Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




World War II brought about the demise of colonialism. The Japanese overthrew the French Indochinese government in March 1945. Their establishment of a puppet government encouraged the Vietnamese to seek independence. Ho Chi Minh, who had a Communist background, was ready to lead his nation, and was assisted in that undertaking by the United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency. This work explores Ho Chi Minh's nationalist and Communist background along with the role that the OSS played in his rise to power in 1945.

Primary sources include U.S. Government documents and many memoirs written by the participants of this period.

It concludes that Ho Chi Minh was first a nationalist and secondarily a Communist. It also concludes that the United States had an opportunity in 1945 to greatly influence the course of Vietnam's history, but failed to do so because of other more pressing geopolitical postwar problems.

Included in

Asian History Commons