History of Vietnam

Vietnam has a dark history that is filled with rebellion, war, and repeated attempts at colonization by several different countries, four of which attempts were made by China. However, Vietnam was able to win its independence in spurts sporadically throughout history making it a difficult country to properly define. Throughout most of its history Vietnam was still considered China’s tributary state until it was colonized by France.

The last known emperor to rule Vietnam was during the Nguyen Dynasty who ruled the country from 1802 to 1945 although France did move in to colonize the country during its succession crisis in 1884. Due to the fact that China and France have both occupied the country on and off throughout the centuries, the culture is heavily influenced by both of these countries creating a unique mix of social etiquette, cuisine, and Confucianism.

During World War II Japan also briefly occupied Vietnam, after which Viet Minh acting under the guidance of Ho Chi Minh led a revolt against the French attempting to win back their independence, which took until 1954 when the Geneva Conference decided to partition the country into North and South Vietnam. North Vietnam became led by communism and the south became a new democracy.

In an attempt to help South Vietnam the US sent in military aid throughout the 1960’s, which aggravated North Vietnam and led to the escalation of what is now known as the Vietnam War in 1966, although Vietnamese residents ironically consider it the American War. The war quickly started to drag on and finally the US withdrew in 1973 with a cease fire agreement, but not without consequence as about three million Vietnamese were killed making the Vietnam War one of the most brutal conflicts that Vietnam ever faced.

In fact, due to the high fatality rate about 66% of the current population of Vietnam was born after 1975, making it literally a very young country in more ways than one. However, despite the brutal after-effects of the Vietnam War, most Vietnamese welcome Americans and westerners and are friendly including the younger generation who idolize the culture of Western lands, which they watch on television.

Although relations are reasonable in Vietnam, the economic rebuilding of the country has moved slowly, partially because the state run economy system has failed generally speaking, but slowly over the years certain aspects of capitalism have been introduced slowly, which has helped the economy show a 10% gain over the last decade.