransigence.


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World War II

  • The French Vichy government opened Vietnam to the Japanese.

  • Ho Chih Minh set up headquarters in a cave in Bac Bo in 1941. Vo Nguyen Giap was appointed to lead Viet Minh military forces.

  • Ho’s resistance campaign against the Japanese and Vichy French was supported by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services.

Vo Nguyen Giap 1911


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The August Revolution

  • The Viet Minh occupied Hanoi in August and proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) on September 2, 1945. No other state recognized it.

  • The British occupied Cochin on behalf of the French on September 12.

  • The Nationalist Chinese occupied Hanoi and the north with 180,000 troops on September 16 and forced the DRV to negotiate with the VNQDD.

  • Ho agreed to the French replacing the Chinese in Hanoi in exchange for recognition of the DRV.


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First Indochina War

  • In 1946, 150,000 French troops replaced the Chinese in Tonking.

  • French - Viet Minh clashes led to the French cruiser Suffren bombarding Haiphong.

  • In 1947, the French occupied Viet Bac in the north and formed alliances with Hoa Hao and Cao Dai in the south.

  • In 1949, the French announced the formation of the Republic of Vietnam as an associate state. The U.K. and U.S. recognized it. The USSR & China recognized the DRV.


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Dien Bien Phu

  • Would you have believed that these two men could have defeated the French army?

  • Neither did General Henri Navarre. He conceived of Dien Bien Phu as forward base, to be supplied by air, from which to disrupt Viet Minh operations in the north and interdict movement in and out of Laos. He had been a NATO commander and knew little about the Vietnam.

Giap & Ho Chi MInh


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Dien Bien Phu (Cont’d)

  • On November 20, 1954, French paratroopers occupied Dien Bien Phu. 16,000 troops were eventually amassed, 3,600 of which were Vietnamese & Tai.

  • Giap deployed a force 50,000 and 200 artillery plus 37 mm & 50 cal. antiaircraft guns over 3 months.

  • The battle lasted 56 days and cost the Vietnamese 8-10,000 killed. The casualties forced a change in tactics from assault to trenching and mining.


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Dien Bien Phu (Cont’d)

  • French success depended on maintaining an air bridge from Haiphong to Dien Bien Phu.

  • Vietnamese anti aircraft fire effectively closed the airfield and made daylight airdrops prohibitive.

  • CAT provided C-119 and A-26 air support.

  • French resistance ended on May 7. There were 11,721 French prisoners; 4, 436 were wounded. In all, 3, 290 lived..


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French and U.S. Air Support

Douglas A-26 Intruder

Fairchild C-119 Boxcar

Douglas C-47 Dakota


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Geneva Accords (1954)

  • Peace talks began the day after Dien Bien Phu fell on May 8. A cease-fire and a final declaration resulted.

    • The 17th parallel was established as a provisional line of demarcation with a DMZ. All French and DRV forces were to withdraw to their side of the line. Civilians were free to move between zones for 300 days.

    • The final declaration called for elections in July 1956. The state of (South) Vietnam and the U.S. refused to agree to the elections and stated their reservations.

  • The DRV compromised due to Russian and Chinese pressure and fear of U.S. involvement.


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S.E.A.T.O.

  • John Foster Dulles created the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) in 1954 to defend South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos as protocol countries.

  • The U.S. feared the domino effect, i.e., if Vietnam fell to Communism, all of Southeast Asia would fall eventually.

  • The member nations were Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, the U.S., the U.K., France. Australia and New Zealand.


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Questions

  • Q1. Who was Phan Boi Chau?

  • A1. He was a classically educated scholar who led an anti French resistance movement in the early 1900s.

  • Q2. Who was Ho Chih Minh?

  • A2. Founder of the of Indochinese Communist Party (ICP) and leader of DRV.

  • Q3. Who was Prince Bao Dai?

  • A3. He was the last Emperor of Vietnam. He was brought back from exile in France to lead a reformed monarchy. His interior minister was Ngo Dinh Diem.


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More Questions

  • Q4. What was the purpose of the August Revolution in 1945?

  • A4. To establish a (Communist )Vietnamese government in Hanoi and preempt the return of the French.

  • Q5. When did the First Indochinese War begin?

  • A5. Most people consider the bombardment of Haiphong in 1946 as the beginning.

  • Q6. Why did the French choose to establish a base at Dien Bien Phu?

  • A6. To disrupt Viet Minh operations in the area, protect Laos, disrupt the flow of supplies from China and force a fixed-piece battle.


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Still More Question

  • Q7. Why was SEATO formed?

  • A7. To protect South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos from Communist aggression.

  • Q8. On what date was the Geneva Conference on Indochina scheduled to convene?

