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Literature on the History of South East Asia
Vietnam North Vietnam
First posted on December 20th 2004, last revised on December 14th 2013

NARRATIVE . References : Online Secondary Sources . Online Primary Sources . Bibliographic and Print Sources

For the time before 1802, see Champa, Cochinchina, Annam
For 1802-1859/1885, see Cochinchina, Vietnam 1802-1885
For 1859/1885-1954, see French Cochinchina 1859-1954, French Annam 1885-1954, French Indochina 1887-1954
For since 1975, see History of Vietnam
see also History of Mainland Southeast Asia

For the country's earlier history, see French Annam, French Cochinchina, French Indochina
1954-1963 . 1963-1975
For the country's later history, see History of Vietnam

The Creation of the Republic of Vietnam at the Geneva Conference of 1954, the partition of French Indochina into 4 independent states - Laos, Cambodia, a State of Vietnam (i.e. South Vietnam) and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Communist North Vietnam) was decided. Vietnam was partitioned at the 17th degree northern latitude.
Foreign Policy . In 1954 SEATO extended the States of Cambodia and Laos and the free territory under the jurisdiction of the State of Vietnam into the area where SEATO responsibilities might apply; but SEATO never interfered in the Indochina Wars, because SEATO interference required unaminity which was never reached.
The Republic of Vietnam maintained diplomatic relations with Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, the Republic of China (Taiwan), France, the FR Germany, Italy, the Ivory Coast, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Laos, Madagascar, the Federation of Malaya, Mali, Morocco, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Senegal, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. (StYB 1960-61 p.1569).
Administration . In 1955 the State of Vietnam became the Republic of Vietnam, capital Saigon. Emperor Bao Dai was deposed in a 1955 referendum. Following the election of 1955, Ngo Dinh Diem assumed the presidency. A constitution was promulgated in 1956. All-Vietnamese elections, scheduled for 1956 by the Geneva Accords, were not held. A coup attempt in 1960 failed; in 1962 an air force pilot dropped bombs on the presidential palace. In a 1963 coup, finally, President Diem was ousted and assassinated.
Domestic Policies . President Diem was a nepotist and favoured Catholicism over Buddhism. Catholics were treated preferentially when it came to hiring for the state service, promotions; Catholics were exempted from a form of corvee labour the government imposed on its citizens. In 1963, Buddhist monk expressed his protest against the government's religious policy by setting himself on fire. This case of self-immolation made headlines the world over. President Diem's Catholicism affected policies and legislation; brothels and opium dens were closed, divorce and abortion made illegal (Wikipedia : Diem). The country's ethnic Chinese minority, the Hoa, werre compelled to vietnamize their names.
President Diem was anti-Communist; real and perceived Communists were exposed to arrest, torture and even execution; the number of victims of politically motivated killings by the government is estimated at 50,000 (Wikipedia : Diem).
President Diem undid a land reformimplemented by the Vietminh during the war against the French, and in 1956 reluctantly had a law passed which limited the amount of land an individual could own, freeing land to be distributed to peasants. Land owned by the Catholic Church was exempted. Only 13 % of the land in Vietnam was redistributed; the peasants complained about the high costs of the land offered in the process.
President Diem ordered the inhabitants of the Central Highlands to be resettled in strategic hamlets (1961ff).
Civil War . When the all-Vietnamese elections scheduled for 1956 were not held in South Vietnam, the country's Communists vowed to take up violent resistance. In 1960 the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam was established (supported by the North).
The Economy . In 1955 the Republic of Vietnam introduced the (South) Vietnamese Dong, replacing the Indochina Piaster; banknotes were issued by the National Bank of Vietnam (South).
In 1954, South Vietnam produced 2.3 million metric tons of rice, in 1963 5.2 million metric tons (IHS p.203).
Social History . In 1959 the population of the Republic of Vietnam was estimated at 13.8 million, including 126,000 Chinese, 231,000 Cambodians and 12,000 French (StYB 1961-62 p.1565).
Cultural History . South Vietnamese athletes participated in the Summer Olympics in Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960.

