The Nationalist Movement in Indo-China Class 10 History NCERT Notes

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The Nationalist Movement in Indo-China Class 10 History NCERT Notes make learning more manageable for students which provide a thorough overview of each concept. These notes will help students understand the specifics of each chapter in a clear and precise manner. They are often more concise so you can save time by studying from them.

CBSE Class 10 History NCERT Notes for The Nationalist Movement in Indo-China are well-structured and give you a logical perspective of topics, making it easier to understand and remember the information.

NCERT Notes for The Nationalist Movement in Indo-China Class 10 History

Emerging from the Shadow of China

Indo-China comprises the modern countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. There were many different groups living in this area under the power of the Chinese empire in its early history.

Vietnam gained formal independence in 1945, however, its rulers continued to maintain the Chinese system of government as well as Chinese culture. Vietnam was also linked to the maritime silk route that brought in goods, people and ideas.

Colonial Domination and Resistance

French troops landed in Vietnam in 1858 and by the mid-1880s they had established a firm grip over the northern region. After the Franco-Chinese war the French assumed control of Tonkin and Anaam and, in 1887, French Indo-China was formed.

Why the French thought Colonies Necessary

For many European powers, colonies were considered essential to supply natural resources and other essential goods. Moreover, the colonizers thought it was the mission of the ‘advanced’ European nations to civilize the backward people.

For increasing cultivation, the French began to build canals to irrigate the land in the Mekong delta. This helped in increasing rice production. The area under rice cultivation went up from 274,000 hectares in 1873 to 1.1 million hectares in 1900 and 2.2 million in 1930. Vietnam exported two-thirds of its rice production and by 1931 had become the third largest exporter of rice in the world.

Construction of a trans-Indo-China rail network to link northern and southern parts of Vietnam and China was completed by 1910. The second line was also built which linked Vietnam to Thailand via the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

Should Colonies be Developed?

Paul Bernard was an eminent French thinker. He believed in developing infrastructure in Vietnam so that people could become more prosperous. A prosperous public would mean a better market for the French business. He also advocated for land reforms so that farm output could be improved.

The colonial economy in Vietnam was mainly based on rice cultivation and rubber plantation.
Rail and port facilities were set up to service this sector. Little effort was made by the French to industrialize the economy.

The Dilemma of Colonial Education

The French wanted to civilize the Vietnamese by imposing the ‘modern’ European culture on them. They also wanted to educate the local people so that a large workforce could be created for clerical jobs.

They did not want to impart a better education as they were afraid that more education could lead to awakening among the local people which could prove dangerous for the colonial rulers. So, full access to French education was denied to the Vietnamese.

Talking Modern

The elites in Vietnam were highly influenced by the Chinese culture. To counter this Chinese influence and consolidate their power, they systematically dismantled the traditional educational system and established French schools for the Vietnamese. In order to do this, Chinese, the language used by the elites so far, had to be replaced. There were two broad opinions on the question which question will replace Chinese – Vietnamese or French.

Some French policymakers wanted the use of French as the medium of instruction. They wanted to build an Asiatic France which could be solidly tied to the European France.

Some other policymakers wanted Vietnamese to be taught in lower classes and French in the higher classes. There was a provision to award French citizenship to those who learnt French and acquired the French culture.

There was a deliberate policy of failing the students in the final year of French classes. This was done to prevent the local from qualifying for the better-paid jobs.

The Vietnamese were represented as primitive and backward, capable of manual labour but not of intellectual reflection. School children were told that only French rule could secure peace in Vietnam.

Looking Modern

The Tonkin Free School was started in 1907 to provide a Western- style education. This education included classes in science, hygiene and French.

The school encouraged the adoption of Western styles such as having a short haircut. For the Vietnamese this meant a major break with their own identity since they traditionally kept long hair.

Resistance in Schools

Teachers and students did not blindly follow what was written in the curriculum. There could be open opposition as well as silent resistance. When the number of Vietnamese teachers increased in the lower classes, it was no longer possible to control what was being actually taught.

In Saigon Native Girls School, a Vietnamese girl sitting in the first bench was asked to go to the back bench in order to allow a local French student to occupy the first bench. She was expelled from the school when she refused to obey. The students who protested against this action were also expelled. This led to large scale protests. Finally, the government asked the school to take back the students.

The schools proved to be fertile ground for developing the feeling of nationalism among the Vietnamese. By the 1920s, students began to form political parties and to publish nationalist journals. The Party of Young Annan (political party) and Annanese Student (journal) are some examples.

The imposition of French education and culture backfired as the Vietnamese intellectuals felt a threat on their own culture.

Hygiene, Disease and Everyday Resistance

The French part of Hanoi was built as a beautiful and clean city with wide avenues and a well-laid-out sewer system, while the ‘native quarter’ was not provided with any modern facilities.

