DAVID LAN PHAM, F.A.B.I.
Pham Dinh Lan
Hien Luong Bridge
The founders of the dynasties in Vietnam, the national heroes and some famous courtiers were from ordinary families.
Dinh Bo Linh was a herdsman.
Le Hoan and Ly Cong Uan were orphans.
The ancestors of the Tran were fishermen.
Le Loi was a rich farmer in Thanh Hoa.
Mac Dang Dung was a fisherman.
Trinh Kiem was poor and fatherless.
Three brothers of the Tay Son were from a peasant family in Tay Son hamlet, Qui Nhon province.
Ho Chi Minh was born into a very poor family although his father was a Confucian scholar receiving pho bang(1) after his mother died in poverty.
Ly Thuong Kiet, Pham Ngu Lao, Yet Kieu, Da Tuong, Tran Quang Dieu, Vo Van Dung, Vo Tanh, Dao Duy Tu, Tran Van Ky, Phan Thanh Gian, Nguyen Tri Phuong... were born into ordinary families. They entered history thanks to their true talents, and to their active and efficient contributions to the country's security and development.
Vietnam was influenced by Confucianism. However, the Vietnamese ladies had their important roles in society. Two Trung Sisters were national heroines and Queens from 40 A.D to 43 A.D. Princess Chieu Thanh became queen in 1224. The next year kingship was transferred to the Tran. From then on, daughters of the late king lost their right of succession to the throne.
Under the reign of two Trung Sisters there were many female generals.
Mme Trieu was a national heroine commanding the militia to fight the Wu in the 3rd century.
Bui Thi Xuan was a brave and heroic female general under the Tay Son. Her bravery, military arts and loyalty to Emperor Quang Trung made her name immortal.
Ngo Chi Lan, Doan Thi Diem, Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, Ho Xuan Huong, Suong Nguyet Anh... had their good reputation in the field of poetry and literature.
Kings Ly Thai Ton (1028 - 1054) and Ly Thanh Ton (1054 - 1072) thought of human rights. In the 15 th century the Code of Hong Duc protected women's rights. King Le Thanh Ton was aware of the women's state of mind for his mother was unjustly mistreated by the royal family. One day, arriving in Nam Xuong, he was moved by the story of the Nam Xuong lady, who killed herself by jumping into the river to show her faithfulness to her jealous husband. King Le Thanh Ton composed a poem dedicated to this faithful lady.
The Vietnamese people had their natural democratic spirit which wasn't institutionalized. The Dien Hong Assembly reflected it partly when the country was in danger in the 13th century. More and less the marriage between Chu Dong Tu and Princess Tien Dung, between Trinh Kiem and Nguyen Kim's daughter, between Dao Duy Tu and Tran Duc Hoa's daughter, between Vo Tanh and Lord Nguyen Phuc Anh's younger sister... reflected the democratic spirit in feudal society.
To a certain extent the democratic spirit was implemented by the popular revolts in spite of severe punishments from the feudal regime.
Beside the good sides there were many anomalies:
Two kings in the kingdom
Our country had two Kings in 950 after Ngo Xuong Van succeeded in ousting his uncle Duong Tam Kha, who usurped the throne after Ngo Quyen's death.
Duong Tam Kha was Duong Dien Nghe's son. He was younger brother of Ngo Quyen's wife. In 944 Ngo Quyen died. Ngo Xuong Ngap was still young. Duong Tam Kha became Regent. Duong Tam Kha proclaimed himself King (2). Ngo Xuong Ngap took refuge in Nam Sach, Hai Duong province. Duong Tam Kha adopted Ngo Xuong Van, Ngo Xuong Ngap's younger brother.
After Ngo Quyen's death the country was in troubles. That was the beginning of the country's division into fiefdoms. It was impossible for Duong Tam Kha to restore national security, and to ensure power centralization. Ngo Xuong Van was sent to the battlefield to fight the rebels. Taking advantage of this opportunity he allied with generals Do Canh Thac and Duong Cat Loi to move the troops to Co Loa to overthrow Duong Tam Kha. Ngo Xuong Van didn't kill his uncle. On the contrary he granted him the highest nobility title.
