Ho Chi Minh – Profile <br />Characteristics of Ho Chi Minh that made him a distinctive personality:<br />Fierce commitment to Vietnamese Nationalism and the willingness to use force to achieve national independence.<br />Believed that Vietnam should be communist<br />Initially believed that the United States would support Vietnam’s independence.<br />What led to these characteristics developing:<br />Childhood experiences in Vietnam.<br />Experiences while travelling and in Paris.<br />His experiences as the founder and leader of the Viet Minh.<br />His experiences as the founder and leader of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam<br />
Early Life in Vietnam – Birth of a Nationalist<br /><ul><li>Born in Central Vietnam in 1890
The French had divided Vietnam into three provinces in 1887.
The French exploited the Vietnamese economically
Malaria, malnutrition and dysentry killed thousands of workers in mines and on rubber plantations.
Ho’s family suffered financially because of this and his father had to become a travelling labourer.
In spite of this Ho managed to receive a basic education and demonstrated a gift for languages (including French)</li></ul>What I did to express my beliefs….<br /><ul><li>Became a message runner for the Nationalist underground movement.
Translated peasant complaints about land to present to French officials.</li></li></ul><li>Ho on the go – International Travels and his time in France.<br /><ul><li>Ho left Vietnam at the age of 21 to travel.
He worked on an Ocean Liner and visited Africa, England and the Americas before settling in Paris.
In countries like Algeria (another French colony) he saw the indigenous people being exploited.
He became a convert to Lenin’s theory that capitalism leads to the exploitation of colonial people.
Ho Chi Minh converted to Communism and became a member of the French Communist Party.
He also founded a newspaper “Le Paria” which called for an end to French colonialism.
In 1919 he attempted to present his case for Vietnamese independence to President Wilson at Versailles. He was inspired by Wilson’s argument that “Self-determination” should be a principle of the Treaty of Versailles.
Although Wilson refused to meet with him the Soviet Union had noticed his activities.
In 1923 he was summoned to the Comintern by Moscow.</li></ul>“Capitalism needs cheap labour. The reason why colonised people are exploited is because this keeps the cost of production low! By exploiting foreign workers the capitalist can avoid revolution at home (he can afford to pay his own workers more)! Capitalism is the enemy of all colonised people….<br />
Ho: Founder of the ICP and the Viet Minh<br />Ho spent several years founding and leading organisations dedicated to achieving his communist and nationalist goals:<br /><ul><li>He united the various Communist groups in Indochina to form the IndoChina Communist Party (ICP) in 1930.
Returned to the Soviet Union to train Comintern agents before returning to China in 1938.
In China he issued a statement that called for Vietnamese independence and freedom of assembly, speech and the press.
In 1940 he returned to Vietnam for the first time in nearly 30 years.
The Japanese had seized Indochina and Ho felt that this presented an opportunity to take control of Vietnam.
In 1941 Ho Chi Minh formed the Viet Minh. The Viet Minh pledged to use force to end the Japanese and French rule of Vietnam.
The leadership of Ho and Giap saw this movement grow to a 10,000 guerilla army north of Hanoi.</li></ul>What I did to express my beliefs…<br />Formed the ICP to spread communism through all of France’s colonies!<br />Founded the VietMinh to achieved independence for Vietnam!<br />
Ho - the Founder of a Nation<br /><ul><li>Under Japanese rule Vietnamese villagers were exploited and any opposition was dealt with brutally (public beheadings!).
During the last months of Japanese rule famine spread as the Japanese hoarded rice.
Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh recruited large numbers of villagers by promising to “Break Open the Rice Stores to Avert Famine”.
The United States bombed Nagasaki on August 9. On August 10 the Japanese surrendered.
Ho called for a general uprising on August 10 and within 10 days the Viet Minh controlled the country.
Bao Dai (the puppet emperor of the Japanese) recognised that the Viet Minh had popular support. He abdicated and asked Ho Chi Minh to form a government to rule Vietnam.
On September 2nd 1945 Ho Chi Minh was able to declare the independence of the ‘Democratic Republic of Vietnam”. In his speech he quoted from the American Declaration of Independence.</li></ul>I expressed my beliefs by…<br />Turning the Viet Minh into a popular nationalist movement (promising to feed people helped!).<br />Declaring independence on September 2nd.<br />
The return of the French and descent into war<br /><ul><li>Ho Chi Minh’s vision of a secure and independent Vietnam failed to be realised.
