Friday, December 25, 2009

Vietnam History Part3: How the South Vietnam was won

Vietnam or Dai Viet, was initially around red River Delta at the Gulf of Tonkin, but it was eventually expanded to the South by war and invasion to the Cham Empire(central and south Vietnam) and later on to Mekong Delta, where Khemer land including Saigon was acquired.

The conquest of the south of present-day Vietnam was a long process of territorial acquisition by the Vietnamese. It is called Nam Tien by Vietnamese historians. Vietnam (then known as Đại Việt) nearly doubled its territory in 1470 under the great king Lê Thánh Tông, at the expense of the Champa. Ly Thánh Tông (Hán tự: 黎聖宗; 1442 – 1497) was emperor of Đại Việt from 1460 until his death. The next two hundred years was a time of territorial consolidation and civil war with only gradual expansion south.

The Early Lê Dynasty or Nhà Tiền Lê(前黎朝, 980-1009)

The Early Lê Dynasty was a dynasty that ruled Vietnam after the Đinh Dynasty(丁朝) and before the Lý Dynasty. They ruled for a total of three generations and was known for repelling the Song invasion.

1. Lê Hoàn (940-1005)黎桓), posthumous name Lê Đại Hành(黎大行). The founder of Early Le Dynasty. Lê Hoàn defeated the Chinese Song Dynasty armies in 981 in Battle of Bạch Đằng (981), and obtained official Chinese recognition of Vietnamese independence.

2. Lê Trung Tông (黎中宗) was the second king under the Anterior Lê Dynasty. He held his throne for only three days which was considered one of two shortest reigns in Vietnam's history, along with Dục Đức under the Nguyen Dynasty.He was born in 983 to Lê Đại Hành and Empress Diệu Nữ. His born name was Lê Long Việt (Hán tự: 黎龍鉞). He was one of over ten princes of Lê Đại Hành. After the Crown Prince Long Thâu died, he was chosen as Crown Prince.

3. Lê Ngọa Triều (黎臥朝; 1005-1009)- born Lê Long Đĩnh (黎龍鋌) was the last king of the Anterior Lê Dynasty of Vietnam. After killing the predecessor and also his half-brother Lê Long Việt(黎龍鉞), Lê Long Đĩnh took the throne and named his era Cảnh Thụy. He was one of the most brutal and sadistic kings during the era of Vietnam's feudal system.

Lý dynasty(李朝)/Later Lý Dynasty (nhà Hậu Lý)1009-1225.

When the king Lê Long Đĩnh(黎龍鋌) died in 1009 AD, a Palace Guard Commander named Lý Công Uẩn was nominated by the court to take over the throne, and founded the Lý dynasty. This event is regarded as the beginning of a golden era in Vietnamese history, with great following dynasties. The way Lý Công Uẩn ascended to the throne was rather uncommon in Vietnamese history. As a high-ranking military commander residing in the capital, he had all opportunities to seize power during the tumultuous years after Emperor Lê Hoàn's death, yet preferring not to do so out of his sense of duty. He was in a way being "elected" by the court after some debate before a consensus was reached

Lý Công Uẩn(李公蘊), posthumously referred as Lý Thái Tổ(李太祖), changed the country's name to Đại Việt (Hán tự: 大越; literally "Great Viet"). The Lý Dynasty is credited for laying down a concrete foundation, with strategic vision, for the nation of Vietnam. He was succeeded by
Lý Thái Tông(李太宗), posthumous title of Lý Phật Mã (李佛瑪). Lý Thái Tông was succeeded by Lê Thánh Tông(李聖宗), born Lý Nhật Tôn(李日尊),ruled 1054-1072 and was the posthumous title of the third emperor of the Lý dynasty of Vietnam.

