Assess the contribution of Prince Sihanouk to the development of Cambodia in the years 1954 to 1970. Explain why he was overthrown in March 1970?
The new government under Prince Sihanouk played a very pivotal role by saving Cambodia from the hands of a violent dictatorship of the Khmer Rouge. He abandoned the Khmer policies, allowed the people to return to their towns and cities and schools and hospitals were reopened. Freedom of religion was ensured with the Buddhists now being allowed to practice their religion. Later money and property were restored, the economy settled down and trade started up again.
After the royalist party under the son of Prince Sihanouk formed a coalition government with Hun Sen, there was a bizarre feud between the two alliances. Hun Sen was not ready to surrender any of his powers. In the next election he won but had to form a coalition with the royalists in order to form government due to lack of majority. Meanwhile the feud with the Khmer Rouge again arose and Prince Sihanouk along with his troops could take up a heavy movement in assassinating the leaders of this party. This led to further turmoil and chaos in the government and the country went into decades of under development in terms of foreign help and inside development.