Traditions and Patterns of Vietnamese History

by Brian Michael Jenkins


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This essay, written in 1968, views U.S. involvement in terms of Vietnamese history. The past is examined through traditions and forces that have remained fairly constant. Much of that happening in Vietnam is a continuation of historical traditions and ancient conflicts, although these are now dressed in the language of rival ideologies and viewed in the perspective of global political struggles. Recent events recall historical forces and battles discussed in this paper. They suggest, if not certain inevitability, at least persistent patterns in the conflicts of Southeast Asia. The author contrasts the prevailing influence of China with Vietnamese resistance to foreign rule, and focuses on Vietnam's incessant territorial expansion, internal dissidence, and Southern resistance to Northern domination.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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