Write a note on following:
(a) What was meant by the ‘civilising mission’ of the colonizers?
Answer: The colonizers thought it was the mission of the ‘advanced’ European nations to civilize the backward people. They thought their culture to be superior than the culture of the natives in the colonies. They thought since they were the advanced nations of the world, so it was their responsibility to modernize the people in the colonies.
(b) Huynh Phu So
Answer: Huynh Phu So was the founder of a nationalist movement called Hoa Hao. He performed miracles and helped the poor. His criticism against useless expenditure had a wide appeal. He also opposed the sale of child brides, gambling and the use of alcohol and opium. The French tried to suppress the movement inspired by Huynh Phu So. They declared him mad, called him the Mad Bonze, and put him in a mental asylum. But the doctor, who had to prove him mad, became his follower. Finally, he was exiled to Laos and many of his followers were sent to concentration camps.
Explain the following:
(a) Only one-third of the students in Vietnam would pass the school-leaving examinations.
Answer: The French authorities deliberately failed the students in the final year of the French examination. They did not want the Vietnamese to qualify for the higher-paying jobs. Due to this, only one-third of the students in Vietnam could pass the school-leaving examinations.
(b) The French began building canals and draining lands in the Mekong delta.
Answer: For increasing cultivation, the French began to build canals to irrigate the land in the Mekong delta. This helped in increasing rice production. The area under rice cultivation went up from 274,000 hectares in 1873 to 1.1 million hectares in 1900 and 2.2 million in 1930. Vietnam exported two-thirds of its rice production and by 1931 had become the third largest exporter of rice in the world.
(c) The government made the Saigon Native Girls School take back the students it had expelled.
Answer: When one of the girls protested against demeaning of Vietnamese culture, she was expelled by the School. This resulted in large scale protest against the school authorities. Faced with such protest, the government made the Saigon Native Girls School to take back the expelled student.
(d) Rats were most common in the modern, newly built areas of Hanoi.
Answer: The well laid sewer system provided a perfect breeding ground and hiding place for the rats. They could also easily slip in the French homes through the sewer system. hence, rats were most common in the modern, newly built areas of Hanoi.
Write an evaluation of the Vietnamese war against the US from the point of
(a) A porter on the Ho Chi Minh trail
Answer: The Ho Chi Minh Trail was an immense network of footpaths and roads. It was used to transport men and materials from the north to the south. In spite of repeated bombings to destroy the trail, it was quickly repaired. It worked as invaluable lifeline for the Vietnamese during the US occupation of Vietnam.
(b) A woman soldier
Answer: Women took active part in the struggle against US occupation. On the one hand, women formed the main part of the supply system for the Vietnamese fighters. On the other, they were also at the battlefront fighting with the US forces.
Question 1: Describe the ideas behind the Tonkin Free School. To what extent was it a typical example of colonial ideas in Vietnam?
Answer: Tonkin Free School was opened with the objective of imparting French education to the Vietnamese. This was done to prepare a large workforce which could be utilised for clerical jobs. Moreover, this was an attempt to impose the French culture on the Vietnamese.
Question 2: What was Phan Chu Trinh’s objective for Vietnam? How were his ideas different from those of Phan Boi Chau?
Answer: Phan Chu Trinh strongly differed with Phan Boi Chau. He was hostile to the monarchy and opposed the idea of resisting French with the help of court. He was highly influenced by the democratic ideals of the west. He accepted the French ideals of liberty. He wanted the French to set up legal and educational institutions, and develop agriculture and industries.
Question 3: With reference to what you have read in this chapter, discuss the influence of China on Vietnam’s culture and life.
Answer: The religious beliefs in Vietnam were a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism and local practices. Christianity was introduced by French missionaries. They were intolerant of easygoing attitude of the Vietnamese. From the eighteenth century, many religious movements turned hostile to the Western presence. Scholars Revolt of 1969 was one of the early movements against the spread of Christianity. Such revolts finally culminated in the rise of nationalism and anti-colonial feelings in Vietnam.
Question 5: Explain the causes of the US involvement in the war in Vietnam. What effect did this involvement have on life within the US itself?
Answer: The US was apprehensive that establishment of a communist regime would spark a chain reaction which could lead to formation of similar regimes in the surrounding parts of the world. In order to stop the spread of communism, the US attacked Vietnam. Most of the people in the US were highly critical of the US involvement in Vietnam. Many contemporary thinkers were of the opinion that the US should not have involved itself in a war was impossible to win. A very high number of casualties for the US services personnel further turned the public mood against US occupation of Vietnam.
Question 6: What was the role of women in the anti-imperial struggle in Vietnam? Compare this with the role of women in the nationalist struggle in India.
Answer: Women took active part in the anti-imperial struggle in Vietnam. On the other hand, women in India mainly restricted themselves to the supporting role. Congress took the services of women more for the symbolic value than for any substantial cause.
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