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North Vietnam, also called the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) ( ), was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnammarker from 1954 until 1976.

During World War II, Vietnam was part of French Indochina and also under Japanese occupation. After Japan surrendered, the DRV was proclaimed in Hanoimarker on September 2, 1945 by Vietminh leader Hồ Chí Minh. In March 1946, an elected National Assembly approved Hồ as the head of the government and former emperor Bảo Đại as supreme advisor. France accepted Hồ's government in March 1946. Non-communist Vietnamese politicians, ousted from the DRV on Oct. 30, went south. In November, the French reoccupied Hanoi and the French Indochina War followed. Bảo Đại agreed to become head of the Cochinchina government in 1949, which was then renamed the State of Vietnam. Following the Geneva Accord of 1954, Vietnam was partitioned. The DRV became the government of North Vietnam while the State of Vietnam retained control in the South.

The Geneva Accord provided that nationwide elections would be held in 1956, but the accord was rejected by South Vietnam. During the Vietnam War (1959–1975), North Vietnam fought to reunify the country under their rule, fighting against the military of South Vietnam and their anti-communist allies. At one point, the U.S. had 600,000 troops in the South. At the end of the war, the North Vietnamese army conquered South Vietnam. The two states were merged in 1976 as the Socialist Republic of Vietnammarker.

Independence proclaimed

Soon after the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, the Vietminh entered Hanoi and proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt had spoken against French rule in Indochina and America was supportive of the Vietminh at this time.

In January 1946, a general election was held to establish a National Assembly. Public enthusiasm for this event suggests that the Vietminh had a great deal of popularity at this time, although the pro-French newspapers of Saigon delighted in pointing out the various flaws in the voting process.

When France declared Cochinchina, the southern third of Vietnam, a separate state as the "Autonomous Republic of Cochinchina" in June 1946, Vietnamese nationalists reacted with fury. In November, the National Assembly adopted the first Constitution of the Republic. The French reoccupied Hanoi and the Franco-Viet Minh War (1946-54) followed.

Partition of Indochina

Following the partition of Vietnam in 1954 at the end of the First Indochina War, around a million Vietnamese migrated to either the North and to the South. For example, an estimated 800,000 Catholics moved south. The Catholic migration is attributed to an expectation of persecution of Catholics by the North Vietnamese government, as well as publicity employed by the Saigon government of the President Ngô Đình Diệm. Concurrently, an estimated 130,000 people from South Việtnam who supported the Viet Minh headed for the North with the aid of Polish and Soviet ships.

Between 1953 and 1956, the North Vietnamese government instituted various agrarian reforms, including land redistribution. Large landowners and rich peasants were publicly denounced as landlords (địa chủ), and their land distributed to poor and middle peasants. In some cases there were mass slaughters of landlords.

A literary movement called Nhân văn-Giai phẩm (from the names of the two magazines which started the movement) attempted to encourage the democratization of the country and the free expression of thought. Intellectuals were thus lured into criticizing the leadership so they could be arrested later, following the model of Mao Zedong's Hundred Flowers campaign in China.

International relations

North Vietnam's capital was Hanoi and its was a one party state led by the Vietnam Workers' Party.

In the late 1950s, Hanoi began sending supplies and soldiers south along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to fight the Saigon government. In 1965 the United States sent combat troops to South Vietnam. China and the Soviet Union provided aid to North Vietnam in support of North Vietnamese military activities. This was known as the Vietnam War (1959-75)

In addition to the Vietcong in South Vietnam, other nationalist insurgencies also operated within neighboring Laosmarker and Cambodiamarker, both formerly part of the French colonial territory of Indochina.

Fall of Saigon

With the fall of Saigon to North Vietnamese armed forces on April 30, 1975, political authority within South Vietnam was assumed by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (Chính phủ cách mạng lâm thời nước Cộng hoà miền Nam Việt Nam). This government merged with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on July 2, 1976, to form a single nation officially called the Socialist Republic of Vietnammarker (Cộng hoà xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam).

See also



Notes

  1. The August Revolution and its historic significance
  2. Although former emperor Bao Dai was also popular at this time and won a seat in the Assembly, the election did not allow voters to express a preference between Bao Dai and Ho. It was held publicly in northern and central Vietnam, but secretly in Cochinchina, the southern third of Vietnam. There was minimal campaigning and most voters had no idea who the candidates were. (Fall, Bernard, The Viet-Minh Regime (1956), p. 9.) In many districts, a single candidate ran unopposed. (Fall, p. 10.) Party representation in the Assembly was publicly announced before the election was held. (Springhal, John, Decolonization since 1945 (1955), p. 44.)
  3. " Political Overview"
  4. United Nations High Commission on Refugees. 2000. The State of the World's Refugees 2000: Fifty Years of Humanitarian Action. Oxford University Press.
  5. Truong Nhu Tang. 1986. A Viet Cong Memoir. Vintage.
  6. Qiang Zhai, China and the Vietnam Wars, 1950-1975


References

  1. The August Revolution and its historic significance
  2. Although former emperor Bao Dai was also popular at this time and won a seat in the Assembly, the election did not allow voters to express a preference between Bao Dai and Ho. It was held publicly in northern and central Vietnam, but secretly in Cochinchina, the southern third of Vietnam. There was minimal campaigning and most voters had no idea who the candidates were. (Fall, Bernard, The Viet-Minh Regime (1956), p. 9.) In many districts, a single candidate ran unopposed. (Fall, p. 10.) Party representation in the Assembly was publicly announced before the election was held. (Springhal, John, Decolonization since 1945 (1955), p. 44.)
  3. " Political Overview"
  4. United Nations High Commission on Refugees. 2000. The State of the World's Refugees 2000: Fifty Years of Humanitarian Action. Oxford University Press.
  5. Truong Nhu Tang. 1986. A Viet Cong Memoir. Vintage.
  6. Qiang Zhai, China and the Vietnam Wars, 1950-1975


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