Historical Context of The Sympathizer

  • The Flag of South Vietnam

The 19th Century

1858 — The French Conquest of Vietnam begins at the behest of Napoleon III
1862 — France completes the conquest of the southern portion of Vietnam, creating the colony of French Cochinchina
1884 France completes its conquest of Vietnam
1887 Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are used by France to form the Indochinese Union
1897 Paul Doumer is appointed Governor-General of French Indochina and severely limits the power of the Vietnamese in the government of their country

The 20th Century

1907 The Free School of Tonkin is founded around the ideas of Vietnamese nationalism espoused by Phan Boi Chau
1910 Phan Boi Chau travels to China and establishes a government-in-exile to gain support for Vietnamese independence
1925 Phan Boi Chau is arrested by the French, convicted of treason, and placed under house arrest until his death
1930 Ho Chi Minh forms the Indochinese Communist Party
1945 The League for the Independence of Vietnam, later the Viet Minh, seize control of Hanoi and declare independence. Emperor Bao Dai abdicates the throne and swears fealty to the newly formed Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
1946 — France attempts to reclaim Vietnam and the First Indochina War ensues
1954 — The Geneva Peace Conference sees Vietnam split into the Communist North and Anti-Communist South
1955 — Bao Dai is ousted as king of Vietnam, and Ngo Dinh Diem is made president of South Vietnam
1963 — Diem is deposed in a military coup
1965 — Nguyen Van Thieu is elected president of South Vietnam
1965 — Lyndon B. Johnson orders the bombing of North Vietnam and begins sending troops into South Vietnam
1968 — The Tet Offensive begins, and the Southern and American troops begin losing ground.
1968 — Peace talks begin in Paris
1973 — The Paris Peace Accords are signed and the United States withdraws its troops from Vietnam
1975 — Saigon falls to the Viet Cong and Vietnam is unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

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William Eichler ’19

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