You are on page 1of 14

Week 1

Lecture
They had nationalism, resistance, patriotic pride, patience before the Americans even went to Vietnam Vietnam is separated into 3 different regions o Tonkin is north Rebellious against French and US o Annam is middle Rebellion too o Cochin china Capital was there (Saigon) and is now called Ho Chi Minh City On side of US/French Major life sources o Two rivers Mekong (south) and Red Rivers (north) o In Mekong area lots of the population lived there After WWII the Vietnam come, and until then the Vietnam people had faced many foreigners People from china moved down into northern Vietnam o They were able to dominate the area and were ruled by a group called Hung Kings o The Hung King which was a dragon and it mated with a fairy Thats why dragons are still there this is a creation myth Dragon Lord of the Lac Had many children and returned to sea with them, fairy stayed on land and one became King (first of the Vietnamese kings), the last one committed suicide in 257 BC o This resulted in the creation a new kingdom of Au Lac o Dragon had protected Hung King, and now these Au Lac are protected by the golden turtle spirit o Eventually there are 100s of shrines to all of these In 208 BC Nam Viet emerged o Came out of south coastal china and conquered the Au Lac o For a century they ruled 111 BC china is unified by the Han Dynasty o They took control of Nam Viet All this is in the north The Vietnam began to resist the Chinese o RESISTANCE is COMMON! o Chinese challenged their sovereignty Vietnam began to develop folk heroes

First are women Trung Sisters Vietnamese still revere them Around 40 AD they made the Chinese flee and Trung Trac is made queen First Vietnamese independence movement o Han came back, conquered, the sisters commit suicide, it is better to die than to give your country over to the enemy o Gradually Chinese culture is brought in and this is called Sinicization o From 1st century AD onwards Increasing control by the Chinese Will be trying to take over more, Vietnamese will negotiate and give in and then they will resist A new Chinese Vietnamese Elite has come about and a chasm appears o Chinese is the emerging class in Vietnam o Sinovietnamese elite is established and indigenous Vietnamese dont like this Leads to revolt Its nationalistic and class based revolt The revolts happen regularly Even now o Vietnamese never really gave in to Chinese control o For the next 10 centuries many revolts/battles came about o Constant need for Chinese to be vigilant Vietnamese gain independence on 939 AD o The Tang Dynasty (Chinese) are in disarray o The Vietnamese use this to gain independence o Battle of Bach Dang Major victory for Vietnamese in 938 Sea battle o They now have national independence There wasnt a ruler who could unify the region The people dont identify in a similar way o The north have more contact with the Chinese so they hate them more In 1009 AD the Ly Dynasty was established and ruled for 2 centuries o Moved the capital to Hanoi Comes from the name dragon Calls upon the Vietnamese traditional creation myth o The kings were all tattooed with dragons in order to claim spiritual effects of the Dragon Kings By doing this, they are able to link back Vietnamese take history and use it in the contemporary They use their past to inspire protest o Their authority rested on their moral force they had

Called on spirits from the past and previous heroes This gives them credibility o They have two traits Confucianism A philosophy of self and government and calls the citizens to respect tradition and authority A natural order is present in this philosophy Establishes a government based on merit/skill o You have to take a test to get a post in government Buddhism Very important in Vietnam Dominant religion Religious and political force Cause anti-government activities Bad for American policy efforts o This is a golden century until 1225 AD The Tran Dynasty come in o Continue Ly Dynasty reforms/ developments o Vietnamese population/territory/army/bureaucracy grows o Exam system further develops o It is modernization 10-11th century style o Chinese still have cultural and social influence o Yet they still dont like the Chinese It is like a double standard o They fight off the Chinese o Late 13th century Mongols go into Vietnam and are defeated by Trung Hung Dao He is like the Trung sisters Leads an army in 1284 AD Has a strategic mind and patience Invokes a nationalist spirit Calls the Mongols pompous They are stealing our money This works as a nationalistic message Army responds, they oust the Mongols Mongols were very big Morale is really high, higher than firepower and troops Confucian and Buddhist ideals rise By 15th century trouble arises o Economy goes down and the Vietnamese peasant revolts! o Confucianism says to respect authority, but in Vietnam it was common for the peasants to come together and protest as a group

