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It is said that everything is wrong in history except names and dates and everything is right in literature except names and dates . So, HENRY FORD in 1916 said , ” History is more or less bunk “. Thirteen years later, however, he opened the outdoor history museum in Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan . Thus, history is the story of the development of human society , its arts and letters , philosophy and religion , adventure and administration , culture and cult of the people . We will study the history of CAMBODIA in this context which can be traced back to INDIAN CIVILIZATION . The political structure of the territory of what is now called CAMBODIA/CAMPUCHEA , first appeared in CHINESE annals in reference to FUNAN . FUNAN was the southernmost part of the INDOCHINESE PENINSULA during the 1st to 6th century AD . Centred around lower MEKONG, it was considered as the country of the oldest HINDU culture . It had prolonged socio-economic interaction with maritime trading partners of the INDOSPHARE in the west . FUNAN was the name given by CHINESE Cartographers and geographers to an ancient INDIANISED state . Today part of CAMBODIA , VIETNAM and THAILAND , Kingdom of FUNAN was established in 68 AD with the capital at VYADHAPUR having confluence of HINDUISM , BUDDHISM and KHMER ANIMISM . Etymologically speaking , FUNAN, to ancient CHINESE scholars , was related to the KHMER word bnam or vnam meaning by ‘mountain’ . On the other hand , to an epigraphist CLAUDE JACQUES, it was based on mistranslation of the SANSKRIT word Parvatabupala in the ancient Inscriptions as equivalent to the KHMER word bnam or vnam . FUNAN is associated with a myth in which an INDIAN BRAHMAN or a Prince whose name was PREAH THAONG married the local Ruler’s Princess named as NEGI SOMA and thus established the first CAMBODIAN ROYAL DYNASTY .


To CHINESE annals , CHENLA or ZHENLA replaced FUNAN . It controlled a larger area than FUNAN and maintained more than a singular centre of power . Its period had been 550 AD to 802 AD . Its capital had been : 1. SRESTHAPURA ; 2. BHAVPURA ; 3. ISNAPURA ; and 4. SHAMBHUPURA . Its common languages had been OLD KHMER and SANSKRIT . And religions followed by the common people were HINDUISM and BUDDHISM . Today it is the part of LAOS , CAMBODIA , THAILAND and VIETNAM . Etymologically speaking , word CHENLA or ZHENLA means ‘defeated CHAM‘. It is said that during the reign of QINGYUAN , an Emperor of SONG DYNASTY of CHINA (1195 to 1200) , CAMBODIA wiped out CHAMPA and took over its land . Because of this , the country changed its name to ZHENLA . The history of the CHINESE SUI DYNASTY describes CHENLA as a Vassal of the Kingdom of FUNAN , which sent an embassy to CHINA in 616 or 617 AD . CITRASENA MAHENDRAVARMAN , conquered FUNAN after CHENLA had got independence . The NEW BOOK OF TANG states that the country was split in 706 AD into Land CHENLA and Water CHENLA . By the late 8th century Water CHENLA had become independent . The last of Water CHENLA king seemed to have been killed and the polity was incorporated into JAVANESE monarchy in 790 AD . And Land CHENLA maintained its integrity under JAYAVARMAN-II , who proclaimed the KHMER Empire in 802 AD .


KHMER Empire was used by historians to refer to CAMBODIA from 9th to 15th century when the country was a HINDU-BUDDHIST Empire in the South-East ASIA . The Empire grew out of the former civilizations of FUNAN and CHENLA . It’s capitals were : 1. MAHENDRAPARVATA (early 9th century) ; 2. HARIHARALAYA (9th century) ; 3. KIH KER (928 AD to 944 AD) ; and 4. YASODHARAPURA (ANGKOR) (late 9th century to 15th century) . Its languages mainly were KHMER and SANSKRIT . Religions followed by the common people were HINDUISM , MAHAYANA BUDDHISM , and THERAVADA BUDDHISM . Kings who ruled the Kingdom of KHMER were as follows : 1. JAYAVARMAN-II (802 AD to 850 AD) ; 2. SURYAVARMAN-II (1113 AD to 1150 AD) ; 3. JAYAVARMAN-VII (1181 AD to 1218 AD) ; and 4. PONHEA YAT (1417 AD to 1431 AD) . The world famous ANGKOR WAT Temple was constructed between 1113 AD and 1259 AD . It is said that the KHMER Empire invented the world first Healthcare system which included 102 hospitals . The fall of ANGKOR is marked with the seige of ANGKOR by the SIAMESE AYUTTHAYA Kingdom in 1431 AD . The KHMER Empire referred to KAMBUJA in SANSKRIT ; KAMBUJADESA in Old KHMER and KHMER again in Old KHMER . All these names refer to modern day KAMPUCHEA .



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HO CHI MINH returned to VIETNAM in 1941 to lead VIET MINH independence movement after staying in SOVIET UNION , THAILAND, INDIA and CHINA and taking part in numerous COMMUNIST activities . Men in Black were a 10,000 member guerrilla forces that operated with the VIET MINH . He oversaw many successful military actions against the VICHY FRANCE and the JAPANESE occupation of VIETNAM during the second world war . He was jailed in CHINA by CHIANG KAI-SHEK’S local authority . He was then rescued by the CHINESE COMMUNISTS and was released in 1943 . He returned to VIETNAM . In 1945 , he met with the OSS agent ARCHIMEDES PATTI asking him for ‘a line of communication’ between his VIET MINH and the ALLIES forces . The OSS (OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES) was the intelligence agency of the US during the second world war . The OSS agreed to the proposal of HO CHI MINH . It sent a military team of OSS members to train HO’s men . The OSS doctor also treated HO CHI MINH for malaria and dysentery during this period . And following the August Revolution of 1945 organized by VIET MINH, HO CHI MINH became Chairman of the Provisional Government and issued a Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of VIETNAM . It was written by HO CHI MINH and announced in public at the BA DINH FLOWER GARDEN ( NOW BAN BINH SQUARE ) in HANOI on 2nd September 1945 . Now NGUYEN DYNASTY was replaced by the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM . Emperor BAO DAI was convinced by HO CHI MINH to abdicate . But the new government of HO CHI MINH could not get recognition by any country despite repeated petition to President HARRY S. TRUMAN for VIETNAMESE independence . But TRUMAN never responded . When ISRAELI Prime Minister DAVID BEN-GÙRIÒN and HO CHI MINH became acquainted with each other during their stay at the same hotel in PARIS , latter offered BEN-GURION a JEWISH home-in-exile in VIETNAM . But he refused to take it by telling ” I am certain we shall be able to establish a JEWISH government in PALATINE “. At home front , HO CHI MINH’S subordinates imprisoned 2,500 non-COMMUNISTS and forced 6,000 others to flee . Hundreds of political opponents were jailed or exiled in July 1945 . Most of the rival parties including the NATIONAL PARTY OF VIETNAM and the DAI VIET NATIONAL PARTY were thereafter banned . And local governments were purged . However , two-thirds of members of the first Congress of the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM came from non-VIET MINH political factions. Some without even an election . So, they were given four out of ten ministerial positions . And NGUYEN HAI THAN , the leader of the NATIONALIST PARTY OF VIETNAM was named for the post of Vice President .


