The Nationalist Movement in China
Emerging from the Shadow of China :
- Vietnam gained formal independence in 1945, before India, but it took another three decades of fighting before the Republic of Vietnam was formed.
- Indo-China comprises the modern countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Its early history shows many different groups of people living in this area under the shadow of the powerful empire of China. Even when an independent country was established in what is now northern and central Vietnam, its rulers continued to maintain the Chinese system of government as well as Chinese culture.
Vietnam was also linked to what has been called the maritime silk route that brought in goods, people and ideas. Other networks of the trade connected it to the hinterlands where non-Vietnamese people such as the Khmer Cambodians lived.
Colonial Domination and Resistance
- The colonisation of Vietnam by the French brought the people of the country into conflict with the coloniser in all the walks of life.
- Nationalism in Vietnam emerged through the effects at different sections of society to fight against the French and their policy.
- French troops invaded Vietnam in 1858 and by the mid 1880s they had established their rule over the northern region.
- After the French-Chinese war the French assumed control of Tonkin and Annan and in 1887, French Indo-China was formed.
- In the following decades the French consolidated their position. Nationalist resistance was developing day by day.
Why the French thought Colonies Necessary ?
- Colonies were considered necessary to supply natural resources and other necessary goods.
- They also thought that it was the mission of the ‘advanced’ European countries to bring the benefits of civilisation to backward countries.
Steps taken by the French to establish colonies :
- The French began to build Canals and irrigation system with forced labour and increased rice production and allowed the export of rice. By 1931 Vietnam became the third largest exporter of rice in the world.
- Construction of a trance Indo-China rail network that would link the Northern and Southern parts of Vietnam and China was began. This was completed in 1910. The second line was also built, linking Vietnam to Siam (Thailand).
- French business interests were pressurising the government in Vietnam to develop the infrastructure further. So that they may earn more and more profits.
Should Colonies be Developed ?
- One of the writers Bernard says that if the economy was developed and the standard of living of the people improved, they would by more goods. So the chances of better profits for French business will be increased.
- According to Bernard there were several hindrances to economic growth in Vietnam : high population level, low agricultural productivity and extensive indebtedness amongst the peasants.
- The colonial economy in Vietnam was mainly based on rice cultivation and rubber planations owned by the French and a small Vietnamese elite.
- Rail and port facilities were setup to service this sector. Indentured Vietnamese labour was widely used in the rubber plantations.
The Dilemma of Colonial Education
French took for granted that Europe had developed the most advanced civilization. So it became the duty of the Europeans to introduce these modern ideas to the colony even at this meant destroying cultures, religions and traditions, because these were seen as outdated and prevented modern development.
- The French needed an educated local labour force but they feared that education might create problems.
- Once educated, the Vietnamese may begin to question colonial domination.
- Moreover, French citizens living in Vietnam began fearing that they might lose their jobs–as teachers, shopkeepers, policemen to the educated Vietnamese. So they opposed policies that would give the Vietnamese full access to French Education.
Talking Modern :
- The elites in Vietnam were influenced by Chinese culture. So French systematically dismantled the traditional educational system and opened French schools for the Vietnamese. But this was not so easy. Chinese, the language used by the elites so far had to be replaced was the language to be Vietnamese or French ? It was a matter of thinking.
- The opinion of the policy makers was to use the French language as the medium of instruction. The educated people in Vietnam would respect French sentiments and ideals, see the superiority of French culture and work for the French. Other option was that Vietnamese be taught in lower classes and French in the higher classes. The few who learn French and acquired French culture were to be rewarded with French citizenship.
- Only Vietnamese elite were admitted in the French schools. This was a policy to fail deliberately the students in their final classes. So that they could not get better jobs.
- 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 cannot rule.
Looking Modern : The schools encouraged the adoption of Western style such as having a short haircut. But Vietnamese used to keep long hair.
Resistance in Schools :
- Teachers and students were not interested to follow the curriculum blindly.
- The numbers of Vietnamese teachers increased in the lower classes.
