ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
IDENTITY: VIETNAMESE IDENTITY HO CHI MINH
In what ways did a significant leader or personality have an influence upon the development of a distinctive sense of identity in one of the topics you have studied this year.
The character of Ho Chi Minh in the IndoChina struggle was the most important aspect in generating a nationalist sense of identity in the Vietnamese people. Educated and wise, he was able to bring his knowledge as well as a political system in communism, to a divided nation that he loved. Ho’s most important role was as the leader and founder of a militant coalition capable of generating a sense of identity and defending it at the same time. For an insight into his ability to accomplish this, it is necessary to look at this early life, the political climate he grew up in and the steps he took to implement his ideals.
Ho Chi Minh was born in 1890 and as a child ran anti-French propaganda for the nationalist underground. He grew up under French autocratic rule and experienced the repressive policies of the French towards the Vietnamese people. Colonisation had brought with it positive aspects, rice field areas increased, industry grew substantially, zinc and tin mining facilities were introduced and the economy grew. However the people remained poor. Heavy taxes were placed on peasants (around 85%) who consequently grew angry about the increasing wealth of landlords. Education rates plummeted with only 10% of eligible students attending school. Perhaps the worst aspect of French rule was its treatment of the people. It was seen as a ‘civilising mission’, the responsibility of the more civilized societies to bring technology to the more primitive ones. It was “the white man’s burden.”
This climate had a deep affect on Ho Chi Minh. He spent six years abroad receiving a western education and in 1919 spoke at the Versailles Peace talks for the need to address the IndoChinese issue. Though he received indignation from western allies, his popularity in Vietnam soared. In 1923 he was summoned to the Comintern where he learnt the ideas of Marx that would later provide the incentive and perhaps the method for his nationalist movement.
Ho Chi Minh capitalized on his opportunities to further progress the sense of identity when the UNQDD rose up in 1927, only to be all executed for their attempt. Two years later Ho had formed the “Revolutionary Youth League of Vietnam”, but taking inspiration from the VQNDD defeat, he amalgamated all different factions into the ICP (IndoChina Communist Party) in 1930. The organization helpedt o deliver the nationalist message, in an attempt to establish a sense of identity in the public, especially the peasantry.
Excommunicated and sentenced to death in absentia, Ho Chi Minh spoke out from China about the oppression of French rule in Vietnam. He demanded that the Vietnamese people be allowed “the same rights as those of westerners, freedom of press, speech, assembly and organization.”
In Vietnam his popularity soared. In him the people identified with a tangible character, a representation of their struggle against the French yoke. By the beginning of WWII there was a clear educated group of Vietnamese people with nationalist ideals, and they became a severe threat to the French government.
Ho Chi Minh was skilful at being able to draw upon failures to generate productivity and resolve. He was also able to identify with certain aspects of French control and exploit their cruel nature. For instance at the Michelin works (established to help the growing automotive trade in the west) 12,000 of the 44,000 workers died due to poor working conditions. Ho Chi Minh saw the Franch occupation in only one avarice light. In a “Viet Cong Memoirs” David Habilstom wrote “…then he said the French had used Vietnam as a slave state, keeping the people in a state of under development for the benefit of France”. Ho Chi Minh’s outspoken nature, coupled with his quiet demeanor made him an affable icon and the salvation to many. This attitude helped to add to the creation of a sense of identity.
However Ho Chi Minh’s greatest step towards nationalism and a sense of identity within the people was the establishment of the Viet Minh in 1941. The Viet Minh was essentially a Marxist driven nationalist coalition of people with the idea that communism could provide a solution to their problems. The real power of the Viet Minh lay in its ability to transcend social and economic barriers such as class and wealth. The ability to identify with a group representative of 80% of the nation proved invaluable. Due to a promise for the end of landlords, as well as other factors, the peasantry became the backbone of the Viet Minh. The sense of identity instilled in them became clear, by 1945. The Viet Minh General Vo Nguyen Giap under Ho Chi Minh’s orders, had assembled the disenchanted but newly empowered peasantry into a 10,000 strong guerilla army unit in the mountains above the Red River delta.