With the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF VIETNAM on 2nd September 1945 , violence between rival VIETNAMESE factions and FRENCH forces increased many folds . The BRITISH commander SIR DOUGLAS GRACEY declared martial law . The VIET MINH leaders responded with a call for a general strike on 24th September 1945 . At the same time , a force of 200,000 NATIONAL REVOLUTIONARY ARMY (CHINA) troops reached HANOI to accept the surrender of the JAPANESE occupiers in northern INDO-CHINA . HO CHI MINH made a compromise with their General LU HAN to dessolve the COMMUNIST PARTY and to hold an election that would yield a coalition government . The agreement of 6th March 1946 between the CHIANG forces and the FRENCH to give VIETNAM an autonomous status in the INDOCHINESE Federation and the FRENCH union was executed . The purpose of the agreement was to free VIETNAM from CHIANG army from northern VIETNAM . But the agreement failed . And fighting broke out in the North soon after the CHINESE left . HO CHI MINH said , he “would rather smell FRENCH shit for five years than eat CHINESE shit for a thousand”, as STANLEY KARNOW wrote in his book VIETNAM : A HISTORY . But such statements , by many scholars , was refuted as HO CHI MINH believed that there was no danger of CHINESE troops staying in VIETNAM . The VIETNAMESE at that time were busy in spreading anti-FRENCH agenda against FRENCH atrocities in VIETNAM . And HO CHI MINH showed no hesitation accepting CHINESE aid after 1949 . In February 1950 , he met with JOSEPH STALIN and MAO ZEDONG in MOSCOW after the SOVIET UNION recognized his government . They all agreed that CHINA would be responsible for backing the VIET MINH . CHINA had planned to train 60,000 to 70,000 VIET MINH members to fight against the FRENCH regime throughout INDO-CHINA . At the outset of the conflict , HO CHI MINH reportedly said to a FRENCH visitor , ” You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours . But even at those odds , you will loose and I will win .” The first INDO-CHINA war in 1954 came to an end after decisive Battle of Dien Bien Phu , where more than 10,000 FRENCH soldiers surrendered to VIET MINH . To ARTHUR DOMMEN , between 100,000 and 150,000 civilians were assassinated by VIET MINH forces during the war . And in GENEVA peace Accords , VIETNAM was portioned in North and South at 17 PARALLEL . As per Accords , 300-days were given for free movement between two regions of VIETNAM . Between 800,000 to 1,000,000 people , mostly catholic , migrated to the south . In 1955 , FRENCH INDO-CHINA was dissolved living DIEM temporarily under control of the South . Between 1953 to 1956 , the North VIETNAMESE government instituted various agrarian reforms including ‘rent reduction’ and ‘land reform’ accompanied by political repression .


HO CHI MINH was not only a politician but also a writer , journalist , poet and polyglot . Etymologically speaking , HO is a common VIETNAMESE surname ; CHI means ‘spirit’; and MINH means ‘bright’ . So, CHI MINH means ‘bright spirit’. And he was really a bright spirit . He used to live with a CHINESE woman , ZENG XUEMING, whom he married on 18th October 1926 . When Camrades objected this match as the former was 36 years old and the latter of 21 years , he said , ” I will get married despite your disapproval because I need a woman to teach me the language and keep house .” Such was the personality of Camrade HO CHI MINH which would help us to understand the VIETNAMESE WAR in its letter and spirit . In 1959 , he urged the POLITBURO to send aid to the VIET CONG in South VIETNAM . A ‘people war’ was on the South was approved at a session in January 1959 and this was confirmed by the POLITBURO in March . Now HO CHI MINH TRAIL started . It was a logistical network of roads and trails that ran from North VIETNAM to South VIETNAM through the Kingdom of LAOS and CAMBODIA . This system , named by the U.S. after the North VIETNAMESE President HO CHI MINH , provided support, in the form of manpower and material to VIET CONG (VC) and the PEOPLE’S ARMY OF VIETNAM (PAVN) during the VIETNAM WAR . The construction work for that started following NORTH VIETNAMESE invasion of LAOS in July 1959 using 30,000 manpower. NORTH VIETNAM created National Liberation Front of SOUTH VIETNAM in December 1960 as a United Front to encourage participation of non-COMMUNISTS . HO CHI MINH officially named LE DUAN as party leader in 1960 and he himself remained only as the Head of the State and a member of POLITBURO . In early 1960s , the NORTH VIETNAMESE POLITBURO was divided into the NORTH FIRST faction focusing on the economic development of NORTH VIETNAM, and the SOUTH FIRST faction, which favoured a guerrilla war in SOUTH VIETNAM so that VIETNAM could be reunited shortly . Between 1961 and 1963 , 40,000 COMMUNIST soldiers infiltrated into SOUTH VIETNAM . HO corresponded with his counterpart of the SOUTH VIETNAM, President DIEM in hope of achieving a negotiated peace . Then started MANELI AFFAIR with the help of the four principal deplomats : 1. RAMCHUNDUR GOBURDHUN , the Indian Chief Commissioner of the ICC ; 2. MIECZYSLAW MANELI , the Polish Commissioner to the ICC ; 3. ROGER LALOUETTE , the French Ambassador to South VIETNAM ; and 4. GIOVANNI d’ORLANDI , the Italian Ambassador to South VIETNAM . MANELI reported that HO CHI MINH was very much interested in the sign of a split between President DIEM and President KENNEDY . He said ,” Our real enemies are AMERICAN, get rid of them , and we can cope with DIEM and NHU afterward .” At a meeting in HANOI , HO CHI MINH told GOBURDHUN that he should meet DIEM next time and ” shake hand with him for me ” because DIEM was a Patriot . MANELI met with NGO DINH NHU , the younger brother of DIEM to discuss the FRENCH peace plan . On 1st November 1963, a coup overthrew DIEM , who was killed the next day together with his brother. Due DIEM’S policy of ‘deconstructing the state’ by creating several overlapping agencies , SOUTH VIETNAM collapsed into factionalism and infighting , while the VIET CONG continued to win the war . So, to President LYNDON JOHNSON, only AMERICAN military intervention could save SOUTH VIETNAM . In late 1964 , PEOPLE’S ARMY OF VIETNAM (PAVN) combat troops were sent southward into officially neutral LAOS and CAMBODIA . In March 1965 , AMERICAN combat troops began arriving in SOUTH VIETNAM . As fighting escalated , a widespread ariel and artillery bombardment all over NORTH VIETNAM by the US Air Force and Navy began with OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER . On 9th April 1965, HO CHI MINH secretly met MAO ZEDONG in BEIJING . The CHINESE government sent 320,000 CHINESE soldiers to VIETNAM during 1960s and spent over $20 billion to support HANOI’S regular NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY and VIET CONG guerrilla units . To counter the AMERICAN bombing the entire population of NORTH VIETNAM was mobilized for war efforts and repair done after the bombing, astonished even AMERICAN . HO regarded AMERICAN bombing as an encroachment over VIETNAM’S sovereignty . With HO CHI MINH’S permission , the VIET CONG a massive TET OFFENSIVE , the largest military campaigns of the VIETNAMESE WAR , launched on 30th January 1968 by the forces of VIET CONG and PAVN against the forces of the SOUTH VIETNAMESE ARMY OF REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (ARVN) and the US ARMED FORCES and their ALLIES . In early 1969 , HO CHI MINH suffered a heart attack . JEAN SAINTENY , a former FRENCH official in VIETNAM, secretly brought a letter of President RICHARD NIXON for ailing HO CHI MINH . The letter contained a proposal of ending ‘tragic war’ with consequential threat also . HO CHI MINH welcomed peace talk with US to end the war but made no concession , as NIXON’S threat made no impression on him. HO CHI MINH died on 2nd September 1969 at the age of 79. But ultimately SAIGON fell to NORTH VIETNAMESE FORCES on 30th April 1975 . And thus , VIETNAM was reunified .



