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Economic Impact of The Vietnam War on Vietnam

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Vietnam Essay

Before the Cold War, the majority of Vietnam was under French rule. Therefore, Vietnam had no established government, and was a colony. Of course, there was a lot of French influence. A influence that the French brought with them was Roman Catholicism, which helped grow the already existing religion in Vietnam. Before the Cold War, the economy was mostly based on agriculture, with exports of tobacco, indigo, tea, and coffee. Today, agriculture is a large part of Vietnam’s economy.

After World War II, a communist movement was formed and its goal was to create independence from French rule. The French were finally defeated and the Geneva Accords of 1954 ended the colonial rule. Vietnam was now divided at the 17th parallel north, with North and South Vietnam having opposing views on what the national government should be. North Vietnam was controlled by communists, while the South was a republic. While the U.S. was supplying military aid to the South, North Vietnam attacked the South, sparking the Vietnam War. However, the U.S. withdrew its troops late in the war leaving the South much weaker. The communist North soon took the capital of South Vietnam, which surrendered. Both sides united under a communist single party state.

These events did not come without consequences. Around a million and a half were killed or wounded during the Vietnam War. Even after the war, Vietnam’s people were still affected by the war. Agent Orange, a devastating cocktail of chemicals meant to kill plants, was used in the war. As a result, millions of acres of forests and crops were killed. The deadly chemicals caused cancer and other illnesses in veterans and Vietnamese citizens.

Ho Chi Minh was a leader of North Vietnam. Before the war, he supported the Vietnamese nationalist cause and formed the Viet Minh to help fight Vietnam’s independence from France. Ngo Dinh Diem was a leader of South Vietnam. Diem was a Catholic, which was a problem because the majority of the South was Buddhist. He ruled with an iron fist and imprisoned and killed all political enemies. Eventually, more than half of the South was against him, which convinced the U.S. to put him out of power. A C.I.A. supported coup took place and Diem was assassinated, leaving South Vietnam without a stable government. It has never been more vulnerable to North Vietnam.

The Vietnam War devastated the economy and general stability of Vietnam. Despite this, the nation thrived and grew shortly after. Relations with the U.S. improved, with a trade embargo lifted and diplomatic relations restored. The economy has been one of the fastest growing in the world but the communist party still has control over it. Today, Vietnam is a significant exporter of agriculture and a manufacturer. However, there is still poverty in many areas.

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Economic Impact of the Vietnam War on Vietnam. (2019, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from
“Economic Impact of the Vietnam War on Vietnam.” GradesFixer, 26 Apr. 2019,
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