Category: Vietnam

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

The August Revolution

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For Vietnamese in Tonkin and northern Annam, the winter of 1944–1945 was a time of famine with around one million people dying of starvation. The 1944 spring rice crop had been reduced by drought and insect infestation and the autumn crop had been reduced by a typhoon; however, by themselves these events would not have […]

Retrospective

Formation of the Viet Minh

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After the destruction of the Indochinese Communist Party in Cochinchina in November 1940, the center of party authority emerged in Tonkin under the direction of Truong Chinh (given name: Dang Xuan Khu, 1907–1988), who had joined the Youth League in the late 1920s, had spent six years in prison, and had worked as a legal […]

Indochina At War

Indochina At War

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The Japanese arrive As the Sino-Japanese War raged just over the northern border and as war in Europe shifted from threat to reality, a fresh upsurge of religious excitement spread in western Cochinchina. In July of 1939, in a village near the Seven Mountains near the Khmer border, a sickly but charismatic young man named […]

Retrospective

New cultural patterns

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Vietnamese history in the 1930s is much more than the story of communist activists, and not all members of the new generation were absorbed by politics. The events just narrated above were peripheral to fundamental changes taking place in scholarship, literature, society, and religion. The last decade without war  until the 1990s, this was the […]

The victory of Hanoi

Vietnamese politics and the Popular Front

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During the prolonged suppression of the Vietnamese Nationalist Party and the Nghe-Tinh Soviets, Vietnamese students and young professionals in France organized protest demonstrations, resulting in many of their leaders being arrested and expelled back to Indochina or evading arrest and escaping back to Indochina. Most of these had participated in the Jeune Annam movement of […]

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

The French resort to the monarchy

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For five years after the events of 1930–1931, the Franco-Vietnamese relationship was in a surface holding pattern while, beneath the calm, important changes were occurring among the Vietnamese. The governor generals during this time were men who had many years of administrative experience in Indochina and had risen to high positions under Sarraut in the […]

Retrospective

The soviets in Nghe-Tinh and western Cochinchina

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Aside from the change in Vietnamese perceptions arising from the obduracy of the French regime that affected all Vietnamese regions, Tonkin was particularly responsive to developments in southern China that inspired Vietnamese efforts to  build clandestine anti-colonial organizations modeled on the Chinese Commun- ist and the Chinese Nationalist Parties. In late 1929, Nguyen Thai Hoc, […]

Retrospective

The new generation in Tonkin and Annam

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Activist members of the new generation in Tonkin, galvanized by the events of 1925–1926, gathered in Hanoi and were initially involved in publishing efforts. The  level of French surveillance and censorship, however, stymied them, and in Decem- ber 1927 they organized the Vietnamese Nationalist Party under the leadership of  Nguyen Thai Hoc (1902–1930). This organization […]

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

Cochinchina and the new generation

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A leftist coalition was elected to power in France in 1924. It included many politicians opposed to colonialism, which led in 1925 to the replacement of Merlin by Varenne, a Socialist politician who had expressed sympathy for Vietnamese aspirations. Although disowned by his own party for accepting the colonial appointment, Varenne believed that he should […]

Radicalization of the Viet Minh

The beginning of Saigon politics

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One of the publishing ventures subsidized by the Sarraut government was a French-language Saigon newspaper, La Tribune Indigène, begun in 1917, which soon became the mouthpiece of Bui Quang Chieu (1872–1945), a man from the Mekong delta who in the 1890s had studied in France and obtained a degree in  agricultural engineering. From 1897 he […]