The Nationalist Movement in Indochina: NBSE class 10 social science

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Get here the notes/solutions/extras of NBSE Class 10 Social Science Chapter 2 Nationalist Movement in Indochina. However, the study materials should be used only for references and nothing more. The notes can be modified/changed according to needs.


Long ago, Vietnam was an independent country with its own culture and traditions. But in the 1800s, France took control of Vietnam and made it a French colony.

The French wanted to make money from Vietnam’s resources, like rice and rubber. They forced Vietnamese farmers to grow these crops and took most of the profits. The French built railroads and ports to ship resources back to France. They made the Vietnamese do all the hard labour for low wages.

The French also tried to change Vietnamese culture and impose their own. They brought French missionaries to spread Christianity. They set up schools to teach the French language and way of life. The textbooks said French rule was good for Vietnam.

But the Vietnamese people did not accept French domination easily. Students and teachers quietly resisted in schools, like the Saigon Native Girls School where a brave girl refused to give up her seat to a French student. Outside school, religious movements like the Hoa Hao opposed French rule and preached Vietnamese traditions.

Educated young men like Phan Boi Chau started revolutionary societies to drive out the French. Chau wanted to bring back the old Vietnamese monarchy. His friend Phan Chu Trinh disagreed – he wanted a democratic Vietnam without kings. But both wanted freedom from France.

Then a great leader named Ho Chi Minh arrived on the scene. After living abroad, Ho returned to Vietnam and formed the Viet Minh to resist French rule. During World War 2, the Viet Minh fought against both the French and Japanese occupiers.

After the war ended, France tried to regain control of Vietnam. But Ho Chi Minh declared an independent Vietnam. This began an epic war between the Viet Minh and France. The Viet Minh got supplies along the famous Ho Chi Minh trail and won a big victory over France at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.

Vietnam was temporarily divided into Communist North Vietnam under Ho, and South Vietnam under French rule. Elections were supposed to reunite the country, but never happened. The U.S. now stepped in to support South Vietnam, while the Communist guerrilla army Viet Cong fought on.

After years more of war, U.S. public opinion turned against the Vietnam War. In 1973, the U.S. pulled out its troops from Vietnam. In 1975, North Vietnam finally captured Saigon, capital of the South. Vietnam was reunified as an independent nation under Communist rule.

The struggle for Vietnamese independence took almost 100 years. France could not withstand the determination of people like Ho Chi Minh to be free. Vietnam showed that no matter how strong an opponent, a united people fighting for freedom will eventually prevail.

Important dates, years, and events

  • 1858: The French landed in Indochina.
  • 1867: Cochinchina (the South) becomes a French colony.
  • 1874, January: A peace treaty was signed in Paris, ending the war with the US.
  • 1887: The creation of the Indochina Union comprising Cochinchina, Annam, Tonkin, Cambodia, and Laos. French Indochina was established.
  • 1888: A Scholars’ Revolt broke out against the spread of Christianity.
  • 1926: A major protest erupted in the Saigon Native Girls School.
  • 1930: Ho Chi Minh established the Vietnamese Communist Party.
  • 1933: The Hoa Hao Movement began, founded by Huynh Phu So.
  • 1939: The Hoa Hao Movement started in the Mekong Delta region.
  • 1940, September: The Japanese forced the French to permit them to use Indochina as a military base.
  • 1941: Huynh Phu So was released by the French but then exiled to Laos.
  • 1945, August: Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by atom bombs, leading to Japan’s surrender and France regaining control of Indochina.
  • 1945, September: Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independence of the Republic of Vietnam.
  • 1954: The Vietminh won a decisive victory at Dien Bien Phu.
  • 1954, July 22: The Geneva Conference, leading to the division of Vietnam at the 17th parallel.
  • 1961: Kennedy decided to increase US military aid to South Vietnam.
  • 1968, January: The Tet Offensive, a major turning point in the Vietnam War.
  • 1972: President Nixon ordered nighttime bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong in December.
  • 1974, January: A peace settlement was signed in Paris, ending the war with the US.
  • 1975, April 30: NLF troops entered Saigon, marking the end of the Vietnam War.
  • 1976, July 2: Vietnam was reunified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

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Textual questions and answers

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) 

1. Indochina comprises 

(a) India and China (b) North and South Vietnam and China (c) India, China and Vietnam (d) The modern countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

Answer: (d) The modern countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia​​.

