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Vietnam History 1858-1945

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 . Last updated Fri, 08 May 2015 17:25

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The period from 1858 to 1945 is seen the important transitional period of Vietnam history. The period witnessed bloody fights of Vietnamese patriots against French colonists and Japanese fascists to regain the independence and liberation for the nation.

In the early 20th century, the Vietnamese patriotic elites went up Truong Son and picked up the King Ham Nghi to Voi Mep cave in the west of Cam Lo to establish the base. Here the King issued the Royalist Decree.

To the early 20th century, colonial countries pushed the world into the great difficulties.  The political system in the colonies and the destiny of natives were fierce conflict, the Western civilization promised the democracy and human rights as an objective of the new era, but it also trampled upon all humane values ​​following footsteps of expeditionary forces. In 1914, the colonialist countries as British, Russia, France, Germany, USA and Japan occupied a colonial area of 65 million square kilometers wide, with a population of 523.4 million people. The revolutionary movements broke out everywhere.

In 1917, the October Revolution in Russia was successful.  In March 1919, the Communist International or the 3rd International in other name was established under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin. At that time, there was only the Communist International that could put a plausible claim with the colonialism and had a great appeal to the colonial peoples.  In 1920, at the Tours Congress, some radical members of the French Socialist Party voted into the international policy of the Communist International and removed from the Socialist Party to establish the French Communist Party afterwards.

Among the radical deputies responded to the Lenin’s proposal of the people and colony had a delegate who came from Indochina - the French colony, he was Nguyen Ai Quoc, one of the brilliant patriots of Vietnam at that time finding a way to save his country.

On June 19th 1919, on behalf of the patriotic people of An Nam, Nguyen Ai Quoc brought to the Versailles peace conference claims of An Nam people including 8 points that urged allies to apply the idea of Wilson president for the colonial territory of the French in Southeast Asia, handed the French president and the delegates to the conference.

In 1924, in Moscow, Nguyen Ai Quoc sent the Communist International a report on the North, the Central and the South of Vietnam which were three parts of Indochina belonging to the French and separated from Vietnam. He commented that the situation of Vietnam classes had the difference from the class conflict in the West at the same time. This was thesis illuminated many practical problems when applied in Vietnam revolutionary situation.

Nguyen Ai Quoc founded the Vietnam Revolutionary Youth League in June 1925 from 9 members of Tam Tam Xa enlightened. The first members consisted of Ho Tung Mau, Le Hong Son, Le Hong Phong, Vuong Thuc Oanh, Truong Van Linh, Luu Quoc Phong, Lam Duc Thu. Under the direct leadership of Nguyen Ai Quoc, from June 1925 weekly Thanh Nien newspaper was formally established by the league. The newspaper not only propagandized the League’s revolutionary way but also judged and criticized the revolutionary way of others organizations such as Vietnam Quang Phuc Hoi and Vietnam Quoc Dan Dang. This was the first factors to form the communist organization afterwards. They were unified on February 3 1930 along with the direction and skillful persuasion of Nguyen Ai Quoc named the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Shortly after the founding of the Communist Party, Nguyen Ai Quoc drafted and presented the political program and brief strategy. This document was considered essential principles that formed the basic and long-term strategy of the revolutionary democratic and nation in Vietnam. Today, these documents are also known as Ho Chi Minh platform. The revolutionary forces not only were the worker – farmer coalition but also called for the other components as patriots against the colonialism to regain the independence. The outline of Nguyen Ai Quoc was really a political program, opened the way for major policies of the Vietnam communists to form front organizations, to build the national unity bloc under the long arduous road to win the independence, unity and territorial integrity as well as the methods of struggle later.

