In fighting with Vietnam for influence over Cambodia and Laos, the Vietnamese were not even regarded as properly Buddhist, because of the more Confucian basis of Vietnamese government.
Under French rule some economic development took place in Cambodia. Roads and railways were built and in the 1920s a rubber industry grew up. However the Cambodians were forced to pay heavy taxes and from the 1930s Cambodian nationalism grew.Then in 1941 Cambodia was occupied by the Japanese. However at first they allowed French officials to remain in their posts but in March 1945 as the Japanese were losing the war they desperately tried to curry favor with the Cambodians. They arrested French officials and declared Cambodia independent. However when the Japanese surrendered the French took over again. They arrived in October 1945.This time the French did allow the Cambodians to have political parties and a constitution. By a treaty of 1949 Cambodia was made semi-independent. Then in 1952 King Sihanouk dismissed the government and took personal control of the country. Events then moved swiftly. On 9 November 1953 the French finally allowed Cambodia to become fully independent and in 1955 Sihanouk abdicated in favor of his father and elections were held. Sihanouk formed his own political movement. From 1955-1970 he dominated politics in Cambodia so much so that it is sometimes called the 'Sihanouk era'. In 1960, when his father died, he named himself 'Chief of State'. Sihanouk called his movement 'Buddhist Socialism'. However it was not really socialist at all.Sihanouk's reign began to crumble in 1968 when the communists began a civil war. In 1970 Sihanouk left the country. While he was away the National Assembly voted to remove him as chief of state. Cambodia was renamed the Khmer Republic.However the communists slowly made headway. The Americans bombed Cambodia to try and stop the communists. Nevertheless they captured Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975.
Brief history of Laos War | Talking Proud
Sihanouk formed his own political movement. From 1955-1970 he dominated politics in Cambodia so much so that it is sometimes called the 'Sihanouk era'. In 1960, when his father died, he named himself 'Chief of State'. Sihanouk called his movement 'Buddhist Socialism'. However it was not really socialist at all.