The August Revolution (Vietnamese: Cách mạng tháng Tám), also known as the August General Uprising (Vietnamese: Tổng Khởi nghĩa tháng Tám), was a revolution launched by Ho Chi Minh's Việt Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam) against French and the Japanese Empire colonial rule in Vietnam, on August 14, 1945.
Within two weeks, forces under the Việt Minh had seized control of most rural villages and cities throughout the North, Center and South Vietnam, including Hanoi, where President Hồ Chí Minh announced the formation of the Provisional Democratic Republic, Huế, Saigon, exception in townships Móng Cái, Vĩnh Yên, Hà Giang, Lào Cai, Lai Châu.However, according to Vietnamese document, Việt Minh, in fact, seized control of Vietnam. On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese Independence. The August Revolution created a uniform government for the entire country.
Vietnam was a French colony from 1858 until the Japanese coup d'état in 1945. By 1897, the French had created the Federation of Indochina, with Vietnam divided for convenience into the separately ruled territories of Tonkin, Annam, and Cochin China, plus newly acquired Cambodia and Laos.To justify their imperial domination, the French claimed that it was their responsibility to help undeveloped regions in Asia become civilized. Without French intervention, they asserted, these places would remain backward, uncivilized, and impoverished. In reality, French imperialism was driven by the demand for resources: raw materials and cheap labour.
It is generally agreed that French colonial rule was politically repressive and economically exploitative. The Vietnamese struggle against French colonialism was almost a century old at the end of World War II. English: Aid-the-King), which was a large-scale Vietnamese insurgency between 1885 and 1889 against French colonial rule.Incursions by missionaries, gunboats, and diplomats in the 19th century had set off repeated periods of resistance because of the loyalty of the people to the Vietnamese monarchy and Confucian values. From the beginning of the French occupation of Vietnam, thousands of poorly-armed Vietnamese reacted to foreign control by various rebellions. One of the famous rebellions is called Cần Vương movement(
In 1917, an eclectic band of political prisoners, common criminals and mutinous prison guards seized the Thái Nguyên Penitentiary, the largest penal institution in northern Tonkin. [ citation needed ]The extraordinary regional and social diversity of its force makes the Thái Nguyên uprising a compelling prequel to the modern nationalist movements of the 1930s. Although all of the rebellions failed, the rebels remained a powerful symbol of resistance for generations.
During the colonial period, the French transformed Vietnamese society. Education and national industry were promoted, which had the unintended effect of stimulating the development of nationalist movements.
In the north, the anticolonial nationalist movement was dominated by communism after Hồ Chí Minh created the Vietnamese Revolutionary Youth League in 1925. On February 3, 1930, a special conference was held in Hong Kong under the chairmanship of Hồ Chí Minh, and the Vietnamese Communist Party was then born. In October, following a Comintern directive, this name was changed to Indochinese Communist Party (ICP). Until the party was officially disbanded by Hồ Chí Minh in November 1945, it held a leading position in the Vietnamese anticolonial revolution.
Ho Chi Minh went by many names during his rise to power, including Nguyen Tat Thanh "Nguyen Who Will Be Victorious," Nguyen O Phap "Nguyen Who Hates the French" and Nguyen Ai Quoc "Nguyen Who Loves His Country".The changes were used to further his cause of uniting the citizens and encouraging them to rebel. Ho Chi Minh means "Ho Who Aspires To Enlightenment".
In the south, the anticolonial nationalist movement was more complicated than in the north. The Cao Đài was the first of southern Vietnam's three most influential politico-religious organizations to emerge in the colonial era. Officially founded by colonial civil servant Ngô Văn Chiêu in 1926, it would grow to be the largest of the region's politically oriented religious entities, and in many ways the most powerful. More than a decade later, in 1939, Prophet Huynh Phu So introduced another politico-religious organization into southern Vietnam's anticolonial milieu by founding the Hòa Hảo.
His alleged miracle cures, preaching, and carrying out acts of extreme charity for the poor made Prophet Huynh Phu So, by the end of 1939, attract tens of thousands of adherents to the new Hòa Hảo organization. The third politico-religious organization called Bình Xuyên, can be traced back to the early 1920s, but Bình Xuyên did not become a truly organized political force until the end of the Second World War. All three organizations were major anticolonial powers in southern Vietnam.
Before 1945, France and Japan had uneasily ruled Vietnam together for over four years.
