8 Interesting Facts About the Vietnam History
Vietnam has dramatically transformed since the Vietnam War. What makes the Asian nation remarkable is that it has turned into one of the most important economies in the region. The country specializes in all sorts of industries and creating enormous wealth for a population who has only known poverty. Even the Vietnam tourism industry has been steadily growing. Suffice it to say, more has been achieved in peace than war in Vietnam.
Now that Vietnam has become an important player on the world stage, isn’t time you became acquainted with the country? The following are eight interesting facts about the Vietnam history:
1. The Geography of Vietnam
Vietnam is a long narrow nation in Southeast Asia shaped like the letter ‘S.’ Its neighbors include Cambodia and Laos to the west and China to the north. The eastern and southern shores of the country are surrounded by the South China sea. Most of west Vietnam is covered by dense vegetation and the Annam Cordillera mountains.
2. Vietnam Rivers
The two largest rivers in Vietnam include the Red Sea in the North and the Mekong in the South. Most of Vietnam is tropical and has fertile soil making it a top agricultural nation. However, contribution of agriculture has been declining over the years and even though it still employs over half of Vietnam’s population, the sector itself is declining.
Nevertheless, agriculture is the main source of raw materials for the industrial sector and a major contributor to the total exports of Vietnam.
3. The Unification of Vietnam
Vietnam became a unified country once again in 1975 when the communist army from the North overran the American supported Southern army. Prior to the unification in 1975, there was a terrible civil war in the Vietnam history, which started in 1955.
First, the North Vietnamese (communists) fought against their colonial rulers, the French, and this followed a nearly three-decade long battle with the American backed South Vietnamese. Tragically, millions of people died and the country was devastated. Both American and Vietnamese were affected by the consequences of this war, but it has taken the nation many years to recover as it was already a very poor country with poor infrastructure which just got worse because of conflict and war.
4. Booming Population of Vietnam
Vietnam has a population of 92 million people. It is a one-party communist state with one of the fastest-growing economies on the planet. It has set its sights to become a developed nation by next year. Clearly, the country has come a long way from its poor state back in the late ‘50s and all the credit goes to the nation and its people for persevering against all odds.
5. Seniors in Vietnam
Vietnam is one of the oldest nations in Asia. It appears that the first civilization aggregated around the Red River nearly 5,000 years ago. These northern tribes continued to flourish until about 200 BC when the region was taken over by a local Chinese ruler who called the Kingdom Nam Viet. Around 111 BC, the Chinese formally tool over Nam Viet and ruled it for the next thousand years. In 939, there was a Vietnamese revolt that overthrew the Chinese ruler.
Over the next few centuries, the nation was called Dai Vet and later its geographical borders were extended to the South. By the middle of the 16th century, Dai Vet was separated into two kingdoms; Nguyen in the south and Trinh in the north; both despised each other.
It is evident that Vietnam has had its share of ups and downs and revolts, wars and takeovers and overthrowing are a big part of its history.
6. French Ruling in Vietnam
In the late 1700s, the French had established themselves in the Far East and in 1802, they assisted the Nguyen Lord defeat the northern Trihn ruler and named the country Vietnam. By 1890, the French took over Vietnam and became its colonial rulers. It is still unclear why so many colonies and rulers have focused on controlling Vietnam. Because of all this conflict and war and the consistent change in ownership and rulers, the country has seen some very devastating times.
7. Vietnam in WWII
During the turmoil of the Second World War, the Japanese briefly took control over Vietnam but when the Japanese were defeated in 1945, the leader of the Vietnam communist party, Ho Chi Minn declared Vietnam an independent nation.
However, the French were not willing to give up their rule and this led to a bitter war with the communist Vietnamese. The fighting ended in 1954 and the country was divided into the non-communist South and communist North Vietnam. But peace has not been a long-term partner when it comes to Vietnam, although the country can now be considered quite stable.
8. A War Begins
In 1957, the Northern community rebels who were now called the Viet Cong, initiated a civil war to reunite the country, a war that lasted until 1975 when the communists easily took over capital Saigon. The goal of this rebellion was to reunite the country but ending up with creating even more division and destruction for the Vietnamese.
Throughout the Vietnam history, the country has been run with an iron fist by the communist party and dissent is not tolerated. While there is ample freedom for the Vietnamese, there are also rules to be obeyed, otherwise one faces harsh punishment. As always, the country suffers from dictatorship and oppression. People are stifled and not allowed to attain progress on their own terms. From an economic standpoint, however, there is still a lot of hope for Vietnam.