Toward the end of the Lý Dynasty, a powerful court minister named Trần Thủ Độ(陳守度), forced king Lý Huệ Tông to become a Buddhist monk and Lý Chiêu Hoàng, Huệ Tông's young daughter, to become queen. Trần Thủ Độ then arranged the marriage of Chiêu Hoàng to his nephew Trần Cảnh (陳煚)and eventually had the throne transferred to Trần Cảnh who become Trần Thái Tông(陳太宗), thus begun the Trần Dynasty. Trần Thủ Độ viciously purged members of the Lý nobility; some Lý princes escaped to Korea, including Lý Long Tường(李龍祥). Note: Lý Long Tường(李龍祥), later became Lee of Hwasan, General of Korea. He is an ancestor of one branch of the Lee (or Rhee) family today in both South and North Korea.

1. Lý Thái Tổ (1009-1028)- Lý Thái Tổ (Hán tự: 李太祖, birth name Lý Công Uẩn 李公蘊) ruled Vietnam as emperor for 19 years from 1009 to 1028 under the Lý D‎ynasty of which he was the founder. In 1009, Lê Ngoạ Triều, the last king of the Anterior Lê Dynasty died under the wrath of the people because of the ferocity and cruelty brought on them in his time. Đào Cam Mộc, an official, and Vạn Hạnh monk used their power to enthrone Lý Thái Tổ without any debate, displacing the descendant of the Anterior Lê Dynasty.
2. Lý Thái Tông(1028-1054) - Lý Thái Tông (chữ Hán: 李太宗; 1000 - 1054) was the posthumous title of Lý Phật Mã (李佛瑪), emperor of the Lý Dynasty of Đại Việt (Northern Vietnam) from 1028 to 1054. His father was Lý Công Uẩn (李公蘊), posthumously known as Lý Thái Tổ (李太祖), the founder and the first emperor of the Lý Dynasty. During his reign, he built the basic bureaucratic infrastructure for the dynasty and was considered one of the greatest kings and emperors in Vietnamese history.
3. Lý Thánh Tông(1054-1072)
4. Lý Nhân Tông (1072-1127)-Lý Nhân Tông, or Lý Nhật Tông (Hán tự: 李仁宗; 1066-1127) was the emperor of Vietnam from 1072 to 1127. His was born Lý Càn Đức (李乾德) but known in most historical records by his temple name of Lý Nhân Tông.
5. Lý Dương Hoán(李陽煥)1128-1138
6. Lý Thiên Tộ,(李天祚)(1138-1175)
7. Lý Long Trát or Lý Long Cán(李龍翰)(1175-1210)
8. Lý (Hạo) Sảm(李旵), (1211-1224)- Under pressure of Trần Thủ Độ, leader of Trần clan, Huệ Tông had to pass the throne to his daughter, Chiêu Thánh Princess, and became a Buddhist priest. After Trần clan overthrew Lý clan to become the reigning force, Huệ Tông was obliged to commit suicide after Trần Thủ Độ's advice.
9. Lý Phật Kim (李佛金)Lý Thiên Hinh (李天馨), (1224-1225) -Lý Chiêu Hoàng (Hán tự: 李昭皇; 1218–1278) was the eighth and last sovereign of the Lý Dynasty from 1224 to 1225 and the only empress regnant in history of Vietnam. Chosen by the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông as his successor at the age of only six, Lý Chiêu Hoàng ruled the country under the total influence of Trần Thủ Độ and the Trần clan in the royal court. It was Trần Thủ Độ who arranged the marriage between the empress regnant and his 7-year-old nephew Trần Cảnh and ultimately overthrew the Lý Dynasty to found the Trần Dynasty in 1225. The only woman in the feudal history of Vietnam to assume the title of Empress Regnant. She was forced by Trần Thủ Độ, leader of Trần clan, to cede the throne to her husband, Trần Cảnh, who afterward became Trần Thái Tông, the first emperor of Trần Dynasty

