Nguyễn Dynasty

Nguyễn Dynasty

Infobox Former Country
native_name = _vi. Việt Nam (1804–39)
_vi. Đại Nam (1839–1945)
common_name = Nguyễn dynasty
conventional_long_name = Nguyễn Dynasty|
continent = moved from Category:Asia to Southeast Asia
region = Southeast Asia
country = Vietnam
government_type = Monarchy
status = Empire
status_text = Kingdom, Empire|
year_start = 1802
year_end = 1945|
event_start = Coronation of Gia Long
date_start = June 1 1802
event1 =

flag_type = Flag (1890–1920)|
capital = Phú Xuân
latd=16 |latm=28 |latNS=N |longd=107 |longm=36 |longEW=E|
common_languages = Vietnamese
religion = Neo-Confucianism
The Nguyễn Dynasty ( _vi. Nhà Nguyễn; Hán Việt: "Nguyễn triều" 阮朝) was the last ruling family of Vietnam. Their rule began in 1802 when Emperor Gia Long ascended the throne after defeating the Tây Sơn Dynasty and ended in 1945 when Bảo Đại abdicated the throne and transferred power to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, ruling for a total of 143 years. During the reign of Emperor Gia Long, the nation officially became known as "Việt Nam" (越南), but from the reign of emperor Minh Mạng on, the nation was renamed "Đại Nam" (大南, literally "Great South"). Their rule was marked by the increasing influence of French colonialism; the nation was eventually partitioned into three, Cochinchina became a French colony while Annam and Tonkin became protectorates which were independent in name only.


: "For more background information, see Nguyễn Lords and Trịnh Lords"The Nguyễn family had been one of the major families in Vietnamese history, dating back to the days of the Hero–Emperor Lê Lợi. Due to a civil war and the weakness of the Later Lê Dynasty, the Nguyễn and the Trịnh (another of the major families) joined together in opposition to the Mạc. Nguyễn Kim, the leader of this alliance, was assassinated in 1545 by a servant of the Mạc. Kim's son-in-law Trịnh Kiểm, took over the alliance because Kim's sons were too young. In 1558, Nguyễn Hoàng, the eldest son of Nguyễn Kim was given lordship over the southern, newly conquered provinces of Vietnam. He ruled from the city of Huế for the rest of his life and established the dominion of the Nguyễn Lords in the southern part of the country. While the Nguyễn Lords, like the Trịnh, paid tribute to the Lê Emperor, the reality was they ruled, not the king. Nguyễn Hòang and his successors continually expanded their territory by making Kampuchea a protectorate, and by invading Laos, Champa and many small countries in the area. The Nguyễn lords styled themselves as lord ("Chúa" in Vietnamese).

Birth of the dynasty

It was Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên (or Lord Sãi), Nguyễn Hoàng's son, who started the Nguyễn Phúc family name. 200 years later, Nguyễn Phúc Khoát was the first ruler of the line who styled himself King ("Vương" in Vietnamese), as the Trịnh Lords began to do so in the North.
Nguyễn Phúc Ánh finally united Vietnam for the second time in 300 years. He started a dynasty and styled himself Emperor (Viet: "Hoàng Đế") Gia Long. After Gia Long, other rulers of the dynasty would soon run into problems with Catholic missionaries and, subsequently, the involvement of Europeans in Indochina.

Emperors Minh Mạng, Thiệu Trị, Tự Đức and Hiệp Hoà, were opposed to French involvement in the country and tried to reduce the growing Catholic community in Vietnam at that time. Their persecution of missionaries was the primary pretext for the French to invade and occupy Indochina. Much like what had occurred in Qing China, there were also numerous incidents involving other nations (European) during the 19th century.

The last Nguyễn Emperor to rule with complete independence was Tự Đức. After his death there was a succession crisis which allowed the French to take direct control of the country and eventually gain complete control of the monarchy. All emperors since Đồng Khánh were chosen by the French and had only a symbolic position.

Western Imperialism

Napoleon III took the first steps to establishing a French colonial influence in Indochina. He approved the launching of a naval expedition in 1858 to punish the Vietnamese for their mistreatment of European Catholic missionaries and force the court to accept a French presence in the country. An important factor in his decision was the belief that France risked becoming a second-rate power by not expanding its influence in East Asia. Also, the idea that France had a civilizing mission was spreading. This eventually led to a full-out invasion in 1861. By 1862 the war was over and Vietnam conceded three provinces in the south, called by the French Cochinchina, opened three ports to French trade, allowed free passage of French warships to Kampuchea (which led to a French protectorate over Kampuchea in 1863), allowed freedom of action for French missionaries and gave France a large indemnity for the cost of the war. France did not however intervene in the Christian-supported Vietnamese rebellion in Bắc Bộ, despite the urging of missionaries, or in the subsequent slaughter of thousands of Christians after the rebellion, suggesting that although persecution of Christians was the prompt for the intervention, military and political reasons ultimately drove colonialism in Vietnam.

France completely conquered the Vietnamese in 1887 and she promoted the further occupation and development of the Mekong Delta region by the Vietnamese. France added new ingredients to the cultural stew of Vietnam. The rural Vietnamese population were much less affected by this Sinicization, but were influenced by the adoption of Buddhism from the Indianized cultural area of Southeast Asia. The French added Catholicism and a writing system based upon Latin letters. The spelling used in this transliteration of Vietnamese surprisingly was Portuguese because the French relied upon a dictionary compiled earlier by a Portuguese cleric.