Cause of social unrest Revolt against Tran Dynasty A court councilor seizes throne, unpopular, so Chinese came in again The Chinese sinocize culture/language/society They make Vietnam more Chinese The Vietnamese hate this Big revolts foreshadow the future events In 1428 the Le Dynasty came about o Not very successful o Few heroes o Little great literature o General state of decline o In later years, the dynasty was dominated by great rebellion Tay Son Rebellion Was against the crown By 1786 rebel leaders controlled all of Vietnam They try to undo Chinese influence They were peasants, so this was class and nationalistic rebellion Replaced Chinese script with a Vietnamese writing (Nom) Old heroes are brought in like the Trung Sisters They grab attention and are popular Saying china is not superior! Chinese try to exploit the difference between Le Dynasty and Tay Son They come in and try to reenter Vietnam Called the First Tet Offensive (1788) On the third day of this lunar new year the leader Quang Trung, head of Tay Son, moved to Hanoi with elephants o This was not expected o The Chinese fled, bridge broke, Chinese drowned a lot, elephants died a lot, the Chinese dynasty give up and leave Vietnam o They Tay Son gained independence for their country BUT this doesnt last long They fall apart Nguyen Dynasty come in 1802 is a reaction against the Tay Son o Move capital to Hu In central region o They overturn Tay Son reforms that were good for the poor people, they Nguyen were for elite o Thought the Tay Son was not good for government because they were not bred to rule o This was class based

o o o o

o Very typical idea o They want to return to Chinese system, a neo-Confucian system o They live only shortly o They are the last Vietnam dynasty and then European comes in Vietnamese society/values o These are important o They had a mergence of Confucian/Buddhist/Daoism This creates Vietnamese culture o Their culture is different from western cultures Westerners ignore/dismiss/dont care about the Vietnamese principles They dont make an attempt to understand o They use the use of rationality (ly) Not like westerners Conformity to principles of the universe Like Confucianism Every relation has a proper form (father/son, brother/brother, subject/leader) This legitimizes hierarchical order in society It is natural that some are higher in society than others o Family Filial piety and moral debt Obey/honor family/parents Please your parents Please those who are in charge Even thought they say have respect and honor those in charge, they rebel frequently so this is kind of contradictory o Righteousness (nghia) Righteous path as well Willing to fulfill social duty Live by a certain set of rules Do the right thing o Natural Order Moral and just order in the universe If you behave and act with virtue, good things will happen to you If bad things happen, have patience and good things will return This is a huge difference in the war that comes They fight slowly and take their time o Village The Vietnam War was considered a peoples war Intimate society The village is like a large family They are isolated by rice patties/gates Have their own altars/museums

Social clubs, graveyards It is their connection to the world This gives them a connection to the land It is localized When Americans come in they try to win their hearts, but they tried to move them out of their villages and Vietnamese didnt like this because they were connected to their land Land is really crucial and it becomes spiritual o Subsistence Economy Vietnam is an agricultural society Main thing is rice It remains this way until 20th century Not a modern technical society These values are important when Europeans come in European Colonialism In Indochina (Confrontation with the West) o Lots of this conflict has to do with the differences in the society o Confucian vs. Capitalism Not a lot of middle ground West gets interest in Vietnam The west was going towards capitalism and they encouraged others to follow them They were looking for resources and cheap labor in third world countries Underdeveloped worlds help in globalization Major powers French Russian British German Spain/Portugal They are in competition for resources/labor and resort to military to get what they want British in India/Hong Kong Dutch in Indonesia Spanish do it in Philippines People are trying to go into china America in Hawaii Vietnam is going to part of this process To west their natural order is expansion Vietnamese want to avoid globalization They knew they werent going to win with the international market economy