Ho also carried out significant events that provided examples of both the power of the Viet Minh and the validity and his nationalist ideals. The August Revolution is an example of this. The Viet Minh were able to assume power on 17th September just seven days after the Japanese surrender on 10 September 1945. For almost a month, the Viet Minh were an interim government of a unified Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh’s tactics in achieving this drew upon his ability to communicate with the peasantry. “Break open the rice stores to avert famine” became the slogan of the revolution, and it worked. The fear of starvation compelled the peasants to act. The ability for the Viet Minh to fill the political vacuum and assume power, greatly strengthened the beliefs in the nationalist ideas and allowed the sense of identity to grow.
In conclusion it is clear to see how Ho Chi Minh had a significant influence upon both the development of the nationalist movement and also its institution through tactile methods. His western education and his outspoken protest of French rule at Versailles and in China helped spread the knowledge of the Vietnamese struggle throughout the world. It also generated immense support for him back home. His institution of selected political parties and his ability to combine military tactics to his ideals produced an efficient, cohesive movement that would not only spread the cause but defend it. Also his transcendence of class barriers made him accessible to both the masses and the privileged elite.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
IDENTITY: VIET CONG
The Viet Cong was a Vietnamese nationalist organisation founded in 1960. It had an ultimate goal of achieving an independent Vietnam - free of foreign intervention. The leadership of Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Viet Minh, had an influence upon a strict sense of identity with the Viet Cong due to a range of factors. The Viet Cong’s formation of identity was due to shared heritage, shared beliefs and values, and shared experiences. For the eight years that the Viet Cong existed, it expressed its identity politically and socially, and militarily.
The Viet Cong was a broad group whose members consisted of some Viet Minh who had remained in southern Vietnam. The Viet Cong was a coalition of about 20 different groups all with a shared goal of achieving unity and independence, and people who actively demonstrated against the south Prime Minister, Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem was looked upon as a nepotistic dictator, and was resisted greatly by the Viet Cong. This group, amongst the Viet Cong had been led by Ho Chi Minh, and for this reason, as well as others, Ho Chi Minh’s leadership developed a sense of identity within the Viet Cong. From 1960-1968, the Viet Cong fought fiercely in the conflict in Vietnam during this time.
Shared heritage, and beliefs and values were factors that contributed to the formation of the Viet Cong identity. Vietnamese had enjoyed a shared culture and language up until the arrival of the colonial French. Confucianism and Buddhism were greatly influential in the development of Vietnamese culture. In Vietnam, life was very peasant and village based, and village leaders were held in much higher regard than an emperor or other type of leader. It could be said that the Viet Cong was a re-establishment of the Viet Minh, and for this reason particularly, Ho Chi Minh developed the Viet Cong’s rank of identity and gave a shared heritage to the Viet Cong. The Viet Minh and Ho Chi Minh passionately believed in an independent Vietnam – free of foreign intervention – “Vietnam for the Vietnamese”. Because of the links between the Viet Minh and the Viet Cong, this belief was also passionately felt amongst the Viet Cong. A feeling of belief now felt by the Viet Minh and therefore the Viet Cong, at the battle of Dien Bien Phu and the defeat of the French in 1944. The Viet Minh, and Ho Chi Minh’s supporters felt they had a strong bargaining position for the Geneva Conference to follow due to their recent victory.
A shared experience which contributed to the formation of Viet Cong identity and which showed how the leadership of Ho Chi Minh developed Viet Cong identity was the declaration of the Declaration Republic of Vietnam (DRV). This saw Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh sieze control from the surrendered Japanese at the end of World War Two. Unfortunately disappointment soon followed, because the Allies decided that Vietnam should be placed back under the control of the French. Much to the dismay of Vietnamese nationalists, Ho Chi Minh had little choice but to accept a compromise allowing the DRV to exist in the north, but the French to have control of the south. The led to the formation of Viet Cong identity because hope of independence and been lost once more.
A further shared experience was that of Vietnam’s history of foreign intervention. This factor contributed greatly to the Viet Cong’s formation of identity. For ten centuries China had dominated Vietnam, and Europeans had brought Christianity with them since they began arriving in the 16th century. By 1864 France had set up a protectorate over Vietnam. Foreign intervention was greatly resented by the Viet Cong because it prevented them achieving their goal of a free, united Vietnam. This foreign intervention may seem dated but it certainly contributed a sense of injustice in Vietnam, and therefore to Viet Cong identity.