- While teaching, Vietnamese teachers quietly modified the text and criticized what was started.
- Now schools became an important place for political and cultural battles.
- The French wanted to strengthen their rule in Vietnam through the control of education. They tried to change the values, norms and perceptions of the rule to make them believe in the superiority of French Civilization and the inferiority of the Vietnamese.
- The intellectuals of Vietnam felt that Vietnam was losing not just control over its territory but its very identify also. Its own culture and customs were being devalued and the people were developing a master slave mentality.
Hygiene, Disease and Everyday Resistance
Plague Strikes Hanoi : Hanoi was built as a beautiful and clean city while the ‘native quarter’ was not provided with any modern facilities. The refuse from the old city drained straight out into the river or during heavy rains or floods, overflowed into the streets. Thus what was installed to create a hygienic environment in the French city became the cause of the plague.
The Rat Hunt : To stop this crisis a rat hunt was started in 1902. The French hired Vietnamese workers and paid them for each rat they caught. They also discovered innovative ways to profit from this situation. The money was paid when a tail of rat was given as a proof that a rat had been killed. So the rat catchers took to just clipping the tail and releasing the rats, so that the process could repeated over and over again. In fact some people were busy for rising rats so that they may earn more money.
Religion and Anti Colonialism
Vietnam’s religious beliefs were a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism and local practices. Christianity introduced by French missionaries, was intolerant of this easy going attitude and viewed the Vietnamese tendency to revere the supernatural as some thing to be corrected.
An early movement against French control and the spread of Chritianity was the Scholars Revolt in 1868. They led general uprising in Ngu Anand Ha Tienprovices where over a thousand Catholics were killed Catholic missionaries had been active in winning converts since the early 17th century and by the middle of the eighteenth century had converted some 300,00. The French crushed the movement.
The elites in Vietnam were educated in Chinese and Confucianism. But religions beliefs among the peasantry were shaped by a variety of syncretic traditions that combined Buddhism and local beliefs.
Hoa Hoa Movement
Hoa Hao movement began in 1939 and gained popularity in Mekong delta area. It drew on religious ideas popular in anti French uprisings of the 19th century.
The French tried to suppress the movement inspired by Huynh Phu So. They declared him mad, called him the Mad Bonze and send him in a mental asylum. It is a matter of interest that the doctor who had to prove him in save became his follower and finally in 1941 even the French doctors declared him that he was save. The French authorities exiled him to Laos and many of his pupils to concentration camps.
The Vision of Modernisation
In the late 19th century, resistance to French domination was very often led by Confucian scholar activists, who saw their world crumbling. Educated in the Confucian tradition. Phan Boi Chau was one such nationalist. He became a major figure in the anti colonial resistance from the time he formed the revolutionary Society Duy Tan Hai in 1903.
Other nationalists strongly differed with Phan Boi Chau. One such was Phan Chu Trinh. He was intensely hostile to the monarchy and opposed to the idea of resisting the French with the help of the court. His desire was to establish a democratic republic. He accepted the French revolutionary ideals of liberty but changed the French to not adding by the ideal.
Other ways of Becoming Modern; Japan and China
- Go East Movement : In the first decade of 20th century “Go East Movement’ become popular. In
1907-08, some 300 Vietnamese students went to Japan to acquire modern education. For many of them the primary aim was to drive out the French from Vietnam. These nationalists looked for foreign arms and help. They appealed to the Japanese as fellow Asians. Japan had modernised itself and had resisted colonisation by the west.
- In 1911, a Republic was set up in China under the leadership of Sun-Yat-Sen. Association for the Restoration of Vietnam was formed. Now the nature of the anti French independence movement changed. The objective was no longer to set up a constitutional monarchy but a democratic republic.
The Communist Movement and Vietnamese Nationalism
- In February 1930, Ho Chi Minh brought together competing nationalist groups to establish the Vietnamese communist later its name become Indo-Chinese Communist Party. He was inspired by the militant and demonstrations of the European Communist Party.
