Vietnam - national flag
Vietnam - national flag, The flag was officially hoisted in 1955. The basis
of the flag is Ho Chi Minh's revolutionary flag from approximately 1940. Red stands
for the revolution and the blood that is shed in the freedom struggle. The
yellow star is a communist symbol, and its five branches represent workers,
peasants, intellectuals, youth, and soldiers.
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Vietnam - prehistory
Vietnam - prehistory, The best dated Paleolithic sites are Tham Khuong Cave
and Nguom Rock Shelter, which are respectively. 32,000 and 24,000 years old. The
tools are similar to the Son Vi culture, which is considered to be the
oldest. Son We are best known from surface finds and open-air settlements, but
are found in the Con Moong cave under the Hoabinhian cultural layer, dated to
13,000 BC. Son We are characterized by pebble tools. Similar tools but finer
cuts are also known from the Hoabinhian culture, which dates to between 21,000
and 10,000 years BC. Roughly at the same time, this is the Bacsonian culture,
whose tools are reminiscent of the Hoabinhians. Both cultures, known from caves
in the mountains of North Vietnam, subsisted on hunting, fishing, collecting
mussels, snails and plants. A newly discovered culture, Soi Nhu, apparently at
the same time as these, has been found in the same coastal areas around Halong
Bay as the late Neolithic culture, the Halong Bay culture.
A possible offshoot of the Hoabinhian culture is the Da But culture, known
from large kitchen dung along the coast. The lower layers date to 9000 BC; in
the upper layers are three different sharpened ax types and pottery akin to the
Halong Bay culture, dated to 2800 BC. The population subsisted on mussels and by
hunting and fishing.
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Actual farming communities, combined with little hunting and fishing, emerged
after the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, first along the Red River. Phung
Nguyen culture has no immediate local preconditions. It has three phases, the
last of which contains rice. It was replaced in 1600 BC. of the Dong Dau
culture, whose pottery is a further development of Phung Nguyens, but where
bronze tools copy and gradually replace the stone tools. The Go Mun culture from
700 BC. is a continued development, but now as a pure Bronze Age culture with
grain sails, axes and jewelry as well as pottery and vessels with a large
opening, decorated with meander motives. approximately 500 BC begins the Dong Son
culture, the oldest Iron Age culture, known primarily for the large boiler
drums. From The living and burial site Dong Son on the river Ma is known
for its large, very richly equipped tombs with ornamented bronzes for ritual
purposes, spears, arrowheads and jewelry of bronze, swords, other weapons and
tools of iron as well as imported goods, such as Chinese bronze mirrors and
bronze vessels. There are clear signs of a social stratification in society. The
advance of the Chinese Hand Dynasty from 43 led to the end of the Dong Son
From 2000 BC originated in Central Vietnam the beginning of the later
so-called Sa-Huynh culture, whose development in many respects is parallel to
the development in North Vietnam, but in contrast to burials, cremation was
practiced. The geographical area of Sa-Huynh culture is broadly similar to
that of the later, Buddhist Cham culture, whose population spoke an Austronesian
Vietnam - history
Vietnam - history, The origin of the population is not fully clarified, but
it is believed that a special ethnic identity arose between 200 BC and 200
AD. with a mixture of cultural elements from especially viet and tai,
elements from the Indonesian area and from approximately 100 AD in addition, with a
Chinese touch. This is also reflected in the language.
In 112 AD northern Vietnam was incorporated into the empire of the Han
Dynasty and remained a Chinese province until after the dissolution of the Tang
Dynasty and the establishment of the Dai Viet Empire in the early 900's. Dai
Viet, which built on Chinese institutions, became a fairly centralized state
with capital in Hanoi.
Both Mongol and Chinese invasions were successfully repulsed in the following
centuries, and the empire expanded south into Hindu-Buddhist Champarige, which
fell in 1471, and later into the Khmer Empire further south in the Mekong
Delta. Dai Viet was ruled by changing dynasties, Ly- and Le-; from
1500-t. however, the real power was divided between the Trinh families in the
north and the Nguyen in the south.
In 1802, the country was united under the leadership of the Nguyen family,
who became emperor under the name Gia Long and made HuÍ the capital of the new
empire, ViÍt Nam.
In the period 1858-85, Vietnam was conquered by France. The new French
colony, Indochina, was divided into three Vietnamese parts, Tonkin (Bac Bô),
Annam (Trung Bô), Cochinkina (Nam Bô), and in Cambodia and Laos. Cochinkina was
ruled directly from Paris, while the other sub-colonies gained local governments
under French rule.
French colonists acquired large tracts of land, especially in Cochin China,
and new land was included for rice cultivation. A large part of the rice went
for export and was bought by Chinese intermediaries and rice mill owners. The
growing car industry in the West meant that rubber production on French
plantations increased sharply from the 1920's, just as mining was developed.