  • A8. May 8, 1954

  • Q9. On what day was the French surrender forced at Dien Bien Phu?

  • A9. May 7, 1954


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After the Accords

  • In the South, Bao Dai installed Ngo Dinh Diem as his prime minister, but remained in Paris.

  • Diem handled the resettlement of almost a million Catholic refugees from the North.

  • 90,000 Communist moved north, but 10,000 Viet Minh fighters quietly remained in the South.

  • Bao Dai was ousted as head of government by a (rigged) referendum in 1955.

Bao Dai in Paris


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Ngo Dinh Diem

  • Diem cracked down on Binh Xuyen criminal elements and controlled Cao Dai and Hoa Hao.

  • Shipments of U.S. aid to SVN began as Ho Chih Minh launched radical land reforms in the North

  • Diem refused to participate in the 1956 national unification elections.

Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, Sec. of State John Foster Dulles and Pres. Ngo Dinh Diem.


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The Beginning of Conflict

  • 1957 – The Viet Minh stepped up terrorists activities in the South; assassinated hundreds of government officials. Diem counters with the arrest of 65,000 suspected Communists and established a “quasi-police” state.

  • 1957-62 – The strategic hamlet program was implemented. 8,000 hamlets were established; 1,500 were viable. Many were infiltrated.

  • A weak land reform program was instituted. Acreage in excess of 247 was redistributed, benefiting about 10% of the tenant farmers.


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The Beginning of Conflict (Cont’d)

  • In 1957, the Soviet Union proposed a permanent division of Vietnam into two separate countries. The U.S. rejected the proposal.

  • In 1959, North Vietnam established the Central Office of South Vietnam (COSVN) to oversee the war in the South.

  • COSVN began construction of the 1500 mile-long Ho Chih Minh Trail. By 1968, transit time was only six weeks.


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Interdiction of the Trail

The AC-130 was developed to interdict the Ho Chih Minh Trail


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The Beginning of Conflict (Cont’d)

  • On February 27, 1962, the presidential palace in Saigon is bombed by two “renegade” pilots.

  • July 1962, the U.S. signed the declaration of Laotian neutrality. It prohibits the invasion of Laos to interdict the Ho Chih Minh trail.

North American Aviation

P-51 Mustang


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Buddhist Protest

  • May 1963 - Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc (Diem’s brother) forbad the display of the Buddhist flags in Hue to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. Buddhist riots followed.

  • June 1963 – Thich Quang Duc is the first of 7 monks and one American to commit self immolation.

  • Madame Nhu calls the immolations “BBQ’s.”

Thich Quang Duc

Self Immolation Saigon,1963


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Diem’s Assassination

  • At Washington’s direction, Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge encouraged Diem during the summer to reform his government.

  • Failing that, he was instructed “not to interfere” should an attempt be planned. General Duong Van “Big “ Minh emerges as the leader of a coup. Lodge assured him that U.S. support would continue, if Diem was removed from office.

  • President Diem and brother Nhu were assassinated on November 1, 1963.


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Gulf of Tongking Resolution

  • Official estimates revealed that the South Vietnamese government controlled only 34% of the country; the NLF controlled 42%. The rest was contested.

  • The USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy were attacked by North Vietnamese PT boats on August 2 & 3, 1964 while supporting covert South Vietnamese raids on the North Vietnamese coast.

  • On August 7, congress passed the Gulf of Tongking resolution.


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Rolling Thunder

  • The Viet Cong attack on the U.S. Air Base at Pleiku served as provocation to launch Operation Rolling Thunder in 1965.

  • Rolling Thunder was a bombing campaign against North Vietnam that last without a break until the 1968 Tet Offensive. It continued until 1972 and Linebacker I & II.

Republic F-105 Thunderchief

Wild Weasel

864, 000 tons of bombs were dropped on NVN during Rolling Thunder.


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The Tet Offensive

  • In 1965, Gen. William C. Westmoreland predicted the fall of Vietnam in a year without U.S. forces. By 1967, U.S. force levels reached 525,000.

  • The Tet Offensive was launched on January 31, 1968. While a political victory, it was a military disaster for NVN. NVN losses were estimated at 25,000 to 45, 000.


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Tet: Victory or Defeat

  • The objective reality of Viet Cong defeat was overshadowed by the offensive’s psychological and propaganda value. It was the turning point of U.S involvement.

  • The NVN expected a spontaneous uprising in the South in response to the offensive. They did not anticipate the magnitude of its impact on the U.S. public.

Saigon Police Chief executes Viet Cong Captain


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Questions

  • Q1. How many Catholics took refuge in the South after the 1954 Geneva Accords were signed?

  • A1. About one million.

