History Of Vietnam


The history of Vietnam is one of the longest continuous histories in the world, with archaeological findings showing hominid settlements as far back as around half a million years ago and a cultural history of around 20,000 years.[1] Ancient Vietnam was home to some of the world’s earliest civilizations and societies—making them one of the world’s first people who practiced agriculture.[2][3] The Red River valley formed a natural geographic and economic unit, bounded to the north and west by mountains and jungles, to the east by the sea and to the south by the Red River Delta. The need to have a single authority to prevent floods of the Red River, to cooperate in constructing hydraulic systems, trade exchange, and to fight invaders, led to the creation of the first Vietnamese states approximately 2879 BC.[4][dead link][5][6] Another truly influential part of history in Vietnam occurred during the late Bronze Age, when the Đông Sơn culture dramatically advanced the civilization. Vietnam’s peculiar geography made it a difficult country to attack, which is why Vietnam under the Hùng kings was for so long an independent and self-contained state. The Xích Tỵs and Qins were among the earliest foreign aggressors of Vietnam, but the ancient Vietnamese managed to regain control of the country soon after the invasions.

Once Vietnam did succumb to foreign rule, however, it proved unable to escape from it, and for 1,100 years, Vietnam had been successively governed by a series of Chinese dynasties, beginning with the Han expansion into Bách Việt territory: the Hann, Eastern Wu, Jin, Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang, Sui, Tang, and Southern Han; leading to the losses of native cultural heritage, language, and much of national identity. At certain periods during these 1,100 years, Vietnam was independently governed under the Triệus, Trưng Sisters, Anterior Lýs, Khúcs and Dương Đình Nghệ—although their triumphs and reigns were brief.

During the foreign domination of North Vietnam, several Indianized civilizations flourished in the central and south of what we know as Vietnam, particularly the Funanese and Cham. The founders and rulers of these governments, however, were not native to Vietnam. From the 10th century onwards, the Vietnamese, emerging in their heartland of the Red River Delta, began to conquer these civilizations.

When Ngô Quyền (King of Vietnam, 939–944) restoring sovereign power in the country, the next millennium was advanced by the accomplishments of successive dynasties: Ngôs, Đinhs, Prior Lês, Lýs, Trầns, Hồs, Posterior Trầns, Later Lês, Mạcs, Trịnhs, Nguyễns, Tây Sơns and again Nguyễns. At various points during these 1,000 years of imperial dynasties, Vietnam was ravaged and divided by civil wars and repeatedly attacked by the Songs, Mongol Yuans, Chams, Mings, Dutch, Manchus, French, and the Americans. The Ming Empire conquered the Red River valley for a while before native Vietnamese regained control and the French Empire reduced Vietnam to a French dependency for nearly a century, followed by an occupation by the Japanese Empire. Political upheaval and Communist insurrection put an end to the monarchy after World War II, and the country was proclaimed a republic.