Nationalist movement in indo china
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nationalist movement in indo china
Indo - China is a small peninsula in South-East
Asia. It consists of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
VIETNAM AND CHINA
Vietnamwas under the shadowof Chinese empire.
(i) Vietnamfollowedthe Chinese systemof government and
(ii) Chinese language was the language of the educated
Vietnamese people. They followed Chinese systemof education.
(iii) Confucianism, a Chinese religion, had many followers in
(iv)Vietnamwas connected to Maritime silk route.
•1858: French troops landed in Vietnam.
• Mid-1880s: France had established a firm grip over the other regions of Vietnam.
• Post Franco-Chinese War: French assumed control over Tonkin and Anaam.
• 1887: French Indo-China was formed.
•Realisation of sufferings experienced under the French rule mobilised nationalist
resistance in Vietnam.
•The French built canals and drainage lands in the Mekong delta to increase
cultivation. This benefitted production and export of rice.
• 1931: Vietnam was the third largest exporter of rice in the world.
• A trans-Indo-China rail network was built in order to adjoin the Northern and
Southern parts of Vietnam and China. Vietnam was connected with other parts
of China and Southeast Asia through railways.
•Colonies were important for supplying natural resources and other
•Like all advanced European nations, France also thought of spreading
the benefits of civilization to the backward people.
The French began by:
•Building canals and draining landsin the Mekong delta. This was done to
increase rice cultivation. It was done mainly with forced labor.
•Infrastructure projects. This was done to transport goods for trade, move military
garrisons,and control the entire region.
•Trans Indo-China Rail Network. This would connect the northern and southern
parts of Vietnam and China. This was also the final
link with Yunan in China. It was completed in 1910.
There was a second line that connected Vietnam to
Siam(Thailand) via the Cambodian capital
Depended on rice cultivation and rubber plantations owned by the French and
small Vietnamese elite.
• Rail and port facilities provided services to this economy.
• Indentured Vietnamese labour was used in the rubber plantations.
• France did not industrialize the economy.
• Rural areas experienced landlordism and decline in the standard of living.
RICE AND RUBBER CULTIVATION IN
•High population levels
•Low agricultural productivity
•Extensive indebtedness among the peasants
•French colonialist in Vietnam believed that only they can civilize the local people by bringing modern education in
• French started a “Civilizing Mission” in Vietnam. It was carried out at the cost of local cultures, religions and
• French administration required educated local labour force.
• At the same time, they also feared that educated Vietnamese might ask questions to colonial domination.
• French citizens living in Vietnam were scared of losing their jobs to the educated Vietnamese mass. Therefore,
educational policies concerning the Vietnamese were opposed and challenged by the French population.
The French troops reached Vietnam in 1858. They
defeated china in a war and got control over
Tonkin and Annam. In 1887, the French Indo-
China was formed.
•The elites in Vietnam were powerfully influenced by the Chinese culture. The French administration had to
consolidate their power by countering the Chinese influence over culture, language and society. This was done by
dismantling the traditional education system and establishing French schools in Vietnam.
• French education was seen as a means of knowing the foreign culture and literature by some, while others
rejected the use of French as the medium of instruction in Vietnam.
• The few people who acquired French culture and learnt their language were to be rewarded with French
•Education was limited to a few classes. Only the Vietnamese elite could enrol in the schools and only a handful of
them passed the final exams.
•School textbooks glorified the French and degraded the Vietnamese.
•1907: The Tonkin Free School was started for providing Western-style education.
•Schools introduced and encouraged the adoption of western ideas to be modern and also look modern.
Vietnamese teachers and students who were rapidly increasing in numbers
opposed the curriculum either through open opposition or silent resistance.
The Vietnamese teachers subtly modified and criticized the texts.
Students fought against the colonial government‟s efforts in providing the
posts of white-collar jobs only for the French.
1920s: Students were forming various political parties such as the Party of
Young Annan and publishing nationalist journals (“Annanese student”).
Schools became the hubs of the formation of political ideas and revolutions.
The Vietnamese intellectuals feared the loss of both the Vietnamese territory
and culture. They believed that the native culture and customs were being
devalued and the development of a master–slave mentality was on the progress
in the country.
Colonial education and its resistance ultimately added to the larger picture of
the entire revolution.
*The modern city of Hanoi was affected by plague.
*It was spread by the rats which lived in sewers. So, rats
had to be killed.
*Vietnamese were employed to kill the rats. The workers
started collective bargaining.