Tran Dynasty(陳朝), 1225-1400

The founder of the Trần clan in Đại Việt was Trần Kinh, a Chinese immigrant of Fujian or Guilin origin, who settled in Tức Mặc village (now Mỹ Lộc, Nam Định) and lived by fishing. After three generations in Đại Việt, Trần clan became a rich and powerful family under Trần Lý who was Trần Kinh's grandson. During the troubled time under the reign of Lý Cao Tông, the Crown Prince Lý Sảm sought refuge in the family of Trần Lý and decided to marry his beautiful daughter Trần Thị Dung in 1209. Afterward, it was the Trần clan who helped Lý Cao Tông and Lý Sảm restore the throne in Thăng Long; therefore, the Emperor appointed several members of the Trần clan for high positions in the royal court such as Tô Trung Từ, who was an uncle of Trần Thị Dung, or Trần Tự Khánh and Trần Thừa, who were Trần Lý's sons. In 1211 the Crown Prince Lý Sảm was enthroned as Lý Huệ Tông after the death of Lý Cao Tông. By that time the Trần clan's position began to rise in the royal court.

Having been mentally ill for a long time, the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông ultimately decided to cede the throne of the Lý Dynasty to crown princess Lý Chiêu Hoàng in October of the lunar calendar, 1224. Ascending to the throne at the age of only six, Lý Chiêu Hoàng ruled under the total influence of the commander of the royal guard Trần Thủ Độ. Even the Empress Regnant's servants were chosen by Trần Thủ Độ; one of them was his 7-year-old nephew Trần Cảnh. When Trần Cảnh informed Trần Thủ Độ that the Empress Regnant seemed to have affection towards him, the leader of the Trần clan immediately decided to take this chance to carry out his plot to overthrow the Lý Dynasty and establish a new dynasty ruled by his own clan. First Trần Thủ Độ moved the whole Trần clan to the royal palace and arranged a secret marriage between Lý Chiêu Hoàng and Trần Cảnh there, without the appearance of any mandarin or member of the Lý royal family. After that, he announced the fait accompli to the royal court and made Lý Chiêu Hoàng cede the throne to her new husband on the grounds that she was incapable of holding office, so Trần Cảnh was chosen as her successor. As a result, the 216-year reign of the Lý Dynasty was ended and the new Trần Dynasty was created on December 1 of the lunar calendar, 1225.

After the purge most Trần kings ruled the country in similar manner to the Lý kings. Noted Trần Dynasty accomplishments include the creation of a system of population records based at the village level, the compilation of a formal 30-volume history of Đại Việt (Đại Việt Sử Ký) by Lê Văn Hưu, and the rising in status of the Nôm script, a system of writing for Vietnamese language. The Trần Dynasty also adopted a unique way to train new kings: as a king aged, he would relinquish the throne to his crown prince, yet holding a title of August Higher Emperor (Thái Thượng Hoàng), acting as a mentor to the new Emperor. They are credited with defeating three Mongol invasions, most notably in a decisive battle at the Bạch Đằng River.

List of emperors of the Trần Dynasty:
1. Tran Thái Tông(太宗), Trần Cảnh(陳煚)(1226-1258)
2. Thánh Tông(聖宗), Trần Hoảng(陳晃)(1258-1278)
3. Nhân Tông(仁宗), Trần Khâm(陳昑)(1278-1293)
4. Anh Tông(英宗), Trần Thuyên(陳烇)(1293-1314)
5. Minh Tông(明宗),Trần Mạnh(陳烇)(1314-1329)
6. Hiến Tông(憲宗),Trần Vượng(陳旺)(1329-1341)
7. Dụ Tông(裕宗),Trần Hạo(陳暭)(1341-1369)
8. Hôn Đức Công(昏德公), Dương Nhật Lễ(楊日禮)(1369-1370) -Before his death, Dụ Tông pass the throne to Dương Nhật Lễ ignoring the fact that Dương was not from the Trần clan. Dương Nhật Lễ was soon dethroned and killed by members of the royal family
9. Nghệ Tông(藝宗),Trần Phủ(陳暊)(1370-1372)-
10.Duệ Tông(睿宗),Trần Kính(陳曔)(1373-1377)
11.Phế Đế(廢帝),Trần Hiện(陳晛)(1377-1388)-Phế Đế was dethroned to Linh Đức đại vương (King of Linh Duc) by Thái thượng hoàng Nghệ Tông after Hồ Quý Ly's advice.
12. Thuận Tông(順宗), Trần Ngung(陳顒)(1388-1398)- Thuận Tông was obliged to pass the throne to Thiếu Đế by Hồ Quý Ly. Afterward he was forced to commit suicide after order of Hồ Quý Ly
13. Thiếu Đế(少帝),Trần An(陳��)(1398-1400)- Thiếu Đế was overthrown by Hồ Quý Ly and was downgraded to Bảo Ninh đại vương (King of Bao Ninh).His given name (An, ��) was suggested by authors of Khâm định Việt sử Thông giám cương mục, the official historical book of Nguyễn Dynasty, because they could not find the exact Chinese character for this sovereign

