land tenure

Land tenure was a principal cause of instability and conflict in rural South Vietnam. During the colonial era, land ownership became increasingly concentrated among a small, privileged landholding class, to the detriment of much of the rural population. The First Indochina War (1946-1954) led to a temporary redistribution, as landlords fled rural areas for the safety of the cities, but this changed as landlords returned to rural areas after partition. The Ngô Đình Diệm regime never successfully achieved meaningful shifts in land tenure, due to the rural insurgency as well as the regime’s need for the political support of wealthy landholding classes.

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