A shared experience of the Viet Cong and a factor leading to the formation of Viet Cong identity was opposition to Diem’s regime. Nepotism was seen to greatly influence Diem’s decisions. It could not be accepted a coincidence that Diem’s brother Ngo Dinh Nhu, founded the Revolutionary Labour Party in 1956, and that its family members were appointed to key government positions. Diem was seen to be greatly isolated from the Vietnamese people as he was anti-communist, linked with America, and promoted Catholicism over the dominating religion in Vietnam, Buddhism. Diem only considered Buddhism to be an association, not a religion. Over time Diem’s leadership status became more unstable as opposition to him grew, even in America’s eyes. When this happened Diem isolated himself to a place called the ‘Forbidden Palace’. It was overall conclusive that Diem was not a suitable leader for the people of Vietnam, and because of this, opposition mounted and led to the formation of Viet Cong identity. Also, opposition occurred to Diem when he felt able enough to cancel the meeting scheduled for 1956. This was a huge disappointment to Ho Chi Minh supporters as they longed for his leadership to prevail.
Recent foreign intervention was also a factor that contributed to Viet Cong identity. American foreign intervention was already resented by the 1950’s for a number of reasons. America had supported the French during the 1st Indochina War as it always feared the potential spread of communism. America had supported the partition of Vietnam after the 1st Indochina war because it saw South Vietnam as a barricade against the spread of communism in south-east Asia. America had also supported Diem to appoint, much to the anger of Vietnamese nationalists. American intervention had increased from the late 1950’s to early 1960s, until by 1964 US troops flooded into Vietnam, and huge bombing campaigns bombarded north Vietnam. American intervention was not only seen militarily, but also socially. It was held responsible for increasing prostitution and corruption in Vietnamese towns and cities. The huge bombing campaigns on the north used napalm and Agent Orange – a defoliant with devastating effects. The use of napalm inflicted serious injuries onto Vietnamese civilians. Such devastation to a people caused great anger and resentment in Vietnam and so American intervention was a very influential factor in the formation of Viet Cong identity.
For the eight years that the Viet Cong existed, it suppressed its identity socially and politically. The political aim of the Tet Offensive was a very important expression of Viet Cong identity. This aim was to undermine American support for the way by showing American civilians that America was not necessarily winning the war like they had been told. American TV viewers would watch that their soldiers engaged in horrifying battle, captured by TV journalists.
A clear expression of Viet Cong identity was the formation of the National Liberation Front (the NLF) which was not the army of the Viet Cong, in 1960. The NLF expressed Viet cong identity socially by truing to win over the hearts and minds of Vietnamese peasants. They did this by introducing land reform and using propaganda. The NLF also emphasised the importance of opposing American intervention.
The formation of the Viet Cong, or the army of the Viet Cong called The Peoples’ Revolutionary Army, now a clear expression of Viet Cong identity, militarily. The Viet Cong launched attacks which included wiping out Diem’s strategic hamlets, and villages which supported Diem’s regime. In 1963 the Viet Cong changed adopted a new military tactic which enabled them to inflict a huge defeat upon the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). This involved converting from guerilla tactics to full scale battles.
A pivotal expression of Viet Cong identity was the Tet Offensive in 1968. Firstly the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) staged a decoy battle at a northern south Vietnamese place called Khe Sarh. 6000 US marines had been placed there to watch NVA activity, and on the 20th of January a month lasting battle broke out. This enabled the Viet Cong to launch the unexpected Tet Offensive. Apart from 20,000 Viet Cong and NVA attacked over 100 towns and cities in South Vietnam, including Saigon. Journalists captured the brutal attacks to send to American TV viewers. They watched in horror as the US Embassy, a symbol of American power, came under attack and failed to act as a symbol of American strength. Approximately 50,000 Viet Cong and NVA lost their lives during the offensive, resulting in the Viet Cong’s virtual destruction. However, the political aim had been achieved.
Ho Chi Minh had led the Viet Minh through many shared experiences, and continued to hold the ultimate goal shared amongst all Vietnamese nationalists – “Vietnam for Vietnamese”. Because the Viet Cong had a strong shared heritage and shared experiences, Ho Chi Minh’s leadership can be held responsible for the development of Viet Minh’s strong sense of identity.
