Full Text

Ho Chi Minh (1890–1969)


Subject History

Place South-Eastern Asia » Vietnam

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


Extract

President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1945–69). Born Nguyen Tat Tanh, the son of a notable Chinese scholar who was a minor official dismissed by the French, he worked as a teacher, then as a sailor, before taking up various menial jobs in London and Paris, where he took the name Nguyen Ai Quoc (Nguyen the Patriot), became involved in revolutionary politics and was a founding member of the French Communist Party in 1920. In 1923 he was called to Moscow and trained as an agent of the Comintern (Communist International). He formed the Indo-chinese Communist Party in 1930, which wanted to get rid of French rule in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia). From 1933–6 he was in Moscow and from 1936–41 in China, where he took the lead in the anti-French movement, assumed yet another name, Ho Chi Minh (He Who Enlightens), and formed the viet minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam) in 1941. Though this was a coalition of disparate groups, the communists under Ho and Vo Nguyen giap took control. They waged some guerrilla warfare against the Japanese, who had taken control of Indochina, and by the time of the Japanese surrender controlled large areas of North Vietnam. In September 1945 Ho proclaimed the independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam with himself as President, and began a campaign of terror to eliminate moderate or pro-French opponents. Ho was prepared ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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