History Of Vietnamese Society
Vietnam is one of the peculiar countries in the history of nations. One of the most selling stories of Vietnam is the case where it defeated the United States in a war that the Super Power had initiated. At that time, it was almost unheard of for a country (small as Vietnam) to defeat the U.S. In any war. The country is also known for the resilience and determination of its people amidst the economic and political challenges that the country has been facing for a long time (Buttinger, 2010). This study discusses the issues of two special leaders who lead both the North and South Vietnam during the period of first and . These two leaders are and . In this paper, the lives of these two leaders are discussed and related to the fortunes and losses that the Vietnam Republic encountered under their stewardships.
The life of Ho Chi Minh
He was the leader of Northern Vietnam. Born to an influential family, he was not good in class and had to drop before graduating. He later fled to France where he learned much about leadership in the country of the colonizers. This gave him an opportunity to learn one or two things about the western powers. Consequently, he tried using all the knowledge he gathered while in France to address the dire situation leadership in Vietnam. His father was a real nationalist, and he took some lessons from him. He had a burning desire to liberate his country from the French colonial rule (Corfield, 2009).
His history was mystic in nature. It was not clear to the people when and how he was born. He only chose to identify himself with the peasants. He could be seen taking photographs posing with the less fortunate in the society and appearing like them. This gave him thrust as a man of the people interested only in liberating them. It gave him a boost in his political endeavor. Having been well traveled, aggressive, and popular, he managed to be the leader of northern Vietnam (Levine, 2013).
The life of Ngo Dinh Diem
He was a political leader in the south of Vietnam. Unlike his northern counterpart, he was a very sharp student in school and even went ahead to lead in his class. He is known to have been a softer person as opposed to the hard-liner in the North. He schooled within Vietnam, right in the north where he was born before heading to the south with his parents, where he finally became the leader. His parents were devout Catholics who were among the first Vietnamese to convert to it (Levine, 2013). He was aware that French colonialists were not going to give the Catholics a chance to live the kind of life they wanted. Therefore, he sought to fight for the independence of his people. Just like his counterpart in the north, he was much convicted about freeing the people of the south from the French rule (Corfield, 2009).
The importance of their personal relations with the people
In the quest for the independence of their people, personal relationships of these two leaders with the rest of the people they dealt with played a positive role in achieving their objectives. For instance, Ho Chi Minh identified himself with the poor in order to win their admiration, loyalty, and following. He appeared dressed in sandals just like the rest of the populations while taking photos with them. This assisted him to advance his politics based on misery and hopelessness of the masses. He also developed personal contacts with the Americans, the French, or Russia depending on who stood with him in his quest to liberate the Vietnamese. He also had a chance to establish contacts with the people in the south regarding the fight for independence of his people (Buttinger, 2010).
In the south, on the friendships and partnerships of the people he had met at school. Similarly, he used the networks that his father had made during his time as minister. Having come from an influential family, he had a chance to mingle with the big people who called shots in both the south and the north. His father’s previous position gave him a head start in this (Levine, 2013).
The fight for independence and societal control
These two leaders shared a common agenda of fighting for independence. They were both nationalist leaders who looked forward to seeing a free society in their countries. They ostracized the presence of the French in their homes. It can be clearly seen that a lot to their success. Vietnam did not have such military muscle as to fight the French as at that time (Corfield, 2009). They had to rely on proxies, who shifted to Russia, the U.S. Or Britain depending on the situation at that moment. The Northern leader was the one who double dealt these western powers most. He cultivated convenience partnerships just to win the loyalty and assistance of these world powers. The relations that these two leaders had with each other shaped Vietnamese culture. Given their different stance on matters of politics, they almost polarized their territories against each other. The affairs of the two regions have remained sour ever since their time of leadership. A poll done in the year 2012 showed that 23% of the Vietnamese are still under the bad blood that was sowed during the leadership of these two icons (Levine, 2013).
Buttinger, J. (2010). The Smaller Dragon; a Political History of Vietnam. New York: Praeger.
Corfield, J. (2009). The history of Vietnam. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
Levine, M. (2013). Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem: A comparative study. New York: Paperback