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Decolonization of Vietnam
Transcript of Decolonization of Vietnam
The French colonized Vietnam in 1874
During Vietnam's medieval time period, the country was somewhat of a "melting pot"
There were many languages and ethnicities because of the silk road, a series of trade routes that ran through East Asia
Vietnam won their independence from the French in 1954
Defeated the French at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
Vietnamese defeated the Americans later in 1975 to maintain their independence (Vietnam War)
Support from Chinese and Russians
French Colonization in Vietnam lasted over six decades
Before the French had come over, the Chinese had ruled most of its years separating Vietnam into 2 different kingdoms: Bac Do and Champa
Rice-farming and agriculture had always been Vietnam's economic foundation
Vietnam's economic status was always under pressure because of the frequent wars and natural disasters. Famine also swooped in from time to time
Imperialism was very strong at the time with the line of emperors that were conquering Vietnam
The only people that had benefited economically was the small class of wealthy vietnamese, created by the colonial regime
The rest of Vietnam's population was deprived of those benefits by the social policies by French successors.
The Emperor of Vietnam (Gia Long) was in power prior (and somewhat during) colonization
As for the peasants, they were exploited into not gaining any free land
His goal was to minimize French interference/ties with France
This created a new class of landlords and landless.
French had introduced plantation agriculture with products such as coffee, tobacco and tea.
In 1857, Napoleon III decided to take Vietnam by force
After some time fighting, the Emperor granted France control of three provinces
He also made Catholic missionary work legal and opened three ports for French trade
His final contribution to complete French domination gave France complete control over Vietnam’s foreign relations
Due to the rapid growth of the British Empire, France became desperate for colonies
Exports on goods were starting to increase domestically and to foreign countries.
French colonization helped pave the way for communism to take over post World War II
The French brought some commercial activity to Vietnam (agriculture, crops, etc.)
The French did not do this in the interests of the Vietnamese, but for their own profit
Helped develop cities by adding harbors, roads, fresh water, schools, waste systems, churches etc.
Helped the Vietnamese more than the French long-term
Positive Long-Term Impacts/Effects of Colonization in Vietnam
French investment created jobs and trade/capital
Spread of religion (input of Catholicism with French)
Created a small wealthy class and a large poor
Cholon district, 1900s
Negative Long-Term Impacts/Effects of Colonization in Vietnam
French entry/influence in Vietnam eroded the ancient culture and and political structure that sustained the Vietnamese for hundreds of years.
Vietnam had been run by conquerors for centuries, so by the time of the departure of the French, they were already used to being treated like servants
This mindset and lack of leadership in Vietnam made it easy for the Soviets to come in
The nation was divided in two (North and South) due to conflicting views on the Soviet influence
Vietnam's main exports were textiles and garments, rice, coffee, and rubber
Soviets in Vietnam
Rice fields in Thanh Hoá Province
Little Treaty of Versailles- promised French military aid in exchange for Vietnamese concessions
Ho Chi Minh- Leader of
the Independence movement
Mass tourism today- considerable amount in the old French areas- 6.84 million tourists in 2012
Colonized Vietnam in order to have a naval base to protect/enhance trade with China.
Vietnam is thriving in economic deveopment (2011 GDP $123,960,665,229)
Its culture is alive and the population is prospering
A large number of Vietnamese left the country to settle in North America
Ho Chi Minh skyline
Vietnam pop. pyramid (2009)
Ho Chi Minh City Hall (French Style)
Public buildings, chateaus, hill stations, and even city halls built by the French (in French architectural style) are still standing today
Drought, wars, and other threats to the agriculture constantly pressured the economy, and sometimes resulted in famine