History of Vietnam
The history of Vietnam can be summed up in a few words: fighting for independence, the conquest of new lands and the unification of the country.
The origin of Vietnam
There are different hypotheses about the origin of the Vietnamese. According to some researchers, the ancestors of the Vietnamese left the Indonesian archipelago to cross the Malay peninsula and Thailand and settle on the banks of the Red River.
Others claim that the Vietnamese were the origin of the Mongol tribes in Tibet, migrating south from the Stone Age, to settle in northern Vietnam, upstream of the Red River and thus create the civilization Dong Son.
Meaning of country name: The word Vi?t Nam was not known until the 19th century when Emperor Gia Long decided to rename the country. The word Viet was used by the Zhou Dynasty (1050-249 BC) to designate territories located in the south of China. Nam character means "south".
The first kingdoms
The first Vietnamese kingdom, named Van Lang, was founded in 2879 BC. J.-C by Hung Kings.
In the 3rd century BC J.-C, king An Duong Vuong founded the kingdom Au Lac and reigned until 179 BC. AD
Since 179 BC J.-C, the Chinese empire ruled Vietnam for many centuries. The Han and their successors tried to impose the Chinese culture on Vietnamese people with mixed success. Uprisings, although repressed, have succeeded for 1000 years.
In 938 AD J-C, the revolt led by the governor Ngo Quyen results in the foundation of an independent state.
The national dynasties
939 to 1945. The Ly (1009-1225) and Tran (1226-1400) dynasties constitute the most prosperous period of the Vietnamese royalist era in cultural, military and economic plan.
Vietnam fought against French colonialism from 1858 to the August 1945 Revolution. The final victory was achieved at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
The United States intervenes and the country, divided in two, presents in the North "the Democratic Republic of Vietnam" supported by China and the former USSR, and in the South, "the Republic of South Vietnam", supported by the Americans.
North Vietnam fought the United States from 1954 until the signing of peace agreements in January 1973 in Paris.
Vietnam is then reunited again and since 1975 bears the name of "Socialist Republic of Vietnam" with Hanoi as capital. Saigon is then renamed "Ho Chi Minh City" in tribute to "Father of the nation and the revolution".
The damage caused by the war has been considerable and reconstruction efforts have been made. Vietnam has had a difficult post-war period under the embargo of the United States. The country has closed, suffered inappropriate economic measures and natural disasters. Other armed conflicts also took place, that with China from 1979 to 1991 and with Cambodia from 1978 to 1989.
From 1986, the Doi Moi ("renew") policy changed the situation of the country thanks to the market economy and the reopening of the territory. Since then, the economy has grown at an annual rate of 7%. In 2000, a bilateral trade agreement between Vietnam and the United States was an important step for the Vietnamese economy.