From pre-history to the WTO
Vietnam’s history is complicated – a minestrone of kingdoms and dynasties, invasions and resistance, independence and occupation. Information books and potted histories that attempt a chronological synopsis of the 500,000 years since the first human habitation of Vietnam usually find you as an impenetrable mêlée of names and dates.
Quite than providing our customers with data that’s freely out there elsewhere, we choose to try to interpret the development course of that has led to fashionable Vietnam and attempt to shed a little light upon a few of the extra arcane, or positively baffling, modes of conduct and behavior encountered by visitors to our country.
Putting chronology on one side, each of the eight pages in this section follows a specific theme, tracing the influences which have formed and molded the Vietnamese individuals over two millennia. They’re meant to offer a framework to allow visitors to place the issues they see and hear in a context that makes sense.
Striving for sovereignty
Since their emergence within the Vietnamese heartland of the Red River Delta seven thousand years in the past, the Vietnamese have fought for his or her independence. This struggle, starting with a thousand years of Chinese domination from the second century BC, has been a potent element in creating the Vietnam of today.
Vietnam’s history has been one among resistance interspersed by durations of feudal communalism underneath dynastic rule. Many invaders have sought to overcome the country, together with Kublai Khan’s Mongol military, and some have succeeded. However, in each case, the Vietnamese have ultimately triumphed.
The Confucian influence
Whilst faith has been a powerful affect, the strictures of Confucianism, the most profitable instrument of huge-scale social management ever devised, have probably been the defining factor in the evolution of the Vietnamese character. A top level view of its philosophy and improvement is a prerequisite to an understanding of modern Vietnam.
Incorporation and transformation
Vietnam has skilled numerous incursions of foreign forces, and their subsequent expulsion, throughout its history. Rapidly alternating balances of power have been instrumental in shaping the remarkable pragmatism of its people, and underpinned their assimilation of foreign religions and philosophies: beliefs and concepts that have been absorbed and remodeled into something distinctly Vietnamese.
Colonial occupation and liberation
The influence of 100 years of colonialism has additionally left its mark, however maybe more upon the tangible infrastructure of the country, slightly than its people. However, the French occupation earns its right to being a discrete theme by its galvanizing effect upon Vietnam’s burning need for liberation and the following dedication of most of its people to all-out warfare against the forces of the United States and its allies.
Reunification and a brand new course
After victory, re-unification and eventual international recognition of Vietnam as a free and sovereign state, all these themes mixed to set the stage for Vietnam’s recovery, reconciliation and eventual emergence into the world community. As our country struggles to ascertain its relationships and roles in the emerging world order of the brand new millennium and prepares for entry to the World Commerce Organization, the present pages of Vietnam’s history are being written by the juggernaut of globalization, and its impact upon individuals who nearly by passed the 20th century.