Everyone knows about the American war about Vietnam’s history, but centuries before that Vietnam fought with the Chinese, the Khmers, the Chams and the Mongols.
The history of Vietnam begins in the Red River Delta, where farmers first cultivated rice. Millennia of struggle against the Chinese then followed. Vietnam only became a united country in the 19th century, but was soon confronted with French colonialism and then the destruction of American intervention. The Vietnamese nation has survived stormy, troubled times, but the power of character has served well.
Timeline about the history of Vietnam
This timeline below shows you the history of Vietnam in broad outline.
3000BC – 1000BC Tribes from South China moved to the Red River Delta area.
208BC – The Chinese general Trieu Da makes himself emperor of Nam Viet (part of the current north of Vietnam and China).
111BC – Han-Chinese emperor Wu conquers the Viet population, the beginning of nearly 1,000 years of Chinese domination in the north.
40AD – Two Trung sisters led a rebel army against the Chinese; they have temporarily overthrown the Han and proclaim themselves the queens of an independent Vietnam. China conquers everything and the capital moves to Hanoi.
939 – The Chinese are kicked out of Vietnam after 1000 years of occupation, when Ngo Quyen leads his people to victory in the battle of the Bach Dang River. The Viet kingdom has been restored.
1288 – The Mongols invade Dai Viet, but General Tran Hung Dao repeats history by defeating the Mongolian fleet on the Bach Dang River.
1471 – The Dai Viet defeat the kingdom of Champa, killing more than 60,000 Cham soldiers and 36,000 prisoners, including the king and most of the royal family.
1516 – Portuguese traders land in Da Nang, the start of European interest in Vietnam. They have set up a trading post in Faifo (the current Hoi An).
1524 – A period of instability and warfare between Trinh from the north and Nguyen from the south.
1600s – Last of Champa territory conquered by Dai Viet
1802 – Emperor Gia Long takes the throne and the Nguyen dynasty begins, which rules Vietnam until 1945. The country is being reunited for the first time in more than 200 years.
1847 – France starts the first major attack in the port of Da Nang.
1859 – France conquers Saigon and Laos and Cambodia, which together formed French Indochina.
1883 – France took control of Vietnam and turned it into a French colony.
1930 – Ho Chi Minh establishes the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP).
1941 – ICP organizes a guerrilla army, the Viet Minh, in response to the Japanese invasion during the Second World War.
1945 – The Viet Minh seizes power. Ho Chi Minh announces the independence of Vietnam.
1946 – French troops attack Viet Minh in Haiphong in November, which ignites the war of resistance against colonial power.
1950 – The Democratic Republic of Vietnam is recognized by China and the USSR.
1954 – Viet Minh troops attack an isolated French military outpost in the town of Dien Bien Phu. The attempt to take over the outpost takes two months, during which time the French government agrees with peace talks in Geneva. Vietnam will be divided into North and South at the Geneva Conference.
1956 – South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem starts a campaign against political dissidents.
1957 – Communist uprising in the south.
1959 – Arms and men from North Vietnam begin to infiltrate the south.
1960 – US assistance to Diem increased.
1963 – Viet Cong, the communist guerrillas operating in South Vietnam, defeat units of the ARVN, the South Vietnamese army. President Diem is overthrown and then killed in a US-backed military coup.
1964 – Gulf of Tonkin incident: the US says North Vietnamese patrol boats are firing on two US naval vessels. The US Congress approves the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and authorizes military action in the region.
1965 – 200,000 American combat troops arrive in South Vietnam.
1966 – The number of troops in the US rises to 400,000 and then to 500,000 the following year.
1968 – Tet offensive – a combined attack by the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army on US positions – begins. More than 500 civilians die in the American bloodbath on My Lai. Thousands are killed by communist forces during their occupation of the city of Hue.
1969 – Ho Chi Minh dies. President Nixon begins to reduce US ground forces in Vietnam as the opponents of the war grow.
1973 – A cease-fire agreement in Paris, American troops withdrew completely in March
1975 – North Vietnamese forces invade South Vietnam and take control of the entire country after South Vietnamese President Duong Van Minh surrenders.
1976 – Socialist Republic of Vietnam declared. Saigon gets the new name Ho Chi Minh City. Hundreds of thousands of flights abroad
1979 – Vietnam invades Cambodia and expels the Khmer Rouge regime from Pol Pot. In response, Chinese troops cross the northern border of Vietnam. They are pushed back by Vietnamese troops.
1989 – Vietnamese troops withdraw from Cambodia.
1994 – US lifts its 30-year trade embargo.