Vietnam Embassy in Stockholm

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HISTORY

Archipelagos finds of fossils and the remain of ancient people excavated in Bac Son Grotto in Lang Son province as well as artefacts believed to belong to the Stone Age and excavated at Nui Do ( Do Mountain) in Thanh Hoa province have shown that human life has been established in Vietnam for hundreds of thousands of years. Thus, Vietnam is considered to be among the first to be habituated in the world.

In the first thousand years before Christ (BC) three centres of early civilisation were gradually established in Vietnam, which closely connected with primitive governing states. They included the Dong Son Civilisation; The Sa Huynh Civilisation and the Oc Eo Civilisation. Based on these stages of civilisation a primitive from of governing state was founded by the ancient Viet people known as the legendary Van Lang country governed by the Hung kings. The Hung kings established their court in Phong Chau in the hilly northern province of Vinh Phu. This was followed by the establishment of the Au Lac court which was reigned by King An Duong Vuong in the third century BC. It established its capital seat at Co Loa in Ha Noi's suburban district of Dong Anh.

As soon as the different tribes of Vietnam had firmly established their civilisations and had implemented their the first governments their authority was the challenged by an ambitious south-bound expansion by the newly founded mighty northern kingdom of present-day China, which launched repeated invasions again Vietnam. Thus Vietnam's history from an early age is a national history characterised by continued struggles against foreign invaders. Vietnam's history can be decided in to the following three main periods:

  • The Northern Kingdom's Domination,
  • National Construction and Defence for National Independence.
  • National Independence and Socialism.

The Northern Kingdom's Domination:

This period lasted one thousand years. This was one of the fiercest trials and periods of hardship in Vietnam's history of national development of different tribal peoples inhabiting Vietnamese soil.

The Vietnamese people had been subject to the Northern Kingdom's domination and the assimilator policies applied by the different feudal courts in China. Despite these ups and downs the Viet people managed to maintain their particular cultural identity. As regards cultural, the Vietnamese language still maintained its own basic grammatical structures, while traditional customs which date back to the Lac Viet period were solidly preserved. As far as politics is concerned, a series of revolts organised by the Vietnamese people to regain national independence were launched almost without interruption. Such revolts which were led by Hai Ba Trung ( the two Trung ladies), Ba Trieu (Lady Trieu), and Ly Bi and especially the historic victory at the Bach Dang River in 938,, under the leadership of Ngo Quyen which finally led the Vietnamese people to a complete victory and the regained their national independence .

National Construction and Defence for National Independence: 

This period also lasted about one thousand years (from the early 10th Century to the middle of the 19th Century). This period was billed as a brilliant era of national revival and development especially during the reigns of the Ly dynasty (1010-1225), the Tran dynasty (1226-1400) and the Le dynasty (1428-1527), the culmination of which were the Dai Viet Civilisation and the Thang Long Culture.

During this period the capital city of the feudal courts was removed to Thang Long (the present-day Ha Noi). Buddhism and Taoism dominated ideological and social life. Quoc Tu Giam, the first university in Vietnam, was opened at the present-day site of Van Mieu ( Temple of Literature). The country was booming, leading to the construction of citadels, temples and palaces. Traditional artistic, musical, and theatrical forms were given more room for survival. Contemporary entertainment included tuong and cheo, two of the several kinds of Vietnamese classical opera, while music and dance, water puppetry and wrestling, also flourished.

This period also witnessed several fierce struggles launched by the Vietnamese people against the northern aggressors. The war of resistance included the battle against the Tong army in the 11th century, three separate wars against the invading Mongul army in the 13rd century, and the resistance against the Minh army in the 14th century.

In the late 17 century the Vietnamese feudal state was faced with a social and economic crisis that led to an annexation of the country into two parts. However the victory of the Tay Son revolt at the close of the 18th century reunified the country.

In the first half of the 19th century, the Nguyen dynasty continued to consolidate national unification. Yet, a prevailing conservative attitude among Nguyen dynasty court officials allowed the country to drift in to a period of stagnation and Vietnam eventually became a French colony.

National Independence and Socialism:

In 1930, the Communist Party of Vietnam was the founded. The Party led the Vietnamese people to a revolutionary victory in August 1945. However, The Vietnamese people had to immediately launch two resistance wars against aggression perpetrated by the old-and the neo-colonialist powers. The first resistance war ended with a resounding victory at Dien Bien Phu in May 1954. The second resistance war came to and end following the historic Ho Chi Minh military campaign which led to the great victory achieved in the spring of 1975. At present the Vietnamese people are entering a new period of development known as the period of openness their renovation, leading the people to further advance on the way to develop their national economy and join the ranks of the developed countries.