Europeans would benefit only This offends them Traders begin to take an interest in Vietnam Portuguese establish a settlement at Da Nang near the middle coast In 1535 They wanted to use Vietnam to get into spice trades of Asia They leave and dont make their goals French in 1858 Few Spanish too 3000 troops seized Da Nang They have two goals o Economic Want to establish Vietnam as a trading outlet Want labor and to make a consumer market Vietnam is not permitting trade o Punishment Vietnam is Buddhist and the Catholics feel persecuted because the Buddhists are ruling the society They hope to gain power in the Mekong River area as a trading route because the river flows very high into china and it is a good market o If you could get access to chinas population, you would make lots of profit This doesnt work but it is motivation French take a heavy handed approach o Very oppressive o Brutal o Establish rubber plantations and the Vietnam are like slaves o Public works in Vietnam are done under a corvee system This takes the locals and make them pay taxes, but because they cant pay taxes you force them to do labor like make roads and public works This causes uprising later because it is such harsh labor o They are repressive o In order to do this they move to Cochin China They are in the southern part near Saigon This becomes the center of French movements They have the most supporters in the south Their haters are in the north o 1861-62 Force the Vietnamese to give them control of several provinces

Bring in missionaries to convert them French and Spanish force the Vietnamese to give them rights to trading especially at Da Nang o Vietnamese are forced to pay for the military attack against themselves o These are enforced with violence and power o The Vietnamese win, but they lose many people o Thought it was ridiculous that the French were really backwards uncivilized The Vietnamese resist, but there are a fair number of elite who work with French for benefit A time of protest occur to oppose the French In Mekong was teeming with Vietminh and Vietcong who opposed the government very much and were very close to their area of influence, the capital o Resistance was the greatest in this area o But they didnt have very much defense o They dont have much technology Poetry and words also are a form of protest o Come out as soon as French arrive o They have such vitality o They also had martial spirit o Poets Nguyen Dinh Chieu Goes after French and collaborators, those help and work with the French They are the real enemies and hated Didnt accept any western things like paved roads, soap, alphabet Reminds of the Tay Son You either believed in traditional values or you were against them Scorned those who dont resist Said religion and drugs was the problem as well that were introduced o Drugs suppressed rebellion and got away from the world o In order to resist you had to be sober and moral Mandarin were elite class o They were collaborators

They had reason to take a different approach Outline 5 Intellectual elite collaborated as well They generally speak for the established class Poets were surprised by this o The king rebuked those collaborators too Said that collaborators were hated by the whole generation Throughout 1860s-70s French gain control o French controlled south o French made church buildings in Vietnam o But there was an uproar in the north There are peasant unrest, tribal rebellion, people were bringing back the Le Loi Tay Son image, national hero cults Constant uprising While north is uprising, French merchants are trying to take over the northern river, Red River, in order to have trade with china. French and Vietnamese collaborators send a delegation to Hanoi to settle a dispute and give French merchants the rights to the river trade. They send guns and a fleet o November 1873 They overran citadel with 7000 Vietnamese One French killed, 80 Vietnamese killed, many more injured The then overran more provinces 1874 They establish military control in north They are a threat to the north now Northern fight 1870s o French are expanding with a fight o They create French Indochina o 5 areas Formal relationship in Cochin china Protectorates in Annam, Tonkin, Laos, and Cambodia So all of Vietnam is there 1883 o French troops go into north o 3 kings commit suicide in north o King Ham Nghi is 12

o o o

He fled into the mountains and calls for a resistance movement A series of rebellions starts Soldiers of nghia (righteousness) begin localized rebellion throughout Tonkin and Annam Thousands dies in vain French technology was just too much He flees, captured, and sent to Algeria for exile People are upset he was exiled and a protest happens again because of poets You are supposed to be loyal but collaborators went against this natural order Poets Nguyen Khuyen o The best known o Administrator because of his skill but didnt want to work with French so he said he was sick o Went after those who collaborated o Mocked them o They refused to support French and they subtly supported protest Tran Te Xuong o Younger o More direct than the above o Targeted collaborators o He failed the exams to be an administrator o Mocks those who passed the exam and collaborate with French o No respect for authority or monks or shamans and Chinese characters o Refused to go to school for french Phan Boi Chau o An icon for important people o Founded the Travel East Movement Was a pan Asian movement Called the association for the modernization of Vietnam They looked at Japan to see how they could modernize

