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During the 3rd century BC, ancient Vietnamese people inhabited modern-day northern Vietnam and established the state of Âu Lạc. The independent state was annexed by Nam Việt in 179 BC. Nam Việt was subsequently annexed by the Han Empire and became part of Imperial China for over a millennium from 111 BC to 939 AD. An independent Vietnamese state emerged in 939 following Vietnamese victory in the battle of Bạch Đằng against the Southern Han. Successive Vietnamese imperial dynasties flourished as the nation expanded geographically and politically into Southeast Asia until the Indochina Peninsula was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century.
French Indochina saw the Japanese occupation in 1940 amidst the escalation of World War II. Following Japanese defeat in 1945, the Vietnamese fought French rule in the First Indochina War. On 2 September 1945, Vietnamese revolutionary leader Hồ Chí Minh declared Vietnam's independence from France and therefrom established a provisional communist state. After nine years of war, the Vietnamese declared victory in the decisive battle of Điện Biên Phủ in 1954. The nation was thereafter divided into two rival states, communist North—the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and anti-communist South—the Republic of Vietnam. Conflicts intensified in the Vietnam War with extensive US intervention in support of South Vietnam from 1965 to 1973. The war ended with North Vietnamese victory in 1975.
North and South Vietnam were then reunified under a communist government in 1976. The newly established country remained impoverished and politically isolated until 1986 when the Communist Party initiated a series of economic and political reforms that facilitated Vietnamese integration into the world economy. By 2010, Vietnam had established diplomatic relations with 178 countries.
1615 –1753 French traders engaged in trade in the area around Đàng Trong and actively spreading missionaries
1859 - 1885 Vietnam's kingdom independence was gradually eroded by France which was aided by the Spanish and large Catholic militias in a series of military conquests
1884 - The entire country had come under French rule
1887 - The three Vietnamese entities were formally integrated into the union of French Indochina
1940 -The war in the Pacific led to the Japanese invasion of French Indochina
1945 - The Vietnamese Famine was a famine that occurred in northern Vietnam in French Indochina during World War II from October 1944 to late 1945. Between 400,000 and 2 million people are estimated to have starved to death during this time
1954 - French Indochina was dissolved under the Geneva Accord into three countries: Vietnam and the kingdoms of Cambodia and Laos. Vietnam was further divided into North and South administrative regions at the Demilitarized Zone
1965 - US forces became involved in ground combat operations and at their peak they numbered more than 500,000
1976, North and South Vietnam were merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the war left Vietnam devastated, with the total death toll standing at between 966,000 and 3.8 million
Local Histories and Gazetteers
Research use: Supplement genealogies and official records for historical periods. Contain unique information on widows and wives not found elsewhere.
Record Type: These are historical, geographic studies of specific villages and towns that include some biographical and genealogical information.
Time Period: 1500 to present.
Contents: Each history covers a specific city, county or prefecture. Topics covered include local legends, folklore, famous or influential families or clans, historical events, population, trade, education, transportation, local literary contributions, and biographies of prominent individuals, and mention of local officials, persons who lived long lives, and widows.
Location: Found scattered in libraries and archives in Vietnam and other countries. Population coverage: Include mainly important personalities and categories of individuals in a specific area; cover less than 5% of the population.
Reliability: Generally very reliable.
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