- Created by: Alasdair
- Created on: 31-03-17 10:36
Salient facts of Cambodia
- 1954 - gained indepedence from France
- Until 1970 - governed by King Sihanouk
- He wanted to maintain CW neutrality
- Cam suffered due to Vt and US incursions
- March 1970 - Gen. Lon Nol led successful coup against Sihanouk
- Nixon carpet bombs Cambodia
- 1973 - After US left Vt, US intervention and aid ceased
- Incompetent Lon Nol regime vulnerable
- 1975 - Pol Pot's Communist govt. est. - supporters known as Khmer Rouge
- International condemnation
- Pol Pot's Chinese allies invaded Vt.
- 1993 - UN organised coalition government for Cambodia
1 of 10
How important was Sihanouk in Cambodian politics a
- Part of Fr Empire, Buddhist nation - 80% peasants and Khmer (ethnic Cambodian)
- Capital City: Phnom Penh - only 20% Khmer; rest Chinese, Vt, Laos, Thais, Islamic Cham community
- Progress hindered by traditional rule of Demi God monarch
- 1940-1945: administered by Fr under Jp control
- 1941: Norodom Sihanouk chosen by Fr as next King (18yrs)
- Sihanouk: modernist, encouraged development of political parties
- 1946: Democratic Party won Cambodia's first national election
- Later: national assembly suppressed by Sihanouk - found them too challenging
2 of 10
- Sihanouk saw Fr colonialism as best way to protect Cam from foreigners but anti-colonial movements grew, e.g. Viet Minh
- Issarak - Cambodian Independence Movement
- Viet Minh wanted to - increase number of Fr opponents; secure sancturies within Cambodia; get weapons from Bangkok transported through Cambodia; spread Communism
- 1949: 1st significant Vietnamese intervention to Cambodia - 3000 VM in Cambodia
- 1951: Khmer People's Revolution Party (KPRP) est. Anti-colonials brutal (e.g. ate parts of enemies beleiving eating their internal organs gave you their strength)
- Policies of Western colonial power had made Cam vulnerable
3 of 10
Sihanouk and Cambodian Independence
- 1952: Sihanouk dismissed democratic government and instituted personal rule - promised independence in 3 yrs
- 1954: Independence granted at Geneva Conference (followed Fr defeat at Dien Bien Phu)
- This independence was given to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia without consulting Cambodian Communists
- China: Wanted to keep US out of SE Asia so pressed VM to stay out of Cam and Laos affairs (next decade largely happened)
4 of 10
- Many Cams felt he had too much power
- Fighting in Vt affected Cam
- 1967: Cam Comm party led Cam into Civil War
5 of 10
- Opp silenced by Sihanouk - censorship, arrests, executions, rigged referendum
- March 1955: abdicated and formed People's Socialist Community (respect of Monarch, freedom to act as he wishes). Membership open to all who pledged loyalty to him.
- 1958: moves to be inclusive - young leftists admitted to party but gov brutal & corrupt
- Education improved: High schools - 1953: 8; 1967: 200.
- Education contributed to growing political fervour
- Many educated unemployed turned to Communism.
- Peasant's chronic debt
- Number of landless peasants grew: 1950: 4%; 1970: 20% - Pol Pot claims this to be vital factor in rise to power
- 1955-66 - relative calm in Cam overall
- Sihanouk had deal with VM - secretly allowed to operate on Cam-Vt border as long as they didn't interfere in Cam
- Harsh and effective repression of urban Comms by Sihanouk
- 1960: Comms in retreat
6 of 10
Reasons for NV intervention
- Johnson increased involvement in Vt
- Led to increased NV activity in Cam and destabilised Sihanouk's regime.
- Cam's finances damaged - Vt rice crops ruined so Cam rice smuggled into Vt - Sihanouk missed out on export duties as source of revenue
- Ethnic Khmer on Mekong Delta fled Saigon's regime - entered Cam
- From 1965, General Westmoreland's Search and Destroy tactics drove NV forces into Cam for sanctuary. US then persued them.
- US attacks on Ho Chi Minh Trail led to 'hundreds of people' being killed
- This coincided with Cam Comm (Khmer Rouge - Cam Reds) led by Pol Pot. After 1966, called themselves CPK - Cam Comm Party. Pol Pot anti-Vt and pro-China
7 of 10
Reasons for First Civil War 1967-1970
- 1967 onwards: CPK against Sihanouk's giv
- 1962-1966: Repression had failed to destroy Comms.
- 1966: Sihanouk allowed free elections - result very conservative. Conservative PM Lon Nol's troops angered peasants. Took peasant land and killed many.
- --> Increased influence eof anti-Vt Pol Pot - encouraged by China
- Rebellion failed -->
- Pro-Vt among Cam Comm unethiastic
- Sihanouk's response ruthess
- Rebels not large in numbers: 1969: 2000-4000; 1970: 10,000.
- Rebellions pushed Sihanouk's government to right.
8 of 10
Increased US involvement in Cambodia
- By 1969: Sihanouk believed Comms greatest threat. Moved to repair relations with US.
- Jacqueline Kennedy (JFK's widow) invited to Cambodia.
- Johnson told anti-Comm activity would be acceptable in Cam.
- JCS urged action but Johnson feared Sino-Soviet reaction. Confined to bombing border area + mine laying and reconnaissance by US soldiers dressed as Viet Cong
- 1969: Nixon - Operation Menu - over 3000 B-52 raids
- March 1969 to March 1970 = 160,000 tons of bombs on Cambodia
- 1969: Doubled minelaying and reconnaissance missions in 1969. Leads Comms to move further into Cam --> destabilises Sihanouk
9 of 10
The Overthrow of Sihanouk
- By 1970: de-stabilised within by Khmer Rouge and out by activities of Vt Comms, Saigon regime and US
- March 1970: Overthrown due to right wingers. Sihanouk in France for obesity treatment.National Assembly replaced with Pro-American faction led by Lon Nol.
- Reasons Sihanouk was overthrown:
- Cam economy in dire straits but Sihanouk extravagant
- Middle-classes disagreed with Sihanouk's policies
- Lon Nol had profitted from selling supplies to NV. Anticipatd greater gains from US.
- Lon Nol feared Sihanouk would turn on him. Encouraged by US military plus rt-wing National Assembly.
- Sihanouk out of country too long.
- Lon Nol not that popular.
10 of 10