In September 1940, just months after France capitulated to Germany, Japanese troops took advantage of French weakness to station troops in northern Vietnam for the purpose of cutting off the supply route to the southern flank of the China Theatre. From 1940 to March 1945, the French retained their administrative responsibilities, police duties, and even their colonial army in exchange for allowing Japanese troops and material to pass through Indochina. By 1943, however, there were signs that the Japanese might lose the war. The United States had begun the island-hopping sweep through the South Pacific. A seaborne Allied landing in Indochina and an overland attack from China became real threats to the Japanese. In addition, an upsurge of Gaullist sentiment in Indochina after Charles de Gaulle returned to Paris at the head of the French Provisional Government in September 1944 added to Japanese concerns.
In the evening of March 9, 1945, the Japanese forces attacked the French in every center and removed the French from administrative control of Indochina. In less than 24 hours, the major part of the French armed forces throughout Indochina was put out of combat. The entire French colonial system, which had been in existence for almost 87 years, came tumbling down. Practically all French civil and military leaders were made prisoners, including Admiral Decoux.
After the Japanese removed the French from administrative control in Indochina, they made no attempt to impose their own direct control of the civilian administration. Concerned primarily with the defense of Vietnam against an Allied invasion, the Japanese were not interested in Vietnamese politics although they also understood the desirability of a certain degree of administrative continuity. It was to their advantage to install a Vietnamese government that would acquiesce in the Japanese military presence. With that in mind, the Japanese persuaded the Vietnamese emperor, Bảo Đại, to co-operate with Japan and to declare Vietnam independent of France. On March 11, 1945, Bảo Đại did just that by abrogating the Franco-Vietnamese Treaty of Protectorate of 1883. Vietnam's new "independence," however, rested on the government's willingness to co-operate with Japan and accept the Japanese military presence.
From March to August 1945, Vietnam enjoyed what was called a "fake independence." In the aftermath of the coup, the Japanese most definitely wanted to minimize internal change in Indochina,which would have adversely affected their military objectives. The Trần Trọng Kim Cabinet was, from all available evidence, a government only in name and ruled over no state in fact. Indochinese affairs were still in the hands of the Japanese.
If the March 9 coup was a disaster for the French, it was an opportunity for Vietnamese nationalists. In fact, it marked a turning point in the Vietnamese revolution. Freed from French repression, which had continued unabated in the early phase of the Japanese occupation, Vietnamese revolutionaries had much greater freedom of movement.
In May 1941, Hồ Chí Minh formed the Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam), or Việt Minh for short, at the Eighth Plenum of the Indochinese Communist Party at Pác Bó in northern Vietnam. The Việt Minh encouraged the creation of "national salvation associations" and adopted guerrilla warfare as the cornerstone of its revolutionary strategy. After the coup, the Japanese were content to control the large cities and leave the countryside to the Vietnamese. The Việt Minh, in particular, took advantage of the situation to strengthen their power. During the five months of the Japanese interlude, the Việt Minh carried out propaganda activities and organizational work in the Vietnamese countryside to prepare for the anticipated popular insurrection.
However, the Việt Minh was not the only political organization to anticipate an opportunity. In fact, after the brief storm of bullets of March 9, political parties, groups, and associations were formed throughout Vietnam.In the south, because of the weak status of the communist movement, the Việt Minh failed to take the leadership of the movements during the preparation for insurrection. Several politico-religious organizations mentioned above rapidly expanded their power. In the early of summer 1945, Hòa Hảo leaders opened talks with the heads of other southern nationalist groups in the south, including the Cao Đài and the Trotskyists, to fight for and defend an independent Vietnam when the war ended.
The famine of 1944–45 was another issue of utmost importance during the Japanese interlude. The famine was caused by both artificial and natural factors.
During the war, the Japanese had forced many rice farmers to grow other crops. As a result, rice production decreased, especially in the north, where crops had often been supplemented in the past by shipments from the south. Now, however, Japanese troops consumed the surplus from the south or converted it to fuel for military vehicles. Terrible flooding in the spring of 1945 added to the misery. Starving peasants flocked to the cities or died passively in the countryside.
The devastation contributed to the crisis of authority in the country. Neither the French nor the Japanese took effective measures to alleviate the famine, and Kim's government could do nothing without Japanese consent. The misery and anger combined to foster a new interest in politics, especially among the younger generation, which the Viet Minh turned to its advantage.
During the famine, the Việt Minh conducted raids on Japanese granaries and the rice storage facilities of Vietnamese landlords. In the long run, the Việt Minh thus increased popular support, highlighted the impotency of Kim's government and intensified popular feelings against the French and Japanese. The Việt Minh succeeded in creating People's Revolutionary Committees all over the north. The committees were to take over local administration when the Việt Minh launched the general insurrection.
