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Nationalist Movement in Indo-China: 10 SST

Question: Under what circumstances Vietnam was divided into the north and south Vietnam?
Or
Explain any four major challenges faced by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Answer:

  1. In 1940, Japan occupied Vietnam. To fight against the Japanese, Viet Minh was formed.
  2. Viet Minh recaptured Hanoi in 1945. The Democratic Republic of Viet Minh was formed, and Ho Chi Minh became the chairman.
  3. The new ‘Republic’ faced a number of challenges. To restore its hold over Indo­China, the French troops entered Vietnam, and started fighting the Viet Minh.
  4. The French tried to regain control by using the Emperor, Bao Dai, as their puppet. Faced with the French offensive, the Viet Minh were forced to retreat to the hills.
  5. The war had taken a new turn because it became a part of the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  6. Soviet Union and China gave support to Ho Chi Minh, whereas France got the support of Britain and the United States.
  7. In 1954, the Viet Minh surrounded about 16,000 French troops and inflicted upon them a crushing defeat at the fortress of Dien Bien Phu.
  8. It forced the French government to initiate negotiations with the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
  9. In July 1954, an international conference was held at Geneva.
  10. The Geneva Agreement of 21st July, 1954 decided to divide Vietnam temporarily into the North Vietnam and the South Vietnam.

Question: Explain the causes of the US involvement in the war in Vietnam. What effect did this involvement have on life within US itself?
Or
“The war grew out of a fear among US policy planners that the victory of the Ho Chi Minh Government would start a domino effect.” Support the statement explaining three reasons.

Answer: The Vietnamese had to fight a long struggle first against France, and then against Japan and lastly, against USA. Following were some of the causes for the involvement of US in Vietnam:

  1. Spread of Communism: First and the foremost was the fear of the spread of Communism in Vietnam. The United States (US) regarded the spread of Communism a great danger to the capitalist countries. The US was ready to fight against Communism in any part of the world. So when Communism showed its head in Vietnam, it at once came forward to check it.
  2.  To Support France: The second cause of US entry in Vietnam was the humiliation that France had to face in Vietnam. Being the champion of the capitalist countries, US wanted to crush Vietnam at all costs to save the prestige of the capitalist countries, especially France which was an ally of the US in the Second World War.
  3. Against Unification: USA was against the unification of Vietnam. The Geneva Conference had divided Vietnam into two parts: North Vietnam and South Vietnam. When the Ho Chi Minh government in North Vietnam and National Liberation Front in South Vietnam tried to unify the two parts, in violation of the Geneva Conference, US could not tolerate this. Hence, it decided to intervene in Vietnam.
    Within no time, the United States sent a large number of US soldiers with the latest war equipment. This dragged on for many years (1965-1972).
  4. Effects of US Involvement on Life within US itself: The US involvement in Vietnam had a far reaching effect on US itself. America had to suffer a huge loss of men and money though she caused great destruction in North Vietnam through bombardment.

America lost about 75,000 soldiers in the war by 1975 A.D. It evoked strong reaction in America. Various countries of the world strongly criticised the American intervention in the internal affairs of Vietnam. As a result, America was compelled to start the withdrawal of its troops in April 1975. Saigon also surrendered after the withdrawal of the American troops. In this way, the United Vietnam came into existence on April 30, 1975 A.D.

Question: Explain the steps taken by the French in the field of education in Vietnam. What was their motive behind this?

Answer:

  1. French Schools: French missionaries arrived in Vietnam in the 17th century, so they systematically dismantled the traditional educational system and established French schools for the Vietnamese.
  2. Replacing Chinese and local languages: The elites in Vietnam were powerfully influenced by Chinese culture and language. To consolidate their power, the French had to counter this Chinese influence. So they decided to replace the Chinese and local languages by French.
  3. New text books: To control the educational system textbooks were rewritten. School textbooks glorified the French and justified colonial rule. The Vietnamese were represented as primitive and backward, capable of manual labour but not of intellectual reflection; they could work in the fields but not rule themselves; they were ‘skilled copyists’ but not creative.
  4. The Tonkin Free Schools: These schools were started in 1907 to provide a Western style education. This education included classes in science, hygiene and French (these classes were held in the evening and had to be paid for separately).

Motives:

  1. To consolidate their power: The French were faced with yet another problem in the sphere of education: the elites in Vietnam were powerfully influenced by Chinese culture. To consolidate their power, the French had to counter this Chinese influence. So they systematically dismantled the traditional educational system and established French schools for the Vietnamese.
  2. Educated labour for administration: The French needed an educated local labour force.
  3. To demonstrate superiority of French culture: Many scholars believed that by learning the language, the Vietnamese would be introduced to the culture and civilization of France. This would help create an ‘Asiatic France solidly tied to European France’. The educated people in Vietnam would respect French sentiments and ideals, see the superiority of French culture, and work for the French.

