10 April 2014
Life In North Vietnam
Life in North Vietnam, during the Vietnam War, changed drastically after the Geneva Accords were signed and Vietnam split into two parts. Ho Chi Minh became President of North Vietnam after he fought and removed French power from Vietnam. During Minh’s reign, he turned Vietnam into a Communist dictatorship and fought the American-controlled South Vietnam. Religion changed to become a way to fight the dictatorship rather than a way to achieve enlightenment. Labor Camps were started and rebels were thrown in to work. Life degraded into slums and has not been much better since Vietnam has been getting aid from Russia. In the summer of 1954, France and Vietnam signed the Geneva Peace Accords which had split Vietnam at the 17th parallel and removed France from Vietnam. Many people believe this was the worst possible outcome for Vietnam because it allowed for Communist influence on the country. According to an article by PBS, “Because of outside pressures brought to bear by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, Vietnam's delegates to the Geneva Conference agreed to the temporary partition of their nation at the seventeenth parallel to allow France a face-saving defeat,” (Brigham) Once the division was agreed upon, the U.S. became allies with South Vietnam. The U.S was against communism and felt that the Geneva Accords would grant too much power to the Communist Party. Ho Chi Minh became furious when the U.S. began supporting South Vietnam with military aid. The government in North Vietnam was a Communist dictatorship led by Ho Chi Minh. It suppressed civil liberties and freedoms. Dissenters, and sometimes others, were executed. The government in South Vietnam was not much better. After an unnecessarily rigged election, Ngo Dinh Diem turned the government into a corrupt dictatorship, suspending certain freedoms and persecuting Buddhists (N.p. Webb). He planned several attacks on South Vietnam and the American military in South Vietnam, like the attack on the the U.S.S. Maddox, which sparked major conflict with the U.S. and North Vietnam. The split of North and South Vietnam and their power struggle turned life for Vietnamese citizens into a constant state of fear. The government was not well controlled, and no one side of the war seemed to be winning; Vietnam exploded into a warzone. After the split between North and South Vietnam, Communism finally had its control and changed things dramatically. Even though life in South Vietnam was settled and getting on its feet, North Vietnam was going through hardship and totalitarianism. Unlike in America where you have rights as a citizen, including the freedom of speech, it was unacceptable in North Vietnam to voice your opinion. Anyone that opposed their legislation would be punished in unfathomable ways. The opinions of the people had no importance and lead to punishment if expressed out loud. The worst punishment that could be bestowed upon the citizens was shipment to one of their labor camps. Labor camps were a place for delinquents and opposers to be punished. “In North Vietnam during the 1950s, political opposition groups were suppressed; those publicly opposing the government were imprisoned in hard labor camps.” (“In North Vietnam”). These camps were called ‘re-education camps’ by some prisoners because when you acted out of line it was unacceptable in their eyes and needed to be corrected. “Prisoners were abused and beaten atop of labor-intensive work forced upon them. Many died of exhaustion, starvation, illness (who often died without any medical attention), or assault by prison guards.” (“Prisoner were abused). In the years the labor camps were in business an estimate of 120,000 deaths were reported. Camp Mauthausen was located near Linz and was famous for its size. It was claimed to be one of the largest camps in German- controlled...
Cited: Brigham, P. R. K.. N.p.. Web. 10 Mar 2014. .
N.p. Web. 11 Mar 2014.
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