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To a FRENCH Philosopher AUGUSTE COMTE , history is a ‘positive philosophy’ . And LEOPOLD VAN RANKE , the great GERMAN historian and the father of modern historical writings , was of the opinion that the business of history ‘is not to judge the past or instruct the present for the benefit of the future . Its business is only to show what actually happened.’ In this sense , history is meant for churning out truth from the series of events . And thus , the goal of history and science is the same , i.e to establish the truth . CAMRADE HO CHI MINH was an ideologue , a thinker and a philosopher , before he was the Prime Minister ( 1945 to 1955 ) and President ( 1945 to 1969 ) of VIETNAM . He was the Chairman of the WORKERS’ PARTY OF VIETNAM from 19th February 1951 to 2nd September 1969 . He was the first secretary of the WORKERS’ PARTY OF VIETNAM from 1st November 1955 to 10th September 1960 . He was the full member of the 2nd and 3rd POLITBURO from 31st March 1935 to 2nd September 1969 . He had founded the COMMUNIST PARTY OF VIETNAM (CVP) on 3rd February 1930 by merging the COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDOCHINA , the COMMUNIST PARTY OF ANNAM , the COMMUNIST LEAGUE OF INDOCHINA , the PEOPLE’S REVOLUTIONARY PARTY and the WORKERS’ PARTY OF VIETNAM,having its headquarters at 1A, HUNG VUONG STREET, BA DINH, HANOI . And it had its own Newspaper called NHAN DA .


HO CHI MINH was born in 1890 in a village called LANG CHUA , in KIM LIEN commune of the NGHE AN province as NGUYEN SINH CUNG . NGHE AN province , located in Central VIETNAM , was a FRENCH PROTECTORATE that time . His father NGUYEN SINH SAC was a CONFUCIAN scholar and teacher who became an Imperial Magistrate in the District of BINH KHE . But he was simply demoted because he had given a punishment of 102 stroke of the cane as punishment for an infraction to an influential local figure who died several day after the said punishment . He was also eligible to serve for the Imperial bureaucracy , but he refused to do so considering the fact that serving the Imperial bureaucracy meant serving the FRENCH . So, this feeling against the foreign rule over VIETNAM , was inculcated in the mind of young HO CHI MINH right from the beginning . Despite that he received a FRENCH education by attending COLLEGE QUOC HOC ( Secondary Examination ) on 8th August 1908 in HUE in Central VIETNAM . In the same year , due to his revolutionary spirit , he was involved in an anti-slavery demonstration of poor peasants in HUE which endangered his status as a student at COLLEGE QUOC HOC . But such demonstration against a colonial power like FRANCE affected badly his application for admission to the FRENCH COLONIAL ADMINISTRATIVE SCHOOL in 1911 . As his father had been dismissed by now , he no longer had any hope for a government scholarship . So, he moved southward and took admission at DUC THANH SCHOOL in PHAN THIET for six months . And then he traveled to SAIGON where he applied to work as kitchen helper on a FRENCH merchant steamer , the Amiral de Latouche-Treville , by changing his name as VAN BA . While working as the cook’s helper on a ship in 1912 , he traveled to US . He lived in NEW YORK and BOSTON from 1912 to13 and worked as a baker at the PARKER HOUSE HOTEL . It is also said that while in the US , he made contact with KOREAN nationalists . He was also influenced by Pan-Africanist and Marcus Garvey , the black nationalist during his stay . He also attended the meeting of the Universal Negro Improvement Association . From 1913 and 1919 , he claimed to have lived in WEST EALING , CROUCH END and HORNSEY in BRITAIN . He reportedly worked as either a chef or dishwasher at the DRAYTON COURT HOTEL in WEST EALING .


HO CHI MINH began to show an interest in politics while living in FRANCE from 1919 to 1923 . Came from ENGLAND in June 1919 to FRANCE , he was influenced by CAMRADE MARCEL CACHIN of the SOCIALIST PARTY OF FINANCE . He joined the Groupe des Patriotes Annamities ( The group of VIETNAMESE Patriots) where he mate PHAN CHU TRINH , NGUYEN THE TRUEN , PHAN VAN TRUONG and NGUYEN AN NINH . They were already publishing articles under pseudonym ‘NGUYEN THE PATRIOT’ advocating for the independence of VIETNAM . The group sent a petition to the Western powers at the VERSAILLES PEACE TALKS for recognition of the civil rights of the VIETNAMESE people in FRENCH INDO-CHINA . But it was ignored by the Western powers . In December 1920 , HO CHI MINH became a representative to the CONGRESS OF TOURS of the SOCIALIST PARTY OF FRANCE . The TOURS CONGRESS was the 18th National Congress of the FRENCH SECTION OF WORKERS’ INTERNATIONAL which took place from 25 to 30 December 1920 . HO CHI MINH was the founding member of the FRENCH COMMUNIST PARTY . Taking a position in the Colonial Committee of the party , he tried to draw the attention of the Camarades towards the staus of the FRENCH colony of INDO-CHINA but always remained unsuccessful . He used to write journal articles , short stories and strengthen his VIETNAMESE national group during his stay in FRANCE . His articles and speeches caught the attention of DMITRY MANUILSKY, who after realizing his talent , sponsored his trips to the SOVIET UNION. Under his tutelage , he became the high ranking member of the SOVIET COMINTERN .



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BAO DAI was the last Emperor of VIETNAM who ruled the country from 8th January 1926 to 30th August 1945 . He was the thirteenth and final Emperor of the NGUYEN DYNASTY , the last ruling Dynasty of VIETNAM . He was Emperor of ANNAM and de jure monarch of TONKIN, which were then protectorate in FRENCH INDO-CHINA . But before that we must know the hierarchy of Emperors of VIETNAM who remained on the throne for short periods from 1883 to 1926 . They were as follows : 1. DUC DUC ( 20th July 1883 to 23rd July 1883 ) ; 2. HIEP HOA ( 30th July 1883 to 29th November 1883 ) ; 3. KIEN PHUC ( 2nd December 1883 to 31 July 1884 ) ; 4. HAM NGHI ( 2nd August 1884 to 19 September 1885 ) ; 5. DONG KHANH ( 19th September 1885 to 28th January 1889 ) ; 6. THANH THAI ( 2nd February 1889 to 3rd September 1907 ) ; 7. DUY TAN ( 5th September 1907 to 6th May 1916 ) ; 8. KHAI DINH ( 18th May 1916 to 6th November 1925 ) . Emperor BAO DAI was born on 22nd October 1913 as NGUYEN PHUC VINH THUY in the palace of DOAN TRANG VIEN in HUE , the capital of VIETNAM . His father was Emperor KHAI DINH and his mother’s name was DOAN HUY , the second wife of the Emperor . As we know that ever since the FRENCH government took control of the region in the late nineteenth century , VIETNAM was split into three areas : 1. The Protectorate of ANNAM ; 2. TONKIN ; and 3. The colony of COCHINCHINA . And from the beginning of NGUYEN DYNASTY in 1802 , VIETNAM had been ruled from HUE as its capital . At the age of nine , young child NGUYEN PHUC VIEN THUY was sent to FRANCE to get education at the LYCEE CONDORCET . Then he studied at PARIS INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL STUDIES . When his father died, he was made the Emperor of VIETNAM on 8th January 1826 with his era name as BAO DAI . Even after becoming Emperor , he didn’t ascended to the throne yet and returned to FRANCE to continue his studies . He ascended to the throne in 1832 . He was married with MARIE THERESE NGUYEN HUU THI LAN who was a VIETNAMESE CATHOLIC and she was given title as Empress NAM PHUONG . Apart from that he had many concubines and mistress .