Ngo Xuong Van (3) was a sentimental king. He asked his brother Ngo Xuong Ngap (4) to return to Co Loa to share power with him. He ordered the construction of the temple dedicated to Truong Hong, a General under the reign of Trieu Viet Vuong, on the Nhu Nguyet River. In 1076 Ly Thuong Kiet ordered a man to recite a four-verse poem there to scare the Song, and to restore the Viet troops' morale.
Ngo Xuong Van was generous while his brother Ngo Xuong Ngap was greedy. He planned to depose his younger brother. He couldn't carry out his plan as he died in 954. His death ended the anomaly characterized by the presence of two kings in a kingdom.
Ngo Xuong Van died in 965. His nephew Ngo Xuong Xi ascended the throne. The seigniorial war got more and more serious. Losing control of the country Ngo Xuong Xi became one of the 12 Seigniors. His fiefdom was Binh Kieu in Hung Yen province.
Many administrations in a country
a. The Northern Dynasty and the Southern Dynasty
There were two opposite administrations in Dai Viet from 1532 to 1592. The Mac reigned in present Bac Bo. It was the Northern Dynasty. The Restored Le reigned from Thanh Hoa to Thuan Hoa (Quang Tri and Thua Thien). It was the Southern Dynasty.
b. The Restored Le and the Mac
In 1592 the Le and Trinh recaptured Dong Do (Thang Long). The Mac fled to Cao Bang to get protection from the Ming, then from the Ch'ing until 1677. The existence of two administrations (Restored Le in Dong Do and the Mac in Cao Bang) lasted from 1592 to 1677.
c. The Le and the Trinh
The dual regime was seen in the Southern Dynasty when Trinh Kiem replaced his father-in-law, Nguyen Kim, to command the pro-Le army in 1545. It was official after the fall of the Mac in 1592. Trinh Tung was the first Lord of the Trinh. From 1545 to 1786 all the kings of the Restored Le were powerless. The king had his government. So did the Lord. The royal administration wasn't as important than the administration of the Lord, who allowed the king to collect taxes in the 1,000 villages, and to have 5,000 soldiers only. Chancellor Nguyen Cong Hang was forced by Lord Trinh Giang to kill himself for showing his loyalty to the Le (1732).
All the kings of the Restored Le were chosen, enthroned, deposed and even killed by the Lords. Some princes were raised and educated by the Lords, who enthroned them to have kings docile to them. The Trinh were more powerful and conservative than the Tokugawa in Japan. Trinh Kiem had the intention of usurping the throne after King Le Trung Ton died childless in 1556. He was smart to renounce his kingly ambition by carrying out Dr. Nguyen Binh Khiem's words "Keep the pagoda to have bananas."
Lord Trinh Tung killed King Le Anh Ton in 1573, and King Le Kinh Ton in 1619 after these two kings failed to overthrow him.
Lord Trinh Giang killed Prince Le Duy Vy.
Lord Trinh Trang forced King Le Than Ton (1619 - 1643) to resign in favor of his son, who, later was known as King Le Chan Ton (1643 - 1649). In 1649 King Le Chan Ton died. Trinh Trang enthroned Le Than Ton again!
Only Lord Trinh Tac decided the enthronement of three Kings: Le Huyen Ton (1663 - 1671), Le Gia Ton (1672 - 1675), and Le Hi Ton (1676 - 1705).
The Trinh built up their power with their military exploits. The contribution of the soldiers recruited from three prefectures of Thanh Hoa to the restoration of the Le was considerable. These soldiers were called kieu binh or linh tam phu (proud soldiers or soldiers from three prefectures). They were in charge of security in the capital only. They bullied the people and the mandarins, and showed their disrespect to the Trinh. In 1782 Trinh Khai became Lord thanks to the proud soldiers' support. Therefore, the latter got more and more arrogant.
