Explain why and how Laos came under communist rule in the period 1954 to 1975. How successful had the government been in rebuilding Laos by the end of the twentieth century?

During the time of the First Indochina War, an organization named Pathet Lao which was formed by the Indochinese Communist Party e Pathet Lao initiated a war against the French colonial forces with the help of the Vietnamese. On 22 October 1953, Laos gained full independence as a constitutional monarchy.

Communist rule

  • After the First Indochina War, a peace accord was signed for Laos at the Geneva Conference of 1954. A special Programs Evaluation Office was created by the US Department of Defense to have the French support of the Royal Lao Army against the communist Pathet Lao.
  • In 1960, fighting was started between the Royal Lao Army and Pathet Lao guerillas.
  • Prince Souvanna Phouma formed a provincial government in 1962. It caused the civil war between the Royal Laotian government and the Pathet Lao.
  • In 1968, the Pathet Lao was helped by the North Vietnamese Army to fight the Royal Lao Army.
  • The United States carried out a massive bombing against Pathet Lao and invaded the People’s Army of Vietnam forces. Between 1964 and 1973 the bombing made a record of the most heavily bombed country in history.
  • In 1975, the King Savang Vatthana was forced to relinquish by the Pathet Lao, Vietnam People’s Army, and the Soviet Union.
  • The Pathet Lao government under Kaysone Phomvihane took control of the country on 2nd December 1975.
  • The country was renamed as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Vietnam got the right to deploy armed forces and oversee the power of the country.

Condition in the late twentieth century

  • In late 1975 a significant change was noticed in the policy. The start of totalitarianism was marked.
  • The collectivization of agriculture was started as an agricultural country.
  • The economic condition had deteriorated severely.
  • Several insurgencies emerged in Laos.
  • Marxist orthodoxy was pulled back.

Vietnam took its role as an advisor and an assistance power during the emergency, and Laos has shifted toward the development of banks and international entrepreneurs.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Explain why and how Laos came under communist rule in the period 1954 to 1975. How successful had the government been in rebuilding Laos by the end of the twentieth century?

Published: March 21, 2017 | Modified:September 8, 2020

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