Revolution in the Village: Tradition and Transformation in North Vietnam, 1925-1988

Revolution in the Village: Tradition and Transformation in North Vietnam, 1925-1988

Revolution in the Village: Tradition and Transformation in North Vietnam, 1925-1988

Revolution in the Village: Tradition and Transformation in North Vietnam, 1925-1988

Excerpt

ON FEBRUARY 10, 1930, the Ministry of Colonies in Paris received a "most urgent" cable reporting that two Vietnamese companies in the colonial infantry had revolted in Yen-Bay, a town located 153 kilometers. northeast of Hanoi (AOM-P-NF, 322-2614). Other "urgent" cables reported armed violence in the northern provinces of Phu-Tho, Thai-Binh, and Hai-Duong, as well as bombing incidents at colonial government buildings in Hanoi. The initial report of three casualties among the ranking French officers in Yen-Bay was subsequently revised upward to ten. The revolt received heavy coverage in the press of both the French metropolis and the Far Eastern colony. Most accounts initially blamed the uprising on communist agitation. However, it was not until three months later that the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP) launched its own movement -- a fifteen-month insurrection in which half a million Vietnamese in twenty-five provinces actively participated. The short-lived Yen-Bay precursor of the ICP- led soviet movement was actually organized by the Vietnamese Nationalist Party (VNP, Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang). It marked the beginning of a period of unrest in which members of the French-educated intelligentsia played, for the first time, an active role in Vietnamese anticolonialist movements.

The unfolding of the Yen-Bay drama had a profound significance for the members of the village of Son-Duong, at that time in the province of Phu-Tho. It was in this village that a large number of the bombs for . . .

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