During the second world war , Imperial JAPAN took over FRENCH INDO-CHINA in 1940 . NAZI GERMANY had virtually occupied FRANCE during the second world war . So, the FRENCH government shifted to a resort town of VICHY , though PARIS remained ostensibly its capital . When JAPAN occupied INDO-CHINA , they didn’t eject the FRENCH colonial administration, the occasional authorities directed policy from behind the scenes in a parallel of VICHY FRANCE . However , in 1945 , the FRENCH were ousted, Emperor BAO DAI was coerced to declared VIETNAM independent from FRANCE as a member of JAPAN’S “GREATER EAST ASIA CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE”. The country now became the EMPIRE OF VIETNAM . When JAPAN surrendered to the ALLIES power in August 1945 , VIET MINH under the leadership of HO CHI MINH aimed to take power in a free VIETNAM . By virtue of his political stance against the FRENCH and due to the famine of 1945 , HO CHI MINH was able to persuade Emperor BAO DAI to abdicate the throne on 25th August 1945 . The Emperor was told to hand over the power to the VIET MINH . BAO DAI was appointed the “SUPREME ADVISOR” to the government of DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (DRV) led by HO CHI MINH which proclaimed independence of VIETNAM 🇻🇳 on 2nd September , 1945 . DRV was then ousted by the newly constituted the FRENCH FOURTH REPUBLIC in November 1946 .


Emperor BAO DAI left his post of SUPREME ADVISOR in 1946 and moved to HONG KONG . The FRENCH and VIET MINH— both unsuccessfully solicited him for political support . On the other hand , at home in VIETNAM , Anti-Commmunist coalition called NATIONAL UNION , comprising of South VIETNAMESE leader NGO DINH DIEM , political and religious leaders like : CAO DAI , HOA HAO and VNQDD came into existence. The NATIONAL UNION persuaded Emperor BAO DAI to seek independence of VIETNAM to get support of the UNION . This also persuaded him to reject VIET MINH overtures and enter into negotiations with the FRENCH . Thus , Emperor BAO DAI signed an agreement called HA LONG BAY AGREEMENT with FRANCE . However , no actual power was transferred to VIETNAM . So, this agreement was vehemently criticized by the NATIONAL UNION including NGO DINH DIEM . To escape the resulting political tension , Emperor BAO DAI travelled to EUROPE on four months pleasure , that’s why he was called a NIGHT CLUB EMPEROR . After a lot of persuasion by the FRENCH authorities , Emperor BAO DAI returned to VIETNAM to sign a second HA LONG BAY AGREEMENTS on 5th June 1948 . This agreement also contained a similar weak promises like that of the first one . So, finally the ELYSEE Accords were signed on 9th March , 1949 between the FRENCH President VINCENT AURIOL and Emperor BAO DAI , according to which was established the STATE OF VIETNAM , in which Emperor BAO DAI was declared as the chief of the state . But the country was still partially autonomous inviting criticism from all corners and the Emperor got reputation as a FRENCH PUPPET . Due to popular support of VIET MINH , a full-fledged civil war broke out in view of clashes between armed outfits of VIET MINH and FRENCH-BACKED REGIME . COMMUNIST victory of CHINA in 1949 and SOVIET recognition of DRV government in VIETNAM led to further revival of the fortune of the VIET MINH . However , the US reacted by extending deplomatic recognition to BAO DAI’S government in March 1950 . Despite this , the war between the VIET MINH and the FRENCH COLONIAL FORCES started to go badly for FRENCH . It culminated into a major victory for the VIET MINH at DIEN BIEN PHU . This led to a peace pact between the FRENCH and the VIET MINH . This is known as GENEVA ACCORDS , according to which VIETNAM was portioned at the 17th Parallel Line between the North and South VIETNAM . The North side of VIETNAM was given to DRV and Emperor BAO DAI remained the ‘Head of State’ of South VIETNAM . But Emperor BAO DAI moved to PARIS and appointed NGO DINH DIEM as his Prime Minister .







TU DUC was the fourth Emperor of the NGUYEN DYNASTY of VIETNAM . He ruled the country from 5th October 1847 to 19th July 1883 . He was the son of Emperor THIEU TRI who was born on 22nd September 1829 as Prince NGUYEN PHUC HONG NHAM and reigned under the title of TU DUC . But his reign started with family troubles . It was because of the fact that Emperor THIEU TRI had passed over his more moderate eldest son known as HONG BAO to give the throne to TU DUC who was a staunch CONFUCIANIST and opposed to foreigners and innovation . It caused a great deal of dissatisfaction with the NGUYEN rule in the country . So, Prince HONG BAO became a leader of rebellion against Emperor TU DUC . He organized CONFUCIAN scholars who were angry because the family hierarchy had been dishonored by passing over the eldest son of the royal family . The rebellion by Prince HONG BAO was also supported by some of the alive Princes of the LE DYNASTY (who thought that it was their birthright to rule over VIETNAM) , annoyed and corrupt mandarins , angry peasants who were against of NGUYEN taxation and CATHOLIC missionaries . However , Emperor TU DUC suppressed the rebellion without late . He also wanted to execute his elder brother Prince HONG BAO . But he was dissuaded by his mother DOWAGER QUEEN TU DU . And it is said that Prince HONG BAO killed himself in the prison .


The cholera pandemic hit VIETNAM only one year after coronation of Emperor TU DUC . In summer 1849 , as per royal archives , about 600,000 peopke lost their life due to cholera . According to a historian like CHRISTOPHER GOSCHA , the overall death tall was about 800,000 . Heavy precipitation was recorded in the country between 1847 to 1861 . This was followed by a period of extremely driest and severe droughts between 1864 to 1889 . Typhoons ravaged TONKIN in 1880-81. And a plague of locusts devastated SON TAY and BAC NINH Provinces of VIETNAM in 1854 . All during Emperor TU DUC .


Internal rebellions were commonplace for the NGUYEN DYNASTY . There were literally hundreds of smal rebellions and uprisings against the NGUYEN rule . Ineffective approach to execute the ban imposed on CHRISTIAN missionaries was the biggest source of trouble in VIETNAM during the period of Emperor TU DUC . Such troubles reached its zenith when a SPANISH bishop was executed . It justified the SPANISH and FRENCH invasion that led to the fall of SAIGON . By an order of 1848 , Emperor TU DUC commanded all VIETNAMESE CATHOLIC converts to renounce CHRISTIANITY , otherwise they would loose all of their rights and privileges. This rallied most of the EUROPEAN powers against VIETNAM . When further rebellions broke out in the country and the FRENCH were advancing towards the capital , in view of such developments Emperor TU DUC preferred to make a deal with the FRENCH, so that he crush the rebellion . He signed away the southernmost of VIETNAM to be a FRENCH colony and accepted the status of a FRENCH protectorate for his country . This caused a huge uproar in VIETNAM . A famous mandarin TRUONG DINH refused to recognize the treaty and denounced Emperor TU DUC for surrendering the southernmost part of the country called COCHINCHINA . With MARIE JULES DUPRE, the third FRENCH governor of COCHINCHINA signed the treaty of SAIGON with NGUYEN VAN TOUNG , an official of HUE court in 1874 , according to which VIETNAM became a Vassal of FRANCE . However , VIETNAM’S status quo in foreign relationships was maintained . But in 1876 , Emperor TU DUC sent a delegation to BEIJING for reassessing VIETNAM’S tributary status for the CHINESE Empire . Another VIETNAMESE delegation went to CHINA in 1880 to pay homage to the QING court . In the same year , the CHINESE Ambassador in PARIS announced that DAI NAM (VIETNAM) was still a Vassal of CHINA . So, he rejected the FRANCOVIETNAMESE treaty of 1874 . FRANCE retaliated by barring VIETNAM from joining the PARIS INTERNATIONAL FAIR . Viewing gravity of the situation and in anticipation of a new FRENCH incursion , Emperor TU DUC requested CHINA for a military aid . As a result , in September 1882, more than 200,000 CHINESE troops had been sent to Northern VIETNAM (TONKIN) .