Ho Dynasty(胡朝)(1400-1407)
The appearance of the Hồ family name, origin and background can be traced back to 9th century Zhejiang, which was then in the midst of the Five Dynasties struggle(五代十国). From Zhejiang, the family migrated south until they established themselves in Nanyue (Vietnam). Hồ Liêm, Hồ Quý Ly's great-great-grandfather, moved further south and settled in the province of Thanh Hóa (about 100 km south of the modern city of Hanoi)

1. Hồ Quý Ly(胡季犛) - Hồ Quý Ly was such a politician. He was widely known for his cunning, courage, and boldness, and had distinguished himself in a successful campaign against the Chams of Champa. Through his scheming and shrewd marriage alliances (to a sister of Emperor Trần Duệ Tông and Trần Thuận Tông), Hồ Quý Ly made himself a court fixture in the position of the emperors' indispensable advisor. In less than 20 years, while many others involved in court intrigues were being assassinated all around him, Hồ Quý Ly attained the highest post of General/Protector/Regent of the country in 1399. Hồ Quý Ly first had a new capital built, called Tây Đô (literally "Western Capital"). In 1399, he invited the current emperor, Trần Thuận Tông, to visit this new capital. After coaxing the emperor into relinquishing the throne to Prince An (a three-year-old child) he had Trần Thuận Tông imprisoned in a pagoda and later executed. Prince An "reigned" for one year until Hồ Quý Ly deposed him in 1400 and declared himself to be the new emperor. Hồ Quý Ly immediately changed the country's name from Đại Việt to Đại Ngu (大虞)
2. Hồ Hán Thương(胡汉苍)(1400-1407)

This war began in 1406 when Emperor Yongle (Vietnamese: Minh Thành Tổ) sent Kwang Tung ("Hoang Trung" in Vietnamese) with an army of 500,000 to lead the invasion. In 1407, the fall of Da Bang fortress, and the defeats of the Hồ at Moc Pham Giang and Ham Tu all precipitated the fall of the Hồ dynasty. At the Ham Tu battle, the Hồ family tried to escape the enemy but was caught by the Ming and sent to exile in China. From 1407 till 1427, the Ming ruled Nanyue more ruthlessly than ever before.

The Later Lê Dynasty(後黎朝, 1428-1788)
The Later Lê Dynasty (Vietnamese: Nhà Hậu Lê; Hán Việt: 後黎朝), sometimes referred to as the Lê Dynasty (the earlier Lê Dynasty ruled only for a brief period) was the longest-ruling dynasty of Vietnam, ruling the country from 1428 to 1788, with a brief interruption.
The founder of the Lê Dynasty was the hero-Emperor of Vietnam: Lê Lợi (ruled: 1428-1433).

