A History of Vietnam and its People

$145 Limited inc GST / $131
A History of Vietnam and its People

<p>Think of Vietnam today and most people will still think of the “American War”. But this is only part of the Vietnamese story. In this course we will look at the rich history of Vietnam that spans


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Think of Vietnam today and most people will still think of the “American War”. But this is only part of the Vietnamese story. In this course we will look at the rich history of Vietnam that spans 2000 years. Vietnam has a rich religious and cultural heritage with the predominant Buddhist culture sharing over the centuries with Hindus, Muslims and Christians. In modern times, The French period has been more influential than the American period but both have had crucial impacts on the modern one-party communist state of today.


  • The early influences: Vietnam’s culture is a mix of many cultures. There have been Chinese, Indian and other influences, mainly as a result of invasions and occupations over many centuries. Probably the most dominant of these was the influence of China. From the 3rd century AD to the 10th century AD Chinese settlers and invaders from the north moved into the Red River Delta and set up their own form of Confucianism and administration. Add to this earlier Hindu influences, as well as Khmer and other cultural input and we have a Vietnam by 1000AD that is rich and ready to move out into the world in her own right. We look at these influences and what lasting affects they have today.
  • The French, their arrival and the Vietnamese independence movement: The French first arrived with their missionaries and then their traders, but the creation of a French empire in Indo-China did not follow the pattern of other colonialists like the British. In this lesson we look at how and why the French arrived and how they gained domination and the growth of the independence movement. The removal of the French after the Vietnamese victory at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 is crucial to an understanding of modern Vietnamese nationalism. In this lesson we look at the one hundred years leading up to this war of independence. We explore the nature of the French occupation of Vietnam and the rest of Indo-China and look at the independence movement and the effect of the Japanese occupation in the Second World War.
  • The American War: No study of Vietnam today would be complete without a study at the profound affects of the civil war and the war against the Americans and their allies. This 20 year war brought terrible suffering to a country already scarred by war but it also brought a sense of pride and completeness through the victory. But there have been long term legacies for Vietnam today in the light of this war.
  • After the war: Two thirds of people living in Vietnam today were born after the end of the war. This last lesson looks at their lives and the way that Vietnam has carved its place in Asia and the world since 1975. We look at the hard years after the war with the war in Cambodia and the war against China. We explore the reforms made in Vietnam in the late 1980s which introduced doi moi, or “economic renovation” and “market socialism” and the economic growth since then that has made Vietnam a growing economic power in the region with ever-growing links to Australia.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the evolution of Vietnamese history.
  2. Understand the foreign influences that have played out over the last 1000 years.
  3. Evaluate the relative importance of the French and American influences in modern Vietnamese history.