Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963

Ngô Đình Diệm was the first president of the Republic of South Vietnam. His controversial eight-year rule was marked by remarkable accomplishments and fatal shortcomings. In the early years of his rule, Diệm rose above a chaotic struggle for control to successfully centralize political power in South Vietnam, began to develop the bureaucratic and military apparatus of the new state, cultivated a powerful international patron in the United States, and brought the communist-led rural insurgency to the brink of defeat. However, a range of problems plagued his regime from the start, notably the heavy-handed nature of his development projects and his stringent repression of his political opponents. A coup against Diệm in November 1963 brought his regime and his life to an end.  The MSUG archives contain valuable materials about the era of Ngô Đình Diệm's rule in South Vietnam, most notably about his relationship with his American partners in nation building.

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