The Viet Cong had many factors that had led to its formation of identity. Ho Chi Minh’s leadership was to develop the Viet Cong’s sense of identity through shared experiences and heritage. The Viet Cong expressed its identity politically and socially, and militarily, particularly through the Tet Offensive in 1968.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
IDENTITY: NGO DINH DIEM
The Viet Cong identity on the Indochina war conflict was clearly influenced by Ngo Dinh Diem, leader of the south of Vietnam. Born out of the shared heritage, beliefs and value of the Vietnamese and also opposition to the government practices of Ngo Dinh Diem, the Viet Cong was formed in 1960 with the express goal of a unified Vietnam free from foreign oppression. The Viet Cong, its identity through both military, actions such as a guerilla campaign; full scale war and the 1968 Tet offensive aimed at freeing the people from oppression and Ngo Dinh Diem as a leader. Also, the through political actions the Viet Cong gained support from the people of Vietnam who they drew on for support.
Firstly, the Viet Cong was a broad based coalition of nationalist groups founded in 1960 with the primary goal of a united Vietnam free from foreign oppression. Using the Vietminh as a template, the Viet Cong drew on the people of Vietnam for support and aimed towards freeing them from Ngo Dinh Diem as a leader and also from foreign oppression altogether. Also, the Viet Cong was born out of the shared culture, heritage and experiences of the Vietnamese, and represented a wide cross-section of the Vietnamese population.
Firstly, the shared heritage of the Vietnamese were one of the factors which contributed to the Viet Cong identity. Having suffered 1000 years of oppression under China, nearly 100 years of French rule and harsh Japanese rule during World War Two, uprisings were frequent and although crushed ruthlessly, the sense of identity developed as the Vietnamese sought to be free from foreign control. Also, despite historical division between the North and South, the Vietnamese had always shared a common language, creating a historical frame from which the Viet Cong identity could draw. Furthermore, with a successful war against the French at Dien Bien Phu, the Vietnamese had learnt that they could defeat a superior enemy. Also, with the defeat at Dien Bien Phu the Vietnamese had an experience with freedom, thus reinforcing their goal. Clearly the shared heritage of the Vietnamese contributed to the Viet Cong identity.
Shared beliefs and values were also a contributing factor in the formation of the Viet Cong identity. When the French colonised Vietnam, they brought with them Catholicism. This system challenged the traditional Vietnamese religion of Buddhism and confucionism and with the French, and Ngo Dinh Diem favouring catholics, a sense of identity was reinforced and people began to oppose the new religion. Also, with the strong belief of achieving freedom after Dien Bien Phu, the dreams of the Vietnamese were dashed as Vietnam was divided into a communist north and a non-communist south and Ngo Ding Diem was installed to rule over the Southern partition. Clearly the shared beliefs and values influenced the formation of the Viet Cong identity.
Shared experiences also influenced the formation of the Viet Cong. With a long history of oppression, and uprisings from the people, the Vietnamese learnt how to oppose a superior army. This belief was reinforced with the Vietnamese victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Also, with the experience and belief of freedom being dashed at the Geneva conference, and a new leader installed, shared experiences with Ngo Dinh Diem influenced the Viet Cong identity. Dien was a catholic, so was isolated from the majority of the Vietnamese people and this isolation was furthered by the implementation of napolism. Furthermore, as Diem abolished Buddhism as a religion in Vietnam, the people were embittered, especially as Buddhism was the traditional religion in Vietnam. Opposition to Diem also increased with the cancellation of the 1956 elections.
These elections were to decide the political future of Vietnam and so they were promised by the Geneva Convention of 1954, many Vietnamese viewed them as the means of achieving a united, independent Vietnam. Furthermore, a sense of identity was heightened as opposition to Diem increased. Diem’s ‘law 10/59’ and the ‘Denunciation of Communism Act’ saw many innocent Vietnamese executed as they were believed to be Communist spies. Finally, Diem’s ‘strategic Hamlet’ program greatly influenced the sense of identity. Through this system, Diem hoped to contain the influence of the Viet Cong by moving villagers into fortified villages at night. However, as the program moved the peasants away from their ancestral lands, Diem had provided the Viet Cong with a captive audience. Finally, with increasing US involvement in the IndoChina War, and a full US military comittment under the 1964 Tonkin Gulf Resolution, the Viet Cong were again united against a foreign enemy. The shared experiences including experiences with Ngo Ding Diem clearly influenced the Viet Cong identity.
