Read/review the following resources for this activity:
Textbook: Chapter 7
Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)
Select one of the following smaller nations:
Another smaller nation of your choice with instructor approval
For the initial post, address the following in relation to your selection:
Examine how Cold War policy by the main players affected the smaller nation.
Examine why democracy was not successful in that nation.
Describe the loss of personal liberties that were a result of democracy failing.
Has the nation’s political system changed since the Cold War? Explain.
Follow-Up Post Instructions
Respond to at least two peers or one peer and the instructor. At least one of your responses should be to a peer who chose an option different from yours. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification
The cold war was the most protracted geopolitical tension that lasted for nearly four decades, which claimed thousands of lives and led to the loss of billions of dollars. While the tension was between the United States and the Soviets, several smaller nations such as Vietnam were greatly affected because of their affiliation with either of the two countries. Most notably, the cold war policy instituted by the key players, the United States, led into an eruption of intra-state war in Vietnam, which subsequently undermined democracy because of the dismantling of the democratic system and loss of personal liberty, an issue that prevails to date.
Literature suggests that the cold war policy affected Vietnam by causing an eruption of intra-state war. Most notably, with the growing tension between the United States and Soviets, the former implemented a containment policy to prevent the expansion of communism (Duiker, 2009). Unfortunately, this led to the division of Vietnam, as the Northern part of the country supported communism while the southern part was non-communist. Eventually, war broke in the two regions, with Viet Cong leading attacks on Saigon, the non-communist part of the country, and the United States sending military troops into the state.
While some may argue otherwise, it appears that the conquest of the Southern non-communist region of Vietnam was the root cause of the failure of democracy in the country. As noted by Honey (1960), when Ngo Dinh Diem took charge of South Vietnam, he led the formation of a democratic constitution and a national assembly. The then founded constitution would probably have facilitated democracy in the country by establishing concrete laws to protect human rights and civil liberties. However, the dismantling of the democratic system by Viet Cong compromised the chances of democracy in the country.
One of the outcomes of a lack of democracy in Vietnam was the loss of personal liberty. This loss was exemplified by abuse of human rights such as violation of freedom of expression, speech, press, and civil liberties (Do, 2018). Most notably, critics of the Communist Party of Vietnam were severely punished, and the government intervened highly in the media.
Unfortunately, since the cold war, Vietnam’s political system has remained unchanged. As noted by Do (2018), the country still operates as a one-party system. Furthermore, the same political party that ruled about sixty years ago reigns to date.
Do, T. (2018). How far will Vietnam democratize? Thesis. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328802503_HOW_FAR_WILL_VIETNAM_DEMOCRATIZE
Duiker, W. (2009). Contemporary world history (5th ed.). Cengage Learning.
Honey, P.J. (1960). The problem of democracy in Vietnam. The World Today, 16(2), 71-79. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40393203?seq=1