Question:

  1. Why did the U.S. government decide to intervene in the Civil War in Vietnam?
  2. What were its effects on the people of Vietnam?

Or

The phase of struggle between 1965-1972 with US was called brutal of Vietnamese. Explain the reasons.

Answer: (I) The Vietnamese had to fight a long struggle first against France, and then against Japan and lastly, against USA. Following were some of the causes for the involvement of US in Vietnam:

  1. Spread of Communism: First and the foremost was the fear of the spread of Communism in Vietnam. The United States (US) regarded the spread of Communism a great danger to the capitalist countries. The US was ready to fight against Communism in any part of the world. So when Communism showed its head in Vietnam, it at once came forward to check it.
  2. To Support France: The second cause of US entry in Vietnam was the humiliation that France had to face in Vietnam. Being the champion of the capitalist countries, US wanted to crush Vietnam at all costs to save the prestige of the capitalist countries, especially France which was an ally of the US in the Second World War.
  3. Against Unification: USA was against the unification of Vietnam. The Geneva Conference had divided Vietnam into two parts: North Vietnam and South Vietnam. When the Ho Chi Minh government in North Vietnam and National Liberation Front in South Vietnam tried to unify the two parts, in violation of the Geneva Conference, US could not tolerate this. Hence, it decided to intervene in Vietnam.

    Within no time, the United States sent a large number of US soldiers with the latest war equipment. This dragged on for many years (1965-1972).

(II). Effects of US Involvement on Life within US itself: The US involvement in Vietnam had a far reaching effect on US itself. America had to suffer a huge loss of men and money though she caused great destruction in North Vietnam through bombardment.

America lost about 75,000 soldiers in the war by 1975 A.D. It evoked strong reaction in America. Various countries of the world strongly criticized the American intervention in the internal affairs of Vietnam. As a result, America was compelled to start the withdrawal of its troops in April 1975. Saigon also surrendered after the withdrawal of the American troops. In this way, the United Vietnam came into existence on April 30, 1975 A.D.

(III). Effects on the people of Vietnam:

  1. The phase of struggle with the US was brutal. Thousands of US troops, equipped with heavy weapons and tanks and backed by the most powerful bombers of the time, B52s, were actively engaged. The massive attacks and indiscriminate use of chemical and biological weapons – Napalm, Agent Orange, and phosphorous bombs – destroyed many villages and forests.
  2. The war intensified the cold war between the communist and capitalist countries.
  3. The war provided an opportunity to Vietnamese women to serve in the Army as soldiers and nurses.

Question: How was Vietnam unified? Explain.

Answer:

  1. Vietnam was divided into North and South under the Geneva Agreement of 1954.
  2. Ho Chi Minh and Communists took control of the north while south was under Bao Dai Regime.
  3. With the help of the Ho Chi Minh government in the north, the NLF fought for the unification of country.
  4. US entry into the war proved costly to the Vietnamese as well as to the Americans.
  5. The USA forces withdraw in 1974. The NLF occupied the presidential palace in Saigon on 30 April 1975 and unified Vietnam.

Question: “US entry into the war marked a new phase that proved costly to the Vietnamese as well as to the American”. Explain.

Answer: (I) The Vietnamese had to fight a long struggle first against France, and then against Japan and lastly, against USA. Following were some of the causes for the involvement of US in Vietnam:

  1. Spread of Communism: First and the foremost was the fear of the spread of Communism in Vietnam. The United States (US) regarded the spread of Communism a great danger to the capitalist countries. The US was ready to fight against Communism in any part of the world. So when Communism showed its head in Vietnam, it at once came forward to check it.
  2. To Support France: The second cause of US entry in Vietnam was the humiliation that France had to face in Vietnam. Being the champion of the capitalist countries, US wanted to crush Vietnam at all costs to save the prestige of the capitalist countries, especially France which was an ally of the US in the Second World War.
  3. Against Unification: USA was against the unification of Vietnam. The Geneva Conference had divided Vietnam into two parts: North Vietnam and South Vietnam. When the Ho Chi Minh government in North Vietnam and National Liberation Front in South Vietnam tried to unify the two parts, in violation of the Geneva Conference, US could not tolerate this. Hence, it decided to intervene in Vietnam.
  4. Within no time, the United States sent a large number of US soldiers with the latest war equipment. This dragged on for many years (1965-1972).

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