Administration . On Nov. 2nd 1963 President Diem was ousted in a military coup d'etat. A Revolutionary Military Committee took over, on August 27th replaced by a Provisional Leadership Committee. Elections were held in 1964. Until June 14th 1965, the leaders changed frequently; from 1965 to 1975 Nguyen Van Thieu held the position of Chairman of the Provisional (since 1968 National) Leadership Committee. A new, specifically anti-Communist constitution was adopted in 1967.
In 1969 the South Vietnamese Communists established the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Vietnam.
Foreign Policy and Vietnam War . The Republic of Vietnam increasingly depended on U.S. financial, technical and military aid. From 1964 onward the Vietnam War escalated; North Vietnam was actively involved the rebellion of South Vietnamese communists; Cambodia pursued a policy benevolent to the rebels and in 1963 cut diplomatic relations with South Vietnam. The USSR, the PR China and the Communist bloc supported the North and the rebels in the South. In 1968 the Communists temporarily managed to get fighters on the roof of the U.S. embassy.
In the Vietnam War, on the side of the Republic of Vietnam soldiers from the U.S., Australia (1962-1973), New Zealand (1962-1973), the Republic of Korea (1964-1973), the Philippines and Thailand (1965-1971) fought. Negotiations between the U.S. and the P.R. China, beginning in 1971, began a process of deescalation. The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 between the Republic of Vietnam (the South), the U.S., the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (the North) and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (Communists) resulted in a truce which permitted the U.S. and other western nations to withdraw their troops. In 1975 the Republic of Vietnam fell in a quick campaign (Operation Ho Chi Minh).
Vietnam maintained diplomatic relationd with Australia, Belgium, the FR Germany, Italy, the Ivory Coast, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Laos, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Senegal, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S. (StYB 1970-1971 p.1478).
The Economy . In 1963, South Vietnam produced 5.3 million metric tons of rice, in 1973 7.0 million metric tons (IHS p.203).
The extensive usage of the defoliant Agent Orange by the U.S. airforce did not only have the immediate effect of making troop movements on the ground visible, but left large tracts of land intoxicated and thus unfit for rice cultivation.
Social History . The population of South Vietnam, for 1965, was estimated at 15.1 million, including 677,000 Montagnards and 454,000 Cambodians. In these figures, Vietnam's minority of ethnic Chinese, the Hoa, was included in the Vietnamese population. There were c.800,000 refugees from the North in the country (StYB 1970-1971 p.1475).
The war produced internal displacement. Jan Lahmeyer gives the population of the agglomeration of Saigon for 1960 as 1.1 million, for 1968 as 1.25 million, for 1970 as 2 million and for 1973 as 1.76 million.
An estimated 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers were killed during the Vietnam War; the number of South Vietnamese civilian dead, due to the war, is estimated at 2 million.
Cultural History . In 1965 television broadcasting began in South Vietnam. South Vietnamese athletes participated in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo 1964, Mexico City 1968 and Munich 1972.

Historical Atlas : Vietnam Page

Students' Paper : Son, Bo Kyung, The History of Persecution of the Buddhist Faith (2011)
Students' Paper : Kim, Youngmin, The South Vietnamese Economy During the Vietnam War, 1954-1975