2. The French landed in Vietnam in the year: 

(a) 1857 (b) 1856 (c) 1858 (d) 1859

Answer: (c) 1858​​.

3. Consider the statements given below and choose the correct 

Statement I: The Hoa Hao Movement began in 1939, in Mekong delta region. Answer.
Statement II: The movement was founded by Huynh Phu So. 

(a) Statement I is correct and II is incorrect (b) Statement I is incorrect and II is correct (c) Both Statements I and II are incorrect (d) Both statements (I) and (II) are correct. 

Answer: (d) Both statements (I) and (II) are correct​​.

4. What was the theme of the given picture? 

(a) To ridicule the French who followed the Vietnamese culture. (b) To ridicule the Vietnamese who had been westernised. (c) To ridicule the Vietnamese who played tennis. (d) To ridicule the French who played tennis.

Answer: (b) To ridicule the Vietnamese who had been westernised​​.

Very Short Answer Questions  

1. When did Cochin China become a French colony? 

Answer: Cochin China became a French colony in 1867​​.

2. Who was the founder of the Hoa Hao Movement?

Answer: The founder of the Hoa Hao Movement was Huynh Phu So​​.

Short Answer Questions

1. Give two reasons why the French considered it necessary to colonise Indochina. 

Answer: The French considered it necessary to colonise Indochina for two main reasons:

  • The colonies provided raw materials for cheap labour and ended their search for a market.
  • They fulfilled the desire for glory, prestige and manpower.

2. When did Tonkin Free School start? What was its main objective? 

Answer: The Tonkin Free School was started in 1907. Its main objective was to claim to turn students into “Modern” students; to be modern, the students had to follow French fashions in clothes, hair styles, etc. Learning Western ideas was not enough​​.

3. What was the main difference in the ideas of Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh?

Answer: Phan Chu Trinh wanted to abolish the monarchy in order to create a base for strong national sovereignty and establish a democratic republic, heavily influenced by the writings of French philosophers like Rousseau and Montesquieu, and aimed for peaceful reform. Phan Boi Chau, on the other hand, favoured retaining the monarchy as a popular ideological symbol and wanted to drive out the French through armed resistance and restore Vietnamese independence​​.

Long Answer Questions

1. What actions did France take to consolidate her position in Indochina? 

Answer: France took several actions to consolidate her position in Indochina, focusing on economic, military, and cultural dominance. 

Economically, they developed the economies of their colonies to make profits, by building canals, draining lands in the Mekong delta, increasing rice production, and exporting rice, thereby making Vietnam the third largest exporter of rice in the world by 1931. They also improved the infrastructure to support rice cultivation by constructing rail networks and using forced and indentured Vietnamese labour for these projects, as well as for rubber plantations. 

Militarily, the French faced resistance from the Vietnamese from 1887 to 1954, indicating their efforts to maintain control over the region through force. 

Culturally, the French aimed to impose their culture and civilization on the Vietnamese, including the French language in education, to create an ‘Asiatic France’ supportive of European France. This imposition of culture was also evident in their efforts to destroy local culture, religions, and traditions under the guise of bringing about modern civilization​​.

2. “The schools became an important place for political and cultural battles in Vietnam against French colonialism.” Support the statement with examples.

Answer: The statement that schools became an important place for political and cultural battles in Vietnam against French colonialism is supported by several examples of resistance and opposition from Vietnamese teachers and students towards French educational policies and curricula. Teachers and students in lower schools quietly defied the instructions given in higher classes, followed their own curriculum, and criticised the French textbooks. 

A notable act of defiance occurred in the Saigon Native Girls School in 1926, where a native girl refused to give up her seat to a local French student, leading to her expulsion. This incident escalated as other students who supported her were also expelled, resulting in government intervention and the forced reinstatement of the students. The principal, however, remained unrepentant, threatening to “crush all Vietnamese” and only leave Vietnam when there were no Vietnamese left in Cochinchina.

Moreover, students protested against the colonial government’s efforts to prevent Vietnamese from qualifying for white-collar jobs, forming political parties such as the Party of Young Annan and publishing nationalist journals like the Annanese Student. 

