Country composed of 15 Bo (Region ) , each was ruled by Lac Tuong(Lac Lord) .
A Bo(region) comprised agricultural hamlets and villages based on matriarchal clan relationships and headed by Bochinhs( leader of region).
The economy was based on water-rice cultivation , and in addition were handicrafts , hunting , gathering , fishinng . Lac Lord controlled the communal settlement around each irrigated area , organized construction and maintenance of the dykes .
The famous relics in Van lang time are bronze drums belonging Dong son culture .
In 938 , Southern Han Dynasty sent troops to conquer autonomous Giao chau( name of Vietnam now) . Ngo Quyen , the virtuous Lord defeated the Southern Han fleet at the Battle of Bach Dang River . He then proclaimed himself King Ngo , began the age of independence for Vietnam .
After King Ngo’s death , the country got in a civil war with twelve Warlords , lasting from 945 to 967. One of them was Dinh Tien Hoang, who defeated other Warlords , then founded Dinh Dynasty( 968-980) . He called himself Emperor and his country Dai Co Viet ( Great Viet Land )
After Prior Le Dynasty founded by Le Hoan, who defeated a Song Dynasty aggressive troop in 981 at Chi Lang Pass, Vietnam became a new era with Ly and Tran Dynasties.
Ly Dynasty (1009-1225) change the country’s name to Dai Viet (Great Viet), built the new capital named Thang Long (Ascending Dragon), in present-day Hanoi, founded the first University Quoc Tu Giam (1071).
The Ly Dynasty firstly set up stronger feudalism in Vietnam, holding regular examinations to select elites for the government machine, organizing a new system of taxation. The Ly dynasty also promoted Buddhism, yet maintained a pluralistic attitude toward three main philosophical system of the time: Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.
The Ly Dynasty had two major wars with Song China (1075) and a few conquests against neighboring Champa in the South.
Tran Dynasty (1225-1400) replaced Ly Dynasty to ruled Dai Viet for more than two centuries. Almost Tran Kings ruled the country in similar manner to the Ly Kings. Under Ly Dynasty, Vietnam had a formal 30-volume history written by Le Van Huu, and created Nom script – a system of writing for Vietnamese language.
Tran Dynasty three times won Mongol aggression (in 1257, 1284, 1288). The DaiViet’s strategy was to advoid the Mongol’s strength in open field battles (the Tran Court abadoned the capital and cities), and then organized attacking the enemies at their weak points. Some famous battles were Chuong Duong, Ham Tu, Van Kiep,Bach Dang river. The military architect behind DaiViet victories was commander Tran Quoc Tuan (known as Tran Hung Dao).
Le Dynasty (1428 – 1527, formally existed untill 1778). Tran Dynasty was in turn overthrown by Ho Quy Ly in 1400. He changed the country’s name to Dai Ngu. In 1407, under the pretext of helping to restore Tran Dynasty, Chinese Ming troops invaded Dai Ngu, ended Ho Dynasty, lasting for only 7 years.
In 1428, Le Loi, a wealthy farmer successfully led the Lam Son revolution against Ming invasion, then founded the Le Dynasty. He renamed the contry back to DaiViet.
The second phase began with Tay Son revolution led by Nguyen Hue – Quang Trung in 1771. He successfully defeated Trinh Lords in the North and Nguyen Lords in the South, founded the Tay Son Dynasty 1778-1802.
Soon after overthrowing the Tay Son Dynasty in 1802 Nguyen Anh ascended the throne and called himself Emperor Gia Long.The Nguyen Dynasty lasted until 1945.
The period of division with many tragedies and dramatic historical development inspired many poets and gave rise to some Vietnamese masterpieces verse such as the epic poem “The tale of Kieu” by Nguyen Du “Song of a soldier’s wife” by Dang Tran Con, Doan Thi Diem or the poem written by Ho Xuan Huong
In October 1887, French Indochina was formed from Annam (central Vietnam), Tonkin (Northern Vietnam), Cochinchina (Southern Vietnam) and then added Cambodia, Laos
Politically, Cochinchina had the status of a French colony. Annam was a protectorate where the Nguyen Dynasty still ruled, and Tonkin had a French Governor yet local governments were run by Vietnamese officials.
