The Democratic Republic of Vietnam
(DRVN), or less commonly, Vietnamese Democratic Republic (Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cộng Hòa) was a country
on the northern half of Vietnam
. It was proclaimed by Hồ Chí Minh
in Hà Nội
on September 2
with a declaration of independence
, following the August Revolution
, as a communist
provisional government. It gathered Tonkin
, provinces of the French Indochina
. North Vietnam won the Second Indochina War, which is referred to outside the region as the "Vietnam Conflict", the "war in Viet Nam" , or more simply, "Vietnam
". The government of North Vietnam took over South Vietnam
and it became the larger Vietnam
that exists today with the same political system and organization.
Partition of Indochina
Following the partition of Vietnam in 1954 at the end of the First Indochina War
, thousands of Vietnamese migrated to either the North and to the South. For example, an estimated 800,000 Catholics moved south. The Catholic migration is attributed to perceived persecution of Catholics
by the North Vietnamese government, as well as scare campaigns employed by the Saigon government of the Catholic Ngo Dinh Diem
. Concurrently, an estimated 130,000 people from South Việtnam who supported the Viet Minh headed for the North with the aid of Polish and Soviet ships.
Between 1953 and 1956, the DRVN government instituted various agrarian reforms, including land redistribution. Large landowners were publicly denounced as landlords (địa chủ), and their land distributed to poor and middle peasants.
A literary movement called Nhân văn-Giai phẩm (from the names of the two magazines which started the movement) attempted to encourage the democratization of the country and the free expression of thought.
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) capital was Hà Nội
and its government was led by the left-nationalist Vietnam Workers' Party, which had been formed in opposition to foreign (French and Japanese) involvement in the territory of Vietnam.
In December 1960, the Vietnam Workers' Party co-initiated and began working within the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (referred to by the South as the Việt Cộng) which was organized to support reunification and oppose the government of South Vietnam. After August 1964, this was expanded to armed opposition to the military presence and operations of the United States in the southern areas of Vietnam. From at least 1965 onwards, both China and the Soviet Union provided aid to North Vietnam in support of its military activities; known in the West as the Vietnam War and in Vietnam as the American War.
In June 1969, in the South, the NLF formed a Provisional Revolutionary Government in order to present an organized alternative government to the international community.
In addition to the NLF, other nationalist insurgencies also operated within neighboring Laos and Cambodia, both formerly part of the French colonial territory of Indochina.
The Fall of Saigon
With the fall of Saigon to National Liberation Front and regular North Vietnamese armed forces on April 30, 1975, political authority within South Vietnam was assumed by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam. This government merged with Democratic Republic of Vietnam on July 2, 1976, to form a single nation officially called the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Cộng Hoà Xã Hội Chủ Nghĩa Việt Nam), or more commonly known as Việt Nam.