The Allies (USA and Britain) had already agreed that France would return to rule Indochina.
The British sent General Gracey to destroy the Viet Minh in the south. Ho’s appeals to U.S. President Truman for support were ignored.
Chinese nationalist troops had occupied the north of Vietnam after the Japanese surrendered. They were convinced by the Allies to recognise French rule of Indochina.
Ho Chi Minh was forced to negotiate for the future of his beloved Vietnam. After the final round of negotiations in Fontainebleu (Paris) Ho had to accept the existence of 25,000 French troops in Vietnam for five years.
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam would be recognised as a Free State but Cochinchina (South Vietnam) would be a separate state in French Indochina.
The division of Vietnam left the French and Ho Chi Minh dissatisfied. Ho ordered Giap to build up the Viet Minh forces to 100,000 and be ready for war.</li></ul>This period of my life was particularly frustrating! I had declared an independent Vietnam only to see the Great Powers allow France to return and divide my beloved nation! Despite my determined negotiations I was forced to prepare an army to defend the Democratic Republic and ultimately unite Vietnam<br />
Indochina War and the defeat of the French<br /><ul><li>Ho Chi Minh’s determination to achieve his nationalist goals led to the Indochina War (1946-1954).
The war started with a French assault on Haiphong (November 1946).
A series of battles over Hanoi resulted in the Viet Minh retreating into the mountains of North Vietnam to wage a classic guerrilla warfare campaign.
The Viet Minh used this period to build up their support among peasants with promises of land reform in an independent Vietnam.
In 1948 the French signed the ELYSEE AGREEMENT which gave the former Emperor Bao Dai control of an ‘independent’ Vietnam based in Saigon. The French kept control of the military, foreign affairs and the economy! This ‘false’ independence under a French puppet only made Ho more determined.
In 1949 Mao came to power in China. Ho Chi Minh’s new powerful communist ally saw the Viet Minh shift to Mobile Warfare as a strategy (storming French bases in large numbers and destroying them!).
In 1954 the Viet Minh attacked the French air base at Dien Bien Phu. The base was destroyed. Large numbers of villagers had been influenced by Ho’s vision of nationalism.</li></ul>What I did…<br />I refused to accept anything other than French defeat. My movement continued to fight despite heavy losses. My vision of a united, nationalist Vietnam drove our military strategy. I also personally negotiated with Stalin and Mao to ensure our army was well-supplied.<br />
Geneva Conference (1954)<br /><ul><li>The Geneva Conference was underway at the time of Dien Bien Phu. The conference was discussing the future of Indochina.
Ho sent Pham Van Dong to negotiate on behalf of the Viet Minh.
The Viet Minh argued that they should control the whole of Vietnam.
Lacking superpower support (neither China or Russia were prepared to support this claim) Ho Chi Minh was forced to accept a divided Vietnam.
An election is planned for 1956 to unite the nation. This is cancelled by President Diem with U.S. support. It is clear to everyone that an election would be won by Ho Chi Minh.</li></ul>The Geneva Conference is critical! I managed to get international recognition for the DRV AND see the French leave Indochina. However, the division of Vietnam is painful to me. I will spend the rest of my life waging war on the State of Vietnam until my Nationalist vision of a united country is realised!!<br />
After Geneva – a life dedicated to uniting Vietnam<br /><ul><li>The Democratic Republic of Vietnam expresses three of Ho Chi Minh’s characteristics:</li></ul>Communist State<br />The DRV is a direct expression of Ho Chi Minh’s communist beliefs<br /><ul><li>Land is confiscated from landlords (50,000 of whom are executed) and redistributed to peasants.
The DRV relies upon aid from fellow Communist countries to develop its industries ($622 million from China in 1961 alone!)
A mass literacy campaign is launched to spread communist ideas among peasants.
The military includes officers trained in ‘Political Education’ to ensure all soldiers accept communist beliefs.</li></ul>Nationalist /Willingness to use force to unite the nation<br /><ul><li>The DRV continues to wage war on Diem and his U.S. allies.
Ho’s government leads and supplies the Viet Cong.
The North Vietnamese Army plays a critical role in the Tet Offensive and the Fall of Saigon.
When NVA tanks rolled into Saigon they carried banners saying “You always march with us Uncle Ho!”</li></ul>I died in 1969. I did not see my beloved country united but the movement, nation and army I created were the most powerful expressions of my beliefs. <br />