Why did the Vietnamese reject French rule?The Vietnam War

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geosc's profile pic

geosc | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted on

The Vietnamese were a civilized people with government of their own when the French were still running around in the woods dressed in skins.  They didn't need to be ruled by the French or anyone else.  I suppose the realities of the time dictated that weaker countries were going to be dominated by stronger countries, whether it be France or China (which had dominated Vietnam for most of its existence) or USA or USSR, etc.  But the French overdid their dominance in order to make it easy for Frenchmen to get rich in Vietnam and Vietnamese to remain poor except perhaps those who were French syconphants.  So the Vietnamese object to their status as an imperial colony.  I don't know much about Vietnamese history, but I suspect that the French did not allow even independence in their internal affairs.  Some imperial rulers have been content to regulate only the trade of their colonies and leave the internal affairs to the decision of the colonists.  Such was the case in Britain's American colonies until the 1760s.  The Americans rebeled when Britain started trying to rule the internal affairs of the American colonies.  I suspect something like this happened in Vietnam.

Ask you school librarian if the library has any books on history of Vietnam.

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Just as the American colonies fought for independence from Great Britain and African nations finally emerged from their own colonial past, the Vietnamese fought the French so that they could also enjoy native rule without outside interference. The Vietnamese (as well as other French Indochina colonies Cambodia and, later, Laos) had been fighting for their independence in one way or another since France took control in 1859. After the Japanese surrendered control back to the French following World War II, the Viet Minh--a communist group led by Ho Chi Minh and formerly supported by the United States--declared Viet Nam an independent state. The Viet Minh were initially driven out of Hanoi, but Ho began a guerilla movement that initiated the First Indochina War. When the communists took over China, China officially recognized the Viet Minh government and began to actively support them militarily. The French were eventually driven out for good following the disastrous siege and surrender of Dien Ben Phu in 1954.

During World War II, the Vichy French--Frenchmen who collaborated with the Germans following the fall of France--actually continued nominal control over French Indochina during the Japanese occupation. The Vichy French government in Indochina cooperated with the Japanese until Germany fell in 1945; when the Vichy French began negotiations with the Free French, the Japanese siezed control. A famine that resulted in the starvation deaths of more than one million Indochinese spurred the first revolt by the Viet Minh, who advocated rebellion by the starving Vietnamese. The Viet Minh's stance gained great support from the people, and when the French attempted to regain control following the war, Ho Chi Minh's popularity grew to new heights.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The Vietnamese rejected French rule for pretty much the same reason that the American colonies rejected British rule.  The reason for that is that the Vietnamese wanted to be free and independent just like people from just about every country want to be.
The Vietnamese had been ruled by foreign countries for quite some time by the time WWII ended.  They had set up a resistance movement (the Viet Minh) to help fight the Japanese and get them out of Vietnam.  For this reason, they thought that they deserved to be free and they did not like the idea of having to go back under French rule.

sfstudent's profile pic

sfstudent | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

maybe they just don't want their rules exactly based on other's rules, they maybe want their own rules and community.

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