The Nationalist Movement in Indochina

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Get solutions, questions, answers, and notes of class 10 social science chapter 2 The Nationalist Movement in Indochina which is a part of the syllabus for students studying under Nagaland Board of School Education. However, the study materials should be used only for references and nothing more. The notes can be modified/changed according to needs.

INTRODUCTION: This chapter explains how Indochina, one of the important states of the peninsula, fought against colonialism and gained independence.

It became an independent country before India, in 1945, but it had to fight fiercely for nearly 30 years to achieve this. Indochina is a region in South East Asia. It lies roughly east of India, south of China and is naturally influenced by both. The main religion of the is region is Theravada, or Hinayana Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism is prominent in Vietnam. Malaysia is a multi-religious nation, with Islam as the main religion. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity are other major religions.

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I. Multiple Choice Questions

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

Ans: (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

Ans: (c) 1858

3. Vietnam’s religious beliefs were a mixture of:
(a) Local practices, worship of the supernatural
(b) Buddhism and Confucianism
(c) Buddhism, Confucianism, and local practices with reverence shown to the supernatural
(d) All the above

Ans: (b) Buddhism and Confucianism

II. Very Short Answer Questions

1. When did Cochin China become a French colony?

Ans: In 1867 Cochin China become a French colony.

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4. When was the Socialist Republic of Vietnam proclaimed?

Ans: On 2nd July, l976 Vietnam was reunified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

III. Short Answer Questions

1. What does the term ‘Indochina’ stands for?

Ans: Indochina is a region in South East Asia. It lies roughly east of India, south of China and is naturally influenced by both. The term Indochina is exclusively used to denote the region that comprises modern-day Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In the wider sense, it is also better described as Mainland South East Asia, and it includes Peninsular Malaysia, the Southern end of the Malay Peninsula, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Thailand (formerly Siam).

2. Give two reasons why the French considered it necessary to colonize Indochina.

Ans: Two reasons why the French considered it necessary to colonize Indochina are as follows:
I. The colonies provided raw materials, cheap labour and ended their search for a market.
II. They fulfilled the desire for glory, prestige and manpower.

3. When was the Tonkin Free School started? What was its main objective?

Ans: Tonkin Free School started in 1907. Its main objective was to turn students into “Modern” students. To be modern, the students had to follow French fashions in clothes, hairstyles etc. Learning Western ideas was not enough.

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6. When and where were the French defeated in Vietnam?

Ans: The French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam in the year 1954 by the forces of Vietminh.

IV. Long Answer Questions

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

Ans: The actions France took to consolidate her position in Indochina were:

(1) The French landed in Vietnam in 1858 and by the successive decades, they established a strong grip over the northern region of the country.

(2) After the war with China, the French assumed control of Tonkin and Anaam and in the year 1887 French Indo-China was established.

(3) In the next few decades, France tried to consolidate its position by building canals and draining lands in order to increase cultivation in the Mekong Delta.

(4) Rail network was built by the construction of the trans-Indochina railways, which joined North Vietnam to South Vietnam and China.

(5) Civilizing Mission was started to make Vietnamese modern which threatened local culture, religions and traditions.

(6) The French dismantled the traditional system of education and started their own schools and introduced French textbooks.

2. Explain the policy which France followed in spreading education in Vietnam? What was their main aim?

Ans: Like the British in India the French also wanted to ‘civilize’ the colony of Vietnam. They believed that their civilisation was more advanced. It did not matter at all if in the name of ‘modern civilisation’ they destroyed local culture, religions and traditions. They were of no importance as according to them they were a hindrance to modern development, outdated and of no use. The rich and the powerful Vietnamese were influenced by the Chinese culture, and the French had to destroy this influence. To achieve this, they totally and systematically destroyed the traditional education system and established their own schools. The French claimed in the textbooks that colonial rule was good for Vietnam. The Vietnamese, according to the French, were backward, fit only for manual labour and not intellectual work. They were incapable of ruling themselves and could work only in the fields. The French textbooks boasted that they had brought peace and order in Vietnam.

Their main aim was economic domination in Vietnam besides replacing the Chinese cultural influence with French and civilizing them according to their own belief.

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6. Describe the events which led to the final exit of the French from Indochina.

