Vietnam Essay Research Paper Nationalism in VietnamNationalism

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Vietnam Essay, Research Paper Nationalism in Vietnam Nationalism in the Third World has historically served as a powerfull force in lashing out against colonialism. The aims of third world nationalism are to replace foreign rule with national government. In Asia, Vietnam has fought a long struggle to keep its country independent from foreign domination. Historically, the Vietnamese struggled against the Chinese Empire to maintain their independence. In the twentieth century Vietnamese independence was tried from a new direction, the West. Nationalism in Vietnam gave power to a movement for unification of a country that could not be harnessed by any external force placed upon the Vietnamese people. Nationalism regardless of geographic location caries a common thread. R.S.

Chaven defines nationalism as, A sentiment loyalty or sympathy which builds a group of people together through common institutions and culture and thus creates a unity among them. It may be taken to mean some particular way or ways of manifesting national spirit and may be defined as the sum of social and political aspirations of the people. In this sense the ideas controlling the life and actions of a people would constitute its nationalism. (Chavan 6) Vietnamese nationalism had been in existence since its early wars with the Chinese to avoid being incorporated into the mighty Chinese Empire. In 221 BC the Ch’in dynasty in China conquered neighboring states and exercised rule over them. When the mighty emperor died, Shihuangdi the dynasty began to collapse. From the ruins of

this empire the Chinese commander built his own kingdom known as Nam Viet. Then in 111 BC Chinese armies conquered Nam Viet and absorbed it into the Han Empire. With the attempt to integrate Vietnam politically and culturally in the Chinese Empire there was fierce but often sporadic resistance. The most famous of these revolts was in AD 39 when the Trung sisters led an uprising leaving the older sister the ruler of an independent state of Vietnam. (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia CD-ROM)From this time heroes were formed in Vietnamese culture for their resistance to Chinese rule. Vietnam managed to keep a separate culture and traditions of there own apart from the Chinese. During these centuries efforts of imposed Chinese sinification, the “Vietnamese came into their own as a

separate people with political and cultural aspects of their own.”(SarDesai17)Opposition to the Chinese Empire helped to solidify Vietnamese nationalism. The people of Vietnam share as Chaven’s definition suggest common institutions and culture creating a unity among them. The Vietnamese have a strong history and national identity. Part of this identity came from the winning of independence from China. The more the Chinese tried to sinicize Vietnam the more this effort promoted Vietnamese nationalism.In R.S. Chaven’s book Nationalism in Asia this question is raised, “Often it is asked with surprise as to how a small and poor nation like North Vietnam could fight the greatest world power like the United States and still survive the death and destruction caused by the rain

of American bombs? Chaven’s answer to this question is that it was due to the North Vietnamese “inner strength” that is the force of their unfathomably staunch nationalism. (Chaven 258) To illustrate the strength of Vietnamese nationalism several arguments will be presented. The first is that the United States miscalculated the motives for a reunified Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was fueled first and foremost by patriotism. This movement was primarily a nationalist movement in nature above that of a communist. The second point to be examined is how nationalism provided the strength to not only survive but win out over superior American military strength. Ho Chi Minh who could be regarded as the Vietnamese soul for the revolution and struggle for independence became disillusioned