*Some of them cut the tail to show as proof and released
* Some of them reared rats to earn money.
•This way, the rats continued to stay and the Vietnamese gained both economical
and political advantage. The rat-hunt also provided an early lesson in the success
of collective bargaining for the Vietnamese. The French authorities could not
prevent the bubonic plague due to the many anti-French actions by the
• Religion played an important role in fighting colonialism in Vietnam.
• The French introduced Christianity in Vietnam. This was resented by
Vietnamese people who practiced Buddhism and Confucianism.
• The French believed that the flaw of worshipping supernatural forces
by the Vietnamese needs to be corrected.
•The Scholars Revolt (1868) took place as a
movement against the spread of Christianity
and French power. This revolt was led by
the officials at the imperial court.
The Vietnamese led a general uprising in
the provinces of Ngu and Ha Tein and
over a thousand Catholics missionaries
were killed. This inspired other patriots to
rise against the French government.
The revolt was finally suppressed by the
Occurred in the fertile Mekong delta area :
Founder: Huynh Phu So
Opposed useless expenditure, sale of child brides, gambling and also
the use of alcohol and opium.
The French tried to suppress the Hoa Hao Movement by putting
Huyng Phu So in a mad asylum. They called him „Mad Bonze‟.
The doctors became followers of his words and declared him sane as
opposed to the expectation of the French government.
Huynh Phu So was exiled to Laos and his followers were sent to the
concentration camps. This further aroused anti-colonial sentiments in
the Vietnamese people.
Late 19th century: The resistance to French domination was led by Confucian
scholars and activists.
1903: Phan Boi Chau (1867-1940) formed the Revolutionary Society Duy Tan
Hoi and became a major anti-colonial revolutionary figure. Prince Cuong De
headed the society. Phan‟s most influential book “The History of the Loss of
Vietnam” focuses on the loss of sovereignty and severance of ties with China.
Phan Chu Trinh (1871-1926): A nationalist, he strongly differed with Phan Boi
Chau. He opposed monarchy and the idea of resisting the French with the help of
the court. He wanted to establish a democratic republic. He was immensely
influenced by the democratic ideals of the West. He criticized the French for not
resorting to liberty. He demanded the French to set up legal and educational
institutions and develop agriculture and industries.
•Vietnamese nationalists had a close relationship with Japan and China.
•China and Japan were the places where a wider
Asian network of revolutionaries existed. They
also acted as the places of refuge for the early
• Go East Movement was popularized in the first
decade of the 20th century.
•1907-08: 300 Vietnamese went to Japan for
acquiring modern education.
• The concerns of these students were:
1.Ending the French rule
2. Re-establishing the Nguyen Dynasty
HO CHI MINH
• The Vietnamese looked for foreign arms and aid from Japan.
•The Vietnamese students established a branch of the Restoration
Society in Tokyo.
• 1907: Japan's victory over Russia
• 1908: The Japanese Ministry of Interior clamped down the Restoration
Society. Many including Phan Boi Chau were deported and exiled to
China and Thailand.
•Viet-Nam Quan Phuc Hoi: The
Vietnamese students organized
the Association for the Restoration
of Vietnam. They were inspired by
the establishment of a Republic in
China in 1911 by Sun Yat Sen.
• The Vietnamese now wanted a
Democratic Republic over a Con-
•The Great Depression of 1930 had greatly affected Vietnam. Prices of rice and
rubber fell, which generated rural debts, rural uprising and unemployment.
•February 1930: The Vietnamese Communist Party (Vietnamese Cong San Dang),
later renamed as the Indo-Chinese Communist Party established by Ho Chi
•1940: Japan occupied Vietnam for achieving its imperial aspiration of controlling
•September 1945: The League for the Independence of Vietnam (Viet Nam Doc Lap
Dong Minh) fought the Japanese and recaptured the lost territory of Hanoi. It
came to be known as the Vietminh.
•The Democratic Republic of Vietnam with Ho Chi Minh as its Chairman was
BATTLE OF DIEN BIEN PHU: It was a battle fought between the
French and the Vietminh in 1954. The French were defeated in this
HOCHI MINH’S TRAIL
•The new Republic of Vietnam faced many challenges.
•The French used the Emperor, Bao Dai, as their puppet in order to regain their
• 1954: Finally, the French troops led by General Vo Nguyan Glap were finally
defeated after eight years of fighting at Dien Bien Phu by the Vietminh.