Despite prosecution against CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS , some high ranking officials in the royal court were devot CATHOLIC . NGUYEN HUU THO was one such official who with another FRENCH priest was sent to FRANCE by Emperor TU DUC to plan the creation of a school of SCIENCES AND ARTS AND CRAFTS in HUE . But shortly , Emperor TU DUC abandoned this plan due to lack of interest . In 1866 , NGUYEN TRUONG TO , another CATHOLIC official was sent to EUROPE on VIETNAMESE third mission to recruit teachers and technicians for a Western-style school foundation in VIETNAM . But that project was also cancelled in 1887 when FRANCE annexed the rest of COCHINCHINA . On the other hand NGUYEN TRUONG TO launched a campaign against the traditional CONFUCIAN educational system in VIETNAM . To him , CONFUCIANISM was “the evil that has been brought on CHINA and our country by the CONFUCIAN way of life .” However , according to a VIETNAMOLOGIST like LE MINH KHAI , Emperor TU DUC had ordered the CHINESE edition of several classic books on science and industry from the west to be read by mandarins and soldiers of VIETNAM . It shows that VIETNAMESE elites were ready to adopt modern ideas of the west but very slowly .



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To political scientist SAMUEL POPKIN , out of the total population of around eight million people of VIETNAM, millions of people could have been perished, but as per royal tax register, 206,835 tax payers were removed from the register in 1820 due to the outbreak of the first cholera pandemic in the country . It shows the intensity and impact of disease in VIETNAM during Emperor MING MANG period . The first cholera outbreak , also known as ASIATIC CHOLERA , began near the city of CALCUTTA (NOW KOLKATA) , INDIA in 1817 and spread throughout SOUTH ASIA , SOUTH-EAST ASIA , MIDDLE-EAST , EASTERN AFRICA and the MEDITERRANEAN COAST , killing millions of people . In July 1820 , the outbreak touched VIETNAM . In 1824 , the transmission of the disease ended due to the anti-cholera program initiated in 1823 by a GERMAN physician called Dr. REHMANN . Similarly , about 200 rebellions were recorded during the twenty-year reign of Emperor MING MANG . Despite ongoing intra-turmoil in VIETNAM, he exhibited his admiration for CONFUCIANISM and classical CHINESE culture openly . He continued his father’s national policies of reorganizing the administrative structure of the government . The construction of highways , a postal service , warehouses for food security and other agrarian reforms were carried on . He also redistributed land and forbade farmers to sell the alloted land , so that the wealthy people could be prevented from purchasing their lands . In 1440 , it decreed that rich landowners had to return a third of their holdings to the community . He also centralized the administration . For recruiting mandarins , he introduced the definition of three levels of performance in the triennial examinations . To bring about stability in the country , he introduced a program of salaries and pensions for princes and mandarins , and in this way the traditional system of assignment of fief states to princes and mandarins were abolished .


Although he disagreed with the EUROPEAN culture and thinking , yet he studied it closely . Emperor MING MANG was keen in western technologies . He introduced western mechanics , weaponry and navigation into VIETNAM . When he heard of the vaccination against smallpox , he called a FRENCH doctor to live in his palatial residence and to vaccinate the royal family against the disease . He was the master of the Eastern Philosophy . So, he was regarded as intellectually oriented monarch . He was an excellent poet . He was also known for the micromanagement of the state affairs . And when Emperor MING MANG died 20th January 1841 , his son THIEU TRI was enthroned as the Emperor of VIETNAM . He was the eldest son of Emperor MING MANG whose personal name was NGUYEN PHUC MIEN TONG . He ruled the country from 14th February 1841 until his death on 4th November 1847 . Emperor THIEU TRI was much like his father in governance of the country . He carried on his conservative policies of isolationism and CONFUCIANISM . Though highly educated in the CONFUCIAN tradition , Emperor THIEU TRI was quite curious about the west like his father . But also like his father , he was quite suspicious about all the NON-VIETNAMESE and outsiders . On the other hand , the FRENCH were busy in the colonial race with the GREAT BRITAIN . So, they were strongly inclined towards INDOCHINA including VIETNAM . Emperor THIEU TRI , when started imprisoning missionaries , FRANCE sent a military expedition to INDOCHINA to protect and defend FRENCH interests . Now it was difficult to reconcile with a peaceful relationship with FRANCE . In 1845 , clash between VIETNAM and the AMERICAN warship USS CONSTITUTION took place, which forced the former to free the missionary DOMINIQUE LEFEBVRE , who had visited VIETNAM many times illegally to preach the people of VIETNAM about CHRISTIANITY . The FRENCH task-force reached TOURANE ( A COASTAL CITY OF VIETNAM ) on 23rd March 1847 , and demanded the safety of FRENCH nationals . They also asked Emperor THIEU TRI to cease the prosecution of missionaries . It was the Imperial mandarins of VIETNAM which put off the Emperor’s reply and the war broke out . The FRENCH forces easily defeated the VIETNAMESE forces . And all the VIETNAMESE coastal forts were destroyed . On the other hand , Emperor THIEU TRI called all missionaries enemy spies and demanded that all CHRISTIANS should executed on spot . But again the VIETNAMESE mandarins didn’t put this order into effect . Emperor THIEU TRI died shortly after that . And no missionaries were actually ever executed during his reign .



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NGUYEN DYNASTY was the last VIETNAMESE Dynasty which ruled the country from 1802 AD to 1945 AD . Called NGUYEN LORDS , NGUYEN family emerged into prominence in the 16th century under the rule of LE DYNASTY . They established feudal rule over a larger part of the territory of DAI VIET by the 16th century , before they were defeated by the TAY SON BROTHERS in the 19th century . NGUYEN ANH took over the reign of DAI VIET in 1802 AD as GIA LONG . He celebrated his coronation at HUE on 1st June 1802 AD . He proclaimed himself Emperor with era name as GIA LONG . Credit goes to him that he united VIETNAM after a three-hundred-year division of the country . His era name GIA LONG implied that his rule ranged from ‘GIA’ DINH region in the far south to THANG ‘LONG’ in the north . To avoid another civil war , he replaced the feudal system with reformist Doctrine of the Mean based on CONFUCIANISM . The NGUYEN DYNASTY was founded as a tributary state of the QING Empire . GIA LONG received an Imperial pardon and recognition from Emperor JIAQING of QING CHINA for accepting the CHINESE suzerainty . When Emperor GIA LONG ( NGUYEN ANH ) sent an envoy to QING CHINA to acquire this recognition , he cited the name of his country as ‘the ancient kingdom of NANYUE‘ to Emperor JIAQING . This displeased Emperor JIAQING very much . He was disconcerted by such prevention that NGUYEN ANH had to officially rename his kingdom as VIETNAM next year just to satisfy Emperor JIAQING of QING CHINA . Thus , the country of DAI VIET was officially known as ‘The (Great) Vietnamese state’.