When the Japanese surrendered on August 15, the Việt Minh immediately launched the insurrection that they had already prepared for a long time. 'People's Revolutionary Committees' across the countryside took over administrative positions, often acting on their own initiative, and in the cities, the Japanese stood by as the Vietnamese took control.On the morning of August 19, the Việt Minh took control of Hanoi, seizing the northern Vietnam in the next few days.
Tran Trong Kim's government had resigned earlier, on August 13, yielding to Hồ Chí Minh's new Vietnamese Provisional Government. Hồ Chí Minh offered Bảo Đại a position as supreme advisor. Hồ Chí Minh declared independence for the newly-established Democratic Republic of Vietnam, headquartered in Hanoi, on September 2, 1945.[ citation needed ]
However, while the people celebrated their victory in the north, the Việt Minh faced various problems in the south, which was politically more diverse than the north. The Việt Minh had been unable to establish the same degree of control in the south as in the north. There were serious divisions in the independence movement in the south, where the Việt Minh, Cao Đài, Hòa Hảo, Trotskyists and other nationalist groups competed for control.
On August 25, the communists established a Provisional Executive Committee with Tran Van Giau at its head. The committee took over public administration in Saigon but followed Allied orders for the Japanese to maintain law and order until Allied troops arrived.
Lê Trọng Nghĩa, who took part in the August Revolution in Hanoi and later became the head of the Intelligence Department for both the Communist Party and the military, said about the events in Hanoi: 'The government did not hand over power or collapse, the Việt Minh made the decision to destroy what was there, the entire administration. We were bold. Approaching the Japanese, harnessing the energy around the popularity of the Democratic Party to influence the outcome of the people’s uprising, and using our covert operatives within the puppet apparatus to collapse things within'.
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Just as Hồ Chí Minh and the Việt Minh had begun to extend DRV control to all of Vietnam, the attention of his new government was shifting from internal matters to the arrival of Allied troops. At the Potsdam conference in July 1945, the Allies divided Indochina into two zones at the 16th parallel, attaching the southern zone to the Southeast Asia command and leaving the northern part to Chiang Kai-shek's China to accept the surrender of the Japanese.
The occupation period proved to be a great challenge for Ho Chi Minh and the ICP. When British forces from the Southeast Asia Command arrived in Saigon on September 13, they brought along a detachment of French troops. The acquiescence of British occupation forces in the south allowed the French to move rapidly to reassert control over the south of the country, where its economic interest were strongest, DRV authority was weakest and colonial forces were the most deeply entrenched.
However, in the north, the occupation period became the critical opportunity for the Việt Minh to consolidate and triumph over domestic rivals. On August 20, Chiang Kai-shek gave orders for the Chinese First Front Army, under the command of General Lu Han of Yunnan, to cross into Vietnam to accept the surrender of the Japanese 38th Army. The Chinese, unlike the British in the south, refused to prepare the way for an immediate French return; to maintain order in Hanoi and keep the city functioning, they allowed the Vietnamese Provisional Government to remain in control．With that breathing space, Hồ Chí Minh was able to maneuver against and then to eliminate his domestic rivals, thus strengthening Việt Minh control over northern Vietnamese politics.
As southern Vietnam's disunited resistance forces struggled to push back French advances, Hồ Chí Minh and the DRV started to negotiate with France in the hope of preserving national independence and to avoid war.In March 1946, the two sides reached an accord.
Instead of obtaining French recognition of Vietnamese "independence," Hồ Chí Minh agreed to his government being weakly identified as a "free state" within the Indochinese Federation under the French Union. For their part, the French agreed to two provisions that they had no intention of honouring. French troops north of the 16th parallel were limited to 15,000 men for a period of five years, and a referendum was to be held on the issue of unifying the Vietnamese regions. The agreement entangled the French and Vietnamese in joint military operations and fruitless negotiations for several months.
However, the status of southern Vietnam was the sticking point. The March accord, which called for a referendum to determine whether the south would rejoin the rest of the country or remain a separate French territory, left the fate of former Cochin China in flux.