From the 17th century to the 18th century the people in Dang Ngoai had no freedom. Their security, safety and life were intermittently threatened. Their life philosophy was the unconditional acceptance of misery, terror and social injustice. In these two centuries there were many anonymous works clandestinely spread in Dang Ngoai. Funny stories attributed to Cong Quynh (5) appeared in this chaotic and troubled time. The Trinh Shogunate collapsed in 1786. Trinh Khai bit his tongue to kill himself.
d. Two or more than two administrations in a country
From the 1600s to 1770s Dai Viet was dismembered by the Le, Trinh, Mac, Nguyen and Tay Son. There werethree administrations in this historic period:
1. The Mac in Cao Bang
2. The Restored Le and Trinh in present Bac Bo and Northern Trung Bo
3. The Nguyen from Quang Tri to present Nam Bo.
From 1771 to 1786 there were:
1. The Restored Le and Trinh (from present Bac Bo to Thuan Hoa)
2. The Tay Son (from Quang Nam to Binh Thuan)
3. The Nguyen in present Nam Bo since 1788.
From 1787 to 1792 there were three administrations:
1. The Tay Son led by Quang Trung Nguyen Hue (from present Bac Bo to North of Ben Van)
2. The Tay Son led by Nguyen Nhac (from South of Ben Van to Binh Thuan)
3. The Nguyen in present Nam Bo.
From 1793 to 1801 there were two administrations:
1. The Tay Son under king Canh Thinh in present Bac Bo and Trung Bo
2. The Nguyen in present Nam Bo
e. Administrations from 1945 to 1954 in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh seized power in August, 1945. In September, 1945 the French re- occupied Nam Bo. In 1946 the Republic of Cochinchina was born. In reality, there were two administrations in Vietnam.
In 1949 Bao Dai returned to Vietnam from Hong Kong to lead the national government while Ho Chi Minh led the anti-French resistance in the jungles. Two opposite governments existed until the country's partition in 1954.
f. The Sai Gon Government and the Provisional Revolutionary Government
The Provisional Revolutionary Government was born in 1969. It was headed by Huynh Tan Phat, a leading figure of the National Liberation Front, which was, de facto, recognized by the United States as a political entity. Tran Buu Kiem and Nguyen Thi Binh attended the Paris Conference. The Paris Agreement signed in 1973 recognized two administrations and two armies (6) in South Vietnam. In 1975 the Sai Gon government fell. The next year the Provisional Revolutionary Government was dissolved. Vietnam was unified under the leadership of the Vietnam Communist Party.
In 1954 the Communist regime appeared in North Vietnam. It was a copy of the political regime applied in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. It was characterized by the leadership of the Communist Party.
Like the other countries, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam had president, prime minister, representatives, judges i.e. it had the executive, legislative and judicial. What differed it from the other countries was that all the heads of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial were chosen by the Communist party to carry out its policies and resolutions. The most powerful man wasn't either the president or the prime minister but the general secretary of the party. Ho Chi Minh was a powerful president because he was the founder and chairman of the Vietnam Communist Party. The secretaries of the party cells directed the local army, local governments, factories, schools, hospitals, collective farms etc.
Pham Ngoc Thach, Huynh Tan Phat were secretly admitted to the Indochinese Communist Party. They faced danger and hardship during the past two wars. Yet, they couldn't be members of the Politburo of the party because of their social classes (bourgeois intellectuals).
Pham Ngoc Thach was a medical doctor studying in France. His mother was a princess. His wife was French.
Huynh Tan Phat was an architect. His father was a local notable and a rich landlord in Ben Tre.
In 1976 Nguyen Huu Tho was vice-president of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Many provincial commissars didn't respect him because they were commissars of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Communist Party!
Vo Nguyen Giap and Ung Van Khiem were members of the Politburo of dang Lao Dong Viet Nam. They both were eliminated from the Politburo and the government, and fell into oblivion.
Because of his pro-Chinese stand Hoang Van Hoan (1905 - 1991) sought political asylum in China although he was member of the Politburo of the Vietnam Communist Party. He died there in 1991.
In the monarchy the king had his absolute power. However, the king listened to the advice of the Ngu Su(Censors), respected the communal self-rule, and were scared of warnings from Heaven such as typhoons, floods, drought, earthquakes etc. In the Communist regime the leader of the Communist party has his unlimited power without having any responsibility. The party has its iron discipline. Everybody could be demoted, imprisoned, deported or executed except for Uncle Ho, who founded and led the Vietnam Communist Party. Truong Chinh was General Secretary of the party. In 1956 he had to make self-criticism because of the failure of the land reform a la Maoiste. Ho Chi Minh didn't eliminate him from the Politburo for fear of offending Peking (Beijing). He ranked 3rd in the Politburo. The Communist regime reminds us of Tran Thu Do in the 13th century and the Trinh Shoguns in the 17th and 18th centuries. They weren't kings but they were the kings makers. Life and death of the kings was in their hands. Their power was much bigger than the king's. It was absolute but they weren't responsible for the failure of their decisions and policies.
