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Explain why the Frenchleft Vietnam in 1954

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Gemma Weatherall History Coursework Assignment 1 Explain why the French left Vietnam in 1954 In 1939, Vietnam was part of a French indo-china. This area was Laous, Cambodia and Vietnam. This area was all part of the French empire in the 19th century. The French colonial rule was barely resisted by the people of Vietnam but this harsh rule led to growing anti-colonial feeling. Working conditions in factories were very poor. Peasant farmers struggled with high taxes and the use of forced labour because public works projects did little to help. Very few Vietnamese people could rise to positions of importance in the colonial government. In 1885, the emperor of Vietnam, Han Nghi, began a revolt against the French and by the early 20th century nationalist parties were formed and demanded independence. ...read more.


They created a famine which took away an estimate of two million lives. The only resistance to this Japanese rule was the Vietminh. The aim of this organisation was to establish an independent and free Vietnam that was not under control of any foreign power. This meant a fight against the French and the Japanese. This rule was formed by Ho Chi Minh in 1941. Throughout the war, they attacked the French. Support grew in 1942 and 1943 but by 1944, they were strong enough to attack the two French out posts. In 1945, the Japanese finally over threw the French government and started to control the towns, leaving country areas alone. This allowed the communists to build up support in those areas. ...read more.


In 1953, the French Para-troopers took control of Dien Bien Phu and built a fortified Garrison. The leader of Vietnam, General Vo Nguven Giap, took the opportunity to attack the Garrison. He used 50,000 peasants to carry 200 pieces of artillery and 25,000 shells as well as food for the 40,000 soldiers. He made them carry them on bikes with the tyres stuffed with cloth so they didn't pop. He then surrounded the French base. Giap destroyed the air-field and the French were cut off. Over 3,000 soldiers from France were killed in this battle and then a further 8,000 more died in captivity. For the people of France, it was a devastating defeat. They had lost over 90,000 French soldiers in nine years of fighting. The Vietminh lost a lot more men, an estimate of 200,000, but significantly, this small nation in south east Asia had defeated a major European country. ...read more.

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