The history of Vietnam is one of great struggle and conflict. For centuries the vietnamese people have had no choice but to change their society by force in order to gain their own freedom and independence. Pivitol events in Vietnamese history such as the Battle of Bach Dang in 939 and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 are examples of how the conflict theory brought change to Vietnamese society and culture. For centuries Vietnam had been under Chinese rule. The Vietnamese people were an oppressed society and were exploited by the Chinese.
Forced labour was brought upon the Vietnamese people, and there were many tyrannical Chinese governers along with constant demands of tribute for the Chinese rulers. There had been many revolts by the Vietnamese people but they had all been crushed by the Chinese. In 939 Vietnamese forces led by Ngo Qugen defeated the Chinese in the Battle of Bach Dang. The naval strategy used by the Vietnamese was innovative and effective. Wooden poles with sharp iron tips were placed into the river bed. During high tide the poles became invisible.
It is then the Vietnamese lured the Chinese ships into the river. Eventually low tide came and the enemy ships were impaled and destroyed. This was how Vietnam changed their society, the only way they could, through conflict. The oppressed and impoverished people of Vietnam had no resources other than force to over throw the Chinese in order for them to gain independence. Ngo Qugen pronounced himself kind after Chinese defeat. Peace in Vietnam was only temporary. After the death of king Ngo Qugen in 944 civil war broke out.
Finally in 968 Dihn Bo Lihn tamed Vietnamese society and became king. Due to the recent civil unrest Vietnam had since become vassal state. Which is a state that provides military assistance to the dominant state (being China) when requested to do so, it sometimes includes paying tribute to said dominant state. Dihn Bo Lihn struck a deal with China through his diplomatic ties. Chinese troops and administrators would leave as long as Vietnam accepted the Chinese legal system, foreign policy and lunar calendar. Vietnam was a soveriegn nation until 18th century.
This dramatic change which occurred in less than 25 years is all due to the conflict theory. Without the Battle of Bach Dang it is possible that Vietnam could still be under Chinese rule and the people would continue to be exploited. The French colonized Vietnam in two phases. The first occuring between 1859-1862 by occupying Saigon and surrounding areas in Mekong. In 1883 they annexed the Hanoi and Tonkin regions. In the early years of French rule, French administrators planned to change Vietnam socially, politically and economically.
No respect was given to the Vietnamese people or their culture. Court officials ( called manderines ) were forced to report to colonial officials instead of the king, diminishing much of the kings power and role in society. High costs of colonial administrators caused the French to put high taxes on salt, opium, alcohol and land. Forced labour was also re introduced. French rule had left the Vietnamese people and their culture impoverished and very much opressed. By 1940 half of Vietnamese's population was landless. This is was one of the many crippling effects of French colonial rule in Vietnam.
Although there had been many uprisings, protests and guerrilla groups formed to attempt to over throw the French, none were successful, and all attempts were crushed by the French military. In the early 20th Century many more national groups formed. Their were pleads for independence and for Vietnam's own constitution, but they were all dismissed. It wasn't until Ho Chi Minh established the Indo-Chinese Communist Party and the League for the Independence of Vietnamese ( Vietminh ), that the French started to recognise a real threat to their rule of Vietnam.
In World War II France had to agree to allow Japan to occupy Vietnam. The Vietminh, with assistance from the American military, forced Japan out of Vietnam. At the end of the war Vietminh took control of the South of Vietnam and the French attempted to re-occupy the North. Their was war between the two powers that took place between 1946- 1954. The French were finally defeated by the Vietnamese at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Once again Vietnam was declared independent from all colonial rule.
This is another example of the conflict theory achieving great change within a society. Change in society is inevitable. Especially in Vietnamese history. The conflict theory has proved that people power combined with great force and will power is all that is needed to achieve immense change in society. If it wasn't for the method of agression Vietnam along with many other society's and cultures would not be where they are today, and colonial rule would still be a very real reality to many oppressed and exploited peoples.