•Peace negotiations in Geneva after the French defeat led to the spilt of Vietnam
into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.
• North Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh and the communist took control of North
• South Vietnam: Bao Dai‟s regime was established in South Vietnam.
• The Bao Dai regime was overthrown by a coup led by Ngo Dinh Diem.
• Diem built a repressive and authoritarian government. People who opposed him
were branded as communists and were jailed and killed.
• This dictatorial regime was opposed by the people united under the banner of
the National Liberation Front (NLF).
•NLF received help from North Vietnam with which they fought for the unification
of the country.
The Entry of the U.S. into the War (1965-1972)
• The US feared communists gaining power in South Vietnam;
therefore, they intervened by sending in their troops.
• Thousands of US troops arrived with heavy weapons and tanks.
Chemical weapons such as Napalm, Agent Orange and Phosphorus
were used for destroying Vietnamese villages.
• Many criticised the U.S. government for entering into an indefensible
• Service in the armed forces was made compulsory for all the US
citizens except for university graduates.
• An immense network of footpaths and roads (“the trail”) was used for
transporting man and material from North to South Vietnam.
• The trail had support bases and hospitals along the way. Supplies were mainly
transported by porters who were mainly women. However, in some places trucks
were used for the same.
• Most of the trail was in Laos and Cambodia with branch lines extending into
•The US bombed these trials regularly but to no avail as they were built again very
quickly by the Vietnamese.
• By these trails, the Vietnamese showed how meagre resources can be used to
• In Vietnam, women enjoyed greater equality than in China, especially among the
• However, they had no say when it came to determining their future and role in
• The status of women gained prominence along with the rise of the nationalist
• Writers and political thinkers idealized women who rebelled against the social
• 1930: Nhat Linh, a writer, dealt with the scandalous issue of rejecting the forced
arranged marriage of a girl. His novel portrays a women character who marries a
person involved in the national politics out of her own choice.
•1913: Phan Boi Chau wrote a play on the lives of the Trung
sisters who had fought
against the Chinese domination in 39-43CE.
•Trung sisters came to be idealized and glorified in
paintings, plays and novels
representing the indomitable will of the Vietnamese
• Trung sisters are said to have gathered 30000 forces in
order to resist the
Chinese for two years. When ultimately defeated by the
Chinese, they committed
suicide instead of surrendering to the enemy.
• Trieu Au (3rd century CE): She was an orphan and lived with
her brother. She left home, went into the jungles, organized a
large army and resisted the Chinese rule. Ultimately, she was
defeated by the Chinese forces after which she drowned
• 1960s: Various photographs and stories portrayed women as brave, young and
• The women were equally represented as a worker along with their warrior image.
Therefore, they were shown with a rifle in one hand and a hammer in the other.
• The casualties of war increased as a result of which many women were urged to
join the struggle.
•The women helped in nursing the wounded, constructing underground rooms
and tunnels and fighting the enemy. They kept open 2,195 km of strategic roads
and guarded 2,500 key points along the Ho Chi Minh trail. They also built 6
airstrips, neutralized tens of thousands of kilograms of cargo, weapons and food
and shot down 15 planes. There were 1.5 million women in the regular army, the
militia, the local forces and professional teams in Vietnam.
CHALLENGES FACED BY THE NEW
REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
;The french troops tried to re-establish their control over Vietnam.
So, the new republic had to fight a war.
;Vietnam was divided into two parts in the Geneva Conference.
;The U.S.A entered into the Vietnamese war. So, the new republic
had to fight against the most powerful country of the world.
;Use of chemical weapons and destruction of towns and villages
by the American forces made the people’s life miserable.
EFFCTS OF GREAT DEPRESSION ON
.Great depression led to a fall in the prices of rice and rubber.
This affected the farmers badly.
.Export earnings of Vietnam decreased sharply.
.Unemployment and poverty became severe.
.It led to many revolts in villages.
MODERN PART OF HANOI
The US failed to crush the Vietnamese resistance.
Thousands of young US soldiers and Vietnamese civilians lost their lives.
Many were disillusioned by the actions of the US.
Noam Chomsky called the war “the greatest threat to peace, to national self-
determination and to international cooperation”.
This was called the first television war as battle scenes were shown on news
January 1974: A peace settlement with the US was signed in Paris for ending
30th April 1975: The NLF occupied the presidential palace in Saigon to end the
conflict between them (NLF) and the Saigon regime.
Ultimately, Vietnam was united.
NATIVE PART OF HANOI