History of Vietnam - State and Expansion



During the period A.D. 1010 to 1850, Vietnam was ruled by a series of great dynasties. The leaders of these dynasties made organization of the government and stability within the newly formed country a priority. They followed the Chinese philosophy of Confucianism and their system of mandarins.

The Vietnamese army, made up of peasant-soldiers, was strong enough to repel attacks from the Chinese and incursions by Mongols. The army's victory over the as yet undefeated Imperial Mongol army, has never been forgotten: they used the same tactic that had been used against the Chinese 350 years earlier at the Bach-dang River. Determined to maintain their identity and independence, the Vietnamese people have sung the praises of heroes and told stories of their victories to generations of children over the years.

Canadian International Development Agency Photo:
Gerard Dolan - 975-70-11/97



In the twelfth century, Vietnam began to expand to the south. During the sixteenth and seventeeth centuries, the Vietnamese army gradually conquered the neighbouring kingdom of Champa and, by the eighteenth century, all of the Mekong River Delta, home of the kingdom of Khmer, was in Vietnamese hands. The arrival of Europeans, particularly the French, in the nineteenth century, put an end to Vietnamese expansion.

Despite the fact that their populations were integrated into Vietnamese society, these kingdoms' ethnic groups have, to this day, remained true to their own culture. Vietnam has three national minorities - the Khmer Krom, the Hoa (Chinese-Vietnamese) and the Cham - and is also home to 60 other ethnic groups.

Map 1. Vietnam Empire
2. Chinese Empire
3. Laos Kingdom
4. Siam Kingdom
5. Khmers Kingdom
Historic Vietnam
Occupied from time immemorial, Vietnam progressively expanded under a centralized state from the north southwards.

The Chinese and the Vietnamese Menu - History of Vietnam Vietnam and French Indochina

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