02.09.

1945: Communists declare Vietnam independent while invoking the American Declaration of Independence

1945: Communists declare Vietnam independent while invoking the American Declaration of Independence
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Ba Đình Square in Hanoi where president Hồ Chí Minh read the Proclamation of Independence

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 2 September 1945
  • On this day in 1945, in Hanoi, communist leader Ho Chi Minh publicly read Vietnam's Declaration of Independence, allegedly before a crowd of thousands. He also managed to convince the previous Vietnamese emperor – Bao Dai – to abdicate.

Communist leader Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of Vietnam on this day in 1945.

This occurred soon after the Japanese capitulation at the end of World War II. Namely, Vietnam had previously been a French colony, but was then occupied by the Japanese.

Once the Japanese withdrew, Vietnamese communists decided to try and achieve complete independence. This entailed the overthrow of the French colonial government.

Ho Chi Minh even managed to convince the previous Vietnamese emperor – Bao Dai – to abdicate, which gave Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh organization additional legitimacy. The Vietnamese emperors were for a long time mere puppet rulers under the control of the French colonial authorities, while the aforementioned Bao Dai was practically a vassal of the Japanese Empire during World War II.

On this day Ho Chi Minh publicly read Vietnam’s Declaration of Independence, allegedly before a crowd of thousands. Interestingly, the text of the Declaration invoked the American Declaration of Independence from 1776, as well as the Declaration on the Rights of Man and the Citizen (drafted during the French Revolution). Ironically, it was the French and the Americans who would later go to war against the Vietnamese.

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