of Independence Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Socialist Republic of
Vietnam) [September 2, 1945]
men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain
inalienable rights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of
statement was made in the Declaration of Independence of the United States
of America in 1776. In a broader sense, this means: All the peoples on the earth are equal from birth,
all the peoples have a right to live, to be happy and free.
of the French Revolution made in 1791 on the Rights of Man and the Citizen
also states: "All men are born free and with equal rights, and must always remain free and have equal rights."
Those are undeniable truths.
for more than eight years, the French imperialists, abusing the standard
of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, have violated our Fatherland and
oppressed our fellow-citizens. They have acted contrary to the ideals
of humanity and justice. In the field of politics, they have deprived our people of every democratic
enforced inhuman laws; they have set up three distinct political regimes
in the North, the Center and the South of Vietnam in order to wreck our
national unity and prevent our people from being united.
built more prisons than schools. They have mercilessly slain our patriots
- they have drowned our uprisings in rivers of blood. They have fettered public opinion; they have practised
obscurantism against our people. To weaken our race, they have forced us to use opium and alcohol.
In the fields
of economics, they have fleeced us to the backbone, impoverished our people,
and devastated our land.
robbed us of our rice fields, our mines, our forests, and our raw materials.
They have monopolised the issuing of bank-notes and the export trade.
invented numerous unjustifiable taxes and reduced our people, especially
our peasantry, to a state of extreme poverty.
hampered the prospering of our national bourgeoisie; they have mercilessly
exploited our workers.
In the autumn
of 1940, when the Japanese Fascists violated Indochina's territory to
establish new bases in their fight against the Allies, the French imperialists went down on their bended knees and
handed over our country to them.
that date, our people were subjected to the double yoke of the French
and the Japanese. Their sufferings and miseries increased. The result was that from the end of last year to the
beginning of this year, from Quang Tri province to the North of Vietnam, more than two million of our fellow-citizens died from
starvation. On March 9, the French troops were disarmed by the Japanese. The French colonialists either fled or surrendered,
showing that not only were they incapable of "protecting" us, but that, in the span of five years, they had
twice sold our country to the Japanese.
occasions before March 9, the Vietminh League urged the French to ally
themselves with it against the Japanese. Instead of agreeing to this proposal, the French colonialists so intensified
their terrorist activities against the Vietminh members that before fleeing they massacred a great number of our political prisoners
detained at Yen Bay and Cao Bang.
all this, our fellow-citizens have always manifested toward the French
a tolerant and humane attitude. Even after the Japanese putsch of March 1945, the Vietminh League helped many
Frenchmen to cross the frontier, rescued some of them from Japanese jails, and protected French lives and property.
autumn of 1940, our country had in fact ceased to be a French colony and
had become a Japanese possession.
Japanese had surrendered to the Allies, our whole people rose to regain
our national sovereignty and to found the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
is that we have wrested our independence from the Japanese and not from
have fled, the Japanese have capitulated, Emperor Bao Dai has abdicated.
Our people have broken the chains which for nearly a century have fettered them and have won independence for
the Fatherland. Our people at the same time have overthrown the monarchic regime that has reigned supreme for dozens of
centuries. In its place has been established the present Democratic Republic.
reasons, we, members of the Provisional Government, representing the whole
Vietnamese people, declare that from now on we break off all relations of a colonial character with France;
we repeal all the international obligation that France has so far subscribed to on behalf of Vietnam and we abolish all the special
rights the French have unlawfully acquired in our Fatherland.
Vietnamese people, animated by a common purpose, are determined to fight
to the bitter end against any attempt by the French colonialists to reconquer their country.
We are convinced
that the Allied nations which at Tehran and San Francisco have acknowledged
the principles of self-determination and equality of nations, will not refuse to acknowledge
the independence of Vietnam.
who have courageously opposed French domination for more than eighty years,
a people who have fought side by side with the Allies against the Fascists during these last years, such
a people must be free and independent.
reasons, we, members of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic
of Vietnam, solemnly declare to the world that Vietnam has the right to be a free and independent country
and in fact it is so already. The entire Vietnamese people are determined to mobilize all their physical and mental strength,
to sacrifice their lives and property in order to safeguard their independence and liberty.
Chi Minh, Selected Works (Hanoi, 1960-1962), Vol. 3, pp. 17-21.
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Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Click