Ngo Dinh Diem

Essay by ipodrixHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 2006

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Question: 'Ngo Dinh Diem's rule was authoritarian, corrupt and repressive, which alienated his people.' In light of this statement, assess the role played by Ngo Dinh Diem in the political and social development of Vietnam to 1963.

Ngo Dinh Diem's role in the political and social development of Vietnam to 1963 was significant as a 'backwards step' for Vietnam. His 'authoritarian, corrupt and repressive' rule whilst in power from 1956 to 1963 prevented the reunification of Vietnam and hindered any possibility for political advancements. Ngo Dinh Diem was an oppressive ruler whose tyrannical government 'alienated his people' and destroyed political and social development in Vietnam until his death in 1963.

Ngo Dinh Diem prevented the reunification of Vietnam after the withdrawal of French Colonisation which subsequently made it difficult for Vietnam to develop politically. After being appointed as Prime Minister of South Vietnam in 1954 under nationalistic rule, and with the Americans behind his back, Diem defied the Geneva Accords in 1956 by refusing to hold a national election to unify Vietnam under one government.

Instead, he arrested over 100,000 communist and socialist supporters to eliminate his political opponents and effectively removing free speech. He then established the Republic of Vietnam or South Vietnam, under what was essentially a dictatorship with him as the president. By preventing the reunification of Vietnam, he sustained the segregation of North and South Vietnam which hindered advancement in political development.

Diem's biased and ineffective government was a backwards step for political and social development in Vietnam. Under his regime, Diem's rulings were all to consolidate his power. He gave favouritism to his immediate family, assigning positions of power to his brothers. His brother Ngo Dinh Nhu was appointed head of Police and acted as a 'secret police,' spying on those...