Ho Chi Minh, Revolutionary Youth Leader

1789 words - 7 pages

In the early 20th century, Vietnam was being controlled as a colony of France, but through a blend of nationalism and communism, it would finally find independence from France in 1954. Communist youth groups, specifically Ho Chi Minh’s Revolutionary Youth League, influenced the national viewpoint before and during the French-Indochina War, the war that would ultimately free them of French control. In the spring of 1925, Ho Chi Minh created the Revolutionary Youth League, a precursor to the Vietnamese Communist party. Based on previous Communist Youth corps, the Revolutionary Youth League was an instigator to many communist movements around Vietnam. Arriving just after Phan Boi Chau’s failed nationalist movement, the league educated and trained many Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries, and soon the idea of revolution gained great support. While the Revolutionary Youth league ultimately crashed a few years after Ho’s departure in 1927, many members became the core of the Vietnamese Communist Party, including Ho. Asian countries like Vietnam were long held back by oppressive Western powers, and under the communist ideal of equality of mankind the working class could rise up. The Revolutionary Youth League can be championed as the root of Vietnamese independence because it educated many of the young intellectuals who would eventually come to lead the country out of colonialism.
The colonialism of which the Vietnamese suffered for over a century was partially caused by their own intolerance. French interest in Vietnam began in the 16th century, as the rest of Europe began an obsession with Asian goods, and Christian missionaries were looking to convert natives. In Vietnam, priests and traders found their work to be impossible, as Vietnamese natives disliked foreigners and often became violent against them, forcing European traders to leave. Although Vietnam was a dangerous place, as natives fought both among foreigners and among themselves, missionaries did not give up, continuing through the Tayson Rebellion, which escalated in 1777. In the Tayson rebellion, rebels, leaving few survivors, massacred the ruling Nguyen family. Nguyen Anh, a survivor of the massacre, made it his mission to reestablish family rule, going to France for support. He would give France the city of Danang, Poulo Condore Island, and exclusive commercial privileges, for men, arms, and transport. The Tayson Rebels were finally defeated in 1801, but the new emperor, Gia Long, would not hold up the deal with France, but in appreciation allowed missionaries and traders in. His successor, Minh Mang, accurately blamed peasant revolts on priests, and executed them. The French still wanted access to Asian goods and they used the difficulties that the missionaries were experiencing as an excuse to intervene.
When the French took control over Vietnam, they wanted to reap a large profit, and they did, but it was at the cost of the culture and well being of the Vietnamese natives....

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