o
th

By early 1900s thousands of Vietnamese go to Japan and try to gain the skills needed to turn create national liberation in Vietnam Criticizes Vietnam society, class, and collaborators Overall it can be seen that the poets didnt attack the French, they attack Vietnamese Phan Chu Trinh is his friend that created a modernization school Books were distributed Trinh was a public speaker See that western modernization is not a bad thing and if it was controlled by Asians then it was okay Japan modernized on their own terms and were not forced that is why they were taken as a model Tell Vietnamese to get rid of old way of things and develop new things Western ways may not be bad after all Haircuts became a political movement that meant that you werent going to do things they old way French didnt understand but they knew something was going on This is a way to join west and east French could not institute a culture So soldiers of nghia are poets and soldiers

In the 20 century now Vietnam war is really important for America and Vietnamese

Ho Chi Minh o Very important o Went by many names o Very nationalistic and communistic in ideas o By 1910-20 early generation, like the poets, were dying off o A new group came and were militant/activist o Were inspired by Vladimir Lenin and other radicals o born in Nghe An in Annam there is anti-French sentiment there his father went to become part of administration his friends were killed in corvee labor his family is really well-to-do but dad lost job because he didnt want to learn French instead of going to Japan, he learned at Vietnam in the French way he quits school and becomes a merchant seaman and travelled around the world he went to Paris and stayed there with Vietnamese nationalists and some French who agreed with him the French he associated with were anti-colonial/communistic Draws up a program for Vietnamese independence Goes to Versailles and asks to meet Woodrow Wilson Never meets him Had good feelings about USA and that they were a model Was sent to china and gather oppressed people to make a large nationalist communist based organization By 1910-20s he wants to make a new Vietnam with independence

Readings
Walter LaFeber, "Roosevelt, Churchill, and Indochina: 1942-1945" Indochina was important for Americans as well as a place for trade/markets British and French had colonies in Asia They were losing control because Japan moved in America wanted to help for their own benefits and said that they would not allow the French to have Indochina British said that the French should have all of Indochina because they also sensed that the US would take over their colonies as well The four suggested world powers, the US said, would be America, Russia, Britain, and China

Since china was to be a power, the British should let go of their Chinese colonies America wanted to be a strong world power, but dependent on America so that china and the worlds resources would be open to the Americans Roosevelt had a trustee relationship planned with china, but the State Department opposed him, de Gaulle won the Free French leadership, and communist Russia tried to go into china and with their communists so Roosevelts plan of making china a policeman of the world failed

Gary Hess, "Franklin Roosevelt and Indochina" Roosevelt felt that the French were not deserving of being a world power anymore and they decided that after the war French Indochina should no longer be French The US also asserted that Indochina was in worse shape than it had been before the French even arrived o They were also mad that the French werent able to stand up against Germany or Japan during the war Roosevelts foreign plan decisions were often formulated without the State Department SEAC- southeast Asia command Roosevelt did not help the French at all, but he also stated that he would not help French resistance as well Roosevelt was waiting for Indochina to be liberated from the Japanese before any decision was made, but then again, although he had a plan of trusteeship he didnt develop it He also did not want to get involved in a decision regard or any military operations regarding Indochina When Roosevelt died, Truman said that he was fine with French regaining Indochina Roosevelts plan may have helped show the Vietnamese people that the allied powers didnt want to create European empires in Asia. This would have been helpful to show the colonial people that the war just wasnt about reestablishing a colonial power Trusteeship wasnt a bad idea, but it was never allowed to flourish Also, this war created a larger unified sense of nationalism for the Vietnamese people

Bui Minh Dung, "Japan's Role in the Vietnamese Starvation of 1944-45" Although weather, nature, and breaks in transportation contributed to the starvation in Indochina, the Japanese were a main cause as well They made the people convert from growing rice/maize to jute, cotton, etc. and this caused starvation as people no longer had food to eat because they lived a sort of subsistence economy The north had the worst amount of starvation Japanese exploited their minerals

The Japanese economic policy towards Vietnam seems to have been the major cause for their starvation.