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The Pol Pot Regime in Cambodia: When, How and Why?

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The Pol Pot Regime in Cambodia: When, How and Why?

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  • July 2008
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Page 1 of 12
paper used at Beloit college, prof. Rapp. Was presented to the entire college. Thought you might wanna know.

Cambodia, a Southeast Asian country that shares borders with Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, was under the French rule from 1863 until 1953. This long period of time affected people who fell into apathy demonstrated through their lack of political interest and desire for change. However, during this period of time, a small communist group started to emerge. They saw the future Cambodia as an independent and socialist country with satisfied citizens. Their main inspiration came from Saloth Sar, a Cambodian revolutionary first introduced to communism during his studies in France. The Cambodian Communist Party grew mainly under Saloth’s charisma and eventually did come to power. It is important to understand the sources of the Cambodian revolution, as well as the reasons why it was initially successful. A significant role was played by the Vietnam War and the United States bombardments of Viet Cong bases in Cambodia. What characterized the Khmer Regime is its great violence and the auto genocide that occurred during this period. Pol Pot’s obsession with enemies coming from Vietnam was one of the reasons for so many deaths. Communism in Cambodia was a form of extreme Maoism. It was more Maoist then in China itself. What led to the creation of Maoism, how it developed and grew, and why did it collapsed are the questions. No one knows how old are the Khmer people, society and culture. However, modern archeology suggests that these people, who later proudly called themselves “Khmer,” may have begun to build their strong society and rich culture around 4200 B.C. or even earlier.1 Over the centuries the country grew into one of the world’s greatest civilizations, comparable with other, better known Asian civilizations and ancient European societies, and the Khmer still look back with pride on their rich heritage. The “Angkorian period,” as it was called after its...

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