Category: Vietnam

Ngo Dinh Diem between communists and Americans

Ngo Dinh Diem between communists and Americans

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The contradiction between French colonialism and American promotion of an independent, sovereign Vietnamese state had been a prominent aspect of US involvement in Vietnamese affairs in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In the late 1950s, although the French were no longer part of the situation, an analogous contradiction between controlling the policies of a […]

Retrospective

Start of a new war

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The ascendance of Le Duan brought the southern question into the center of party policy. His request to shift from political to military action in the south was rejected by the party’s Central Committee when it met in April 1956. Instead this meeting subscribed to the “peaceful coexistence” line of Khrushchev’s speech and focused on […]

Hanoi

Hanoi

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After shifting its headquarters from the mountains to Hanoi in late 1954, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam received large amounts of aid from China and  the Soviet Union, including food, consumer goods, military and industrial equip- ment, and money. But the greatest foreign presence in North Vietnamese domes- tic affairs was Chinese supervision of the […]

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

From Two Countries To One

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Saigon After Bao Dai went to France in late 1953 to pursue possibilities for negotiating full independence with the Laniel government, Ngo Dinh Diem departed the United States for Europe, sensing that he may find a role in the changing situation. Ngo Dinh Diem’s youngest brother, Ngo Dinh Luyen (1914–1990), was a childhood friend of […]

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

The peace settlement

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By 1953, the State of Vietnam had become an agglomeration of several elements.  A cluster of politicians, most of whom had been part of the Cochinchina separat- ist scheme of d’Argenlieu, gathered in Saigon around Prime Minister Nguyen  Van Tam. The Binh Xuyen was a crime syndicate in Saigon and Cholon in alliance with the […]

Retrospective

The beginning of United States involvement

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Until 1950, the United States was uninvolved in the Vietnamese conflict. While supportive of France as a Cold War ally in Europe, the Truman administration refrained from providing direct assistance to French operations in Indochina, not wanting to be associated with what it viewed as a colonial policy. In early 1949, with the ongoing Berlin […]

Radicalization of the Viet Minh

Radicalization of the Viet Minh

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Nguyen Binh, the Viet Minh leader in Cochinchina, continued a guerrilla war against the French and against the groups supporting Bao Dai until his death in 1951. He was able to establish bases in less-populated areas where the Hoa Hao or Cao Dai were not strong: in the Ca Mau region of the extreme south […]

A Franco-Vietnamese government

A Franco-Vietnamese government

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Although large numbers of Vietnamese rallied to the Viet Minh to defend  national independence, there were also many Vietnamese who saw the under- lying Viet Minh agenda of communist revolution as a threat to their vision of an  independent Vietnam. They viewed a renewal of French colonialism as an unlikely long-term prospect in a decolonizing […]

Outbreak of a new war

Outbreak of a new war

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The central issue in subsequent Franco-Vietnamese negotiations was the status of Cochinchina. D’Argenlieu was determined to deny Ho Chi Minh’s government any claim to the south. At a conference held during April and May in Dalat, a  colonial resort in the Central Highlands, d’Argenlieu made it clear to the Viet- namese representatives from Hanoi that […]

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

Return of the French

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Ho Chi Minh proclaimed Vietnamese independence and the Democratic Repub- lic of Vietnam at a Hanoi rally on September 2, but already the attention of his  new government was shifting from internal matters to the arrival of Allied  troops, ostensibly to disarm and repatriate the Japanese. At the Potsdam confer- ence in July, Allied leaders […]