1970-1975 In Cambodia Essay

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The period between 1970 and 1975 in Cambodia was characterised largely by a brutal civil war – a power struggle between the pro-western government and the rising Cambodian communists. As well as the civil war, the Vietnam War was taking place and thus the United States was very involved in the South Eastern area of Asia. Lon Nol became the pro-western leader of Cambodia after staging a coup d’état in 1970 to overthrow Prince Norodom Sihanouk, who became leader after Cambodia gained its independence from the French. Despite his obvious lack of leadership skills, Sihanouk was idolised by the people of Cambodia, especially the peasants who made up the vast majority of the population. When Lon Nol seized control of Cambodia, it marked the beginning of a five-year long civil war between…show more content…
Poverty and unemployment became common in Cambodia due to corruption present in government forces (A). Members of the armed forces would pretend there were extra soldiers to receive more pay (F) or they would simply take other soldiers’ salaries (I). Lon Nol’s forces even sold ammunition and other supplies to the Khmer Rouge in order to make money (F, I). The levels of corruption present in the government forces were extremely high, and this meant that there was not enough money for the people of Cambodia, thus poverty, unemployment and starvation increased. Lon Nol lost support because he failed to provide for the people. The people turned to the Khmer Rouge, who, according to source C had “readiness to work hard in the fields, lack of corruption and concern for the peasants’ welfare”. Thus it is shown that Lon Nol and the corruption in the government aided the Khmer Rouge to rise to power, simply because the people were suffering and turned to a more promising form of
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