The Great War

While seeking to maximize the use of Indochina's natural resources and manpower to fight the First World War, France cracked down on all patriotic mass movements in Vietnam. Indochina, mainly Vietnam, had to provide France with 70,000 soldiers and 70,000 workers, who were forcibly drafted from the villages to serve on the French battlefront. Vietnam also contributed 184 million piasters in the form of loans and 336,000 tons of food. These burdens proved all the heavier as agriculture was hard hit by natural disasters from 1914 to 1917.

Lacking a unified nationwide organization, the Vietnamese national movement, though still vigorous, failed to take advantage of the difficulties France was experiencing as a result of war to stage any significant uprisings.In May 1916, the sixteen-year-old king, Duy Tân, escaped from his palace in order to take part in an uprising of Vietnamese troops. The French were informed of the plan and the leaders arrested and executed. Duy Tân was deposed and exiled to Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

econd World War

Nationalist sentiments intensified in Vietnam, especially during and after the First World War, but all the uprisings and tentative efforts failed to obtain any concessions from the French overseers. The Russian Revolution which occurred at this time had a tremendous impact on shaping 20th century Vietnamese history.

The sequels to the Second World War: For Vietnam, the explosion of the World War II on September 1 1939 was an event as decisive as the French taking of Đà Nẵng in 1858. The Axis power of Japan invaded Vietnam on September 22 1940, attempting to construct military bases to strike against the Allies in Southeast Asia. After Vietnam was occupied by the Axis power, a large-scale Resistance movement developed in the country, which tied down a large number of Axis divisions. The Việt Minh with Allied assistance fought the Axis army. In March 1945, realizing the allied victory was inevitable, the Axis overthrew the French authorities in Vietnam, imprisoned their civil servants and rendered Vietnam "independent" under Japanese "protection", with Bảo Đại as Chief of State. After the end of World War II the French were allowed to reoccupy Vietnam but the Việt Minh fought a successful guerilla war that ended in 1954 when the French went from overconfidence to defeat in one battle to effective surrender in the whole country.

Collapse of the dynasty

The nominal reign of the Nguyen Dynasty firmly came to an end in 1945, when the Communists or Việt Minh under Ho Chi Minh staged a revolt, after the Japanese surrender. After receiving a "request" for his resignation, the last emperor, Bảo Đại, abdicated the throne and handed power over to the government of President Ho Chi Minh; in return, Emperor Bao Dai was then named "Supreme Counselor" to the new government. Bao Dai left shortly afterward since he did not agree with the policies of the Viet Minh and went into exile in Hong Kong.

uccession and Heads of Dynasty

In 1948, the French persuaded Bao Dai to return as "Chief of State" (Viet: "Quốc Trưởng") of the "State of Vietnam" (Viet: "Quốc Gia Việt Nam") set up by France in areas over which it had regained control, while a bloody war with the Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh continued. Bao Dai spent much of his time during that conflict enjoying a good life either at his luxurious home in Dalat (in the Vietnamese Highlands) or in Paris, France. This came to end with the French defeat at Điện Biên Phủ in 1954.

After Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam, the South Vietnamese prime minister Ngô Đình Diệm, in a referendum claimed by many as to have been manipulated, overthrew Bao Dai in 1956. Diem then assumed the position of President of the Republic of Vietnam ("Việt Nam Cộng Hòa"), once more ending Bao Dai's involvement in Vietnamese affairs — this time permanently.

Bao Dai went into exile in France, where he died in 1997 and was buried in Cimetière de Passy. Crown Prince Bảo Long succeeded on the death of his father Emperor Bao Dai as Head of the Imperial House of Vietnam, July 31, 1997.

Nguyễn Dynasty Emperors of Vietnam

The following list is the Emperors' era names, which have meaning in Chinese and Vietnamese. For example, the first ruler's era name, Gia Long, is the combination of the old names for Saigon (Gia Định) and Hanoi (Thăng Long) to show the new unity of the country; the fourth, Tự Đức, means "Inheritance of Virtues"; the ninth, Đồng Khánh, means "Collective Celebration".
# Following the death of Emperor Tu Duc, and according to his will, this Emperor ascended to the throne on 19 July 1883. However, he was dethroned and imprisoned three days later, after being accused of deleting one paragraph from Tu Duc's will. He had no time to announce his dynastic title (era name); hence his was named after his residential palace as Duc Duc (Viet: Dục Đức).
# Crown Prince Bao Long (Viet: Bảo Long) succeeded on the death of his father, Emperor Bao Dai, as Head of the Imperial House of Vietnam on 31 July 1997.
# Prince Bảo Thắng following the death of his brother, Crown Prince Bảo Long, succeeded as head of the Nguyễn Dynasty on July 28, 2007.


"Note": Years in the table are their reigning years.

ee also

* List of Vietnamese dynasties
* Vietnam during World War I
* Nguyen Truong To - Served Emperor Tự Đức

External links

* [ The Nguyễn Dynasty]
* [ Vietnamese language homepage of The Nguyễn Dynasty]

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