The dynasty officially began in 1428 with the coronation of Lê Lợi after he drove the Ming army from Vietnam. In 1527, the Mạc Dynasty usurped the throne; when the Lê Dynasty was restored in 1533, they still had to compete for power with the Mạc Dynasty during the period known as Southern and Northern Dynasties. The restored Lê emperors held no real power, and by the time the Mạc Dynasty was confined to only a small area in 1592 and finally eradicated in 1677, actual power was in the hands of the Nguyễn Lords in the South and the Trịnh Lords in the North, both ruling in the name of the Lê emperor while fighting each other. Their rule officially ended in 1788, when the peasant uprising of the Tây Sơn brothers defeated both the Trịnh and the Nguyễn, ironically in order to restore power to the Lê Dynasty

Le Loi(黎利)
Lê Lợi was the son of a village leader in Thanh Hoa province, the southern-most province of Vietnam at the time. When he was born, Vietnam was independent and under the rule of the Trần Dynasty. However, the Trần Emperors had been weak for some decades and the powerful neighbor to the north, China was now unified and under the rule of the energetic founder of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Hongwu. As was usual in Vietnamese history, a disputed succession was an excuse for the Chinese to re-assert control over Vietnam (See the Hồ Dynasty for further details). The Chinese, now under the Yongle Emperor conquered and ruled Vietnam starting in 1407. They immediately tried to change it into another province of the Ming Empire. Many, if not all Vietnamese customs and laws were declared invalid. Distinctive features of Vietnamese life which had naturally emerged during the nearly 500 years of independence from China were suppressed. All resistance to this effort was treated as rebellion and was dealt with according to normal Imperial Chinese methods (villages were burned, people were tortured and executed).

Lê Lợi(黎利);Lê Lợi (Hán tự: 黎利; 1384 or 1385? – 1433), posthumously known with the temple name Lê Thái Tổ (黎太祖), was Emperor of Vietnam and founder of the Later Lê Dynasty. Lê Lợi is among the most famous figures from the medieval period of Vietnamese history and one of its greatest heroes. started a revolt against the Ming rulers in 1418. The revolt lasted for 10 years during which there was much bloodshed and many defeats. However, the Chinese were gradually beaten and finally Lê Lợi was victorious. He proclaimed himself the new Emperor of Vietnam, gave himself the name Lê Thái Tổ (the Founding Emperor), and was recognized as such by the new Xuande Emperor of China. However, after only five years on the throne, Lê Lợi became ill and died.

The conquest of Champa
In 1465, Vietnam was attacked by pirates from the north. This was dealt with by sending additional forces to the north to fight the pirates. Thánh Tông also sent a military force to the west to subdue the Ai-lao mountain tribe that was causing troubles.

In 1470, the Vietnamese began preparing for a crucial war against the Champa kingdom to the south. The war actually started with an attack by the Cham king, Tra-Toan, who lead a Champa army into the border area of Vietnam. Lê Thánh Tông responded with his typical energy and efficiency, a large army was mobilized from all over the country and a delegation was sent to the Ming court laying out the reasons for Vietnam's counter attack. On 6 November 1470, he ordered Barbarian-fighting General Đinh Liệt and Lê Niem to command the front guard of 100,000 men and moved south. On 16 November, 1470, he personally commanded the army of 150,000 men to support.

On 18 December, the first troops moved into Champa.

On 5 February, Champa king Tra-Toan ordered his brother Thi Nai to command 6 generals and 5,000 troops and elephants secretly to come near Lê Thánh Tông’s army. The Vietnamese forces discovered this plan so an army about 30,000 men commanded by Le Hy Cat, Hoang Nhan Thiem, Le the, Trinh Van Sai sailed to the back of the enemy. At the same time, an army commanded by Nguyen Duc Trung ambushed the Champa army and forced it to withdraw and then, this army was completely wiped out by Le Hy Cat's troops. The Champa king was very frightened and surrendered but was rejected.

On 27 February, Lê Thánh Tông personally commanded troops who captured Thi Nai, the most important harbor city of Champa.