Ans: After the Second World War, the French had to face the Vietminh, under the French-educated Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh was supported by America against the Japanese during the war. Secondly, the Vietminh were inspired by the success of the Japanese in the war. Their leader, Ho Chi Minh, started a national movement to liberate the areas held by France. In 1945 he toppled the French-controlled puppet government in Annam, under Bao Dai. In September 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independent Republic of Vietnam. He later agreed that it would be an autonomous state under the French Union. However, soon differences with the French-led to a long battle between the French and the forces of Vietminh in 1946. The Vietminh won a decisive victory at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, as the war proved too expensive for the French.

The Geneva Conference in 1954 divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel. The accord also provided for elections to be held in 1956, aimed at reuniting North and South Vietnam. France set up independent monarchies in Cambodia and Laos whose territorial integrity was to be respected by all. The Geneva Conference led to the end of the French claim to any territory in the Indochinese peninsula.

7. What were the differences of opinion between the two groups in Vietnam regarding the introduction of the French education system?

Ans: The rich and the powerful Vietnamese were influenced by the Chinese culture, and the French had to destroy this influence. To achieve this, they totally and systematically destroyed the traditional education system and established their own schools. Two suggestions were offered to solve this problem.

Suggestion 1: Some people suggested that the medium of instruction should be French. This would make the Vietnamese familiar with French culture and French civilisation. They would understand how superior the French culture was. It would also create an ‘Asiatic France’ in Vietnam to support the ‘European France’. The educated Vietnamese would support and work for France.

Suggestion 2: A second group did not agree with the ideas given above. They wanted Vietnamese to continue in the lower classes. French should be taught in higher classes and those who became proficient in the language and followed French culture would be rewarded. They would be given French citizenship.

Additional/extra questions and answers

1. What was the communist response to the United States’ peace proposals?

Answer: The Tet Offensive, which took place in January 1968, was the communist response to US peace offers.

2. In Indo-China, what was the dominant religion?

Answer: Theravada or Hinayana Buddhism is the dominant religion in this region.

3. What caused France’s claim to any land in the Indochinese peninsula to be abandoned?

Answer: The Geneva Conference ended France’s claim to any land in the Indochinese peninsula.

4. What was Thailand’s previous name?

Answer: SIAM was Thailand’s old name.

5. When did the Socialist Republic of Vietnam reunify with the rest of the country?

Answer: Vietnam was reunified on July 2, 1976, as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The city of Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

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12. What exactly was the Hoa Hao Movement? What did the French do to suppress it?

Answer: The Hoa Hao movement was a religious and anti-French movement founded by Huynh Phu So. It began in the Mekong delta region in 1939.

The French tried to suppress the movement and him, by declaring him insane and confining him in a mental institution. It’s ironic that instead of declaring Phu So insane, the doctor in the asylum became his disciple! Huynh Phu So was forced to be released by the French in 1941, but he was exiled to Laos. Many of his supporters were detained in concentration camps.

13. How did the French contribute to the development of its colony’s economy in Indo-China?

Answer: the French contribute to the development of its colony’s economy in Indo-China in the following ways:

(a) To increase cultivation, the French built canals and drained lands in the Mekong delta.
(b) The extensive irrigation system increased rice production, and rice exports to other countries began.
(c) By 1931, Vietnam had exported two-thirds of its rice production and had risen to become the world’s third-largest rice exporter.
(d) Transportation infrastructure was improved to aid rice cultivation.

14.What is the significance of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the Vietnamese struggle for independence?

Answer: Through the Ho Chi Minh Trail, we learned how the Vietnamese used their limited resources in comparison to the United States. The trail was a network of footpaths and roads that moved people and goods from the north to the south. The trail improved with each passing year, and from 1950 to 1967, approximately 20,000 North Vietnamese troops came south every month.

All along the trail, there were hospitals and support bases. Trucks and bicycles were used to transport the supplies. The bulk of the supplies, on the other hand, were carried by porters, the majority of whom were women. The women were able to carry 25 kilogrammes on their backs and 70 kilogrammes on their bicycles.

The route passed through Laos and Cambodia. Its branches led all the way to South Vietnam. The US bombing failed to destroy this trail because the Vietnamese rebuilt it quickly.

15. Write a short note on the Tet Offensive of 1968.

Answer: The Tet Offensive of 1968 (January) was the communist response to U.S. peace offers. Five major cities were attacked in an attempt to spark an uprising in South Vietnam. In Saigon, they attacked the presidential palace, radio station, airport, and US embassy. President Johnson called for peace talks and halted the bombing after their suicide squads shook US forces. 1969, however, the peace talks failed. In response, the National Liberation Front (NLF) established the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam, which was recognised immediately by the North Vietnamese Government.

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