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Why History?

Why History?

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Why History?

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  1. Why History? • Are you curious? • Do you need to know “why”? • Do you want to contribute as an adult to your world? • Who, what, when, where and why are great conversation starters. • Do you want to learn more about why people treat each other the way they do?

  2. If any of your answers were YES,Then History is for You !To know about history helps you engage in society as an effective, critical and independent thinker.You will become a more interesting person. Your opinions will be based on accurate knowledge, wide research and listening to a range of perspectives.

  3. Different Perspectives in History • What is perspective in History? • How can my perspective be influenced? • How does a Historian decide which perspective is “correct” or “right”? • Can more than one perspective be correct?

  4. Ho Chi Minh Hero or Villain?

  5. Who was Ho Chi Minh?Will people ever agree on the “truth” about Ho Chi Minh ? Do people need to agree on the truth of Ho Chi Minh?

  6. Ho Chi Minh • Also known affectionately as 'Uncle Ho‘ by his adoring Vietnamese people. • His birth name was Nguyen Sinh Cung, • Also called Nguyen Tat Thanh, Nguyen Ai Quoc, and Ly Thuy. • Ho Chi Minh translates to 'He Who Enlightens'.

  7. Ho Chi Minh, founder and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Communist North, is shown on August 11, 1965

  8. What did Ho Chi Minh want for Vietnam? • His cause was: • Liberation (freedom) of Vietnam from French colonial rule and unification (joining together) of North and South Vietnam. • Vietnam's independence leader was • a hero to his countrymen • a wise uncle to friends but • a monster to his enemies.

  9. War in Indochina • The Indochina Wars refers to wars of national liberation that erupted after World War II, fought in Southeast Asia from 1947 until 1979. • They were wars between nationalist Vietnamese fought against French, American, and Chinese forces. • The term "Indochina" originally referred to French Indochina, which included the current states of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. There were four wars in total.

  10. Ha Noi was the North Vietnam capital. Communist Viet Minh troops Chinese and USSR support Vietnam was divided into two countries at the 17th parallel near Da Nang in 1954. Democratic US, Australian & South Vietnamese troops Saigon was the South Vietnam capital

  11. One View Adored by His People • Communist propaganda elevates Ho to the status of sage, national hero, saint. • He has become the Strategist, the Theoretician, the Thinker, the Statesman, the Man of Culture, the Diplomat, the Poet, the Philosopher. • All these names are accompanied with adjectives like "legendary" and "unparalleled." • He has become Ho the Luminary, Ho the Visionary. • Peasants in the South build shrines to him. In the North old women bow before his altar, asking miracles for their suffering children.

  12. Another view of Ho Chi Minh • Others, like boat people, anti-communist fanatics, many Americans and Australians, and those who suffered in the re-education camps, see him in a very negative light. • They label him the enemy of the nation, the traitor who sold out Vietnam, the source of all misery.

  13. The Truth obviously lies somewhere in between. • What is the truth? It is difficult to know because Ho's life is shrouded in shadows and ambiguities. • Even the date of his birth has been obscured by the authorities, who believe this uncertainty will somehow add to his mystique. • The official date is May 19, 1890, but archives in Paris and Moscow show six different dates from 1890 to 1904.

  14. How did this develop into War? • Vietnamese anti colonial (anti-French) movements being to join together early in the 20th Century but are actively suppressed by the French. • Ho saw that his people were being treated unfairly by the French and wanted to do something to give Vietnamese people more control of their own lives.

  15. Who supported Ho? • Sharing his strong beliefs, Ho’s tattered guerrillas overcame daunting obstacles to crush France's desperate attempt from 1945 to 1954 to retrieve its empire in Indochina.

  16. The First Indochina War (or the "French War" in Vietnam) began after World War II, which lasted until the French defeat in 1954. • After a long campaign of resistance Viet Minh forces had claimed a victory after Japanese and French forces surrendered in the North at the end of World War II. • During World War II, the South was temporarily occupied by the British forces, who restored French Republic colonial control. The communist/nationalist Viet Minh, whom the Allies had supported during the war, continued fighting the French with support from China and the USSR, ultimately driving the French out of Indochina in 1954.

  17. The Division of Vietnam into North and South • From 1945 to 1954, Ho’s Viet Minh forces retreated to the hills and fought against French forces in the lowlands. • By 1954, the French had wearied of the war and sought a negotiated settlement. Ho used his influence to gain the approval of his colleagues, and in July 1954 an agreement was reached calling for a truce and a temporary division of Vietnam into a communist north and a non communist south.

  18. November 22nd 1954 After the French were defeated by Ho’s forces at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu this was how Time magazine portrayed Ho.

  19. Background to his struggle • Why did Ho oppose the French in Vietnam? • The French begin to take control of Vietnam in the 1860s. • The entire country was made a French protectorate in 1883. • Under French colonial rule Vietnamese are prohibited from travelling outside their districts without identity papers. • Freedom of expression and organisation are restricted. • As land is progressively alienated by large landholders, the number of landless peasants grows. This lead to great poverty for many people. • Neglect of the education system causes the literacy rate to fall.

