December 16, 2008
The Vietnam War
Vietnam is synonymous as a key player in one of the most controversial contemporary conflicts of our modern age. However, the history behind its political unrest and violence is an aspect of the country that is rarely explored. In this paper I will argue that according to Pike (1966), the continuing conflict within Vietnam was based on initial resentment towards foreign occupation and decades of oppression. The civil dissent of the native population evolved into political extremes, and various groups vying for power. As a result, the conflicts within Vietnam proved to be civil war, when in fact, they were dealing with the negative impact of colonialism and foreign influence on the country.
The authoritarian presence of foreign influence in Vietnam has always been met with resistance (Short, 1989). For years, the country was considered part of the Chinese empire. China was constantly a very protective parent and accustomed to asserting her power when it came to affairs involving Indochina. Although under the watchful eye of its mother country, secretive underground activities thrived. Then, in the 16th century Portuguese and French Jesuit and Catholic missionaries arrived, threatening both the
political, and the cultural state of Vietnam, and seeking to dominate the culture. The native Vietnamese were greatly adverse to this imposition of religious doctrine and
resisted through boycotts, as well as, defensive laws and actions. Furthermore, they had little desire to assimilate politically and rejected all proposals of a French-Vietnamese partnership. The Asian world felt threatened by this influx of western ideals. However, France was determined to get what she wanted and therefore, what the French were unable to obtain through negotiations, they gained through force (Short, 1989). After a violent naval altercation between the French...