On 29 February, the Vietnamese army surrounded the Champa capital city of Vijaya (near modern-day Qui Nhon). After four days of battle, the city was captured, and the Cham king, Tra-Toan, was captured. He died on the return journey to Hanoi. Cham losses were immense, some 60,000 dead and 30,000 enslaved. The Champa regions of Amaravati and Vijaya were formally annexed to the Vietnamese kingdom as the newly organized province of Quang-nam.

The royal army continued south until it reached Cả pass - some 50 miles north of the Champa city of Kauthara (modern-day Nha Trang). Here Lê Thánh Tông stopped and ordered a stele set up to mark the new border between his kingdom and the Champa lands (Insight Guide - Vietnam, Scott Rutherford (ed.), p. 275, 2006 ISBN 9812349847).

In 1479, in response to continued attacks from the west, Lê Thánh Tông waged war against the federation of Lān Xāng, (modern day Laos). A powerful Vietnamese army invaded the Lao lands, sacking the capital city of Luang Phrabāng. From this point on, Lan Xang paid tribute to the Vietnamese government (Vietnam, Trials and Tribulations of a Nation D. R. SarDesai, pg 35, 1988). The Vietnamese government would intervene at least once more in Laos during the rule of Trịnh Căn in 1694.

The conquest of the Cham kingdoms started a rapid period of expansion by the Vietnamese southwards into this newly conquered land. The government used a system of land settlement that was borrowed from the Chinese called đồn điền (屯田).
Under this system, military colonies were established in which soldiers and landless peasants cleared a new area, began rice production on the new land, established a village, and served as a militia to defend it. After three years, the village was incorporated into the Vietnamese administrative system, a communal village meeting house (dinh) was built, and the workers were given an opportunity to share in the communal lands given by the state to each village. The remainder of the land belonged to the state. As each area was cleared and a village established, the soldiers of the don dien would move on to clear more land. U.S. Library of Congress Country Studies - Vietnam

A group of 28 poets was formally recognized by the court (the Tao Dan) and a new official history of Vietnam was written called "The Full History of Dai Viet" (Đại Việt Sử ký Toàn thư). The historian Ngo Si Lien compiled this in 1479[1] and it was published under supervision of the emperor. This is the cultural advance by North Vietnamese to the former south Cham territories.

Le Thanh Tong (黎聖宗)
Le Thanh Tong (Vietnamese: Lê Thánh Tông; ruled: 1460-1497) was the most prominent of all the Le rulers and one of the greatest Emperors in Vietnamese history. His rule was one of the high points in the history of Vietnam and was referred to as the time of a "Flood of Virtue" (Hồng Đức) and the Vietnamese Hammurabi. He instituted a wide range of government reforms, legal reforms, and land reforms. He restarted the examination system for selecting men for important government positions. He reduced the power of the noble families and reduced the degree of corruption in the government. He built temples to Confucius throughout the provinces of Vietnam. In nearly all respects, his reforms mirrored those of the Song Dynasty.

He led a large and effective army against the Champa which succeeded in conquering the Cham capital and ended the power of the Champa forever. He created a new province out of former Champa land and allowed settlers to go to the new land.

(i)Mạc Dynasty(莫朝,1527-1592)
The Mạc Dynasty (Vietnamese: Nhà Mạc; Hán Việt: 莫朝, Mạc Triều), ruled the northern provinces of Vietnam from 1527 until 1592, when they lost control over the capital Hanoi for the last time. Later Mạc representatives ruled over the province of Cao Bằng (with the direct support of the Qing)from 1592 until 1677.

(ii)Southern and Northern Dynasties(南北朝, 1533-1592)
Southern and Northern Dynasties (Vietnamese: Nam Triều Bắc Triều), spanning from 1533 to 1592, was a period that occurred during 16th century in Vietnam. During this period, there existed a Northern Dynasty, established by Mac Dang Dung in Đông Đô, and a Southern Dynasty, established by Nguyen Kim under the name of Le kings in Tây Đô.

In early time, Northern Dynasty ruled ruled the territory from Thanh Hóa to the North and Southern Dynasty ruled the territory of Thanh Hóa to the South. Both dynasties claimed to be the sole legitimate dynasty of Vietnam.

