Khmer Rouge Essay

836 words - 4 pages

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Thesis: The turbulent history in Cambodia and its neighbor, Vietnam, led to the rise of Pol Pot as head of Khmer Rouge, and this continued climate of political unrest led to mass genocide and insurgence that continues to contribute to the instability of Cambodia today.
The Cambodian struggle against the ninety years of French colonization played a big role in the uprising of communism in Cambodia. In 1863, the French declared Cambodia would be a protectorate of France. In 1941 during World War II, Japan took control of most of Asia, including Cambodia. During that same year (1941), Norodom Sihanouk became King of Cambodia. The Japanese let France continue to control ...view middle of the document...

In order to maintain neutrality for the newly rising country, Sihanouk cut off economic relations with the United States, which infuriated many people in Cambodia, due to the fact that America was (and still is, for now) a world superpower and would thus help Cambodia. Sihanouk, looking for closer alliances, allowed many North Vietnamese guerillas to set bases in Cambodia in order to continue their campaign against US-ruled South Vietnam. Many people decided to form coups against King Sihanouk to try and bring back the United States, because of the help that they would provide to Cambodia.
The first and only successful coup against King Sihanouk was led by a man named Lon Nol, who teamed with the United States to help fight the North Vietnamese who were based in Cambodia. once Lon Nol staged his coup in 1970, Sihanouk ran into exile in China and quickly formed his own rebel group that would soon be considered the Khmer Rouge. Once Lon Nol took power, he quickly proclaimed the Kingdom of Cambodia to be known as the Khmer Republic. The newly named and led Khmer Republic help support the United States by sending their army to assist in the fight against the North Vietnamese bases that were set up in Cambodia due to Sihanouk. The opinion that many Cambodians shared about how good the United States was quickly got flipped around in 1969, when the United States decided to secretly bomb the North Vietnamese bases that were set in...

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