After Ho Chi Minh's death Le Duan became the strongest man in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Ton Duc Thang was two years older than Ho Chi Minh. He was also Ho Chi Minh's friend. He called Ho "Uncle Ho" with respect. After Ho's death he was president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. All his speeches began with "Respectful Comrade Le Duan".
Generals Tran Van Tra and Van Tien Dung were in disfavor after they wrote memoirs on the Ho Chi Minh Campaign. Luu Huu Phuoc wrote a book on his patriotic songs with his picture on the front cover. He forgot that he was in the Communist regime in which only the pictures of Uncle Ho and Respectful Comrade Le Duan appeared on the front covers of the books. Generals Tran Van Tra and Van Tien Dung forgot that all the military victories, and political, economic. cultural, diplomatic successes... came from the leadership of the Communist party. In 1984 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory without mentioning Vo Nguyen Giap.
In the 13th century Tran Thu Do was not the king but he was the king maker. He was a political organizer. It was he who was in charge of the national affairs but not the king. King Tran Thai Ton must listen to him. He gave the Tran dynasty the political tradition characterized by the king's abdication to avoid the dispute of power among the princes. Abdicated king became Thai Thuong Hoang (King's father), who, in reality, had full power to decide the state affairs.
The Shogunal regime appeared in Dang Ngoai (North Vietnam) in the 17th century and lasted until the 18th century. All the kings of the Restored Le were enthroned or deposed by the Trinh. The kings had no power. They were victims of the Trinh.
The women who shook the thrones
1. Queen Duong committed adultery with Generalissimo Le Hoan. Was she responsible for the split and the fall of the Dinh? Dinh Lien's right of succession was denied while Hang Lang was recognized as crown prince. Angry Dinh Lien killed the young prince. After this event came the assassination of Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang and Prince Dinh Lien. Dinh Tue was enthroned when he was six years old. General Pham Cu Luong staged a bloodless coup deposing the six- year-old king. Queen Duong gave the royal robe to Le Hoan, who became king Le Dai Hanh (980). Queen Duong became the two-dynasty Queen.
2. King Ly Than Ton died in 1138 when Prince Thien To was three years old. Queen mother Le became regent. She committed adultery with Do Anh Vu, and let the latter solve all the state affairs. Do Anh Vu got more arrogant and cruel. He killed those courtiers who opposed him. Fortunately he couldn't usurp the throne for the Ly had many capable and loyal courtiers.
3. Tran Thu Do committed adultery with his cousin, who was King Ly Hue Ton's wife. King Ly Hue Ton was an alcoholic addict. He had mental health problems. His destiny seemed to be determined. He had no son but two daughters: Princess Thuan Thien and Princess Chieu Thanh. The latter succeeded to the throne in 1224 when she was seven years of age. It was Queen Ly Chieu Hoang. Tran Thu Do maneuvered the transfer of kingship from Ly Chieu Hoang to her eight-year old husband, Tran Canh in 1225. Former King Ly Hue Ton hanged himself in a pagoda. Tran Thu Do lived with his wife.
4. King Tran Du Ton died childless in 1369. The queen mother decided to enthrone Duong Nhat Le. It was impossible to know why she supported Le actively. Le was son of a hat bo actor named Duong Khuong. When his mother was in pregnancy, she lived with a prince of the Tran and gave birth to Duong Nhat Le, who, in reality, wasn't son of the prince. Le had the intention of founding the Duong dynasty. In order to work out this political ambition he killed the queen mother, who had backed him. He killed his opponents for good. Courtiers, who were loyal to the Tran, were eradicated. There was a bloody coup in the capital in 1370. Duong Nhat Le was killed. The throne returned to the Tran.