In 1903, the modern part of Hanoi was struck by bubonic plague. The large sewers in the modern part of the city, a symbol of modernity, were an ideal and protected breeding ground for rats.

The sewers also served as a great transport system, allowing the rats to move around the city without any problem and rats began to enter the well-cared-for homes of the French through the sewage pipes.

The Rat Hunt

To stop the spread of plague, as rat hunt was started in 1902. Vietnamese workers were hired for the task and were paid for each rat being caught. People began to catch rats in thousands. The payment was done when a tail of a rat was shown as a proof that a rat had been killed.

Many people began just clipping the tails and collecting the bounty. Many people even began to raise rat to earn more. This incident showed that at some juncture even the superior power of a colonial master fails and even the weak can assume a very strong bargaining position.

Religion and Anti-colonialism

The French occupied Vietnam militarily but they also sought to reshape social and cultural life. Religion provided ways of resistance.

Scholars Revolt

The religious beliefs in Vietnam were a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism and local practices.
Christianity was introduced by French missionaries. They were intolerant of easy going attitude of the Vietnamese.

From the eighteenth century, many religious movements turned hostile to the Western presence. An early movement against French control and the spread of Christianity was the Scholars Revolt in 1868. This revolt was led by officials at the imperial court angered by the spread of Catholicism and French power.

They led a general uprising in Ngu An and Ha Tien provinces where over a thousand Catholics were killed. The French crushed the movement but this uprising served to inspire other patriots to rise up against them.

Syncretic traditions

The elites in Vietnam were educated in Chinese and Confucianism. But religious beliefs among the peasantry were shaped by a variety of syncretic traditions that combined Buddhism and local beliefs.

Many popular religions in Vietnam claimed to have seen a vision of God. Some of these religious movements supported the French, but others inspired movements against colonial rule.

Hoa Hao Movement

Hoa Hao Movement began in 1939 and gained great popularity in the fertile Mekong delta area. It drew on religious ideas popular in anti- French uprisings of the nineteenth century.

The founder of Hoa Hao was Huynh Phu So. He performed miracles and helped the poor. His criticism against useless expenditure had a wide appeal. He also opposed the sale of child brides, gambling and the use of alcohol and opium.

The French tried to suppress the movement inspired by Huynh Phu So. They declared him mad, called him the Mad Bonze, and put him in a mental asylum. But the doctor, who had to prove him mad, became his follower. Finally, he was exiled to Laos and many of his followers were sent to concentration camps.

The Vision of Modernisation

In Vietnam, different intellectuals have different opinion regarding modernisation and nationalism. Some intellectuals felt that Vietnamese traditions had to be strengthened to resist the domination of the West. While others felt that Vietnam had to learn from the West even while opposing foreign domination. There were complex debates held which could not be resolved.

In Late 19th Century, resistance to French domination was very often led by Confucian scholar-activists.

Phan Boi Chau

Phan Boi Chau was a nationalist who was educated in the Confucian tradition. He formed the Revolutionary Society (Duy Tan Hoi) in 1903 with Prince Cuong De as the head. Phan Boi Chau met the Chinese reformer Liang Qichao (1873-1929) in Yokohama in 1905.

‘The History of the Loss of Vietnam’ was the most influential book written by Phan Boi Chau. It was written under the strong influence and advice of Qichao. The book focuses mainly on two issues, viz. the loss of sovereignty and severing of ties with China. Phan became one of the leading figures of the anti-colonial movement in Vietnam.

Phan Chu Trinh

Phan Chu Trinh strongly differed with Phan Boi Chau. He was hostile to the monarchy and opposed the idea of resisting French with the help of court. He was highly influenced by the democratic ideals of the west. He accepted the French ideals of liberty. He wanted the French to set up legal and educational institutions, and develop agriculture and industries.

Other Ways of Becoming Modern: Japan and China

In the first decade of the twentieth century, many Vietnamese students went to Japan for getting modern education. The primary motive for going to Japan was to drive out the French from Vietnam, overthrow the puppet emperor and re-establish the Nguyen dynasty. They appealed to the Japanese as fellow Asians.

Japan had become a modern country and had successfully resisted the colonization by the west. Its victory over Russia in 1907 proved its military capabilities.

After 1908, the Japanese Ministry of Interior clamped down on revolutionary activities of Vietnamese students. Many revolutionaries were deported and forced to seek exile in China and Thailand. Phan Boi Chau was also among them. Developments in China also inspired Vietnamese nationalists.

In 1911, a popular movement under Sun Yat Sen had overthrown the long established monarchy and a Republic was set up. The Vietnamese students were inspired by this development. They formed the Association for the Restoration of Vietnam (Viet-Nam Quan Phuc Hoi).

The objective of the anti-French independence movement was now to set up a democratic republic.

The Communist Movement and Vietnamese Nationalism

The Great Depression of the 1930s had a profound impact on Vietnam. There was a steep fall in the prices of rice and rubber. This led to a rise in rural debts and unemployment, and finally in rural uprisings.

The provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh were the important hotspots of rural uprising. However, the uprising was dealt with severely by the French. Even planes and bombs were used to suppress the uprising.

In February 1930, Ho Chi Minh brought together competing nationalist groups to establish the Vietnamese Communist Party (Vietnam Cong San Dang). It was later renamed as the Indo-Chinese Communist Party.

Formation of Democratic Republic of Vietnam

In 1940 Japan occupied Vietnam, as part of its imperial drive to control Southeast Asia. So nationalists now had to fight against the Japanese as well as the French.

The League for the Independence of Vietnam (Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh), which came to be known as the Vietminh, fought the Japanese occupation and recaptured Hanoi in September 1945.

The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was formed and Ho Chi Minh became Chairman.

Partition of Vietnam

The French tried to regain control. They used the emperor Bao Dai as their puppet in this endeavour. The Vietminh were forced to retreat to the hills. After eight years of fighting, the Vietminh were able to defeat the French in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu. A peace negotiation took place in Geneva after the French defeat.

Vietnam was divided into two countries, viz. South and North Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh and the communists assumed power in the North. Bao Dai’s regime took control of the South.

The Bao Dai regime was soon overthrown by a coup led by Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem built a repressive and authoritarian government.

The National Liberation Front (NLF) opposed the dictatorial rule of Dinh Diem. The NLF took help from Ho Chi Minh government and fought for the unification of the country.

The Entry of the US into the War (1965 to 1972)

The US worried about communists gaining power therefore it decided to intervene by sending in troops and arms. Thousands of US troops arrived equipped with heavy weapons and tanks and backed by the most powerful bombers of the time.

The wide spread attacks and use of chemical weapons such as Napalm, Agent Orange, and phosphorous bombs destroyed many villages and ruined jungles. Civilians died in large numbers.

The struggle of the Vietnamese people against the US showed that the inspiration of saving the motherland can turn even the weak into a great battle force. The US probably underestimated this factor.

Most of the people in the US were highly critical of the US involvement in Vietnam. Many contemporary thinkers were of the opinion that the US should not have involved itself in a war was impossible to win.

Role of Media

The US media and films played a major role in both supporting as well as criticising the war. John Wayne’s Green Berets (1968) was a movie which supported US occupation of Vietnam. John Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) was the movie which criticized US occupation.

Ho Chi Minh Trail

The Ho Chi Minh Trail was an immense network of footpaths and roads. It was used to transport men and materials from the north to the south. It had support bases and hospitals along the way.

Most of the supplies were done by women and kids on their bicycles. Most of the trail was outside Vietnam in neighbouring Laos and Combodia; with branch lines extending into South Vietnam.

The trail was regularly bombed by the US to disrupt supplies. But the Vietnamese rebuilt the trail very quickly.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail tells the story of ingenuity and bravery of the Vietnamese people.

Women as Rebels

Women in Vietnam traditionally enjoyed greater equality than in China, particularly among the lower classes. But they had only limited freedom to determine their future and played no role in public life.

With the growth of nationalist movement, thinkers and writers began to project women as rebels against social norms.

In 1913, the nationalist Phan Boi Chau wrote a play based on the lives of the Trung sisters who had fought against Chinese domination in 39-43 CE.

After Phan’s play the Trung sisters came to be idealised and glorified. They were depicted in paintings, plays and novels as representing the indomitable will and the intense patriotism of the Vietnamese. They are said to have gathered a force of over 30,000, resisted the Chinese for two years and ultimately committed suicide after defeat.

In 3rd Century CE: Trieu Au, an orphan child lived with her brother. On growing up she left home, went into the jungles, resisted Chinese rule by gathering large army. Ultimately she was defeated and committed suicide.

Women as Warriors

In the 1960s, photographs in magazines and journals showed women as brave fighters. Women were also represented as workers: they were shown with a rifle in one hand and a hammer in the other. Large causalities in the war urged women to join the struggle in larger numbers. They helped in nursing the wounded, constructing underground rooms and tunnels and fighting the enemy.

Between 1965 and 1975, of the 17,000 youth who worked on the Ho Chi Minh trail, 70 to 80 percent were women. There were 1.5 million women in the regular army, the militia, the local forces and professional teams.

Women in Times of Peace

By the 1970s, as peace talks began, women were shown working in agricultural cooperatives, factories and production units, rather than as fighters.

The End of the War

Thousands of young US soldiers and Vietnamese civilians had lost their lives. This was a war that has been called the first television war because battle scenes were shown on the daily news programmes.

In January 1974, apeace settlement was signed in Paris which ended conflict with the US but fighting between the Saigon regime and the NLF continued.

The National Liberation Front (NLF) occupied the presidential palace in Saigon on 30 April 1975 and unified Vietnam.

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