Vietnam Old History

By | February 2, 2023

Vietnam is an independent nation in Southeastern Asia. With the capital city of Hanoi, Vietnam 2020 population is estimated at 97,338,590 according to countryaah. Northern Vietnam was ruled by China during the first thousand years. After expelling the Chinese, the Vietnamese gradually conquered land south. In the early 19th century, an emperor was proclaimed for all of Vietnam today. From the middle of the century the country was colonized by France and in 1902 it became part of the Indochinese Union. During World War II, Japan invaded but the French remained. A nationalist national front, the Viet Minh, organized by the Communist Party, took control of large parts of the country at the end of the war and proclaimed 1945 the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

A community based on hunting, fishing and rice cultivation began to emerge in the Red River delta about 10,000 years before our time count. From the 13th century BC, a rich Bronze Age culture flourished, the so-called Don Son culture, which reached its peak in the 300s BC. The century after, China began to conquer Vietnam, which succeeded in an invasion in 112 BC.

  • Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Vietnam, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

For a thousand years, Northern Vietnam was a Chinese sound empire. Chinese dominance influenced language and culture, but also gave birth to nationalist trends that have characterized the country’s leaders into modern times. Several insurgency attempts were fought before the Chinese were expelled in 939. For Vietnam political system, please check carswers.

The kingdom is expanding

Independent Vietnam grew into a strong feudal state, which managed to fight back several new Chinese conquests. The country expanded to the south and eventually subjugated the Hindu kingdom of Champa (which was then largely converted to Islam) in the middle of today’s Vietnam. Towards the end of the 18th century, the Mekong Delta was conquered furthest south, which until then had been part of the Cambodian Khmer Empire. After civil war in the 18th century, the southern leader Nguyen Anh succeeded in subjugating the entire country. He was crowned emperor under the name Gia Long in 1802 and made HuĂ© in central Vietnam the capital.

Catholic missionaries had been serving in Vietnam since the late 16th century. In the 1850s, France used persecution of the missionaries as a pretext for military intervention. By 1867, France had colonized all of southern Vietnam. The advance continued and in 1885 the rest of the country was internationally recognized as a French protectorate. Eventually, Vietnam merged with the French possessions of Laos and Cambodia into the Indochinese Union.

Vietnam becomes independent

France mainly used Vietnam as a supplier of raw materials. Investments were financed through hard taxation of the Vietnamese. Plantations and mines forcibly recruited workers for starvation wages.

At a congress in Hong Kong in 1930, Indochina’s Communist Party was founded by Ho Chi Minh, among others. A year-long communist uprising was brutally fought in the early 1930s.

During World War II, Vietnam was conquered by Japan, which, however, allowed the French to continue to rule the area. Jointly exploited Japanese and French Vietnam. Their ruthless policies in the north led to famine, which cost up to two million people their lives.

The Communist Party organized resistance through a nationalist popular front, called Viet Minh. Ho Chi Minh, who has been abroad since 1911, returned to lead the fight. At the end of the chaotic war, Viet Minh took control of much of the country and on September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam.



Minority members are sentenced to prison

Four members of the minority people, hmong, are sentenced to between three and seven years in prison for, according to the court, having tried to overthrow the government last year (see May 2011). Several other people have previously been convicted of crimes in connection with the unrest.


Prison for regime-critical musicians

Two musicians, Vo Minh Tri and Tran Vu Anh Binh, are sentenced to four and six years in prison, as well as two years of house arrest, for writing government-critical songs. They were both arrested in 2011 since their songs gained wide spread on the internet.

Prime Minister acknowledges failure

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung acknowledges that he has failed to get the country’s economy in order and promises to reform the state-owned companies that have been the subject of corruption scandals. Tan Dung makes his statement after a meeting with the leadership of the Communist Party which, however, fails to punish him.


Bank mogul Ly Xuan Hai is arrested

A bank mogul, Ly Xuan Hai, is arrested on suspicion of financial crime. The arrest is interpreted as a sign of a power struggle within the Communist Party.

Shipping director is arrested

A former director of state-owned shipping company Vinalines is arrested abroad and extradited to Vietnam where prosecution awaits financial crime.

Prison for regime-critical bloggers

Three bloggers are sentenced to 4, 10 and 12 years in prison for regime-critical articles on the internet. The three are the founders of the banned site The Free Journalists’ Club. The one who receives the longest sentence is Nguyen Van Hai, who was still imprisoned despite the fact that a previous sentence expired a long time ago (see also April 2008 and Mass Media).


Residents storm government offices

A conflict over the right to use the land in a village in the Vietnamese countryside leads to hundreds of villagers storming a local government office, tearing down furniture and injuring two officials. In Vietnam, land conflicts are common (see Agriculture and Fisheries).


Cooperation agreement with the EU

Vietnam and the EU sign a partnership and cooperation agreement, as well as enter into negotiations on a free trade agreement.

Vietnam claims sovereignty

Vietnam adopts a law whereby the country maintains its sovereignty over the Paracel and Sprat Islands (see Foreign Policy and Defense).


Democracy activists are arrested

Four Catholic activists are arrested for distributing democracy material. They are later sentenced to between 18 and 42 months in prison.


Managers are jailed for bankruptcy

Former chief of the crisis-hit state vessel Vinashin, Pham Thanh Binh, is sentenced to 20 years in prison for nearly running the company into bankruptcy (see August 2010). Eight other executives are sentenced to between 3 and 19 years in prison.

Vietnam Old History