  • Q2. Why did the Diem regime and the U.S. refuse to participate in the unification elections of 1956?

  • A2. They did not agree to them at the time of the accords and feared their outcome.

  • Q3. How many strategic hamlets were actually established between 1957 and 1962? How many were viable?

  • A3. 8,000 were established and 1500 were viable.


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More Questions

  • Q4. When did COSVN start construction of the Ho Chih Minh Trail?

  • A4. In 1959.

  • Q5. What solution did the Soviet Union propose to the Vietnam question in 1957.?

  • A5. Establishing two separate countries.

  • Q6. Who was Thich Quang Duc?

  • A6. He was a Buddhist monk who immolated himself in Saigon in 1963.

  • Q7. Who was Norman Morrison?

  • A7. He was a Quaker who immolated himself in 1965.


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Still More Questions

  • Q8. To what extent was the U.S. involved in the assassination of Diem?

  • A8. The U.S. tacitly encouraged it.

  • Q9. What was the Gulf of Tongking resolution of 1964?

  • A9. It was essentially a declaration of war based on our ships being attacked?

  • Q10. What were the objectives of Rolling Thunder?

  • A10. To destroy the NVN will to fight, destroy their industrial base and anti aircraft capability and restrict the flow of men and material on the Trail.


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Disengagement with Honor

  • In 1968, following the TET Offensive Pres. Lyndon Johnson announced that the U.S would seek a political settlement with Hanoi.

  • In 1969, four party peace talks began in Paris. The participants are U.S., NVN, SVN, and the NLF.

  • Later in 1969, Pres. Richard Nixon announced the “Nixon Doctrine” and Vietnamization of the war.

  • U.S. forces reduced by 115,000 by year’s end.

  • In 1972, Pres. Nixon visits Beijing, China, a major realignment of the Cold War adversaries.


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Easter Offensive

  • Encouraged by the drop U.S. force levels to156,800, ARVNs poor performance and U.S. anti war sentiment, Giap launches the Easter Offensive in March 1972.

  • NVN forces number 200,000. It is an all out offensive to conquer the South focused on Quang Tri Province just below the DMZ, at Kontum in the mid section of SVN and An Loc in the south..


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Linebacker I

  • In response to the Easter Offensive,Pres. Nixon ordered a major bombing campaign in the South and North in May 1972, including the mining of Haiphong harbor.

  • Use of B-52 carpet bombing became a key to success in defense of the South. It also impeded the ability of the North to support the offensive.

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Wingspan 185 feet


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Snatching Defeat from Victory

  • The Easter Offensive was another serious military defeat for the North. NVN casualties reached 100,000. Additionally, the North lost half of its armor and artillery.

  • Giap was quietly replaced General Van Tien Dung.

  • The U.S. image of the war was captured by a photo of napalmed children.

South Vietnamese aircraft napalm the wrong target


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The Christmas Bombing

  • The Paris Peace negotiations collapsed in December 1972 over demands by SVN Pres. Nguyen Van Thieu.

  • Nixon ordered Linebacker II, a maximum force bombing of military targets in Hanoi and Haiphong to force a return to negotiations.

  • On January 8, 1973, negotiations resumed.

  • The Peace Accords were signed on January 27, 1973. The conditions are withdrawal of U.S. forces, return of POWs and a cease fire in place. SVN was considered to have two governments.


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Final Conquest of the South

  • Emboldened by the Watergate Scandal, the North launched a final offensive on March 10, 1975. ARVN forces in the highlands are routed.

  • Saigon falls on April 30, 1975.

Vietnamese escape Saigon as it falls.


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Questions

  • Q1. Why did the media portray the Tet Offensive as a NVN victory?

  • A1. The NVN ability to amass forces and organize a major offensive was a shock.

  • Q2. What was the Nixon Doctrine?

  • A2. The U.S. would not commit ground forces in regional or local wars in the future. It was the rationale for Vietnamization.

  • Q3. What was the impact of Nixon’s visit to China?

  • A3. It turned the Cold War on its head.


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More Questions

  • Q4. How did the U.S. respond to the Easter Offensive of 1972?

  • A4. Linebacker I, a major bombing of Communist forces in the North and South.

  • Q5. What was the purpose of the 1972 Christmas bombings?

  • A5. To force the NVN back to the bargaining table in Paris.

  • Q6. What were the conditions of the Paris Peace Accord of 1973?

  • A6. The withdrawal of U.S. combat forces, return of POWs and a cease fire in place.


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Epilogue

Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho won Nobel Prize in 1973.

Ho Chih Minh died in 1969. Giap is still alive.

Jane Fonda said she’s sorry for supporting the enemy on her 1972 trip to Hanoi.


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The End


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