(Re)Collecting the Vietnam War

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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…

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…

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.

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…

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…

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.

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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