Diệm era, 1954–1963

A devout Roman Catholic, Diệm was fervently anti-communist, nationalist, and socially conservative. Historian Luu Doan Huynh notes that “Diệm represented narrow and extremist nationalism coupled with autocracy and nepotism.” Most Vietnamese people were Buddhist, and they were alarmed by Diệm’s actions, like his dedication of the country to the Virgin Mary.

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