Country Profiles . Links . Organizations . Accounts of History . Politics . Military History . Economic History . Social History . Ethnography
History of Religion . Regional History . Local History . Institutions . Culture . Biography . Environmental History . Others
Country Profiles Modern from Wikipedia (South Vietnam)
from CIA World Factbook Country : Vietnam
from BBC News (Vietnam)
from World Desk Reference (Vietnam)
Library of Congress Country Studies : Vietnam
Article : Republique du Vietnam, from Wikipedia French edition
Links General Category : South Vietnam, from Wikipedia
from Univ. Oregon, Asian Studies
on History
Organizations Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences
Vietnamese Studies Group
Vietnam Center and Archive, at TTU
Vietnam War Historical Society
Historical Dictionaries
Timelines Timeline Vietnam, 1930-2002, from BBC News; another one from Ask Asia (206 BCE - 1073)
Accounts of History Modern History of Vietnam, from Lonely Planet, from Asia Tours, 6 chapters; from World Travel Guide, from Vietnam, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; from Vietnam Online
History of Vietnam, from Vietnam Tourism, 5 chapters, several sub-chapters
Article History of Vietnam, from Wikipedia
Specific Periods Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History : Viet Cong Invade American Embassy; 1968 Tet Offensive
J. Llewellyn et al., South Vietnam under Ngo Dinh Diem
Historiography L.T. Bui, Suspended futures : the Vietnamization of South Vietnamese history and memory, thesis Univ. of California San Diego 2011
Politics Article : Viet Cong, from Wikipedia
Robert Toppmiller, The Buddhist Crisis of 1964, Selected Papers in Asian Studies 1996
Military See here
Vietnam Wars Internet Project, links, documents, images, maps etc.
Orders, Decorations and Medals : South Vietnam
Vietnam Service 1962-1973, from Naval Historical Center
B. Greiner, Case Study : The March 1968 Massacre in My Lai 4 and My Khe 4, from Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence
B.C. Nalty, Air War Over South Vietnam, 1968-1975 2000, IA
M.C. Conley, Communist insurgent infrastructure in South Vietnam 1967, IA
J.L. Collins, The Development and Training of the South Vietnamese Army, 1950-1972 1991
A Brief History of the Australian Forces in Vietnam 1962-1972
M.D. Pinard, The American and South Vietnamese Pacification Efforts during the Vietnam War, thesis Louisiana State 2002
Economy & Finances A Global History of Currencies : Vietnam
Article : Economy of the Republic of Vietnam, Wikipedia
T. Hallinan, Economic Prospects of the Republic of Vietnam, 1969
T.N. Long, Capital needs in the agriculture of South Vietnam 1976, IA
M. Tomizaki et al., Economic Development of South Viet Nam, 1962; 6 page English summary of a 253 page Japanese publication
E.A. Smyth, The Effect of the War on the South Vietnamese Economy, thesis Naval Postgraduate School 1970
M. Masur, People of Plenty : American Cultural and Economic Programs in South Vietnam, 1954-1963, 2002
T.V. Tho, Economic development in Vietnam during the second half of the 20th century: How to avoid the danger of lagging behind, Chapter 2 in The Vietnamese Economy: Awakening the dorming dragon, ed. by Binh Tran Nam et al., 2003
USAID, United States Economic Assistance to South Vietnam 1954-75, 1975
Dao The Tuan, Vietnam. Consecutive agrarian reforms and success in family farming, aGter 2007
M.A. Kocher, Human Ecology and Civil War, ch.III : War in the Hamlets: Human Ecology and the Vietnam War
Ethnography Languages of Vietnam (103), from Ethnologue
Minorities at Risk, scroll down for Vietnam - Chinese, Montagnards
List of Ethnic Groups in Vietnam, from Wikipedia
M.F. Cohen, "Bring security to the people and not the people to security": security, refugee, and ethnic minority policies and implementation in Vietnam's central highlands, 1968-1975, thesis Kansas State 2011
Religion Chronology of Catholic Dioceses : Vietnam
History of Buddhism in Vietnam, by L. Clark, S. Brown
Religions in Vietnam, from Vietnamese Culture
Catholicism in Vietnam, by Dang Anh Tuan
Catholic Church in Socialist Republic of Vietnam, from GCatholic
Robert Toppmiller, The Buddhist Crisis of 1964, Selected Papers in Asian Studies 1996
Article : Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City, from Wikipedia
Sacred Texts : Roman Catholicism in South Vietnam
P. Hansen, The Virgin heads South: Northern Catholic Refugees in South Vietnam, 1954-64, thesis Melbourne College of Divinity 2009
Mae Chee Huynh Kim Lan, A Study on Theravada Buddhism in Vietnam, thesis Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya Univ. 2010
History of Regions C.G.C. Hermans, Tumultuous Tides. Explaining and Understanding the Perpetuation of the South China Sea Conflict, thesis Leiden 2012
Local History History of Saigon, from Yahoo Travel; from HVVT, from Wikipedia
History of Hue, from Wikipedia
Institutions Vietnam, from Airline History
Environmental History B. Edmoundson, Anatomy of a Tragedy: Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, thesis Columbia 2012
War Legacies Project, Environmental Impacts of Agent Orange in Vietnam

Historical Data . Statistical Data . Documents Newspapers . Yearbooks . Image Databanks . Archival Deposits . Laws . Historiography
Document Collections . Historical Maps . Historical Encyclopedia Articles . Travelogues . Institutions . National Symbols
Historical Data Lists of Statesmen from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon), scroll down; from Rulers (B. Schemmel), scroll down
Photos of Leaders of Vietnam, posted by Vern Weitzel (COOMBS)
Lists of Ambassadors U.S. Ambassadors to South Vietnam, from NNDB
Lists of Bishops
Statistical Data Responsible Institution
Population Figures Historical Population Statistics : Vietnam, from Population Statistics at Univ. Utrecht
Documents Historical Newspapers
Online Yearbooks - South Vietnam Entries
Newsreels, Films Indisch Filmarchief - Netherlands Indies Movies Archive
British Pathe
Wochenschau-Archiv (in German)
Archief Beeld en Geluid : Polygoon (in Dutch)
Image Databanks License Plates : Vietnam, Historical, from Francoplaque
Eddie Adams, Man suspected of being a Vietcong being shot in the street, Feb. 1 1968
Nick Ut, Photo of Napalm Girl, June 8 1972
Wikipedia Article U.S. Embassy Saigon : Tet Offensive has several photos of the Viet Cong attack, 31 Jan. to 1 Feb. 1968
Archival Deposits National Security Archive, search for Vietnam
Search CIA Released Documents for Vietnam
Document Collections Indochina - Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Documents 1950-1964, from Avalon Project at Yale Law School
Documents : Vietnam, from CEAS at UCLA
Documents : Vietnam Wars, from Vietnam Wars Internet Project
Documents related to the Vietnam War, from Mt. Holyoke (has magazine articles from 1824 onward, documents from 1940 onward)
A Selection of Documents in Vietnamese History, translated into English (1945-1992), posted by Vern Weitzel (COOMBS)
Context : Kennedy and Foreign Policy, scroll down for Vietnam Document Trail
Individual Documents A "white book" published by the government of South Vietnam : Communist aggression against the Republic of Viet-nam 1964, IA
Land reform failures in Communist North Vietnam 1956 (S. Vietnamese propaganda), IA
Viet Cong Pamphlet : The NFL of South Vietnam : the only genuine and legal representative of the South Vietnam people 1965, IA
U.S. Committee to Aid the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, Basic structure of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam 1965, Personalities of the Liberation movement of South Vietnam 1965, South Vietnam in struggle, 1968, IA
Nationaal Archief (NL), Letter by Dutch Prime Minister de Quay to Vietnamese President Diem June 1 1962, expressing the Dutch government's support of Vietnam vis-a-vis Communist Infiltration, in Dutch
Historical Maps click WHKMLA Historical Atlas, Vietnam Page
Map : Indochina, ethnolinguistic groups, 1970, from Perry Castaneda Library, UTexas
Maps on Vietnamese History, posted by Vern Weitzel (COOMBS)
Encyclopedia Entries
Parliamentary Debates Hansard (British Parliament)
Tour Guides Vietnam Tourist Organisation, Visit Fascinating Vietnam 1961, IA
Institutions Archives
Libraries National Library of Vietnam, page in Vietnamese
National Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms Flag, from FOTW
Coins, Banknotes Banknotes of South Vietnam, from World Currency Museum; of <South Vietnam, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money
Coins, from Zeno