The two dynasties fought for nearly sixty years, ended in 1592 when the Southern Dynasty defeated the North and recaptured Dong Do. However, Mac family members had maintained an autonomous rule in Cao Bằng under the protectorate of Chinese Dynasties until 1677.

(iii)The Trịnh-Nguyễn War (鄭阮紛爭,1627–1673)
Both the Trinh and the Nguyễn families were descended from close friends and aides to the hero-Emperor Lê Lợi who freed Vietnam from Chinese rule and started the Lê Dynasty in 1428. By 1520 a succession of weak or evil kings had brought the country into a state of civil war (see Lê Dynasty's civil war). For the next 20 years the Trịnh and Nguyễn families fought as allies against the usurper Mạc Đăng Dung. In theory, they both were fighting on behalf of the Lê Emperor (Lê Trang Tông) but in reality, the Emperor was a figurehead with little or no power.

Once the Mạc were defeated, the Trịnh became increasingly unhappy with the independence of Nguyễn Hoang who ruled as an independent prince in the south. For reasons that are unclear in 1600 the old Nguyen ruler broke relations with the Trịnh court and gave himself the title Vương (Prince or King). In 1627 open warfare broke out between the Trịnh and the Nguyễn.With mediation supplied by the government of the Kangxi Emperor, the Trịnh and the Nguyễn finally agreed to end the fighting by making the Linh River the border between their lands (1673). Although the Nguyễn nominally accepted the Lê King as the ruler of Vietnam, the reality was, the Nguyễn ruled the south, and the Trịnh ruled the north. This division continued for the next 100 years. The border between the Trịnh and the Nguyễn was strongly guarded but peaceful. In February 1775, the Nguyễn capital of Hue was captured by the Royal (Trịnh) army. After some fighting with the army of the Tây Sơn, a treaty was signed and the Trịnh army left the destruction of the Nguyễn to the southern rebels. 12 years later the Trịnh Lords would be thrown out of Vietnam by the youngest and most popular of the Tây Sơn brothers, who started the Tay Son Dynasty(西山朝/西山阮朝), which ruled from 1778-1802.

Mekong Delta & The Khemer

Beginning in the early 17th century, colonization of the area by Vietnamese settlers gradually isolated the Khmer of the Mekong Delta from their brethren in Cambodia proper and resulted in their becoming a minority in the delta.

Prey Nokor was the most important commercial seaport to the Khmers. The city’s name was changed by Vietnam to Sài Gòn and then Hồ Chí Minh City. The loss of the city prevented the Cambodians access to the South China Sea. Subsequently, the Khmers' access to the sea was now limited to the Gulf of Thailand. It began as a small fishing village known as Prey Nokor. The area that the city now occupies was originally swampland, and was inhabited by Khmer people for centuries before the arrival of the Vietnamese.

In 1623, King Chey Chettha II of Cambodia (1618-1628) allowed Vietnamese refugees fleeing the Trịnh-Nguyễn War in Vietnam to settle in the area of Prey Nokor, and to set up a custom house at Prey Nokor. Increasing waves of Vietnamese settlers, which the Cambodian kingdom, weakened because of war with Thailand, could not impede, slowly Vietnamized the area. In time, Prey Nokor became known as Saigon.

In 1698, Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, a Vietnamese noble, was sent by the Nguyen rulers of Huế to establish Vietnamese administrative structures in the area, thus detaching the area from Cambodia, which was not strong enough to intervene. Since 1698, the area has been firmly under Vietnamese administration. The Vietnamese became the majority population in most places.

When independence was granted to French Indochina in 1954, the Mekong Delta was included in the state of South Vietnam, despite protests from Cambodia.

So until today, there are Cham and Khemer Krom people still in the South Vietnam as minorities.

Related articles:
1. South Vietnam,
2. Cochinchina,
3. History of Vietnam,

No comments:

Post a Comment