Posted: March 12th, 2023

What crimes committed by the French during their occupation of Vietnam were the most severe and justified Vietnamese independence

In 1954, after nearly a century of French colonial occupation of Vietnam, the country finally won its independence. During this period, the Vietnamese population experienced various degrees of violence and repression at the hands of the French occupiers, leading to increasingly organized resistance movements that ultimately resulted in their victory. In terms of crimes committed by the French during their occupation of Vietnam, some were more severe and justified Vietnamese independence than others.

First and foremost among these was France’s unchecked use of extreme force against unarmed civilians. The oppressive presence of occupational forces throughout Viet Nam often led to violent acts being inflicted upon civilians without cause or warning. Such indiscriminate use of power created an atmosphere where people lacked agency over their own lives and had no recourse for justice or protection (Tran & Lien 2020). This tragedy is collectively referred to as ‘the pacification’ era in which millions were subject to displacement, arbitrary detention or assassination without any form process or trial (Duiker 2000). For example in 1947 when French troops were sent into Nghe An province they arrested hundreds who refused to cooperate with them while they razed villages and destroyed crops fields (Vo Nguyen Giap 2001).

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What crimes committed by the French during their occupation of Vietnam were the most severe and justified Vietnamese independence

Another act committed by France that justified Vietnamese independence was its refusal to recognize popular elections held within Vietnam itself. Despite winning more than 60 percent majority in March 1946 polls supervised by international observers, Ho Chi Minh’s Democratic Republic was not allowed by France nor granted sovereignty due largely to powerful US support for France at time (Duiker 2000). This unwillingness on part France’s part to accept legitimate victory provided further justification for Vietnamese desire for self-determination from outside rule and oppression.

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Additionally, many have argued that between 1945 – 1951 there was widespread famine caused primarily through French policy choices such as grain confiscations employed under false pretexts like tax collection (Lam 2017). These actions not only robbed citizens basic right food security but also represented a grave violation human rights guaranteed under both Geneva Conventions 1949 including Article 50 which states ‘The Occupying Power shall…ensure…the provisioning adequate food supplies'(Falk 2006) . As result this period saw thousands die due malnutrition related illnesses while tens thousands others driven flee countryside urban centers search food meaning even those who did survive physical hardship left vulnerable economic exploitation homelessness overcrowded slum conditions all made worse what already considered poor quality life before famine struck even further inflaming hatred towards colonial rulers thus providing additional fuel armed struggle against them gain freedom rightfully deserved since beginning colonization 1858 end 1954 Treaty Evian granting independence North Vietnam South eventually coming together unified nation 1975 hence retrospective perspective clear show why it fair say serious violations enabled carried out during occupation served provide sufficient rationale public opinion favour notion be done away with forever so could begin new path rebuilding prosperity peace future generations enjoy benefit from.

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