5. Le Quy Ly (Ho Qui Ly) had the opportunity to approach the Tran because two of his aunts were harems of King Tran Minh Ton (1314 - 1329). One of them was mother of King Tran Nghe Ton (1370 - 1372). The other was mother of King Tran Due Ton (1372 - 1377). A cousin of Le Quy Ly was Queen under the reign of Tran Due Ton. Le Quy Ly multiplied his partisans at the court. He used thai thuong hoang Tran Nghe Ton to weaken the Tran. Le Quy Ly usurped the throne. He changed his family name to Ho for he was originally from Che Kiang in China.
6. Dang Thi Hue whose nickname was Ba Chua Che (Mme Tea Lord) was a beautiful country lady from Bac Ninh province. Her beauty seduced Lord Trinh Sam (1767 - 1782). The Dang gave the people in Dang Ngoai a lot of troubles. Dang Thi Hue asked Lord Trinh Sam to recognize their son Trinh Can as his legitimate successor. Trinh Khai was eliminated. After the death of Lord Trinh Sam, Trinh Khai, backed by the proud soldiers, overthrew Trinh Can, and killed Dang Thi Hue and Hoang Dinh Bao. In 1786 the Trinh collapsed.
7. Tran Thi Le Xuan was Ngo Dinh Nhu's wife. She was the most powerful lady under President Ngo Dinh Diem (1954- 1963). She considered herself “First Lady''. She was leader of the Republican Women, the Women's Solidarity Movement. She was representative and real author of the famous Family Code the South Vietnamese called Mme Nhu' s Code. Mme Nhu's words and challenging attitudes aggravated the Buddhist crisis leading to the fall of the Diem administration.
Abolition of the dynastic traditions
1. The ancestors of the Tran were fishermen. Therefore the kings of the Tran had the tradition of tattooing on their thighs. King Tran Anh Ton (1293 - 1314) abolished this tradition.
2. King Gia Long (1802 - 1820) gave birth to the three- non- creation principle. There were no titles of hoang hau (Queen), te tuong (Chancellor), and trang nguyen (1st-ranked laureate of the thi dinh). Bao Dal, a French- educated king of the Nguyen, didn't observe this principle. In 1934 he married Marie Therese Nguyen Huu Hao, who became Queen Nam Phuong. In 1945, influenced by the Japanese he appointed Tran Trong Kim prime minister. In 1949 he returned to Vietnam to head the National Government of which he was the first prime minister. From 1950 to 1954 he successively appointed Nguyen Phan Long, Tran Van Huu, Nguyen Van Tam, Buu Loc, and Ngo Dinh Diem prime ministers. The last prime minister deposed him in a referendum on his 42rd birthday (October 23.1955).
Young kings and political chaos
1 . Ngo Quyen died in 944 when his oldest son Ngo Xuong Ngap was too young. Regent Duong Tam Kha. Ngo Xuong Ngap' s uncle, usurped the throne (945 - 950).
2. Dinh Tue was enthroned when he was 6 years old. Kingship moved from the Dinh to Le Hoan (980).
3. Prince Thien To became king Ly Than Ton when he was 3 years old. The state affairs were swayed by Do Anh Vu. Fortunately, the Ly didn't lose their throne to this outsider.
4. Prince Long Can was 3 years of age when King Ly Anh Ton died in 1175. The Queen Mother Chieu Linh sought to depose him in favor of her oldest son, prince Long Xuong. Regent To Hien Thanh was a good courtier, who helped prince Long Can be enthroned. That was King Ly Cao Ton (1176 - 1210). His reign was marked by the impotence of the Ly to repress the revolts. It was Tran Ly, a fisherman in Nam Dinh, recruited militias to liberate Thang Long. He was the ancestor of the Tran.
5. Tran Canh became the first king of the Tran. He was known as King Tran Thai Ton (1225 - 1258) when he was 8 years old. All the state affairs were solved by Tran Thu Do. Pressured by Tran Thu Do the young king had to live with his sister-in-law, who was his brother's wife, and his wife's sister (8). Tran Thu Do married the wife of the young king to General Le Phu Tran.
6. To prepare usurpation Le Quy Ly (Ho Qui Ly) killed King Tran Thuan Ton (1388 - 1398) to enthrone his son, who was 3 years old. It was King Tran Phe De (9). In 1400 the latter was deposed by Le Quy Ly.