3. Describe the events that led to the final exit of the French from Indochina.

Answer: The final exit of the French from Indochina was a result of a series of pivotal events. The struggle against French colonialism culminated under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, marked by significant episodes like the Japanese forcing the French to permit military operations from Indochina, the American and Chinese forces pushing the Japanese to retreat, and ultimately Japan’s surrender after the atomic bombings in 1945, leading to France regaining control of Indochina. 

However, Vietnamese nationalists, particularly the Vietminh under Ho Chi Minh, continued their resistance, culminating in the decisive victory at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The Geneva Conference of 1954 partitioned Vietnam at the 17th parallel, with Ho Chi Minh becoming the President of North Vietnam and South Vietnam under the Bao Dai government, setting the stage for future conflicts but ending French colonial rule in the region​​.

Extra MCQs

1. When did Indochina gain independence? 

A. 1947 B. 1945 C. 1950 D. 1935 

Answer: B. 1945 

2. How long did Indochina fight to achieve independence? 

A. 20 years B. 25 years C. 30 years D. 35 years 

Answer: C. 30 years 

3. When did the French first land in Indochina? 

A. 1858 B. 1887 C. 1880 D. 1900 

Answer: A. 1858 

4. What territories did the French acquire after fighting against China in the 1880s? 

A. Cochinchina, Tonkin, and Annam B. Laos, Cambodia, Tonkin, and Annam C. Laos and Cambodia D. Cochinchina and Laos 

Answer: A. Cochinchina, Tonkin, and Annam 

5. In what year was French Indochina established? 

A. 1880 B. 1887 C. 1890 D. 1858 

Answer: B. 1887 

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59. What happened to Saigon after Vietnam was reunified? 

A. It remained the capital of South Vietnam. B. It was destroyed and rebuilt. C. It was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. D. It became a demilitarized zone. 

Answer: C. It was renamed Ho Chi Minh City 

60. When was Vietnam officially reunified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam? 

A. 30 April, 1975 B. 2 July, 1976 C. January 1974 D. September 1945 

Answer: B. 2 July, 1976 

Extra questions and answers

1. When did Indochina gain independence and how long did it fight for it? 

Answer: Indochina became an independent country in 1945, and it had to fight fiercely for nearly 30 years to achieve this. 

2. When did French interests in Indochina begin, and what was the earliest Vietnamese reaction? 

Answer: French interests in Indochina began in the early seventeenth century when French priests arrived as part of the Portuguese Jesuit Mission. The earliest Vietnamese reaction was to resist foreign interests, religion, and commerce. 

3. What was the major French intervention in Indochina, and what territories did they acquire in the 1880s? 

Answer: The major French intervention came in the mid-nineteenth century, landing in Indochina in 1858. In a war against China in the 1880s, they acquired Cochinchina, Tonkin, and Annam. 

4. When was French Indochina established, and what territories did it consist of? 

Answer: French Indochina was established in 1887, consisting of four protectorates: Laos, Cambodia, and two parts of Vietnam – Tonkin and Annam. 

5. What were the French motives for colonization in Indochina? 

Answer: The French motives for colonization were economic domination, military control, and the imposition of French culture, which included providing raw materials, cheap labor, ending their search for a market, fulfilling the desire for glory, prestige, manpower, and helping in implanting Roman Catholicism and French culture in the colonies. 

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55. Describe the events leading to the end of the Vietnam War. 

Answer: The war ended with President Nixon ordering night time bombing on Hanoi and Haiphong in 1972, which led the Vietnamese to ask for peace. A peace settlement was signed in Paris in January 1974, ending the war with the US. The communists captured Saigon on April 30, 1975, leading to the reunification of Vietnam as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on July 2, 1976, with Saigon renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. 

56. What were the casualties suffered by the US in the Vietnam War? 

Answer: The US lost 47,244 soldiers, 303,704 were wounded, and out of the wounded, nearly 23,014 were 100 per cent disabled. 

57. How did the Vietnam War conclude, and what were the significant changes in Vietnam post-war? 

Answer: The Vietnam War concluded with a peace settlement signed in Paris in January 1974, ending the war with the US. The communists later captured Saigon, leading to the reunification of Vietnam as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976, with Saigon renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. 

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