Vietnam Recent History

Vietnam stretches for a long stretch on the coast of Tonkin and the South China Sea and is made up of three regions: to the north the Tonkin, to the south of the Tonkin the Annam and the whole southern part of the country is Cocincina.

In the fifteenth century it was occupied by the Vietnamese, kind, industrious and hospitable people. Then in the seventeenth century European navigators arrived, first of all the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch. Towards the end of that century the French appeared, who immediately established missions, commercial and military bases.

According to Abbreviationfinder, an acronym site which also features history of Vietnam, they were very well received by the kings and peoples of the area who did nothing to hinder them. On the contrary, they often called them to help settle their diatribes, especially during the period in which King Gialong reigned, who throughout his life favored French missionaries and merchants.

So when Gialong’s successors began to persecute French missionaries in the 19th century, King Louis Philippe of France sent warships that bombed the port of Tourane in 1847. Some years later Napoleon III also sent warships for others. bombings until in 1863 the French completed the conquest of the Cocincina.

Hostilities continued, however, because the peoples of that region did not stop hindering the explorations of other French navigators. France started again with the war and in 1874, with the treaty of Saigon, it had the possession of Annam.

In 1885 all of Vietnam was conquered and France was able to establish its protectorate over the whole country. The resistance lasted for a few more years so that in 1917, when France was engaged in the First World War, there was an attempt in Vietnam by the minor emperor Dun-Tan to revolt; but everything failed. In 1926 a young emperor Vinh-Thuy climbed to the trunk.

Vietnam Recent History

On March 11, 1945, during the Second World War, as soon as the Japanese invaded the region and declared the French administration decayed, the then emperor Bao Dai proclaimed independence.

Since the emperor had accepted and collaborated with Japan’s protection, a nationalist resistance movement, called Viet-min, promptly arose, led by O Ci-min and encouraged by the Soviet Union and China, at war with Japan.

After Japan collapsed and the war ended, Bao Dai abdicated and O Ci-Min proclaimed the independent Republic, recognized by the Soviet Union for its communist program.

France has since then tried in vain to reestablish its preponderance in Vietnam; in March 1949 he lifted Bao Dai with the title of emperor of Vietnam, guaranteeing the independence of the country within the French Union, that is, to a confederation of free states associated with France, recognized by the United States and Great Britain; it was February 1950.

This intensified the conflict with the dissidents of Vietmin and from September 1950 a weary guerrilla war began, in which the dissidents prevailed, helped by popular China and the Soviet Union, while the French plunged blood and money into it.

In 1953 two states were established in Vietnam: the Vietminh, republican in the north, governed by Prime Minister O Ci-Min and Vietnam itself in the south, a monarchist and ally of the French.

After a year of struggle, with the Geneva Conference of July 1954, a dividing line was established between the two states, at the 17th parallel north. In that same year, a communist insurrection broke out in the country. After a long bloody war, French troops were forced to abandon the northern part of the country which became an autonomous state under communist rule.

In Paris, in December 1954, France recognized Vietnam’s independence. According to the Constitution of North Vietnam, the internal economic order was controlled by the state which however encouraged all forms of ownership, the state as a guide, but also that of individual workers and also of national capitalists. The state also allowed the saving of money earned from work, the possession of houses and other assets and the inheritance of private property.

In South Vietnam on October 23, 1955 with a popular referendum Bao Dai was deposed and was elected head of state Ngo Dinh-Diem, who first proclaimed the Democratic Republic, automatically becoming its President.

On October 26, 1956 he promulgated the Constitution which assigned executive power to the President and legislative power to a Unicameral National Assembly, in addition he guaranteed the absolute independence of the judiciary.

The August 1959 elections were won by the Popular Revolutionary Movement. The President had the complete support of the whole Assembly.

Due to the scarcity of capital, various banks were set up for the internal economic system with the main task of developing foreign trade.

There was no contact between the two states for a possible reunification which, in fact, became even more difficult to reach after North Vietnamese troops had crossed the borders of Laos in October 1959, ready for an invasion, then returned.

In December 1960, a National Liberation Front was set up in the north with the task of leading struggles against all imperialist and feudal systems. And in this context, each of the two Vietnams became increasingly integrated into the political system in which it was included. Thus there were two blocks. The north that enjoyed the protection of China and the south of the United States.

In 1961 the then President of the United States, Kennedy, engaged in a policy of direct intervention in South Vietnam, should this become necessary. And unfortunately this happened. In 1963 the armed struggle raged; Diem was overthrown and killed. In 1964 General Duong Van Minh, head of a Revolutionary Military Council, was also overthrown and replaced by another soldier, Nguyen Khanh, who denounced a neutralist plot fueled by De Gaulle’s France.