- In 1940 Japan occupied Vietnam as part of its imperial drive to control socialist Asia. So now nationalists had to fight against the Japanese. Japanese occupied and recaptured Hanoi in September 1945. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was formed and Ho Chi Minh became its chairman.
The New Republic of Vietnam
- The New Republic of Vietnam faced a number of Challenges.
- The French tried to regain control by using the emperor Bao Dai as their puppet. The Vietnamese were forced to retreat to the hills.
- At last the French were defeated in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu.
- The supreme French Commander of the French armies, General Henry had declared in 1953 that they would soon be victorious. But in May 1954, the Vietnam captured more than 16,000 soldiers of the French army.
- North and South Vietnam were split. Ho Chi Minh and the communists took power in the north while Bao Dai’s regime was put in power in the south.
- With the help of the Ho Chi Minh government in the north, the National Liberation Front (NLF) fought for the unification of the country.
The Entry of the US into the war
- The US watched this alliance with fear. The main worry was that the communists were gaining power; so it decided to input decisively sending in troops and arms.
- From 1965 to 1972 US fought in Vietnam. 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. The massive attacks and indiscriminate use of chemical weapons–Napalm, Agent Orange and Phosphorous bombs – destroyed innumerable villages and decimated jungles. Innocent civilians died in large numbers.
- 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 communist governments would be established in other countries in the area. They under estimated the power of nationalism to move people to action inspire them to sacrifice their home and family, live under horrified conditions and fight for independence. They under estimate the power of a small country to flight the most technologically advanced country in the world.
The Ho Chi Minh Trail : The story of the Ho Chi Trail is one way of under. Standing the war that the Vietnamese tought against the US. The trail, an immense network of foot paths and roads was used to transport men and materials from the north to the south. About 20,000 North Vietnamese troops come South each month on this trail.
The trail had support bases and hospitals along the way. In some parts supplies were transported in trucks, but mostly they were carried by porters, who were mainly women.
Most of the trail was out side Vietnam in neighbouring Laos and Combodia with branch lines extending into South Vietnam. The US regularly bombed this trail trying to disrupt supplies, but efforts to destroy this important supply line by intensive bombing failed because they were rebuilt within not time.
The Nation and Its Heroes
Women as Rebels : Women in Vietnam enjoyed greater equality than in China, but they had only limited freedom to determine their future and played no role in public life. As the nationalist movement grew the status of women come to be questioned and a new image of womanhood emerged. Writers and political thinkers begun idealising women who rebelled against social norms.
Heroes of Past Times : A play was written on the base of the Trung sisters who had fought against Chinese domination. In this play the writer depicted them as patriots fighting to save the Vietnamese nation from the Chinese. After Phan’s play the Trung sister came to be idealised and glorified. They were depicted in paintings, plays and the novels as representing the indomitable will and the intense patriotism of the Vietnamese.
Another woman was Trieu Au who was orphaned in childhood. She lived with her brother in the jungles and organised a large army and resisted Chinese rule. At last when her army was crushed, she drowned her self. She became a sacred figure, not just a martyr who fought for the honour of the country.
Women as Warriors : In the 1960s photographs in magazines showed women as brave fighters. They were shown shooting down planes. Some stories spoke of their incredible bravery in single handedly killing the enemy. Nguyen Thi Xuam, was honoured to have shutdown a jet with just twenty bullets.
Between 1965 and 1975, of the 17,000 youth who worked on the trail, 70 to 80 percent were women. One military historian argues that there were is million women in the regular army, the militia, the local forces and professional teams.
Women in Times of Peace : By the 1970s, as peace talks began to get under way and the end of the war seemed near, women were not represented as warriors. Now they are shown working in agricultural cooperatives, factories and production units rather than a fighter.
The long duration of the war created strong reactions even within the US. It was clear that the US had failed to achieve its objectives, the Vietnamese resistance had not been crushed, the support of the Vietnamese people For US action had not been won. In the mean time thousands of young US Soldiers had lost their lives and countless Vietnamese civilians were killed. This was called the first television war as battle seems were shown on news.
