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Indochina Indochina is made up of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. It was colonized by the French in the late 1800's and given up in 1939. Japan tookover France’s loss after that. After Japan’s defeat in 1945, Vietnam’s patriot and communist, Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh declared Vietnam independent. After that, France came to claim their loss. The US supported France fearing the "Domino Theory" would take affect after in 1949 China fell to communism. In 1950, the US sent troops to South Korea to prevent the dominos from falling. The Vietnamese took fort Dien Bien Phoo in May of 1954, so then the French finally pulled out. That set up 2 nations North Vietnam and South Vietnam split at the 17th parallel. Ho Chi Minh was in the North and was a Communist Ngo Dinh Diem was in South and disliked communism. He argued that if there was an election to choose a leader of 1 unified nation, that Ho would not permit fair elections. Viet Cong Rebellion In 1956, Diem closed all elections, and appointed local officials. That gave him less of support. Also he didn’t win the support of the peasants, that was a major mistake... in the south Vietminh members who were located in South Vietnam formed their own communist party. Diem called them the Viet Cong meaning Vietnamese Communists. North Vietnam supported the rebellion in the early parts. In 1959 the Vietminh set up a supply route to South Vietnam through Laos and Cambodia. They were then named the Ho Chi Minh trail. Also in 1959, the first American advisors were killed during a battle. By 1960 the Vietcong had about 10,000 troops and were threatening to overthrow Diem. Then the US sent 15,100(WorldBook) more US advisors in from 1961 - 1963. The Buddhist’s also had a hard time with Diem, they felt he did not give enough religious freedom. The Buddhists also held the better part of Vietnam’s population. On June 21, 1963, an old Buddhist Monk Quang Duc lit himself on fire as a form of protest. Diem who was a Roman Catholic and his brother, performed massive arrests on Buddhists and raided Buddhist temples. Kennedy urged Diem to improve relationships with Diem, but he didn’t take his offering. Then a group of generals who were against Diem formed. On Nov. 1, 1963, the generals overthrew Diem and his brother, and Diem and Nhu were murdered.
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