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 Vietnamís history is a long, exciting and fascinating one, with the oldest archaeological findings showing that people have been living there as far back as about a half million years ago - making them among the very first East Asians who practiced agriculture in that area.   

The first truly influential part of history in Vietnam occurred during the Bronze Age, when the Dong So culture was in Vietnam, dramatically advancing their level of civilization. 

Between 200BC and 938AD, the Chinese ruled over this region, having conquered the Red River Delta in the 2nd century BC - a critical expanse in Vietnamese history.  This led to the inclusion of Chinese population and culture within the Vietnamese borders.  The native culture, though, hung on strong, with a strong sense of national identity among the people, and though many Chinese influences still exist in Vietnam, the traditional Vietnamese culture has hung on throughout the years and is still greatly predominant in that country.  The Chinese influences that continued were Confucianism and Taoism, which was the official ideology, as well as the Chinese ideographs (writing) which was used to express the Vietnamese language. 

During the Chinese rule, the south of what we know as Vietnam, was called the Funan kingdom - which was actually more influenced by Indian culture than by the Chinese rulers.  Similarly, Champa, in the extremely far south, was considered a Hindu kingdom and grew dramatically between the 2nd and 8th centuries. 

By the 10th century, China had moved out of the Tang dynasty with a huge collapse, and Vietnamese revolutionaries took the opportunity (under the leadership of Ngo Quyen) to stage continual revolts, overthrowing the Chinese soldiers and ending their rule by the year 938.   

When Ngo Quyen died, Vietnam was plunged into a century of anarchy, disorder and chaos, until the very first Vietnam dynasty was formed.  This dynasty was called the Ly Dynasty, which existed from 1010 to 1225, and was founded by Ly Thai To.  Within the two hundred years of the Ly Dynasty, its rulers created the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - Vietnamís first university - established an enormous system of organization, promoted agriculture and created the first system of flood control along the banks of the Red River.  The Ly Dynasty also greatly faded out the ideology of Confucianism and Buddhism grew. 

After the Ly Dynasty, came the Tran Dynasty, which remained until the year 1400.  By this time, Vietnam was prosperous, heading off many new Chinese attempts to regain the Red River Delta and other important regions.  The Later Le Dynasty followed, lasting until 1524, when Vietnam was once again conquered by the Chinese, but only for two decades, when revolutionary and self-declared emperor Le Loi defeated them once more. 

As the Ly Dynasty declined, during the 17th and 18th centuries, Vietnam was divided into two zones, ruled over by the Trinh Lords in the north and the Nguyen Lords in the south.  These two families were so strong, because the Nguyen were supplied weaponry by the Portuguese, while the Trinh had armaments from the Dutch.

From 1771-1802, Vietnam broke into rebellion in Tay Son, lead by three brothers of the Nguyen: Nguyen Nhac, Nguyen Hue and Nguyen Lu. The result was the crowning of Nguyen Lu as king of the South, Nguyen Nhac as king of central Vietnam and Nguyen Hue as emperor Quang Trung of the north.  Again the Chinese attacked, in 1789, but once again they were fought off, making it one of the largest victories in Vietnam history.  Nguyen Anh soon stepped in, taking most of the country and declaring himself emperor Gia Long. 

The Nguyen Dynasty then began in 1802 and continued until 1945.  This involved a great deal of social, ideological and organizational change. Especially when the French moved in from 1859 until 1954, at first making Vietnam a protectorate and then making it a colony.  This created a strong anti-colonialism feeling among the Vietnamese.  Though the appreciated the improvements in communication, commerce and transportation brought by the French, they had a deep seeded historical desire for national independence. So in 1941, the most successful Vietnamese revolutionary in Vietnamese history stepped up, creating the Indochina Communist Party called Viet Nam Doc Menh Lap Dong Minh Hoi better known as Vietminh.  Vietminh grew greatly in strength, gaining power over both the north and south and declared Vietnam the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945.  Though many negotiation talks existed between the French and Vietnam, war finally broke out in 1946, ending 8 years later with the Geneva Accords, leaving Vietminh in the North and the French and their Vietnamese supporters in the South. A political protocol was then signed to reunify the country 2 years after the treaty was signed.  In 1955 the south experienced an uprising, led by Ngo Dinh Diem and continuing and building until the North announced the formation of the National Liberation Front (NLF), later known as Vietcong. In 1963, Diem was overthrown and killed by a military coup, leading to the Vietnam war which started in 1964. By 1965, the South was losing badly and the US Military committed combat troops to the war.  This presence grew and grew with the increasing success of the Vietcong. By December 1967, there were almost half a million American men in the Vietnam War with the death number of 16,021. Frustrations built in US fighting units, discipline and moral began to decline, use of drugs and alcohol increased, and the fighting capabilities continued to erode.

The Paris agreements were signed by USA, South Vietnam, North Vietnam and Vietcong in 1973 followed by the total withdrawal of US combat forces. The guerrilla war still continued and the south fell.

Vietnam is no longer involved in the conflict and as a result, Vietnam has enjoyed its first true peace.  Tourism is now on Vietnamís top priority list.

 

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Square Celadon Tea Set / Vietnam
Square Celadon Tea Set / Vietnam
Code:12488
Price:$37.95
Vietnam Sterling Silver Teapot
Vietnam Sterling Silver Teapot
Code:12481
Price:$49.95
Chopsticks with Oyster Shell Ends
Chopsticks with Oyster Shell Ends
Code:12479
Price:$14.95
Round Floral Tea Set / Vietnam
Round Floral Tea Set / Vietnam
Code:12484
Price:$34.95
Chopsticks with Snail Shell Ends
Chopsticks with Snail Shell Ends
Code:12478
Price:$12.95
 
 

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