A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain Historical Context

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A Brief History of Twentieth-Century Vietnam

In 1859, France began to make inroads in Southeast Asia, and by the end of the century was the dominant power in the region, which became known as French Indochina—present-day Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Despite the efforts of Vietnamese nationalist groups, the French maintained control of the region until around the outbreak of World War I.

Ho Chi Minh had become the most important nationalist in Vietnam. In 1930 and 1931, he helped organize strikes, demonstrations, and peasant uprisings against the colonists. The French exiled him to the Soviet Union and China, but after the Japanese invasion in 1940, he returned home to organize a communist resistance movement to fight both the Japanese and the French colonial government. After the defeated Japanese withdrew in 1945, Ho proclaimed independence for Vietnam, but no major government recognized this declaration. France tried to reclaim Indochina the following year...

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This section contains 789 words
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