Category: Vietnam Travel Guide

The French Conquest

The French Conquest

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French rule in Vietnam was established over a period of fifty years through a process that had several phases. Between 1857 and 1862, the French decision to launch an expedition against Vietnam was made and implemented, resulting in the Treaty of Saigon, which granted France possession of the region surrounding Saigon. Between 1862 and 1874, […]

Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem

The threat from Europe

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The French navy was increasingly active along the Chinese coast in the early 1850s, collaborating and competing with the British and the Americans for treaty privileges and territorial concessions. But it was not until the end of the Crimean War in 1856 that Louis Napoleon was prepared to initiate a policy toward Vietnam. The British […]

The victory of Hanoi

Tu Duc’s accession and incapacity to rule

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Until 1845, two men shared influence at the top of Thieu Tri’s court, Truong Dang Que and Nguyen Dang Tuan (1772–1845). Nguyen Dang Tuan was from Quang Binh, a short distance north of Hue. Both Nguyen Dang Tuan and Truong Dang Que had been prominent in implementing the administrative reforms and in suppressing the rebellions […]

Indochina At War

Thieu Tri and the French navy

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In 1838, when it seemed that he had prevailed over the last echoes of the Le dynasty, had perfectly unified the country, and had achieved his ambitions in Cambodia, Minh Mang celebrated by renaming his realm Dai Nam, “Great South.” Barely three years later, he died after a fall from a horse, amidst a war […]

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

Le Van Khoi’s rebellion and war with Siam

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In the spring of 1833, Le Van Khoi was being investigated by Minh Mang’s officials for irregularities in supplying lumber to shipyards when news arrived that Le Duy Luong had been proclaimed king and that two or three provinces in the north had already come under his control. Le Van Khoi reportedly received a message […]


Background to Le Van Khoi’s rebellion

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When Le Van Duyet pacified Nghe An and Thanh Hoa in 1819, he acquired armies of surrendered rebels and bandits who swore loyalty to him and to the king at Hue. When he went south in 1820 to deal with the Cambodian uprising and to thereafter be viceroy at Saigon, these armies went with him. […]

The Sino-Khmer War and renovation

Minh Mang’s centralizing policies

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Gia Long’s confidence in his fourth son as a man with his own mind was well placed. Minh Mang was an intelligent and active ruler with definite ideas about how to govern. Unlike his successors, historians have never viewed him as being manipulated by others. On the other hand, My Duong, the royal grandson who […]

A Franco-Vietnamese government

Relations with the Khmer vassal

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One of Gia Long’s final decisions would have a long-term effect on Khmer–Viet relations. In 1819, Gia Long decided to dig what became the Vinh Te and Vinh An Canals. Gia Long’s stated intention was to benefit Cambodia by creating a more convenient water route from the Khmer capital to the sea and to benefit […]

Dynastic discipline

Dynastic discipline

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The fourth issue raised by Nguyen Van Thanh in 1812 proved to be his undoing. This was the succession question. Gia Long’s three eldest sons were already dead. The choice of crown prince was between My Duong, the eldest son of former Crown Prince Canh, who was in his teens and was Gia Long’s eldest […]

A Franco-Vietnamese government

Siam and the question of Khmer vassalage

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The third point in Nguyen Van Thanh’s message of 1812 had to do with the situation on the Cambodian border, which had just erupted into a new crisis. The competition between the Siamese and Vietnamese for control of Cambodia was in abeyance during the lifetime of Gia Long’s wartime ally, King Chakri, known posthumously as […]