To ensure stability over the unified kingdom, Emperor GIA LONG adopted a CONFUCIAN-BUREAUCRATIC government model . He sought unification with northern literati . He deputed two of his most loyal and CONFUCIAN-educated advisors : 1.NGUYEN VAN THANH ; and 2.LE VAN DUYET as Viceroys of HANOI and SAIGON respectively . Not only that , about 300 FRENCHMEN served GIA LONG’S court as officials from 1780 AD to 1820 AD . During his reign , a system of road connecting HANOI , HUE , and SAIGON with postal stations and inns was established . Several canals were constructed to connect the MEKONG RIVER to the GULF OF SIAM . In 1812 AD , Emperor GIA LONG issued the GIA LONG CODE on the basis of the CH’ING CODE of CHINA , replacing the previous THANH TONG’S CODE of 1480 AD . When a coup d’etat broke out in the Kingdom of CAMBODIA in 1811 AD , a VIETNAMESE tributary state since 1806 AD , Emperor GIA LONG sent 13,000 men to CAMBODIA to restore the throne of a PRO-VIETNAMESE King ANG CHAN II . After two years of fighting against SIAMESE and PRO-VIETNAMESE CAMBODIAN forces , VIETNAMESE forces took and acquired much of CAMBODIA by 1813 AD . King ANG CHAN II was restored back to power . But the Kingdom of CAMBODIA was now put under VIETNAMESE Viceroyship . And thus , CAMBODIA had become a VIETNAMESE client Kingdom for the next 30 years , while SIAM seized northern CAMBODIA in 1814 AD . However, Emperor GIA LONG died in 1819 AD . He was succeeded by his fourth son , NGUYEN PHUC DAM who took over the reign of VIETNAM as Emperor MINH MANG ( 1820 AD to 1841 AD ) .


MINH MANG literally means ‘The Bright Favour of Heaven’, was the fourth son of Emperor GIA LONG and the second Emperor of the NGUYEN DYNASTY of VIETNAM who ruled the country from 14th February 1820 AD to 20th January 1841 AD . He was widely known for FRENCH involvement in VIETNAM and his rigid CONFUCIAN orthodoxy . In February 1825 , Emperor MINH MANG banned missionaries from entering VIETNAM . All entries in VIETNAM were to be watched . FRENCH vessels entering VIETNAMESE harbors were ordered to be searched with extra care . CHRISTIANITY , in an Imperial edict , was described as the ‘Perverse European’ practice and , thus , accused of ‘corrupting the hearts of men’. Seven missionaries were sentenced to death between 1833 AD to 1838 AD . Following the edict which forbade entry of missionaries into VIETNAM, the authorities started arresting clerics . On the intervention of DUYET , the governor of COCHIN CHINA , who was a close confidant of Emperor GIA LONG and PIGNEAU De BEHAINE , Emperor MING MANG agreed to the priests on the condition that they congregate at DA NANG and return to FRANCE . However , some of them obeyed and some disobeyed after being released and resumed preaching . So far as his foreign policy was concerned , Emperor MING MANG adopted the isolationist and conservative CONFUCIAN policies . With his CONFUCIAN orthodoxy , Emperor MING MANG shunned all western influences and ideas as hostile and avoided all contact . Lieutenant JOHN WHITE , an officer of US NAVY, was the first AMERICAN who contacted with VIETNAM . Emperor MING MANG was willing to sign a contract , but only for purchase of artillery , firearms , uniforms and books , which to JOHN WHITE was not sufficient . So treaty was not signed at all .






TAY SON DYNASTY was founded in DAI VIET in wake of a rebellion against both the NGUYEN LORDS and TRINH LORDS . Three brothers , who established this Dynasty , were from the district of TAY SON of DAI VIET . TAY SON means ‘western mountains’. The century-long war between NGUYEN LORDS and TRINH LORDS were ended by all the three brothers of TAY SON . They also fought of an attack by QING CHINA and , thus united the country for the first time in 200 years . These brothers were : 1. NGUYEN NHAC ; 2. NGUYEN HUE ; and 3. NGUYEN LU . But we should not take them as relatives of NGUYEN LORDS . They were different and they were from TAY SON . The TRINH LORDS , who ruled the north from the Imperial Court in THANG LONG , and the NYUYEN LORDS in the south, who ruled from their capital in HUE , were local Lords despite the fact that there still existed the rule of the LE DYNASTY over VIETNAM in the 18th century . Both sides plunged into war frequently for the control of the country as a whole . For that the life of the people of DAI VIET was that of hardship . Peasantry were passing through a very uncertain phases of history . Ownership of land were concentrated in the hands of a handful landlords . The Imperial bureaucracy had become corrupt and oppressive . Imperial examination degrees were sold out to whoever was wealthy enough to purchase them . The common people grew poorer and poorer , and ruling lords lived lavishly in their colossal palaces .


The second brother of the TAY SON BROTHERS , NGUYEN HUE was the leader . He used to say that his goal was to end the people’s oppression . He wanted to reunite the country and restore the power of the LE EMPEROR in HANOI . The TAY SON BROTHERS styled themselves as the champion of the people . They drew their support from not only poor farmers but also from some indigenous highland tribes . They had promised to remove corrupt officials and redistribute land . So, they in 1771 AD , began a revolt from the village of TAY SON against NGUYEN LORD , PHUC THUAN , (one of the NGUYEN LORDS) who had been ruling over the southern portion of DAI VIET ( VIETNAM ) from 16th to 18th century . In 1773 AD , the TAY SON BROTHERS captured the port of QUI NHON, a coastal city in BINH DINH province in Central VIETNAM , a centre of trade and commerce . The merchants , who suffered under restrictive laws by the NGUYEN LORD , let the uprising by the TAY SON BROTHERS give financial support . NGUYEN realizing the serious scale of revolt , tried to buy peace , but their problems multiplied when TRINH SAM chose to end the hundred-year peace (treaty) and exploit the turmoil in the south by attacking PHU XUAN, the capital of NGUYEN . The TRINH army captured the city , forcing NGUYEN to flee to GIA DINH (SIAGON) . In 1776 AD , the TAY SON army captured the last NGUYEN stronghold of GIA DINH and massacred the CHINESE population present there . Later the entire NGUYEN family was killed at the end of the seige . NGUYEN ANH, a nephew of NGUYEN LORD , anyhow, escaped to SIAM to save his life . NGUYEN NHAC , the elder brother of TAY SON BROTHERS , proclaimed himself Emperor in 1778 AD . Now , conflict with the TRINH LORDS was needed to consolidate the entire VIETNAM .


After getting victory over NGUYEN LORDS , NGUYEN HUE decided to destroy the power of the TRINH LORDS . So, in 1786 AD , he with his army marched towards the north . The TRINH LORD fled north into CHINA after a decisive defeat from the army of NGUYEN HUE . And NANYUE HUE later married to princess LE NGOC HAN , the daughter of the LE EMPEROR , LE HIEN TONG to legitimize his position .