The wide spread questioning of government policy strengthened moves to negotiate an end to the war. A peace settlement was signed in Paris in January 1974. This ended conflict with the US but fighting between the Saigon regime and NLF continued. The NLF occupied the presidential palace in Saigon on 30 April 1975 and unified Vietnam.
- Indo-China : The region in south east Asia comprising three countries Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
- Maritime silk Route : Sea route for trading silk.
- Forced Labour : Compelling people to work without remuneration.
- Colony : Conquered territory of an imperial country which is completely subjected to the interests if the another country- suffers complete political and economic domination.
- Indentured Labour : Contractual labourers of plantation without any specified rights.
- Civilising Mission : Mission or aim of civilising the colonial people by introducing modern education and ideas in the colonies. On the prefect of civiling, the impartial powers extended their control over colonies.
- Natives : Natural or local born inhabitants of the colony.
- Colon : French people of the colony. A French living in Vietnam.
- White-Collar Jobs : Descriptive of workers mostly clerks who wear starched white collar.
- Bubonic Plague : A dangerous contagious disease characterised by inflamed swelling of groin, armpit and other joints. A dreadful pestilence supposedly caused by rat bites and unhygienic conditions.
- Syncretic Tradition : Tradition and beliefs which aim to bring together unity and reconcile different belief and practices on the basis of this essential unity.
- Napalm or Agent orange : A type of chemical weapon used by US against the vietnamese.
- Concentration camps : Prisons specially built to detain people without due process of law These are characterised by brutal torture and ruthless treatment of prisoners.
- Domino Effect : US believed that if Vietnam becomes a communist country it would have same effect on other neighbouring countries too and they would all become communist. The policy of Domino effect grew out of US fear for the spread of communism.
- Ordinance 10 : It was a french law that permitted Christianity, but outlawed Buddhism.
- Republic : A form of government based on popular consent and popular representation. It is based on the power of the people as opposed to monarchy.
- Hoa Hao Movement : It was a Buddhist religious movement launched by Huynn Phu So, a native of Mekong river delta. It drew on religious ideas popular in anti French uprisings of the nineteenth century.
- Vietminh : The Viet Minh was a revolutionary national liberation movement formed by Ho Chi Minh in 1941 to seek independence for Vietnam from France as well as Japanese occupation.
Very Short Answer Type Question
- Name the countries that constituted Indo-China.
- Name the country which dominated imperial domination over Indo-China. When did they first arrive in this country.
- What were the two major religions in Indo China? By whom was Christianity introduced in the country ?
- What is referred as Scholars Revolt ?
- What is Hoa – Hao movement ?
- Who was Sun Yat-Sen ? What is his main achievement ?
- What is the significance of Vietnamese Trail ?
- Mention any two contributions of Phan Boi Chau.
- Who were Trung sisters ?
- Why was Trieu Au worshipped in Vietnam ?
- Name the primary agricultural products on which Vietnamese economy was based.
- Mention two obstacles which prevented the growth of Vietnam in early 20th century.
- What is the significance of the battle of Dien Bien Phu ?
- What does NLF stand for ? What role did it play in Vietnamese national struggle ?
- What do the vietcong and vietminh stand for ?
- Who was the first president of the Vietnamese Democratic Republic ?
- Name any two types of chemical weapons used by the Americans against the Vietnamese.
- Why did US policy planners decide to intervene in Vietnam and fight a far against them ?
- Who was the founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party ?
- Name any two films which were produced in USA on the Vietnam war.
- Why did education become a dilemma for the French colonisers ?
- Mention any 2 steps taken by the French government to improve transportation in Vietnam.
- Mention any 2 steps taken by the French to improve the economic condition of Vietnam.
- Who was Bao-Dai ?
- Who was the founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party ?
Short Answer Type Question
- What was the nature of colonial economy in Vietnam ?
- What was the dilemma faced by the French while educating the Vietnamese ?
- Mention the steps taken by the French to dismantle Chinese influence on Vietnam.
- What was the attitude of the Vietnamese towards the educational policy introduced by the French.