Political actions were a central expression of the Viet Cong identity. Aiming to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese, the Viet Cong preformed land reform, reduced peasant rent and undertook propaganda campaigns in attempts to heighten support for their cause. With Diem’s anti-Viet Cong practices continuing, Viet Cong gained support from the people as their political campaigns appealed to their calls for a free and unified Vietnam. Clearly political expressions were essential to the Viet Cong identity.
Military actions of the Viet Cong were also significant. With small scale, peasant based attacks on the south from 1960, and the commencement of a Guerilla war from 1961, the Viet Cong clearly expressed their identity and goals. However, the commencement of a full scale war broke for the Viet Cong saw both the Viet Cong, and ARUN forces take heavy casualties. Finally, with the 1968 Tet Offensive, the Viet Cong undertook a campaign to achieve their goal of an independent and unified Vietnam. Aimed at undermining support for the US war, the Viet Cong staged a diversionary attack at Khu Sata and with most of the US support drawn away, attacked over 100 centres in the south. The Viet Cong achieved its goal but was left virtually destroyed as a result of heavy casualties. However, with a temporary end to the bombing campaign, the resignation of President Johnson and political division in the US the war had seemingly come to a close, a break in the short term.
In conclusion, Ngo Dinh Diem and the shared experiences, heritage, values and beliefs of the Vietnamese had a clear influence of the Viet Cong. Also, with political actions to win support and military actions to achieve their goal of an independent Vietnam force from foreign oppression, the Viet Cong clearly expressed their goals and motives. Clearly, Diem’s involvement in Vietnam had a distinct influence on the Viet Cong identity.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
IDENTITY: HO CHI MINH
Ho Chi Minh is one of the greatest heroes of all time. This incredible man helped shape Vietnam into a single, united nation. The foreign occupation of the French, Japanese and finally the Americans made Ho Chi Minh even more determined. He founded the Viet Minh in 1941,and together proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in his drive to develop his citizens to fight for a single, united Vietnam.
From 1959, the French began to colonise Indochina with aspirations of “God, Gold and Glory”. They claimed a moral reason for colonising there: “the civilising mission”. However, their reasons for colonising Vietnam were purely economical – to exploit the rich, abundant resources offered by the region. They transformed the country of Vietnam into a giant factory, building rubber plantations and general industry, and in half a century quadrupled rice plantations. Yet, the benefit to Vietnam was minimal, the French exporting all output home. Coolies began to die from dysentery and malaria, as well as suffering from malnutrition. In the race for colonial power, France did nothing but exploit the resources of Vietnam for its own good.
The French continued to plunder the region until Japan began her invasion of Asia in 1940. Japan saw the Indo-Chinese subcontinent as a stepping stone into Asia. Following a brief battle, the French army surrendered to Japan. One year later, Ho Chi Minh, who had represented a case for Vietnamese independence at the Versailles peace conference, founded the Viet Minh, an association of Ho’s followers solely dedicated to the removal of all foreign powers. The Viet Minh was an organisation who used the population’s support to their advantage. “The people are our eyes and ears”. Japan, in the meantime, stockpiled rice to export to their troops. In March 1945, Japan declared Vietnam independent, and installed Bao Dai as the “night club emperor”. Although Vietnam was now independent, Ho realised that Vietnam was still under the control of the Japanese government.
Following Japanese surrender at the end of World War II no real leader was present, leaving a “power vacuum”. Seizing his opportunity, Ho united the country, with the slogan “break open the rice stores to avert famine”. Ho led a general uprising, and within ten days, the Viet Minh controlled all of Vietnam. On 2nd September 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the new independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Ho united the population to bring about an independent Vietnam.
Following the Fountainbleau talks, the French were returned south of the 16th parallel to prevent the spread of communism. Ho, however, was more concerned about complete Chinese reoccupation of Vietnam. ‘It is better to shift France’s dung for a while than eat China’s all our lives”. Luck was on his side, and in February 1946, China recognised French sovereignty over Vietnam and withdrew all troops, leaving the Viet Minh and French forces clashing frequently.