The war with the QING DYNASTY started in pretext of the Emperor LE CHIEU TONG’S petition to QIANLONG Emperor of QING CHINA for aid for regaining power in DAI VIET . So, in 1788 AD , a large QING army marched southward to VIETNAM and captured the capital THANG LONG . NGUYEN HUE (TAY SON SECOND BROTHER) organized a new huge army to fight the QING army . He addressed his troops before the battle was to start by saying ,“The QING have invaded our country and occupied the capital city THANG LONG. In our history, the TRUNG SISTERS fought against HAN, DINH TIEN HOANG against the SONG, TRAN HUNG DAO against the MONGOL YUAN, and LE LOI against the MING……..The QING, forgetting what happened to the SONG,YUAN and MING, have invaded our country. We are going to drive them out of our territory.” When the QING army was celebrating the Lunar New Year, in a surprise attack NGUYEN HUE army , with the help of CHINESE PIRATES , defeated them at the battle of NGOC HOI-DONG DA and forced them to retreat . And after the battle , NGUYEN HUE sought to restore the tributary relationship with QING CHINA which the latter accepted in 1789 AD without any question .


NGUYEN HUE ( QUANG TRUNG ) started organizing his army to take avenge on QING. He also provided refuse to anti-MANCHU organizations such as TIANDIHUI and the WHITE LOTUS . All infamous CHINESE PIRATES were granted official positions under the TAY SON Empire. But such plan of attack on QING CHINA was given up due to NGUYEN HUE’S sudden death in 1792 AD . His ten-year old son NGUYEN QUANG TOAN was enthroned as Emperor CANH THINH . But the real power remained with his uncle BUI DAC TUYEN . BUI DAC TUYEN enacted a massive political purge and whoever served under NGUYEN HUE were executed and rest of them left the regime . It weakened the TAY SON DYNASTY which paved the way for NGUYEN ANH ( A NEPHEW OF NGUYEN LORD WHO HAD FLED TO CHINA ) to captured the entire country within ten years from 1792 AD to 1802 AD . With the help of the FRENCH military adventures , NGUYEN ANH occupied QUY NHON citadel in 1800 AD . He occupied PHU XUAN in 1801 AD and forced Emperor NGUYEN QUANG TOAN to flee to THANG LONG but he was captured and executed , thus , ended the 24 years regime of TAY SON DYNASTY ( 1778 AD to 1802 AD ) .







MAC DYNASTY or HOUSE OF MAC ruled the whole of DAI VIET from 1527 AD to 1540 AD and the northern part of the country from 1540 AD to 1593 AD . Subsequent members of this Dynasty ruled over the province of CAO BANG with the support of the MING and QING Dynasties until 1677 AD . Their capital was DONG KINH . Religions prevailing during this period were — NEO-CONFUCIANISM , BUDDHISM , TAOISM and ROMAN CATHOLICISM . Apart from others the two important kings (the first and the last) who ruled during the period were : 1. MAC DANG DUNG ; and 2. MAC KINH VU . The contemporary historians of LE and NGUYEN Dynasties considered MAC Rulers as downright usurper. To modern researchers , during MAC Dynasty women enjoyed much more freedom and privileges than the previous Dynasties . The MAC court also encouraged the domestic and foreign trades to flourish . As a result , DONG DO and CHU DAU were developed as the East-West maritime commerce route . It happened simply due to some notable figures existed in the MAC court who were exceptionally talented and loyal . They were as follows : 1. PRINCE REGENT MAC KINH DIEN ; 2. GENERAL NGUYEN QUYEN ; and 3. MAC NGOC LUEN.


MAC DANG DUNG or MAC THAI TO was the founder of the MAC DYNASTY in DAI VIET . MAC DANG DUNG was born on 23rd November 1483 AD at the village of CO TRAI of NGHI DUONG district of DAI VIET as a fisherman’s son . His father’s name was MAC HICH and his mother’s name was DANG THI HIEU . He had one spouse and her name was NGUYEN THI NGOC TOAN . He started his Career as a bodyguard to the LE Emperor LE UY MAC . MAC DANG DUNG was a military man who rose through the rank . MAC eventually deposed the last Emperor of the LE DYNASTY . He executed Emperors like LE CHIEU TONG and LE CUNG HOANG and became Emperor himself . Using ruthless methods, he forced the LE officials to recognize his Dynasty and murdered members of the LE family . Emperor LE CUNG HOANG and his mother committed suicide . Some government officials also committed suicide rather acknowledge MAC DANG DUNG as Emperor of DAI VIET . He reigned DAI VIET from 1530 AD to 1541 AD . However , his usurpation of DAI VIET virtually split the Kingdom , with the MAC DYNASTY reigning in the north , while LE DYNASTY continued to reign in the south with the help of the TRIN LORDS and the NYUYEN LORDS . And MAC DYNASTY ruler MAC DANG DUNG frightened by the invasion of MING DYNASTY of CHINA with the army of 110,000 in 1540 AD , compelled him to succumb to CHINA by declaring himself as the chieftain of the latter .


MAC THAI TONG or MAC DANG DOANH was the second Emperor of the MAC DYNASTY who ruled DAI VIET from 1530 AD to 1540 AD . He was the son of MAC THAI TO (EMPEROR MAC DANG DUNG) who was still alive during the first year of his reign . His era name was DAI CHINH . MAC DANG DOANH was born in CAO DOI village of BINH HA district from Emperor MAC DANG DUNG as his father and NGUYEN THI NGOC TOAN as his mother . As oldest son of the couple , he was designated as the crown prince of DAI VIET in 1527 AD when his father seized the throne from Emperor LE CHIEU TONG and established the reign of MAC DYNASTY . And Emperor MAC THAI TONG or MAC DANG DOANH died on 25 January, 1540 AD after reigning for ten long years .

MAC THAI TONG was succeeded by MAC HIEN TONG as the third Emperor of the MAC DYNASTY who ruled DAI VIET from 1540 AD to 1546 AD . He also was born in the same CAO DOI village of BINH HA district where his predecessor was born . His father’s name was Emperor MAC THAI TONG and he was the grandson of late Emperor MAC DANG DUNG . They all were nominal Emperor of DAI VIET . Their contributions to the socio-political-economic development of DAI VIET was not so important . They all were functioning as Chieftains of MING CHINA . Other Emperors in this line were : 1. MAC TUYEN TONG (1546 AD to 1561 AD) ; 2. MAC MAU HOP (1562 AD to 1593 AD) ; 3. MAC TOAN (1592 AD to 1593 AD) ; 4. MAC KINH CHI (1592 AD to 1593 AD) ; 5. MAC KINH CUNG (1592 AD to 1625 AD) ; 6. MAC KINH KHOAN ( 1623 AD to 1638 AD) ; 7. MAC KINH VU (1638 AD to 1677 AD) . MAC KINH VU was the tenth Emperor of the MAC DYNASTY. After the revolt of Three Feudatories of CHINA (namely— YUNNAN , GUANGDONG and FUJIAN provinces against QING DYNASTY) , he (EMPEROR MAC KINH VU) was attacked by TRINH LORD and the former fled to QING CHINA .



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A CHINESE diplomat , who visited DAI VIET in 1513 AD , called Emperor LE TUONG DUC AD the PIG EMPEROR due to his terrible leadership . LE TUONG DUC was the nineth Emperor of the LATER LE DYNASTY of DAI VIET who ruled the country from 1509 AD to 1516 AD . To the DAI VIET SU KY TOAN THU ( The royal chronicles of DAI VIET ) , LE TUONG DUC initially was a good Emperor who recognized the court and ruled the country wisely . But later during his reign , he became extremely greedy , corrupt and extravagant . He was the second son of Prince LE TAN , the younger brother of Emperor LE HIEN TONG and the grandson of Emperor LE THANH TONG . His mother was the daughter of General TRINH TRONG PHONG whose name was TRINH THI TUYEN . As we know that how he escaped the program of purging Imperial princes and reached THANH HOA where with the help of his Lieutenants like NGUYEN VAN LANG and NGUYEN HOANG DU , LE OANH gathered an army against Emperor LE UY MAC and marched towards the Imperial capital . He decisively defeated the Imperial army . Further knowing that how Emperor LE UY MAC had executed his (LE OANH’S) elder brother LE SUNG , in retaliation LE OANH routed Emperor’s main army and captured Emperor LE UY MAC . He compelled Emperor to commit suicide . LE OANH, then, proclaimed himself the Emperor of DAI VIET under title LE TUONG DUC and designated his era name as HONG THUAN .


