(Re)Collecting the Vietnam War

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Alexandre de Rhodes, a French missionary and scholar, invents the quốc ngữ, a method of writing the Vietnamese language in Roman script, instead of the traditional Chinese characters. The quốc ngữ continues to be used today.

France first attacks and occupies Đà Nẵng under the guise that Catholics are facing religious persecution under the Vietnamese. After three years of fighting, Emperor Tự Đức is forced to cede Sài Gòn and adjacent areas to France.

On 20 August 1883, Việt Nam loses its independence to the French, which extends its colonial control into northern Việt Nam by forcing the Vietnamese government to sign the Treaty of Huế.

In October 1887, the new French colony, called the Indochinese Union or Indochina, is founded, covering Việt Nam, Cambodia, and Laos. Vietnamese resistance to French rule starts immediately thereafter.

On 25 December 1927, the Vietnamese Nationalist Party, or Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng, is founded, becoming the most prominent non-Marxist organization of the 1920s and holding far greater appeal among the Vietnamese masses than do the Communists…

French authorities suspect the Vietnamese Nationalist Party of assassinating a high-ranking French official in 1929 (possibly at Communist instigation). The French imprison party supporters and launch a thorough but clandestine investigation of the…

On 6 September 1932, Bảo Đại, theoretically emperor since 1925, returns to Việt Nam from school in France to ascend the throne of a puppet monarchy. He is Việt Nam’s last emperor.

Japan occupies Việt Nam during World War ll with approval of the Vichy government in France. The Japanese utilize French military facilities and economic resources in Việt Nam (rice, coal, rubber, and other raw materials) to launch massive…

The First Indochina War breaks out all over Việt Nam between the French and Vietnamese, including both non-Communist and Communist forces.

On 5 May 1954, the Việt Minh, the Communist forces led by Hồ Chí Minh, hand French troops their worse defeat at Điện Biên Phủ, completely demoralizing the French troops in Việt Nam and the French politicians and diplomats.
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