Bibliographies . Online Libraries . Thesis Servers . Online Journals . General Accounts . Specific Topics . Historical Dictionaries . Statistical Data . Yearbooks
Bibliographies general Search ISBN Database
Search RHS Bibliography
UK National Archive Online Library
Search DBNG for Siak etc.
C. Polin, Recommended books from and about Vietnam 1966, tendentious, pro-Vietcong
Online Libraries general Internet Archives
Gutenberg Library Online
Thesis Server Open Access Theses and Dissertations
Online Journals Directory of Open Access Journals
Electronic Journals Online
General Accounts Nicholas Tarling, The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, 4 vol.s, Cambridge : UP (1992) 1999, KMLA Lib.Sign. 959 T188c
Stanley Karnow, Vietnam : a History, Penguin (1985) 1991, KMLA Lib.Sign. 959.704 K18v
Specific Periods Marvin E. Gettleman (ed.), Vietnam. History, Documents, and Opinions on a Major World Crisis, Greenwich : Fawcett Crest 1965 [G]
Allan R. Millett, A Short History of the Vietnam War, Bloomington : Indiana UP 1978 [G]
Specific Topics Phan Phat Huon, History of the Catholic Church in Vietnam, Vol.1 : 1533-1960, Long Beach :Cuu The Tung Thu 2000 [G]
Marvin E. Gettleman (ed.), Vietnam. History, Documjents, and Opinions on a Major World Crisis, Grenwich : Fawcett Crest 1965 [G]
Historical Dictionaries William J. Duiker, Historical Dictionary of Vietnam, Metuchen NJ : Scarecrow 1989, 269 pp. [G]
Spencer C. Tucker, The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, A Political, Social & Military History, Oxford : UP 1998 [G]
Historical Atlasses Jan M. Pluvier, Historical Atlas of Southeast Asia, Leiden : Brill 1995 [G]
Statistical Data IHS : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics. Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, London : Palgrave 2003 [G]
Article : South Vietnam, in : The World in Figures 1st ed. 1976 pp.204-205 [G]
Yearbook Entries Britannica Book of the Year Vietnam, 1956 pp.733-734, 1957 pp.796-797, 1958 p.737, 1959 p.736, 1960 pp.735-736, 1961 pp.737-738, 1962 pp.726-728, 1963 p.842, 1964 pp.856-857, 1965 pp.857-859, 1966 pp.797-801, 1967 pp.794-798, 1968 pp.798-802, 1969 pp.790-795, 1970 pp.788-793, 1971 pp.771-775, 1972 pp.725-729, 1973 pp.723-728, 1974 pp.720-726, 1975 pp.727-729, 1976 pp.725-728 [G]
Statesman's Year-Book (South) Vietnam, 1970-1971 pp. 1473-1479, 1975-1976 pp. 1471-1476 [G]
Americana Annual Vietnam, 1957 pp.827-828, 1961 pp.811-812, 1962 pp.818-820, 1963 pp.727-730, 1964 pp.710-713, 1965 pp.733-736, 1967 pp.734-739, 1968 pp.731-738, 1969 pp.735-742, 1970 pp.736-742, 1971 pp.741-743, 1972 pp.739-741, 1973 pp.737-739, 1974 pp.647-649, 1976 pp.103, 588-591 [G]
YB on Int'l Communist Affairs Republic of Vietnam 1968 pp.663-681, 1973 pp.567-579, 1974 pp.559-574

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