The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV; ), generally known as North Vietnam, was a Marxist–Leninist government founded in 1945, laying claim to all of Vietnam yet comprising most of North Vietnam from September 1945 to December 1946, controlling pockets of territory throughout the country until 1954, and governing territory north of the 17th parallel until 1976, when the government led by the Communist Party reunified with the Southern Provisional Government governed from Hanoi. As an era of post-dynastic Vietnamese history, the republic was preceded by the Nguyễn dynasty and followed by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The state was proclaimed by Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi in 1945 after assuming power following the abdication of Emperor Bảo Đại a few days earlier, Later that year, the French reoccupied Hanoi and the First Indochina War followed. Bảo Đại became head of the Saigon government in 1949, which was then renamed the State of Vietnam. The DRV was re-established formally in the eyes of the West following the 1954 Geneva Conference at the end of the First Indochina War, when the country was partitioned at the 17th parallel. The DRV became the government of the North while the State of Vietnam retained control in the South. The communist Viet Minh (“League for the Independence of Vietnam”) shared power with non-communists and together controlled areas of North Vietnam between December 18, 1946 and July 20, 1954. However the communists gradually eliminated all the non-communists until, in February 1951, they announced the formation of the Lao Động Party (en: “Labor” Party) and openly avowed communism for North Vietnam. The communists (Lao Động Party) controlled the northern half of what is now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam between July 20, 1954 and July 2, 1976. The Geneva Accords promised elections in 1956 to determine a national government for a united Vietnam. The French accepted the proposal of Viet Minh delegate Phạm Văn Đồng, who proposed that Vietnam eventually be united by elections under the supervision of “local commissions”. The United States countered with what became known as the “American Plan,” with the support of the State of Vietnam (which later became South Vietnam) and the United Kingdom. It provided for unification elections under the supervision of the United Nations, but was rejected by the Soviet delegation. During the Vietnam War (1955–75), North Vietnam and the Viet Cong supported by its communist allies, including the Soviet Union and China, fought against the military of the Republic of Vietnam government, the U.S. and the Free World Military Forces, including Australia, South Korea, Thailand and various smaller players. North Vietnam also fought alongside indigenous communist rebels in Cambodia and Laos against their respective US-backed governments. China and the Soviet Union feuded with each other over their influence in North Vietnam, as both wanted to make the country their satellite state. The war ended when the North Vietnamese forces violated the peace treaty and defeated the South Vietnamese army, which dwindled after American combat troops withdrew from the South about two years early. The two halves of Vietnam were reunited into one country, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, in 1976.

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