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"President Truman Guarantees Vietnamese Statehood" by Andrew Beane

Author says: what if America had respected the principles of the Atlantic Charter?, muses Andrew Beane. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

August 1: on this day in 1946, American President Harry S. Truman spoke to the citizens of the United States by radio address to announce his support for a free and independent Vietnam. The news came as a shock to many in his administration, who view the restoration of French rule in Indochina as key to gaining French President Georges Bidault's support against an increasingly belligerent Soviet Union.

Truman's address began with the words: "My fellow Americans, it is my decision, against the advice of many within my administration, that the United States of America will recognize the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as a free and independent nation among nations".

"United States of America recognize[s] the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as a free and independent nation among nations" ~ Truman

He went on to say that before such recognition can take place, Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh must give the US assurance that his government will not become a client state of the Soviet Union, and that the Soviet Military will not set foot in Vietnamese territory. President Ho has already denied that he has sought Soviet assistance, insisting that after the devastating war against Adolf Hitler, Moscow was in no position to extend support to a place as remote as Vietnam.

France is not likely to take this decision by Truman in a friendly manner. President Bidault has contended that the restoration of France's colonies that fell under foreign rule or were otherwise lost during the war was essential to rebuilding France. Upon hearing the address, the French Ambassador to the US, Henri Bonnet, accused the United State of coveting rubber reserves in "French territory".

Vietnam has already appeared in Washington-Paris relations, with former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt insisting that the Vietnamese people, like all peoples of the world, deserved to live under the government of their choosing, though he died before being able to make a definitive decision to support Vietnamese independence.

Andrew Beane

Guest Historian of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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