In the early period of his reign , Emperor LE TUONG DUC tried to organize the government and fostered NEO-CONFUCIANIST education . He also ordered to compile a new historical chronicles known as Dai Viet thong giam thong Khao and Tri binh bao pham ( Rule for Maintaining Social Stability ) in accordance with NEO-CONFUCIANISM . But in the later period of his reign , his views changed completely . He started spending extravagantly in building many colossal palaces in the royal capital THANG LONG . CUU TRUNG DAI designed by a famous architect VU NHU TO was one of them . He went so down that he tried to spend much more times enjoying sexual activities with his concubines . According to the royal court’s chronicles , he ordered special ships to be built for him to travel on the WEST LAKE . WEST LAKE is the biggest fresh water lake located in the northwest of the city of HANOI , the present capital of VIETNAM . Emperor LE TUONG DUC used to forced his concubines to strip naked and perform elegant dances on these ships . As a result of his luxurious lifestyle and blatant ignorance of the affairs of state , people suffered considerable hardship and his government became increasingly unpopular. Many rebellions broke out in DAI VIET . One from the House of TRAN also known as TRAN CAO revolt . As rightly termed as a PIG EMPEROR , Emperor LE TUONG DUC was murdered in 1516 AD by a group of Imperial guards led by General TRINH DUY SAN in the royal capital .


After the assassination of Emperor LE TUONG DUC in 1516 AD , his nephew and son of his brother LE SUNG , LE CHIEU TONG was declared as the 10th Emperor of the LATER LE DYNASTY of DAI VIET . He ruled the country from 1516 AD to 1522 AD . His short period of reign saw continuing factionalism and jockeying for power among MAC , NGUYEN and his own family . In 1524 AD , a rebellion broke out in DAI VIET . Emperor LE CHIEU TONG fled away from the capital . Though General MAC DANG DUNG quashed the rebellion , yet he tried to take the opportunity to seize the power for himself . As a result, Emperor LE CHIEU TONG was killed by the supporters of General MAC DANG DUNG . Shortly afterwards , his brother LE CUNG HOANG was declared Emperor of DAI VIET . He was the last Emperor of the LATER LE DYNASTY of DAI VIET . He reigned the country from 1522 AD to 1527 AD . Eventually , General MAC DANG DUNG deposed Emperor LE CUNG HOANG in 1527 AD and established the rule of MAC DYNASTY in DAI VIET .







It is said , ‘ Historical research is digging into the past in order to re-enact the past in its entirety .’ And a historian can neglect neither research nor style . This is the concluding operation of writing history . So , we have to study all the rest of the Emperors who reigned DAI VIET after Emperor LE THANH TONG despite the fact that they ruled the country, barring a few, nominally . The successor of Emperor LE THANH TONG was Emperor LE HIEN TONG who was the sixth Ruler of the LATER LE DYNASTY . He ruled DAI VIET from 1498 AD to 1504 AD . He was the son of Emperor LE THANH TONG . His mother name was Empress NGUYEN THI HUYEN . His only contribution was that he promulgated the legal code of his father Emperor LE THANH TONG in the Kham dinh Viet su Thong giam cuong muc . The Kham dinh Viet su Thong giam cuong muc was a history of VIETNAM Commissioned by the Emperor TU DUC of the NGUYEN DYNASTY . It was written in VAN NGON . VAN NGON was the medium of all the formal writings in VIETNAM for almost all the history of the country up to the twentieth century when it was replaced by the vernacular writings in VIETNAMESE alphabet . And the death of Emperor LE HIEN TONG in 1504 AD marked the beginning of the crisis in the 16th century which continued for eighty-eight years until TRINH LORDS drove the MAC DYNASTY from the DAI VIET’S capital THANG LONG .


LE TUC TONG was the seventh Emperor of the LATER LE DYNASTY who ruled DAI VIET from 17th July 1504 AD to 30th December 1504 AD . He was born on 6th September 1488 AD as the third son Emperor LE TRANH , the eldest son of Emperor LE THANH TONG . His real name was LE THUAN . His mother’s name was NGUYEN HOAN who was a concubine of TRANH coming from HUNG YEN , a city of DAI VIET . When Emperor LE HIEN TONG died in 1504 AD at the age of 44 , the seventeen years old LE THUAN ascended to the throne of DAI VIET . He was the CONFUCIAN scholar . So , he started reforms in the system . He released many prisoners . He stopped many construction works which was burden on his subjects . He also reduced tributes from Vassals and high-ranking officials . He maintained harmony in the royal court and peace in the country . However , a revolt broke out in CAO BANG led by DOAN THE NUNG which Emperor LE TUC TONG frustrated by defeating and killing of DOAN THE TONG with five hundred rebels . But his reign lasted for six months only . He felt critically ill . Sensing that he could not get rid of the disease , he designated his second elder brother LE TUAN as the apparent hier . And after the Emperor’s death LE TUAN succeeded him as the eighth Emperor of the LATER LE DYNASTY of DAI VIET . But Emperor LE TUC TONG’S death could be seen as the beginning of the decline of the LATER LE DYNASTY .


LE UY MUC , also called LE TUAN , was the eighth Emperor of the LATER LE DYNASTY of DAI VIET who ruled the country from 1505 AD to 1509 AD . He was the second son of Emperor LE HIEN TONG . His mother was Lady NGUYEN THI CAN . He was the elder half-brother of his own predecessor Emperor LE TUC TONG . To historians on the subject , new Emperor LE UY MAC was an arrogant and ruthless monarch . The empire which was prosperous and powerful during the reign of Emperor LE THANH TONG , the reign of Emperor LE UY MAC oversaw the beginning of the decline of the LATER LE DYNASTY and the DAI VIET Empire as a whole . He killed many people including his grandmother , two of his minister and many Imperial princes . He wasted his time and energy in excessive drinking and sexual activities . To some Ambassadors of the MING DYNASTY in the royal court of DAI VIET, the Emperor LE UY MUC was a ‘ DEMON KING ‘. He was portrayed by NEO-CONFUCIANIST historians as being deeply contrasted to his predecessors like Emperor LE THANH TONG and others . In 1505 AD , he ordered his servants to assassinate his 65 years old grandmother, Grand Empress DOWAGER TRUONG LAC . He also launched a bloody purge to kill those officials of the royal court who didn’t support him to become the Emperor . After investigating all the princes of the royal court , he killed those whom he considered as dangerous for his position . He also massacred CHAM slaves working in the government offices . He used to spend almost every night drinking with beauties in the palace . And whenever he got fully drunk , he used to kill those ladies . People became so afraid of his despotic rule that they feared to go before him . His cousin brother Prince LE OANH , after escaping the bloody purge , with some of the officials including NGUYEN VAN LANG plotted against the Emperor LE UY MAC . He launched a coup in November 1509 AD . Emperor LE UY MAC was aware that he had killed LE OANH’S parents . At last , the Emperor was deposed and requested to suicide . He died on 1st December 1509 AD . He was buried at the tomb of AN LANG . And the Prince LEO OANH became his successor as Emperor LE TUONG DUC .