Napoleon introduced a series of social and administrative reforms in the areas under his control in order to make the system more rational and efficient.
1. The Civil Code (1804) abolished all kinds of privileges based on birth, thereby establishing equality before the law and securing the right to property.
2. Napoleon simplified administrative divisions to a great extent and introduced significant reforms in this direction.
3. The feudal system was also abolished and the peasants were freed from serfdom and manorial dues. In the towns, guild restrictions were removed.
4. Further, the basic means of communication and transport facilities were improved to carry out smooth administration at all levels.
5. Peasants, artisans and new businessmen found that the introduction of uniform laws, standardized weights and measures and a common national currency enabled them to smoothly carry out the movement and exchange of goods and capital from one region to another.
NOTE - Napoleon, the French military leader gained popularity around the French Revolution (1789). The French revolutionaries, in their mission to liberate people of Europe from despotism (meaning-the use of power in a cruel and oppressive manner), were able to conquer a wide swath of territory, introducing many reforms which were already in place in France. These reforms not only intended to gain political power in various parts of Europe but were also aimed at liberating despotic rulers and establishing French control overall.
1. In the peace negotiations in Geneva that followed the French defeat, the Vietnamese were persuaded to accept the division of the country into North and South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh and the communists took power in the north while Bao Dai took power in the south.
2. However, the Bao Dai’s regime was soon overthrown by a coup led by Ngo Dinh Diem who built a repressive government. Anyone who opposed him was called a communist and was jailed and killed.
3. Ngo Dinh Diem’s repressive rule was eventually opposed by a broad opposition which was united under the banner of National Liberation Front (NLF).
4. The NLF along with the Ho Chi Minh government in the north fought for the unification of Vietnam. The U.S saw this alliance and worried by communists gaining power; it intervened and sent in troops and arms.
5. The U.S involvement in the Vietnam War eventually proved to be very costly for both the U.S as well as Vietnam because it resulted in immense loss of life and property on both sides. Many civilians were killed and lakhs of others wounded.
NOTE – The events that followed after the division of Vietnam (when it gained independence from the French colonial rule) turned it into a battlefield because of the disturbances in South Vietnam. As NLF and North fought for a unified Vietnam, the U.S was apprehensive of communism being established in Vietnam. The further involvement of U.S in the war caused immense destruction and loss which proved to be costly for both U.S as well as Vietnam.
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