- Why and how were the Vietnamese used in the rat hunt in 1902 – 03 ?
- Explain the political ideas of Phan Chu Trinh.
- How were Vietnamese people colonised by the French ?
- Why did the French introduced development projects in Vietnam ?
- How and by whom were the Japanse driven out of Vietnam ?
- Briefly describe the career and achievements of Ho Chi Minh.
- Examine the decisions taken about Vietnam is 1954 negotiations.
- Examine the events that turned Vietnam into a battle field after 1954.
- How was French Indo-China formed ?
- Explain the reasons for the popularity of ‘Go East Movement.’
- “The French thought colonialisation necessary” Give reasons.
- Explain the Scholar’s Revolt.
- Under what circumstances did the US enter the Vietnam war.
- Why was a new education policy introduced by the French in Vietnam ? What were the draw backs of this policy ?
- What was the ‘Go East Movement’ ?
- What was the impact of the Great Depression of 1929 on Vietnam ?
Long Answer Type Question
- Examine the various developmental projects undertaken by France in Vietnam. How did these indirectly help the people ?
- How did schools and educations become powerful instrument for extending French control over culture of Vietnamese people ?
- Examine the various stages of the growth of nationalism in Vietnam.
- Examine the process of Vietnamese struggle for independence against the US military intervention. What were its effects ?
- What was the attitude of the people of United States towards US intervention in Vietnam ? What was the effect of the intervention on the US ?
- “The prolongation of the Vietnamese war created strong reactions even within the US”. Explain.
- Examine the impact of colonial education on the Vietnamese.
- Under what circumstances Vietnam was divided into the north and south Vietnam ?
- Explain the role of women in the anti-impartial struggle in Vietnam.
- Early Vietnamese nationalists had close relationship with Japan and China. Explain by giving examples.
Multiple Choice Question
1. Who was the founder of the Hoa Hao movement?
(A) Huynh phu so (B) Ngyuyen Dinh chieu
(C) Phan Boi Chau (D) Liang Oichao
2. In which famous battle were the French defeated?
(A) Dien Bien Phu (B) Ha Tinh
(C) NyheAn (D) Phan Boi
3. Which European country colonised Vietnam ?
(A) France (B) Germany
(C) Switzerland (D) England
4. Which of the following country is not a part of the Indo-China
(A) Cambodia (B) Laos
(C) Vietnam (D) China
5. Which society did Phan Boi Chau form ?
(A) Hao–Hoa (B) Revolutionary society
(C) Carbonari (D) Party of young Annan
6. Christianity was introduced in Vietnam by ….
(A) English (B) German
(C) French (D) American
7. ……. were the two major religions in Indo-China.
(A) Buddhism & Janism
(B) Hinduism & Islam
(C) Buddhism & Confucianism
(D) Christianity & Confucianism
8. Who was the first President of the Vietnamese Democratic Republic ?
(A) Phan Boi Chau (B) Ling oichao
(C) Ho Chi Minh (D) Huyuh Phu so
9. When did Vietnam get its freedom ?
(A) 1945 (B) 1946 (C) 1947 (D) 1948
10. Name a religious movement which was hostile to the western presence in Vietnam.
(A) The scholar’s Revolt
(B) Hoa-Hao movement
(C) Education movement
(D) All the above
11. Who was the author of ‘The History of the Loss of Vietnamۥ ?
(A) Phan Boi Chau
(B) Huynh Phu so
(C) Ngyuyen Dinh Chieu
(D) None of these
12. When was the Tonkin Free School started ?
(A) 1905 (B) 1907 (C) 1909 (D) 1910
13. Name the two countries with which the Vietnamese nationalists had a close relationship.
(A) India & China (B) Japan & China
(C) America & France (D) Japan & Russia
14. Who was the founder of Indo Chinese Communist Party ?
(A) Ho Chin Minh (B) Trieu Au
(C) Sun yat Sen (D) None of these
15. Paris Peace Treaty was held in ……….
(A) 1972 (B) 1974 (C) 1976 (D) 1978