Discuss to what extent to which Nationalism contributed to the expulsion of the French from Indo-China in 1954. You must use evidence to support your view
On 7 May 1954, the French Far East Expeditionary Corps were routed at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. More than 11,000 French troops were taken prisoner. One tenth of the French Union’s military strength in Indo-China had been wiped out.
The Viet Minh had dispatched their colonial rulers. The battle had ended in decisive victory for the nationalist leader and President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh and his brand of Vietnamese nationalism.
Ho had successfully sought military aid and financial assistance from communist China and the Soviet Union in the years after World War II but he was driven by more logical objectives than what he regarded as old world communist ideologies.
The political alliances he forged on behalf of the Viet Minh were always a means to an end with the end being an independent Vietnam under Viet Minh control.
When the Republic of China marched a force of 200,000 troops into Vietnam in 1946, Ho was prepared to side with the colonial French to achieve his aims, signing an agreement with them that promised political independence in Vietnam.
The Viet Minh carried out ruthless purges of other Vietnamese nationalist groups. Many individuals who shared the Viet Minh desire to rid Vietnam of colonial powers but were not part of Ho’s rapidly expanding movement, were summarily executed.
Ho determined that there would be only one type of Vietnamese nationalism, the type approved by him and the Viet Minh. Ever the pragmatist, Ho used the unlikely agreement with the French to stamp out discord and chaos within the broader nationalist movement in Vietnam.
The agreement with the French broke down within months of its signing and Ho and the Viet Minh understood that war was inevitable.
Under Viet Minh General Vo Ngyuen Giap, the Viet Minh...
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