(Re)Collecting the Vietnam War

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To fight against Communist groups in Laos and Vietnam, CIA operatives begin clandestine activities in Laos in 1953, and eventually form alliances with the Hmong, who are led by Major General Vang Pao (Royal Lao Army). Such covert war-making, known…

In 9 November 1953, the Pathet Lao begins its conflict with the Kingdom of Laos, signaling the start of both the Laotian Civil War and the Second Indochina War (referred to in the U.S. as the Vietnam War).

On 22 October 1953, the Franco-Lao Treaty of Amity and Association was signed, recognizing Laos as a fully independent and sovereign state under the control of the Royal Lao government.

As war between France and Vietnam escalates, the Viet Minh’s People’s Army of Vietnam invades the northeastern part of the French Protectorate of Laos on 12 April 1953. This provides the opportunity for the Pathet Lao to establish a "resistance…

The French assembly passes the Elysée Agreement on 29 January 1950, granting limited autonomy to the Associated States of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) within the French Union.

The first constitution of Laos, written by popularly elected Lao delegates under French supervision, is put into effect on 11 May 1947. It declares Laos to be an independent state within the French Union, and also officially recognizes all ethnic…

During World War II, Laos falls under Japanese control, at first through the collaborationist Vichy French government (from 30 August 1940 onwards), and later through outright occupation (9 March – 15 August 1945). During this period, most Hmong…

The Hmong of Laos – approximately 30,000 – are heavily taxed and oppressed by French and Laotian authorities. In early 1896, Hmong leaders revolt against the French in response to these unfair taxes, the first of several armed rebellions that…

Following its defeat in the Franco-Siamese War, Siam (Thailand) cedes the entire Kingdom of Laos to France on 2 October 1893. Laos becomes a protectorate of France and joins the larger territory known as French Indochina (which includes Cambodia and…

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