The development particularly affected the Saigon area and the rest of South
Vietnam, with major social changes and new societal structures as a result. In
the densely populated delta around the Red River in the north, the same
extensive social divides did not develop. Here, several modern industries
emerged within e.g. textile, beer and cement production. Mining expanded and a
working class emerged. The French Governor - General also had an administrative
headquarters in Hanoi.
The early resistance to colonial power by especially Vietnamese Mandarins and
intellectuals was suppressed in the late 1890's, but after the turn of the
century new resistance emerged, now in the form of more modern nationalism with
both Japanese, Chinese and Western role models. Various nationalist, Trotskyist
and Communist parties and groupings emerged in the growing cities in the 1920's,
and several uprisings took place in 1929-30. After the Popular Front came to
power in France in 1936, the resistance could be formulated more openly, and
when Japan conquered Vietnam in 1941, the resistance was united in Viet Minh, a
common front of anti-Japanese and anti-French forces with the Communists as
After Japan's capitulation in August 1945, the Viet Minh seized the
opportunity: on September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the Democratic
Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi. It was the beginning of a protracted war with the
French colonial power, which, despite American support in 1954, suffered
decisive defeats at the strategically important Dien-Bien-Phu fortress near the
border with Laos and China.
At an international conference in Geneva the same year, it was decided that
Vietnam should be temporarily divided at the 17th parallel to be reunited later
after elections. Ngo Dinh Diem was appointed Prime Minister of the newly
established Republic of South Vietnam by the former emperor, Bao Dai.
In 1955, the NGO proclaimed itself president; for fear that Ho Chi Minh and
the communists in the north would win the planned election, he sabotaged it with
American support. Thus, Vietnam was de facto divided, and the seeds laid for a
Under the leadership of the Communist Party, radical land reforms,
collectivization of agriculture, and industrialization in the socialist pattern
were initiated in North Vietnam. A resistance movement, the Front national
de libťration du ViÍt-nam du sud, FNL, was formed in South Vietnam in
1960. The FNL consisted of a wide range of organizations, but was under
considerable influence from the Communist Party.
The South Vietnamese government was weakened, not least after protests by
Buddhist monks who, among other things, took the form of self-immolation. At the
same time, the United States gradually became more involved, and the United
States began to look for new leadership topics. Diem's government was
overthrown in a coup in 1963, and he himself was killed. South Vietnam, however,
remained unstable; the number of U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam grew,
and soon the war became a reality, though not officially declared; see
the Vietnam War.
After the Vietnam War
After North Vietnam's final victory in 1975, the country was reunited in
1976. The Communist Party now embarked on reforms in the south, but had less
success with it than had previously been the case in the north. Many, especially
of Chinese origin, fled the country (see boat refugees) and the economic
During the war, the Soviet Union had become Vietnam's greatest support, while
opposition to China and Cambodia under Pol Pot grew. After fierce border
disputes, Vietnam invaded Cambodia in December 1978. The following year, Vietnam
itself was attacked by China along the entire northern border, but the attack
was repulsed after heavy losses on both sides and extensive destruction in
Vietnam. The border dispute with China was only resolved through negotiations in
The continued occupation of Cambodia largely isolated Vietnam
internationally, and at the same time the country had acute economic
problems. Disagreement over economic reforms led to the Communist Party
splitting into several wings in the early 1980's.
At the 5th Party Congress in 1986, a reform socialist course was adopted, and
with the newly elected general secretary of the party, Nguyen Van Linh, at the
helm, the tight planned economy was pushed into the background in favor of a
number of market economic measures in the form of land reform, currency reform,
investment legislation etc. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 spurred the
Market socialism in the 1990's yielded good economic results without the
Communist Party losing its monopoly of power; but a cautious process of
political reform began. Where customary law and party control were previously
strongly dominant, the 1992 Constitution stipulated that society should be based
on legislation, and extensive legislative work was initiated. The reform process
is slow, but the National Assembly has gained real significance.
Differences of opinion are especially expressed as different interest groups
within the Communist Party. Virtually all international relations, including
with the United States and China, have gradually been normalized, and in 1995
Vietnam became a member of ASEAN. US President Clinton visited Vietnam in 2000,
and in 2001, normal trade relations were established between the two
countries. In 2007, Vietnamese President Nguyen Tan Dung visited the United
After several years of reforms and the desire for a development towards the
most developed Asian countries, the economic crisis in Asia 1997-99 changed the
agenda, and Vietnam is now showing greater caution in terms of being integrated
into the international economy. The more conservative leaders are opposed to the
rapid privatization of industry and banking, and criticism has been leveled at
what are perceived as side effects of globalization, e.g. the growing
corruption, drug abuse, prostitution and AIDS.
After 12 years of negotiations, Vietnam became a member of the World Trade
Organization in 2007.