The August Revolution (Vietnamese: Cách mạng tháng Tám), also called the August General Uprising (Vietnamese: Tổng Khởi nghĩa tháng Tám) by the Indochinese Communist Party and known in the West as the Vietnamese Revolution, was a revolution in Vietnam.
On August 19, 1945, the Việt Minh under Hồ Chí Minh began a revolution against French colonial rule in Vietnam. From August 19 onwards, demonstrations and uprisings against French rule broke out in cities and towns throughout Vietnam. Given Japan had surrendered to the Allies at the end of World War II, the Japanese forces in Indochina stepped aside and allowed nationalist groups to take over public buildings in most of the major cities. While the Japanese allowed the nationalist groups free run of the country, they kept former French officials imprisoned.
At the time, the Vietminh were being provided with minor supplies by the United States to fight the Japanese.
March to August
On March 9, 1945, Imperial Japan overthrew the Vichy French administration of Jean Decoux in French Indochina. French officials and soldiers were arrested. The Japanese reinstated Bảo Đại as Emperor and created a puppet government.
On April 30, 1945, the cooperation between US officials and the Viet Minh was demonstrated when Major Archimedes Patti, of the US Office of Strategic Services, met with Hồ Chí Minh and received a message of warmth and solidarity from Hồ, with shipments of arms and instructors were increased.
On August 14, 1945, the Japanese surrendered to the Allies. In Indochina, the Japanese officials took advantage of the situation to cause additional problems for the Allies. Violating the surrender agreements, they helped Vietnamese nationalist groups, including the Việt Minh, to take over public buildings in various cities.
On August 16, the National Congress opened at Tan Trao, a locality in Thái Nguyên Province, in the liberated zones. Sixty representatives from all parts of the country came to learn additional details on the order for the General Revolution. The home and foreign policies of the Revolutionary Government were mapped out and the Vietnam People's Liberation Committee, which became later the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, was created.
On August 17–18, huge demonstrations took place in the capital city of Hanoi. On August 19, 1945, Việt Minh revolutionaries successfully seized power in Hanoi, which was later made the capital of Democratic Republic of Vietnam. On August 25, 1945, in a ceremony at Huế, Bảo Ðại was forced to abdicate in favour of Hồ and the Việt Minh, and ordered to relinquish the Vietnamese imperial seal and imperial sword (symbols of imperial power) to the Viet Minh.
The Viet Minh seems to have delayed until 23 August to launch its program in Cochinchina, apparently moving at that time in response to the seizure of power by the Viet Minh in Annam and Tonkin. On 25 August 1945, in Saigon the Viet Minh sponsored a meeting at which a government entitled "Provisional Executive Committee of the Southern Vietnam" was formed. The Committee of the South, though dominated by members of the Indochinese Communist Party, purported to represent both the Viet Minh and the United National Front, and to be the southern arm of Ho Chi Minh's Hanoi government.
Their success in staging uprisings and in seizing control of most of the country by August 1945, exception in townships Móng Cái, Vĩnh Yên, Hà Giang, Lào Cai, Lai Châu. The August Revolution created a uniform government for the entire country.
Proclamation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
Hồ Chí Minh proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2, 1945. However, only a few days later Nationalist Chinese forces under General Lu Han began to occupy Việtnam north of the 16th parallel under the pretext of disarming the Japanese. The Việt Minh did not resist. In Vietnam south of the 16th parallel, a British occupation force arrived in October 1945. Both forces of occupation had been specified by the Potsdam Conference.
Hồ Chí Minh and the Việt Minh began negotiations with the French in late 1945. The Việt Minh were willing at this point to negotiate for something less than independence. Politically, they distrusted the occupying Nationalist Chinese both from ideological and historical viewpoints. In early 1946, the French army returned to northern Vietnam with the initial cooperation of the Việt Minh and rapidly reestablished its authority.
Having achieved this aim, relations between Hồ Chí Minh and the French gradually broke down. The Việt Minh then set about launching the rural insurrection that began the First Indochina War, known to the Vietnamese as the French Resistance War.
- William J. Duiker, Ho Chi Minh: A Life.
- Marr, David G. (1995) Vietnam 1945: The quest for power, Berkeley & Los Angeles, California: University of California Press.
- John T. McAlster, Jr. (1966) Vietnam: The Origins of Revolution
- Archimedes L. A. Patti, Why Viet Nam?: Prelude to America's Albatross
- "Ho Chi Minh City’s 300-year History". English.vietnamnet.vn. Retrieved 2012-10-06.