Ho Chi Minh Vietnam Speech Analysis

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Vietnam was under the control of the French in the 19th century, and the Japanese from 1940s onwards, although the French still had nominal power. Therefore, when the Japanese left Vietnam after surrendering, Ho Chi Minh seized this chance to proclaim independence for North Vietnam, hence resulting in the birth of this speech . Ho was and is still a widely known figure, as he founded the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and led Vietminh in their fight against the Japanese until 1945, and the French, in the battle at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 . Therefore, due to Ho’s popularity domestically and internationally, this speech was not only for the people of Vietnam, but also for international figures, intended to convince them that Vietnam’s independence…show more content…
Therefore, Ho had to put down the French and Japanese harshly, citing the war crimes that they have committed against the Vietnamese, to justify Vietnam’s “right to be a free and independent country” .

Ho, through this speech, had to unite his people as one, and justify the country’s independence domestically and internationally because Vietnam was in a limbo state when Japan left and the French had not yet returned. Domestically, when delivering the speech, Ho condemned the actions of the French and Japanese harshly in an attempt to unite the people. For instance, he exaggerated the war crimes that the French enacted on them, such as forcing them to use opium, separating Vietnam into different regimes, and wrecking their unity . However, we must also consider the long-term gains that the French had given Vietnam. For instance, some of the French people “dedicated themselves to scholarship, education, medicine, and the arts with the willing collaboration of many Vietnamese.” This shows that the French did contribute to the growth of Vietnam in certain areas, despite their cruelty towards them, and this should not be denied. However, we cannot
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This contributed to the source’s skewed perspective, by not considering the perspective of the French who actually contributed to Vietnam’s growth, but those gains were only seen in the long term. Also, the harsh tone that Ho adopts in his speech causes it to be considered less useful, as primary sources generally allow readers to gain knowledge of what happened then. However, because of Ho’s motive, which is to bring to light the cruelty of the French, he would not be fully honest about what the Vietnamese have done. This can be proven by the fact that the Vietnamese communist party sought to “accelerate recruitment, to build “base areas” in north-central Vietnam, and, in 1944, to create the nucleus of a Communist-directed guerrilla army.” This shows that the Vietnamese also played a part in provoking the French, hence contributing to the bias of the source, as Ho did not mention it. However, this would not be much of a problem, as we are able to rely on other sources that are more credible and less bias to understand what happened during that period of time from either the French perspective or from an outsider’s perspective. Therefore, primary sources have to be read critically and its information has to be
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