War in Vietnam

Essay by orangomango July 2006

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Vietnam, a small country in the Indochina region, has a history filled with marks of war. It was made a colony of the French in the 1890s and was occupied by the Japanese in World War Two. When the Second World War ended, Vietnam began engaging in fierce warfare such as the First Indochina war and the Vietnam War for its independence and unification. Leading on one side was a significant movement, the communist Viet Minh, formed by Ho Chi Minh in the 1940s to seek independence for Vietnam from France and oppose the presence of the Japanese. This movement flourished under the strong patriotism of the Vietnamese people and the discontentment of the Vietnamese towards French's cruel colonial rule and the corrupted leaders they put in power. The Viet Minh finally came to total power in 1975, after thirty four years of struggle and war, when they unified Vietnam as a single independent communist country after driving out the Americans and the French.

In the 1850s, the French was in competition with other major European powers for overseas colonies. With the aim 'God, gold and glory' the French set their foot on Vietnam and enforce its power over the small area of land. The French claimed a moral reason for colonising Vietnam and that is -bringing the benefits of modern civilisation to the primitive Vietnamese. However, whilst the people of Vietnam remained in poverty and became more and more poor with increasing tax, the French did not improve their economic situation, but fully exploited the natural resources such as rubber and tin of the area .The French colonisers were hardly welcomed. The traditionalists opposed the French because of their attempts to restructure the Confucian system and the nationalist argued for an independent Vietnam. Ordinary peasants resented the increasingly rich...