- Published: September 8, 2022
- Updated: September 8, 2022
- University / College: University of Southern California
- Level: Masters Degree
- Language: English
- Downloads: 19
Buddhist riots of 1963 A turning point to Vietnam leadership Some events that happen in history can at times be considered as turning points for their influence in the course of future events. A turning point is significant in the results it bears to the world; mostly the results are usually shocking. The Buddhist riot of 1963 is an example of such shocking events. The reason for considering the Buddhist riots of 1963 a turning point is because it attracted attention from all over the world and changed the situation in South Vietnam. In fact, the ongoing events, consequences and the reaction the riots set off manifested a change on how the current events are seen by the public.
Influence of events preceding the turning point
The major cause of the Buddhist riots was the ban to raise the Buddhist religious flag in the city of Hue by Catholic Ngo, Dinh Diem. The protesters were fighting for their religious freedom and fair treatment by the Diem’s government. In response to the protest, Diem reacted by commanding his soldiers to get rid of the unarmed civilians protesting against the ban and went on to arrest the Buddhist leaders. The use of force to stop the riots caused loss of life to many Buddhist which inflicted a lot pressure to the quest to continue their fight for freedom and fair treatment.
According to Tucker (2013), the riots took a new phase after a Vietnamese bonze openly burnt himself at a busy street in Saigon to mark the climax of the protest. The photographs of the scene and other serious demonstration attracted attention worldwide. Some communities and countries that never supported the Buddhist community in the past stepped in. for instance, John Kennedy, the American president by then, backed the Buddhist in their struggle by offering booth material and moral support. The American intervention on the issue pushed Diem to assert a martial law which he applied in raiding the masterminds of the protest. The continued support of the liberals by the American government overpowered the Diem’s government and on November 1963, he was overthrown and assassinated (DeBenedetti & Chatfield1990). Soon after Diem’s death, Kennedy was assassinated and Lylond took power as the US president.
Effects of the turning point
The assassination of Diem left a power vacuum which resulted in political disorders. In addition the country was left very poor and had to restructure its economy. In fact, the country became fully dependent on America for its survival. In addition, the liberal leaders took advantage of the unstable political situation to dominate the rural population of South Vietnam.
Diem’s overthrow and death can be solely attributed to the riots. The American intervention into Vietnamese internal affairs is yet another event that was triggered by the Buddhist riots. In fact the freedom enjoyed by the Vietnamese today has its origin from the Buddhist riots of 1963.
The continued dominance of the Diem’s government became impossible after the turning point. His government was defeated and the liberals ruled the country in small military regimes. After the riots, it was impossible for Vietnam to depend on itself.
Tucker, S. (2013). Almanac of American military history. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO.
DeBenedetti, C. & Chatfield, C. (1990). An American ordeal: the antiwar movement of the Vietnam era. Syracuse, N. Y.: Syracuse University Press.