Presentation on theme: "Vietnam Socialist Republic of Vietnam Population: 84.4 million Capital: Hanoi Largest city: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)"— Presentation transcript:
Vietnam Socialist Republic of Vietnam Population: 84.4 million Capital: Hanoi Largest city: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Physical Geography –Slightly larger than New Mexico 1200 miles long from north to south 80% of country is mountainous, especially the north 22% arable land Intensive Subsistence farming Vietnam
The Two Rice Baskets Red River Delta Mekong River Delta Fertile rice paddy fields 2/3 of Vietnamese population lives in these two deltas Central part of the country Poor soil Unfavorable climate
Red River Delta Mekong River Delta Why do most people live along the two river deltas?
Colonialism and Occupation Vietnam’s history is one of a constant struggle against foreign invaders: –China - More than 2000 years –France - colonization began in 1858 –Japan - occupation during World War II France – until 1954
French Indochina –Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia –Reasons for French presence –Imperialism Impact of French presence –Language –Religion –Politics Lingua franca
Ho Chi Minh Nationalist and communist leader of North Vietnam Appealed to US to support an independent Vietnam (under his rule) after WWI and WWII Found an ally in the Soviet Union (Cold War.) Leader of the VIETMINH and Viet Cong
20 th Century Timeline First Indochina War ( ) against the Frence Second Indochina War ( ) US fights with South Vietnam against North Vietnam – US signs a treaty with North Vietnam. leaves South Vietnam. Two countries exist. North invades South, defeats South Vietnamese army, countries are re-united (1976) 1989 to the present. Communist government struggled economically. Followed Chinese model to loosen up the command economy. –Normalizing relations between US and Vietnam
After the French left Vietnam, the USA supported the government of South Vietnam. Starting with advisors and ending up with 500,000 troops in South Vietnam. North Vietnamese and Viet Cong waged a guerilla war against the South and the US troops.
The Domino Theory Domino theory - if one nation comes under Communist control, then neighboring nations will fall under Communist control, too. Vietnam and the Cold War CONTAINMENT
One of the biggest obstacles for the US military in Vietnam was the physical geography – fighting in the dense jungles.
The Vietnam war devastated the countryside. Napalm Communist Viet Cong
The war grew increasingly unpopular among many in the US as it seemed there was no end in sight.
The U.S. signed peace agreements with North Vietnam and left in Over 50,000 Americans died in Vietnam. Over a million Vietnamese died (North and South.)
In 1975, the North invaded the South. Without the support of US troops, the North quickly took over South Vietnam.
With the fall of Saigon (now Ho chi Minh City) Vietnam was about to be reunited as a communist country.
During the fall of Saigon, the U.S. helped thousands flee the communists from the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. See video
More than a million people attempted to flee, many using over-crowded boats to get to refugee camps in places like Thailand. Called the “boat people.” Hundreds of thousands eventually made their way to the USA. Many of the educated fled Viet Nam, creating “brain drain.”
Environmental Legacy of War Total destruction = 12 million tons Bombings –Craters –Disease –Destruction of terrace farming Land mines and unexploded munitions
After years of poverty, Vietnam followed the Chinese model of communist government but a more open economy.
Current Events Globalization –Nike Tourism Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization in January 2007
Millions of Vietnamese Americans still cling to the hope of returning to a free South Vietnam and refuse to recognize the (North) Vietnamese flag.