I think that the People's War has appeared since the formation of the Vietnam nation, since Vietnam started building and defending the country. Its name may be different but our ancient ancestors had philosophical generalizations, such as powers of the people, the enemy comes, the women beat. And the actual history we can see, the most ancient fight was against An aggression. The Thanh Giong legend reflects a core history that our country was newly formed,  built and was still immature and weak as a three- year- old baby, but before the risk of country, the baby forced to mature sooner than normal rule. Until Dinh, Le, Ly, Tran, Hau Le and Tay Son, the strength of entire population to was also shown clearly. Therefore, President Ho Chi Minh launched "any men, women, any old and young people, not distinct region and party, whoever are the Vietnamese people must stand up to save the country". The immortal appeal inherited from the history of the nation. And I believe that the people’s war has appeared very early and in the Ho Chi Minh era, it reached the pinnacle.

Besides other movements, since the Communist Party was founded, the struggles of the workers and farmers according to the Soviet form emerged in many localities. The French colonists oppressed drastic, drowned uprisings under the Soviet flag in the bloodbaths.

On April 19th 1931, after entering Saigon to chair the second Central Party conference, the General Secretary Tran Phu was arrested by the French. On June 9th 1931, he died in Cho Quan hospital at the age of 27 with the massage for friends and fellows “Please keep sense of purpose and uprightness”.

The successor of Tran Phu, Le Hong Phong was arrested and sent into Con Lon in 1940. He died in Con Lon at 2 years later. The next General Secretary was Ha Huy Tap arrested and forced to death along with many senior officials of the Party after organizing the Nam Ky uprising in November 1940.

At the time, the Second World War was increasingly widespread and fierce, early 1941 Nguyen Ai Quoc decided to return Vietnam. May 1941, in Khuoi Nam forest, Pac Bo, Ha Quang District, Cao Bang Province, Nguyen Ai Quoc established the Vietnam Independent Alliance battlefield, called Viet Minh. This event marked a milestone in the history of Vietnam's revolution and an important factor in the victories afterwards.

At that time the Second World War came to its pinnacle, after the initial wise, the fascists attacked on all the other great powers. After the campaigns had attacked simultaneously many countries in Pacific, on February 7th, 1941, the Japanese ambushed the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, pulled the United States into the Allies against the fascists. Japanese troops jointed in the fascists and extended the World War with the mask Great East Asia. This was in fact a struggle for the colonial system divided by the colonial European nations in the late 19th and early 20th century. The victory or defeat between 2 factions still undecided, but the collision benefits certainly affected the rights of colonial nations. The communists soon realized this opportunity, since its inception, the Viet Minh program identified the conflict between the Japanese and the French empires.

After the French was lost their country by the Germany, the Japanese took this advantage to occupy the North of Vietnam. It was not long since the Japanese people came to our country, but most people knew that they were also bandits. The French brought 70,000 km2 ceded to Siam, they considered our people as a commodity item. So our people had to slave for the French, Japanese and Siamese. Facing that situation, our people couldn’t sit still. Our people from the South to the North were preparing an uprising to regain the country's independence. The duty of the Vietnam Independent Alliance made the national revolution won.

December 21, 1941, the Central Committee Party had sent a notice to the party level stating "from the generally situation, we saw that the fascist enemy increasingly weakened, the entire world revolutionary forces were increasing. We were processing to a beneficial opportunity for seizing power. Comrades practiced the resolution above towards the insurrection. Though the enemy kept violent terrorist, the crazy actions were just their death, we worked energetically to lead the people defeating the robbed troops."

December 22, 1944, in the forest between 2 districts Tran Hung Dao and Hoang Hoa Tham, Cao Bang province now, the first armed force was established under the name Vietnam Propaganda Liberators. The army initially included 34 people, 3 women divided into 3 sub-teams. In particular, the general commander Vo Nguyen Giap, Hoang Sam was selected as the captain, Xich Thang - Duong Mac Thanh was commissar, Hoang Van Thai was in charge of intelligence and operational planning, Lam Cam Nhu – Lam Kinh was in charge of the political work, Loc Van Lung – Van Tien was manager. Initially, weapons had 2 straight guns, ten-shooter, 17 rifles and 11 muskets. After the foundation, the team defeated in the 2 first battles in Phai Khat and Na Ngan, Cao Bang. After two battles, this troop strength increased a great team, Hoang Sam was captain, Xich Thang was commissar.