After pacification of Vietnam, French colonialism carried out a set of colonial exploitation policies. They invested capital in building railways, factories, mines…that changed the Vietnamese economy and Vietnamese society into the orbit of capitalism.
During the French colonization happened many Vietnamese uprisings against French colonists. There were 5 main socio-political movements.
The first, Can Vuong movement was led by former court officers and confucianists, trying to rally the people to resist the French. It went to the end in the last XIX century
The second, Dong Du movement (Go East) was led by Phan Boi Chau. He sent many Vietnamese students to Japan to learn modern skill, organized a few Vietnamese society in Japan. Due to French pressure, Japan later deported Phan Boi Chau to China.
The forth, The Vietnam Quoc Dan Dang (Vietnam National Party) consisted of a sort of patriots (students, bourgeois, soldiers…). It was modeled after the Guo Ming Tang in China.
The firth, Marxism movement. Before the starting Marxism movement, the Vietnamese revolution were lack of outline and leadership. Marxism in beginning was introduced into Vietnam with the emergence of three separate communist groups (Indochinese communists, Annamese communists and Indo chinese communist Union). In 1930 Nguyen Ai Quoc co-ordinated unification of 3 groups into the Vietnamese Communist Party.
In 1941, Ho Chi Minh (formally known as Nguyen Ai Quoc) arrived in Northern Vietnam to form Vietnam Front fighting for Vietnam’s independence.
In August 1945, the Japanese surrendered to the Allies creating a power vaccum in Vietnam. The Viet Minh launched “the August Revolution” to seize power, ending the Nguyen Dynasty and Japanese domination. On September 2, 1945 Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam independent founding the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. (DRV).
According to Alta conference among three Powers, the USA, Soviet union and British Kingdom, Chiang Kaishek’s army and the British forces would disarm the Japanese in Vietnam.
Yet, August Revolution already occurred before the Allies forces entered Vietnam. So Ho Chi Minh government had to face the dangerous situation: 20.000 British troops in the South , and about the same quantity of Chang Kaishek’s troops in the North , and in addition was French colonists; all of them planned squeezing the Revolution to death.
Ho Chi Minh had to negotiate with Chang Kaishek’s army, deported them back to China; then he signed a temporary agreement with the French, in March 1946 to get time for preparing the war against the French.
1946-1950: Viet Minh troops were resisting against the French without any international helps, just in the end of 1950, Viet Minh successfully opened the border with China and began to receive some assistance from Mao Zedong government.
Dien Bien Phu battle in 1954 led to the collapse of French colonism in Vietnam.
During the period of Indo china war, two governments were established in Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh’s government (1945) and Bao Dai’s government (1949)
In 1950, Bao Dai’s government gained recognition from the United Kingdom and the US
In 1954, the Geneva conference was held for peace and recognition of Vietnam independence. But the powers purposely ignored the Vietnamese willing, taking 17 th parallel to split the country into 2 states.
Occupying French commander’s tunel at Dien Bien Phu
Vietnam War (The Resistance against the American’s invasion)
According to Geneva Accord, Vietnam has temporarily to partition into two states at the 17 th parallel. But supported from the US government, Ngo Dinh Diem, a former mandarin of Nguyen Dynasty was selected as Premier of Bao Dai’s state of Vietnam in 1954.
Using the referendum in 1955, Diem deposed Bao Dai and declared him as President of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). Since then the USA began to provide military and economic aids to the RVN, training RVN personnels, sending US advisors to assist Diem’s government. They destroyed the Geneva Accords, stopping the process of unification of Vietnam.
After the resistence against the American’s invasion, Vietnam freely implemented reunification of country.
In 1976, Vietnam was renamed Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRVN)
SRVN was of a centralized command economy. For a decade, Vietnam’s economy was plagued with inefficiency and corruption in state programs, poor quality and underproduction and restriction on economic activites and trade. It also suffered from the trade embargo from the US and most of European countries.
In 1986, Vietnam began economic reform with market economy mechanism. Private ownership was encouraged in industries, commerce and agriculture. Since then, Vietnam achieved around 7-8% annual GDP growth from 1990 to 2007.
In 1995, Vietnam officially became a number of ASEAN and it was accepted into WTO in November 7 th ,2006.