Today in World History: August 19th

The August Rebellion, in which Vietnamese rebels fought against the French colonial rule to declare their independence began on this day in 1945. The Việt Minh, the Vietnamese citizens in favor of independence from France and the end of Japanese interference in Vietnamese politics staged a coup, seizing control of Hanoi on August 19th, with the rest of North Vietnam following soon after. However, in South Vietnam, the Việt Minh were having difficulty producing the same results, and other independence movements broke out in Southern Vietnam. Following the chaos of the independence movement, the Allied Powers ordered Japan to maintain peace and order in the region until the other nations were able to help, as the rise of communism in Vietnam troubled the Allies. During the time of Ho Chi Minh’s rise to the presidency of Vietnam’s government and the adoption of communism, World War Two had just ended, and along with it, the Cold War had just began. This was all despite the American backing of the Việt Minh, who along with the Soviet Union, sought an easier way to enter the South-East Asian region and to influence the governments of the area.

Determined to regain their colony, France went to war with Vietnam, and eventually, with a Việt Minh victory, Vietnam was partitioned into two states, with hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians dead, and Cambodia and Laos gaining their independence as well. The partitioning of Vietnam into two states would eventually lead to the Vietnam War, which, with the United States backing the South, would result in a communist victory for North Vietnam, and the abolishing of the democratic Southern State of Vietnam.

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