The preliminary accord was but the first step toward an intended overall and lasting agreement. Southern Vietnam's future political status had to be negotiated. From June to September 1946, Hồ Chí Minh met with French representatives in Vietnam and France to discuss that and other issues. Unfortunately, almost immediately after the signing of the March 6 accord, relations began to deteriorate. Negotiations at Dalat and then at Fontainebleau broke down over the issue of the fate of southern Vietnam. As talks failed to bring results, both sides began to prepare for a military solution. Provocations by both French and DRV troops led to the outbreak of full-scale guerrilla war on December 19, 1946. Nearly one year after the August Revolution, the DRV and France were fighting the First Indochina War.
French Indochina, officially known as the Indochinese Union from 1887 and the Indochinese Federation after 1947, was a grouping of French colonial territories in Southeast Asia until its demise in 1954. It consisted of three Vietnamese regions of Tonkin (north), Annam (centre), and Cochinchina (south), Cambodia, Laos and the Chinese territory of Guangzhouwan. The capital was Saigon, with the exception of a few decades in Hanoi (Tonkin) from 1902 to 1945.
Võ Nguyên Giáp was an army general in the Vietnam People's Army and a politician. Võ Nguyên Giáp has been called one of the greatest military strategists of the 20th century. He first rose to prominence during World War II, where he served as the military leader of the Viet Minh resistance against the Japanese occupation of Vietnam and also as Defence Minister & Deputy Prime Minister for nearly 44 years. Giáp was a crucial military commander in two wars: the First Indochina War of 1946–1954, and the Vietnam War of 1955–1975, participating in several historically significant battles: Cao Bằng in 1950, Hòa Bình in 1951–1952, Điện Biên Phủ in 1954, the Tết Offensive in 1968, the Easter Offensive in 1972, and the final Ho Chi Minh Campaign of 1975.
Bảo Đại, born Nguyễn Phúc Vĩnh Thụy, was the 13th and final Emperor of the Nguyễn dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam. From 1926 to 1945, he was Emperor of Annam. During this period, Annam was a protectorate within French Indochina, covering the central two-thirds of the present-day Vietnam. Bảo Đại ascended the throne in 1932.
Hồ Chí Minh, born Nguyễn Sinh Cung, also known as Nguyễn Tất Thành, Nguyễn Ái Quốc, Bác Hồ or simply Bác, was a North Vietnamese revolutionary and politician. He served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1955 and President from 1945 to 1969. Ideologically a Marxist–Leninist, he served as Chairman and First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam.
Việt Minh was a national independence coalition formed at Pác Bó by Hồ Chí Minh on May 19, 1941. The Việt Nam Độc Lập Đồng Minh Hội had previously formed in Nanjing, China, at some point between August 1935 and early 1936 when Vietnamese nationalist parties formed an anti-imperialist united front. This organization soon lapsed into inactivity, only to be revived by the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP) and Hồ Chí Minh in 1941. The Việt Minh established itself as the only organized anti-French and anti-Japanese resistance group. The Việt Minh initially formed to seek independence for Vietnam from the French Empire. The United States supported France. When the Japanese occupation began, the Việt Minh opposed Japan with support from the United States and the Republic of China. After World War II, the Việt Minh opposed the re-occupation of Vietnam by France and later opposed South Vietnam and the United States in the Vietnam War. The political leader and founder of Việt Minh was Hồ Chí Minh. The military leadership was under the command of Võ Nguyên Giáp. Other founders were Lê Duẩn and Phạm Văn Đồng.
Phạm Văn Đồng was a Vietnamese politician who served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1955 to 1976. He later served as Prime Minister of Vietnam following reunification of North and South Vietnam from 1976 until he retired in 1987 under the rule of Lê Duẩn and Nguyễn Văn Linh. He was considered one of Hồ Chí Minh's closest lieutenants.
The First Indochina War began in French Indochina on December 19, 1946, and lasted until July 20, 1954. Fighting between French forces and their Việt Minh opponents in the south dated from September 1945. The conflict pitted a range of forces, including the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps, led by France and supported by Bảo Đại's Vietnamese National Army against the Việt Minh, led by Hồ Chí Minh and the People's Army of Vietnam led by Võ Nguyên Giáp. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended into the neighboring French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia.
The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), known in Vietnamese as Đảng Cộng Sản or Đảng Ta, is the founding and ruling communist party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Although it nominally exists alongside the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, it maintains a unitary government and has centralised control over the state, military and media. The supremacy of the Communist Party is guaranteed by Article 4 of the national constitution. The CPV was founded in 1930 by Hồ Chí Minh; since 1954, it has been the only legal party in the country alongside the former South Vietnam when it took over in 1976 at the end of the Vietnam War. It also controls the military, the People's Army of Vietnam.