Open war erupted on 19th March 1946. Ho Chi Minh employed the guerrilla war tactics employed by Mao Zedong, the Chinese communist party leader. Following the succession of Zedong into Government, assistance and advice were rapidly dispatched, and in her order to gain the support of the vast peasant population, Ho confiscated land from landlords.
Dien Bien Phu was the battle that would see the end of the first Indochina war. The French wanted to end the war quickly due to rising opposition at home. General Navarre, the French Commander-in-Chief, hoped to bait Viet Minh troops with an armed military camp. A conference had been scheduled for April 1954, and both sides knew the advantage at the negotiating table would be with the victor. Navarre believed he had enough machine guns, heavy artillery, tanks and planes to hold off an attacking force of 20,000. But by January 1954, Viet Minh troops at Dien Bien Phu numbered 40 – 50,000, compared to the 13,000 French troops. Ho ordered the fight for independence to begin on 13th March 1954. From the outset, Viet Minh artillery pounded the French camp, and victory was apparent at the end of the very first day, when the French artillery commander committed suicide. For 55 days the onslaught continued. The battle ended in humiliation for the French, with total casualties from the First Indochina War at 243,000. Wood argues that nothing had been gained from a seven and a half year war.
The final statement at the Geneva Conference was that the division of Vietnam was to be temporary. A general election was to be held in July 1954, to reunite the country. President Eisenhower realised that had elections been held, possibly 80% of the population would vote for the communist Ho Chi Minh. Eisenhower used the image of falling dominoes to describe the falling of countries to communist expansion. The United States stated that they were prepared to stop the expansion of communism through South East Asia, and installed Nyo Dinh Dien to rule south of the 17th parallel in the southern non-communist State of Vietnam. Ho had succeeded in removing all French threat from Vietnam. Despite Ho uniting a country’s national identity to win the war, the seeds for future conflict were already sown.
A majority (85%) of the population in South Vietnam were peasants. However, only 2.5% of all landowners owned 50% of the cultivatable land throughout Vietnam. To combat this, Ngo Dinh Dien launched a land reform programme. But one major flaw remained. Under Dien, if peasants wanted land they had to purchase it. Ho and his Viet Minh gave it away. In the late 1950s, Dien began his “fortified hamlets” or “agroville” strategy. Peasants in troublesome areas were moved to town behind wires and barbed wire fences. Wood states that this imprisoned, isolated and alienated the victims. The cruelty of Dien’s regime in the south led to its population relating more to Ho in the North than their own leader.
Despite Dien’s anti-communist crackdown, a serious threat to the United States backed domino emerged. Dien referred to this movement as the Viet Cong. The Viet Cong was organised and founded by approximately 10,000 “Winter Cadres”, or Viet Minh troops that had remained in the south after 1954. The Viet Cong was a broad group of about 20 communist and non-communist groups who were all opposed to Dien’s regime. In 1961, Dien appealed to the United States Government for assistance to prevent the Viet Cong taking control in South Vietnam.
When American troops began to fly in, in 1961, the Viet Cong had already created a widespread rebellion. The American soldiers perceived the Viet Cong as “outside alligators.” The peasants, on the other hand, welcomed the Viet Cong as liberators from Dien’s harsh regime. Consequently, America’s involvement in Vietnam increased, and a Second Indochina war was becoming inevitable.
Due to his age, Ho Chi Minh played an increasingly smaller part in daily affairs. The war between the Viet Cong and the Americans began in 1963. Ho’s death in 1969 sent the entire Democratic Republic of Vietnam into national mourning. Ho’s successors pledged to continue the “sacred” duty of reuniting Vietnam. Despite his death, Ho had created such a national identity for his country to fight for an independent, united nation, that they continued to fight for a further six years until the fall at Hanoi. He would never live long enough to see his dream of a single, united Vietnam in 1975, but his input to its emergency is greater than that of any other.
Ho Chi Minh was the greatest fervent nationalist that Vietnam has ever had. The injustices of the French, Japanese, Dien and finally the Americans drove him to influence the development of a sense of identify to fight for life and happiness, but most importantly, liberty. The emergency of a single, united, independent Vietnam can be credited to the influence of Ho Chi Minh.