Cambodia During the Vietnam War

Essay by ZethroHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2004

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Cambodia was country in turmoil and had been for many years. The government of Prince Norodom Sihanouk was overthrown in 1970. This paper will explain the reasons for the overthrow, the effect it had on the people of Cambodia, and the effect that it still has.

There where many reasons that the government was overthrown. Prince Norodom Sihanouk was ruthless leader. He relied on oppression to put down any dissent about his rule. The Vietcong started using Cambodia as a staging ground of raids into South Vietnam. Sihanouk did not want to anger the Vietcong because; he believed that they would eventually win the war. He also did not have an adequate army to attack the Vietcong troops. Eventually the United States started to attack the Vietcong inside Cambodia. In 1970 a group of people inside Sihanouk's government staged a coup. Washington quickly recognized them as the new leaders of Cambodia, because they where willing to allow more aggressive attacks on the Vietcong inside Cambodia.

Sihanouk then joined with the Khmer Rouge a communist party that had at one time been his enemy. In 1975 the Khmer Rouge took over the country. The bombing by America had helped destabilize the country making it easier for the Khmer Rouge to gain support.

The Khmer Rouge was a brutal government that killed many people. They had a massive re-education process that moved people from the cities back into the countryside to become farmers. They also killed any Cambodian that was associated with any of the old governments. Many people starved to death; good medicine readily available for people that needed it. Many skilled workers or students where killed, or but into prisons to be re-educated. The life of many Cambodians was affected greatly.

The people of Cambodia are still affected by...