The flag of Vietnam, or "cờ đỏ sao vàng", was designed in 1955 and used during an uprising against French rule in southern Vietnam that year. Red symbolizes the bloodshed and revolutionary struggle. The star represents the five main classes in Vietnamese society — workers, peasants, soldiers, intellectuals, and businessmen.
Trường Chinh was a Vietnamese communist political leader and theoretician. He was one of the key figures of Vietnamese politics. Together with the communists, he played the main role in the anti-French colonialism movement and finally after decades of protracted war in Vietnam, the communists defeated the colonial power. He was the think-tank of the Communist Party who determined the direction of the communist movement, particularly in the anti-French colonialism movement. After the declaration of independence in September 1945, Trường Chinh played an important role in shaping the politics of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) and creating the socialist structure of the new Vietnam.
The State of Vietnam was a state and member of the French Union that claimed authority over all of Vietnam during the First Indochina War, although large parts of its territory it claimed was actually controlled by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam of the Việt Minh. The state was created in 1949 by France and was internationally recognised in 1950. Former Emperor Bảo Đại became Chief of State. After the 1954 Geneva Agreements, the State of Vietnam had to abandon its claim to the northern part of the country to the Việt Minh. Ngô Đình Diệm was appointed prime minister the same year and—after having ousted Bảo Đại in 1955—became president of the Republic of Vietnam.
The Indochina Wars were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia from 1945 to 1991, between communist Indochinese forces against mainly French, South Vietnamese, American, Cambodian, Laotian and Chinese forces. The term "Indochina" originally referred to French Indochina, which included the current states of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In current usage, it applies largely to a geographic region, rather than to a political area. The wars included:
French Cochinchina was a colony of French Indochina, encompassing the whole region of Lower Cochinchina or Southern Vietnam from 1867 to early 1945. In 1946, it was established as the Autonomous Republic of Cochinchina, a controversial decision which helped trigger the First Indochina War. In 1948, the autonomous republic, whose legal status had never been formalized, was renamed as the Provisional Government of Southern Vietnam. It was reunited with the rest of Vietnam in 1949.
The Japanese coup d'état in French Indochina, known as Meigō Sakusen, was a Japanese operation that took place on 9 March 1945 towards the end of World War II. With Japanese forces losing the war and the threat of an Allied invasion of Indochina imminent, the Japanese were concerned about an uprising against them by French colonial forces.
North Vietnam, officially the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), was a state in Southeast Asia from 1945 to 1976.
This article describes the history of the Communist Party of Vietnam, which ruled all or part of Vietnam beginning in 1945.
In the northern-hemisphere summer of 1940 Germany rapidly defeated the French Third Republic, and colonial administration of French Indochina passed to the French State. In September 1940 Japanese troops first entered parts of Indochina; and in July 1941 Japan extended its control over the whole of French Indochina. The United States, concerned by Japanese expansion, started putting embargoes on exports of steel and oil to Japan from July 1940. The desire to escape these embargoes and to become self-sufficient in resources ultimately contributed to Japan's decision to attack on December 7, 1941 the British Empire and simultaneously the USA and at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii). This led to the USA declaring war against Japan on December 8, 1941. The US then joined the British Empire, already at war with Germany since 1939, and its existing allies in the fight against the Axis powers.
Vietnamese Revolutionary Youth League, or short for Thanh Nien, was founded by Nguyen Ai Quoc in Guangzhou in the spring of 1925. It is considered as the “first truly Marxist organization in Indochina” and “the beginning of Vietnamese Communism”. With the support of Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang Left, during the period of 1925-1927, the League managed to educate and train a considerable number of Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries, preparing the prominent leadership for the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese Revolution.
1940—1946 in French Indochina focuses on events that happened in French Indochina during and after World War II and which influenced the eventual decision for military intervention by the United States in the Vietnam War. French Indochina in the 1940s was divided into five protectorates: Cambodia, Laos, Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina. The latter three made up Vietnam. In 1940, the French controlled 23 million Vietnamese with 12,000 French soldiers, about 40,000 Vietnamese soldiers, and the Sûreté, a powerful police force. At that time, the U.S. had little interest in Vietnam or French Indochina as a whole. Fewer than 100 Americans, mostly missionaries, lived in Vietnam and U.S. government representation consisted of one consul resident in Saigon.
Nguyễn Như Huân, known later in life and more commonly as Thái Hà, was a celebrated Vietnamese lacquer artist whose career spanned the First Indochina War and the Second Indochina War.