In December 1964 Johnson, the new president of the United States after the assassination of Kennedy, sent a first military contingent to Vietnam. From February 1965 the American bombing of the industrial suburbs of Hanoi, the capital, and Haiphong, began continuous and interminable.

Then Johnson, in a speech in Baltimore, declared that he was available for peace negotiations, but North Vietnam, which in the meantime enjoyed a good economy, based above all on excellent industrialization, reiterated that only with the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam negotiations could have been discussed.

Well-armed and missile-armed northern troops arrived on the outskirts of Saigon while Republican Nixon was elected in the United States after Johnson. He wanted to apply a different policy immediately, especially with regard to the Vietnamese conflict. He said he wanted to empower southern Vietnam by gradually withdrawing US forces from the battlefields.

And in January 1973 in Paris agreements were signed that allowed the United States to disengage in Asia without overwhelming diplomatic compromises.

Certain clauses were established such as the right to self-determination of southern Vietnam, the establishment of a Council of Reconciliation and national concord with the commitment to organize general elections.

The United States recognized the political unity of Vietnam, although divided into two sectors. On April 30, 1975 the bloody conflict ended. The Catholic Church endeavored to call peoples to peace and collaboration and the archbishop of Saigon launched an appeal to invite any opposition movement to lay down their arms and work for national reunification.

For this reason, re-education camps were also established for officers hitherto too involved in the conflict; citizens were reassured about their rights regarding the maintenance of their properties and official recognition from many states soon arrived and a Single National Assembly was established, consisting of 249 members from the north and 243 from the south. This Assembly met in Hanoi on June 24, 1976 to launch a socialist resolution program, proclaiming the Social Republic of Vietnam, President Ton Duc Thang, former President of the Democratic Republic, on July 2 following.

Saigon was renamed as the City of O Ci-Minh. Then followed a new government chaired by Phan Van Dong. A five-year 1976-80 economy plan was launched, with top priority for heavy industry. In December 1978, following skirmishes at the border. Diplomatic relations with Cambodia were severed. This provoked the intervention of China, intended to limit Vietnam’s expansionist aims like those of the Soviet Union. And despite the defeat suffered by Vietnam, this maintained its military garrison in Cambodia also to nullify the resistance of the partisans of the Pol Pot government. All these vicissitudes of war meanwhile had decreed a strong mass exodus of refugees who since then have spread Worldwide.

The reunification process did not progress but instead delayed the improvement of the economic situation due to the high management costs of the troops present in Cambodia. The country, in a state of constant tension with China, free of American subsidies for some time, found itself almost completely isolated and could only count on trade with the Soviet Union. Then, due to the huge influx of refugees abroad, the host states decided to put a stop to it and established a sorting between political refugees and economic refugees, who were subject to a progressive voluntary repatriation, which in the nineties became mandatory.,

In December 1980, a constitution was promulgated to strengthen the country’s reunification. In 1981 a National Assembly was established which had a collective presidency while Pham Van Dong was confirmed president of the Council of Ministers. In 1982 Le Duan was re-elected secretary general of the Communist Party. There were reshuffles of government and the leaders of the Communist Party; important economic reforms were carried out.

In 1992, in July, after the legislative elections were held, he was definitively appointed President of the Republic Le Duc Anh and head of the Vo Van Kiet government.

Troops from Cambodia were withdrawn with the solution of the issue through the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries. And with this, relations with Beijing returned to normal in 1994. Gradually Vietnam made many changes both within the country and in foreign policy. And with peace, economic aid both from Asia and Europe returned to normal.

Then the United States in 1995 made a definitive diplomatic re-approach and in that same year a completely regional agreement with Laos, Cambodia and Thailand re-assigned to Vietnam the right to economic exploitation of the important Mekong basin.

Along with the economic improvement, at least in the classes where well-being was at home, greater aspirations for democracy appeared. But there were no major contrasts and the political situation was not shaken.

The National Assembly with the elections of July 1997 was renewed. At the Presidency of the Republic there was the change and Tran Duc Luong was appointed and new reformer Phan Van Khai became economist, while at the top of the Communist Party came Le Kha Phieu, replacing Do Muoi.

The new government worked hard not to incur the serious crisis that was going on throughout Southeast Asia at that time.


The following two years 1998 and 1999 included, among the executive’s priority activities, the continuous fight against corruption within the party and attempts to limit the liberalization of the markets.

For foreign policy, Vietnam signed trade agreements with all neighboring countries, promoted extensive integration with other populations, strengthened relations with China, even if there had already been an unsolved problem with the Spratly islands for some time.

Even with the United States there was a further relaxation which led to exchange visits in June 1997 and September 1998.
In July 1999 trade between the two countries also resumed and to crown this new situation the United States, after 24 years of absence, they restored a diplomatic representation in Vietnam.

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