  20. Popular USA view of Ho Chi Minh • An emaciated, goateed figure in a threadbare bush jacket and frayed rubber sandals, Ho Chi Minh cultivated the image of a humble, benign "Uncle Ho." • But he was a seasoned revolutionary and passionate nationalist obsessed by a single goal: independence for his country.

  21. Why did the USA join the conflict in Vietnam? • Ho’s revolutionary, communist, nationalist army was built into a largely conventional army and they frustrated the massive U.S. effort to prevent Ho's communist followers from controlling Vietnam. • The USA believed in the domino theory and forward defence.

  22. Questions about the “War for Independence” or “American War” (Vietnamese names for the conflict) or Vietnam War (USA name for same conflict) • Where was the fighting? • What is guerrilla warfare? • Did other countries join in?

  23. The Second Indochina War (or "Vietnam War" in the West, or the "American War" in Vietnam) began as a conflict between the United States-backed South Vietnamese government and its opponents, both the South Vietnamese-based National Liberation Front and the Communist North, beginning in the late 1950's and lasting until 1975. • The United States, which supported France in the first war, backed the South Vietnam government in opposition to the National Liberation Front and the Communist-allied North. The North benefited from military and financial support from China and the Soviet Union, members of the Communist bloc.

  24. Laos Both these neighbouring Indochinese countries were dragged into the Vietnam war as well Cambodia

  25. The Viet Minh (later called the Viet Cong) moved men and supplies into Democratic South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh trail, the large red arrow. This famous supply route was largely in neighbouring Cambodia, hence the reason why America secretly bombed a neutral country.

  26. Suspected Vietcong sympathiser is summarily executed by South Vietnamese Police. No trial, no questions.

  27. This photograph is a harrowing exploration of an impact of war that has extended through generations, uncompensated and largely forgotten. “To turn away and not see the photographs is to compound the crime”.

  28. Napalm Victims with skin burning

  29. The MyLai Massacre.

  30. July 16th 1965 Towards the end of his life Ho was again the subject of the Time front cover. Note the US view of the war. “intransigent north”

  31. US aircraft carriers move in to evacuate the remaining embassy staff and troops. The South Vietnamese Capital, Saigon, was invaded by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) in April 1975.

  32. Famous photo of the last helicopters to leave the US embassy in Saigon April 1975.

  33. Sea Stallion Helos returning with refugees.

  34. Helicopters returning to ships with evacuees from Saigon

  35. South Vietnamese UH-1H being pushed overboard to make room for a Cessna O-1 landing.

  36. Time magazine May 12th 1975 After the Fall of Saigon, (South Vietnam capital) in April 1975 and the final withdrawal of American troops. Note this front cover was published 6 years after Ho’s death in 1969 and yet he is still the face credited as “the victor”.

  37. America Defeated • For Americans, it was the longest war — and the first defeat — in their history, and it drastically changed the way they perceived their role in the world.

  38. Ho’s Legacy • Ho was a central figure in the movement to free Asia from the shackles of colonialism. • He is considered by his supporters to be a patriot who fought selflessly to free his people. • Detractors see him as an insincere schemer set on introducing a totalitarian regime.

  39. The Cambodian-Vietnamese War 1975 followed the Second Indochina War, with Vietnam invading Cambodia and deposing the democidal Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge regime.

  40. The Third Indochina War (or the Sino-Vietnamese War) was a short war fought in February-March 1979 between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. • The Chinese launched an invasion of Vietnam as punishment for the invasion of Cambodia and withdrew a month later.

  41. The Truths of Ho. • What is true is that under Ho's leadership a poor third world country was able to withstand and defeat the might of the US and finally win its independence. • The pragmatism, determination and self-sacrifice that enabled this feat is perhaps the true legacy against which his character should be judged.

  42. A Vietnamese Perspective • Ho Chi Minh's importance to modern Vietnam can hardly be exaggerated. • He was not only the founder of the Communist Party but also its recognized leader during most of its first half-century of existence.

  43. Ho’s Legacy • Ho provided Vietnam with ideological guidance, international prestige, a tradition of internal unity, and a sense of realism that on many occasions enabled it to triumph over adversity.

  44. Ho’s Legacy. • Today he remains the symbol of the united Vietnamese nation. • His memory is enshrined in a mausoleum in Hanoi and in a new name for Saigon—Ho Chi Minh City.

  45. Postscript to the Vietnam War – a American Perspective • Naturally many in the USA will never forgive Ho and the Vietnamese for their victory. • Even now, 30 years on, much US reportage and political rhetoric concerning Vietnam and the war is begrudging with praise for Vietnam's achievements and too ready to point out faults.

  46. Mr Searl’s View • Some people just don't get it. • The US and its allies never had any business being there. • How will history judge other modern conflicts?