Category: History of Vietnam

Retrospective

Retrospective

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Considering the events discussed in this book, no conclusion can be drawn in the sense of discovering some deep logic governing a presumed destiny of the Vietnamese people. Knowledge of the Vietnamese past in the English language accumulated in the late twentieth century in the shadow of war; academics,  journalists, and politicians accorded the chief […]

The Sino-Khmer War and renovation

The Sino-Khmer War and renovation

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Hanoi moved rapidly to unify the country. The Provisional Revolutionary Gov- ernment of South Vietnam was pushed aside and administrators were sent from  the north to establish the new regime in the south. Many Second Republic officials were killed and hundreds of thousands of people were sent to concentration camps, ostensibly to re-educate them to […]

The victory of Hanoi

The victory of Hanoi

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When Ho Chi Minh died in mid 1969, Le Duan decided to enshrine public memory of him with the goal of conquering the south, thereby adding an aura of saintliness to the party’s policies and authority. The tightening of domestic social control became increasingly important not only to mitigate war weariness but also to maintain […]

Retrospective

The Second Republic

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North Vietnamese leaders worried not only about the diminishing importance of their struggle in the context of world politics but also about the success of the Second Republic in stabilizing South Vietnam. Nguyen Van Thieu was not a very inspiring leader, but neither was he known for either excessive corruption or egregious abuse of power. […]

US redeployment out of Vietnam

US redeployment out of Vietnam

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When the two-sided four-party Paris peace talks began in early 1969, it was quickly apparent that they were little more than a propaganda platform. Hanoi was occupied with rebuilding its military capability in the south without the large southern component that had been sacrificed in 1968 and was content to delay serious negotiations until it […]

US redeployment out of Vietnam

The communist offensive of 1968

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Between the 1959 decision to force a military solution upon the southern question and the death of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963, Le Duan and his associates in Hanoi were constrained by party members who believed that economic development was a higher priority than military confrontation with the south and that, in fact, developing a […]

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

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Lyndon Johnson accepted the American commitment to defeat the communist attempt to take over South Vietnam, but he subordinated the implementation of this commitment to the presidential election of 1964 and to his ambitious domestic legislative agenda, which occupied him during the first half of 1965. Consequently, when, in March 1965, he opened direct American […]

Retrospective

Political turmoil in Saigon

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Despite filling the role of “first among equals” during the planning and execution of the coup, Duong Van Minh was indolent and without ideas aside from removing Ngo Dinh Diem’s officials and abandoning his policies. In a matter of days, the structure of authority created by the Ngo Dinh brothers was dismantled and the strategic […]

Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem

Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem

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The Vietnamese–American relationship unraveled in 1963 as a result of several factors. The flawed Laotian agreement of 1962 facilitated North Vietnamese use of southern Laos to supply communist forces in South Vietnam. This assisted Hanoi’s response to the challenge of strategic hamlets and of escalating American advisory, logistical, and air support activities. Harriman, the chief […]

The Sino-Khmer War and renovation

The Kennedy escalation

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At the end of 1960, American policy in Southeast Asia was in disarray with the Laotian situation threatening a Cold War confrontation and relations with Saigon in turmoil. During the next year, the administration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy developed new policies toward Laos and Vietnam that became the basis of subsequent US involvement in the […]