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TheSignificanceofDienBienPhu1954



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The Significance of Dien Bien Phu 1954 by Brad Seidman and Charles De Jesus Indochina including Vietnam Cambodia and Laos became a French colony in the 1880s Like other 19th century European powers looking to establish global empires France used the spread of Christianity to insert themselves into Indochinese society However this was merely a pretext to establish political control and exploit Indochina s natural resources particularly rubber France s goals were summarized by Prime Minister Jules Ferry with the remark Colonial policy is the daughter of industrial policy French actions were continually met with resistance by the people of Indochina In 1858 the Emperor Thieu Tri unsuccessfully sought to limit the activities of foreigners in Vietnam and between 1885 and 1916 the Vietnamese mounted a series of rebellions At the Versailles Conference at the end of World War I a Vietnamese delegation tried to petition for an end to French colonialism but it was barred from participation During the 1920s a figure emerged who brought unity to the different factions fighting against the French Nguyan Tat Than also known as Ho Chi Minh joined the French Communist Party in 1920 and secured the support of the newly established Soviet Union for his movement Ho Chi Minh believed that All subject peoples are filled with hope by the prospect that an era of right and justice is opening for them in the struggle of civilization against barbarism He declared If you force us into war we will fight The struggle will be atrocious but the Vietnamese people will suffer anything rather than renounce their freedom The situation in Vietnam fundamentally changed with the onset of World War II The defeat of France by Germany led to Japanese occupation of the former French colony From 1940 until 1945 the Viet Minh Front for the Independence of Vietnam under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh fought a guerrilla war against the Japanese In July 1945 Allied leaders decided to partition Vietnam placing the



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