Biography of Ngo Dinh Diem, 1901-1963.

Essay by ipodrixHigh School, 10th gradeA+, November 2005

download word file, 4 pages 4.7

Downloaded 33 times

In history, Ngo Dinh Diem has largely been viewed as a dictator, whose despotic and repressive regime to maintain power led Vietnam into a dangerous relationship with the United States and to a disastrous civil war. Born in 1901 when Vietnam was under the colonial rule of the French, Diem was part of an aristocratic Roman Catholic family with close relationships to the emperor. His father was a prominent government official and adviser to the Emperor, Bao Dai. Diem was educated in French Catholic schools, including the School for Law and Administration in Hanoi. After his graduation, he became a colonial civil servant and rose to the position of provincial governor in 1929. In 1933, Diem was appointed the minister of the interior by the Emperor. During this time he became strongly opposed to French colonial rule and the communist-led national independence movement. After World War II, Diem rejected an offer to serve in Ho Chi Minh's post war government, seeing the Communists as a threat to his Catholic Values and his vision of an independent Vietnam.

In 1950, Diem left Vietnam for a self-imposed exile in the United States. Being a strong nationalist and anti-communist, he would eventually return, eager to make Vietnam an independent country.

During several years in exile, Diem made political contacts and gained crucial American support. He came to the attention of President Dwight D. Eisonhower whose administration feared that the growing popularity of North Vietnam's Communism would permeate South Vietnam. The Americans saw Diem as a Vietnamese nationalist capable of countering the Communist Viet Minh. While Diem was living in exile, the Viet Minh were fighting the French, who sought to reclaim their Asian colonies after World War II. In 1954, the French conceded defeat, and the leaders of Viet Minh believed that Vietnam...