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Unit 6: Modern World History

Lesson B: 20th Century Global Politics - Decolonization

Activity 6: Times of Change

Starting in the mid-1980s, Vietnam began economic reforms. This set of reforms was known as Doi Moi. Like other former communist regimes, Vietnam realized that the original communist system did not work as well as planned. The political leadership changed from the older, conservative groups to a group that embraced more change.

As a result, Vietnam began to experiment with a combination of capitalism and private enterprise. Additionally, Vietnam began to open its borders to travelers. By 1995, it had reestablished formal diplomatic relations with the United States and most of the rest of the world.

Emerging from the isolation of previous years, Vietnam joined a regional organization to deal with issues in Asia called the (Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)). By 2000, Vietnam had established diplomatic relations with most countries. In 2007, Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization.

Despite its efforts to be part of the international community, Vietnam was condemned in a 2004 report of Human Rights Practices. The United States Department of State said that Vietnam's human rights record was "poor" and cited the continuation of "serious abuses." According to the report, the government has imposed restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and freedom of association. Vietnam does not allow non-violent protests against the government. As a result, Vietnam has become a country where the people have had greater access to material wealth, but the government has not allowed many freedoms or political rights.

Directions: Examine the images in Documents 5 through 8 of modern day Vietnam to record information on your Student Resource: Decolonization Case Study Graphic Organizer.

Document 5: Ho Chi Minh Downtown Area at Night           Document 6: Coastal city of Nha Trang
Document 7: rice crops           Document 8: Street market in Vietnam
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Written Activity - Notebook

Record the document and information gathered on your Student Resource: Decolonization Case Study. Be sure to think about the following questions as you record information.

  • What type of economy does Vietnam have?
  • Who controls the production of goods and services?
  • How do the pictures show a modern country?