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Welcome to the VietnamGenWeb Project. This website
was designed to assist
researchers in their quest for their ancestry in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
History of Vietnam
Vietnam's independence ended in the mid-1800s, when the country was colonized by the French Empire. The French administration imposed significant political and cultural changes on Vietnamese society. A Western-style system of modern education was developed, and Christianity was introduced into Vietnamese society. Developing a plantation economy to promote the exports of tobacco, indigo, tea and coffee, the French largely ignored increasing calls for self-government and civil rights. A nationalist political movement soon emerged, with leaders such as Phan Boi Chau, Phan Chu Trinh, Emperor Ham Nghi and Ho Chi Minh calling for independence. However, the French maintained dominant control of their colonies until World War II, when the Japanese war in the Pacific triggered the invasion of French Indochina in 1941. This event was preceded by the establishment of the Vichy French administration, a puppet state of Nazi Germany then ally of the Japanese Empire. The natural resources of Vietnam were exploited for the purposes of the Japanese Empire's military campaigns into the British Indochinese colonies of Burma, the Malay Peninsula and India.
First Indochina War
In the final years of the Pacific war, a forceful nationalist insurgency emerged under Ho Chi Minh, committed to independence from French colonial rule and communism. Following the military defeat of the Japanese Empire and the fall of its Empire of Vietnam colony in August 1945, Vietnamese nationalist and communist forces fought the newly restored Free French colonial administration, with the "Declaration of Independence - Democratic Republic of Vietnam" on 02 September 1945. The Provisional French Republic sent the French Far East Expeditionary Corps, which was originally created to fight the Japanese occupation forces, in order to pacify the revolutionary rebellion. In 1946, the Chinese troops withdrew from north Vietnam and following the Haiphong incident ensued the First Indochina War that lasted until 1954.
Despite reduced losses -1/3 ratio of Expeditionary Corps casualties compared to the China-backed Viet Minh- during the whole war, the U.S. backed-French and Vietnamese loyalists eventually suffered a major strategic defeat at the Siege of Dien Bien Phu that allowed Ho Chi Minh to negotiate the ceasefire with a favorable position in the ongoing Geneva conference of 1954. Colonial administration ended as French Indochina was dissolved, and the contested State of Vietnam ceased to exist. According to the Geneva Agreements the country was divided at the 17th parallel into Ho Chi Minh's North Vietnam and Ngo Dinh Diem's South Vietnam in the model of Korea.
The Communist-held Democratic Republic of Vietnam was opposed by the US-supported Republic of Vietnam. Disagreements soon emerged over the organizing of elections and reunification, and the U.S. began increasing its contribution of military advisers. U.S. forces were soon embroiled in a guerrilla war with the NLF, the insurgents who were indigenous to South Vietnam. North Vietnamese forces unsuccessfully attempted to overrun the South during the 1968 Tet Offensive and the war soon spread into neighboring Laos and Cambodia, both of which the United States bombed.
With its own casualties mounting, the U.S. began transferring combat roles to the South Vietnamese military in a process the U.S. called Vietnamization. The effort had mixed results. The Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973 formally recognized the sovereignty of both sides. Under the terms of the accords all American combat troops were withdrawn by March 29, 1973. Limited fighting continued, but all major fighting ended until the North once again sent troops to the South on April 30, 1975. South Vietnam briefly became the Republic of South Vietnam, under military occupation by North Vietnam, before being officially integrated with the North under communist rule as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on July 2, 1976.
Vietname is divided into 3 municipalities; Hai Phong, Ha Noi, and Ho Chi Minh; and 58 provinces; An Giang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Can Tho, Cao Bang, Dac Lac, Da Nang, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Hai Duong, Ha Nam, Ha Tay, Ha Tinh, Hoa Binh, Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc, and Yen Bai
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