In the evening of March 9th, 1945, the Japanese made ​​a coup to oust the French and monopolized in Indochina. They established the Japanese government headed by Prime Minister Tran Trong Kim.

April 20, 1945, the Indochina Communist Party organized the Tonkin military conference passing an important resolution. The French and Japanese fight in Indochina, this was a ripe condition of the general uprising to seize the power, the conference decided to establish the Tonkin military commission, the commander of the liberation of northern Vietnam.

May 15th, 1945, at the Chu market, Vietnam Propaganda Liberation Army merged with National Salvation Army and some guerrilla units into a unified military force named Vietnam Liberation Army. August 1945, after convening the national delegates and appointing the Vietnam National Liberation committee to prepare component of the Provisional Government, Nguyen Ai Quoc under the name Ho Chi Minh, the chairman of Viet Minh front wrote a letter calling for the general uprising with comments on the political face, opportunities to seize power and to liberate.

Currently, the Japanese army was disbanded, the national salvation movement spread throughout the country. Vietnam Independent Alliance – Viet Minh had millions of members, including the full classes as officers, peasants, workers, businessmen, military, including all the ethnic groups as Viet, Tho, Nung, Muong, Man. In Viet Minh, compatriots shook hands tightly, not regardless of boys and girls, the young and the old, religion and the rich and the poor. Viet Minh was the basis for the unity of our nation in this time. Please join in Viet Minh, support Viet Minh and make Viet Minh more extensive and stronger. The National Liberation Committee as well as the Provisional Government at this time should unite around it and make its policy and orders enforced throughout the country.

The compatriots of the entire country, the time deciding our nation's destiny had arrived. The nationwide people revolted, brought our strength to liberate for ourselves. Responding to the call of Viet Minh, the compatriots of the entire country rose up general uprising to seize power, independence and end nearly 100 years of slavery. The map of the S-shaped country was spread out, places around the country people along with Viet Minh followed the footsteps of those heady group occupying the headquarters that was a representative of the power French colonists, and then the Japanese fascists.

August 19th 1945, Hanoi - the center of the North commanded revolt. August 25th 1945, the southern uprising won the victory, ended a week filled with shouts of "Vietnam independence" from Nam Quan to Ca Mau. September 2nd 1945, President Ho Chi Minh read the Proclamation of Independence that gave birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The general uprising throughout the country considered as a great whirlwind that swept away all shame, slavery of the Vietnamese people along with the violence and power of the colonists and fascists hundreds of years of reign on the strip. From the North to the South, there was not North Vietnam, Central Vietnam and South Vietnam, the entire Vietnamese people established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the State solemnly declared to the world that

“A nation has fought side by side with the Allies against the fascists during these last years, this nation must be free and independent.

For these reasons above, we, members of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam solemnly declare to the worth that Vietnam has the rights to be a free and independent country and in fact it has already become a free and independence country. 

The entire Vietnamese people are determined to mobilize all their physical and mental strength, sacrifice their lives and property to safeguard their independence and liberty.”

The fascism destroyed globally, but the imperialist colonialism still existed. Shortly after the surrender of Japanese, the French intrigued to return Indochinese chessboard. This was not a total surprise to the General Committee of Viet Minh. Even in the letter exhorting the people after August 19th 1945, the central committee predicted that The Democratic Republic Vietnam was founded, many chains had been opened, people on the entire country were living these jubilant days, the first free days from the French occupied our country. The French enemy aimed to return Indochina to oppress us again, we had to prepare the plan in order to defeat their barbaric invasion, must crush their intrigues and promises, destroyed the root of the French colonial regime.

The Indochina War was restarted by the French on September 23rd 1945, less than a month after ending the general uprising. Southern compatriots received and fight back the first shots of the French expeditionary army with the peace of a nation just winning back the independence and freedom. The youth and the masses of the South set off and started the journey to maintain the independence. The Vietnam history does not call the Indochina war; it is called the war against the French colonialists.


Source: under Creative Commons

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