The sect crisis represented a critical turning point in South Vietnam. This article examines the spring 1955 clash between Prime Minister Ngôô Đình Diệm and his challengers among the Hóóa Hảo, Cao Đàai, and Bíính Xuyêên politico-religious sects in light of French and American involvement. Overlapping domestic and international dynamics combined to produce several results: Ngôô Đình Diệm defeated the sect coalition, Washington pledged unconditional support for the prime minister, French clout in South Vietnam diminished, and the Sàài Gòòn government renewed its commitment to eradicate the influence of Chief of State Bảo Đại and remaining sect rebels over South Vietnamese politics.

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