7. King Le Thai Ton died in 1442 when Prince Bang Co was 2 years old. The young king was enthroned. He was known as King Le Nhan Ton. His mother became regent. The queen mother ruled the country smoothly. Her serious mistake was to kill courtiers, who had good contributions to the anti-Ming resistance. In 1459 King Le Nhan Ton was assassinated by Prince Nghi Dan, his half-brother.
8. King Le Chieu Ton was on the throne at the age of 14 when the country was in insecurity due to revolts andjacqueries. In 1526 he was killed by Mac Dang Dung.
9. Lord Vo Vuong Nguyen Phuc Khoat died in 1765. According to his testament, Nguyen Phuc Con (10) was his successor. Regent Truong Phuc Loan eliminated Nguyen Phuc Con from the Lordship succession by turning Nguyen Phuc Thuan, an 11 year-old child, into Lord Dinh Vuong to sway the national affairs. Wuong Phuc Loan's corruption and abuse of power gave Nguyen Nhac, Nguyen Lu and Nguyen Hue a good pretext to lead a revolt in Dang Trong in 1771. Lord Dinh Vuong Nguyen Phuc Thuan and his family were massacred by the Tay Son in 1777 in Long Xuyen.
10. Trinh Can was too young to become Lord after the death of Trinh Sam in 1782. The new Lord was too young and sick. His mother Dang Thi Hue and Duke Hoang Dinh Bao took care of the national affairs. Thekieu binh (proud soldiers) backed Trinh Khai by killing Dang Thi Hue and Hoang Dinh Bao, and ousting Trinh Can.
11. The Tay Son were weakened after the death of Emperor Quang Trung in 1792. Prince Nguyen Quang Toan came to the throne at the age of 10. It was King Canh Thinh. Regent Bui Dac Tuyen nurtured his political ambition like Duong Tam Kha did in the 10th century. He didn't carry it out yet because all the Generals such as Tran Quang Dieu, Bui Thi Xuan. Vo Van Dung were loyal to Emperor Quang Trung. Regent Bui Dac Tuyen divided them by separating General Ngo Van So from Vo Van Dung, minimizing the role of Tran Van Ky, and by ordering the Tay Son, who helped Nguyen Nhac expel the Nguyen from Qui Nhon in 1793, to stay there and to confiscate Nguyen Nhac' s treasure. A coup d'etat led by Vo Van Dun- occurred in Phu Xuan. Bui Dac Tuyen, his son, and General Ngo Van So were dipped in the river. General Tran Quang Dieu moved his troops to Phu Xuan. Fortunately, the clash between Tran Quang Dieu and Vo Van Dung didn't happen thanks to King Canh Thinh' s reconciliation.
12. King Kien Phuc was 14 years of age in 1883. He had no real power. Ton That Thuyet and Nguyen Van Tuong became the strong men in Hue. In 1883 and 1884 they decided the enthronement and dethronement. Ham Nghi came to the throne when he was 12 years old. Duy Tan replaced his father, King Thanh Thai, when he was 8 years old (1907). Bao Dai succeeded to the throne in 1925 when he was 12 years old. From 1884 to 1945 the Vietnamese Kings were more symbolic than powerful no matter they were young or not. In 1925 Bao Dal returned to Hue from France to mourn his father, King Khai Dinh. Then he was back to France to continue his studies until 1932. The French and the Francophile courtiers ruled the country smoothly during 7 years of the king's absence.
Leader in celibacy
In the 20th century there were two Vietnamese leaders in celibacy. They were Ho Chi Minh (1890 - 1969) and Ngo Dinh Diem (1901 - 1963). When Ho Chi Minh was in his fifties the Viet Minh asked the Vietnamese people to call him Cu Ho (Old Ho). It was the same for Ngo Dinh Diem when he was in full power. Personality cult was inevitable in Vietnam regardless of its political regime.
Both Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem were single. They were originally from Central Vietnam where the number of revolutionaries was the highest in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was from Nghe An. Ngo Dinh Diem was from Quang Binh. Both the leaders represented two different socio-political doctrines. Their common ground was dictatorship and extremism.
Ho Chi Minh was a leftist dictator. Ngo Dinh Diem was a rightist dictator.
The former was devoted to Marxism-Leninism. The latter was devoted to Catholic Personalism.
Both of them lived abroad, and were influenced by Eastern and Western cultures. Ho Chi Minh was trained by the Soviet Union. He was backed by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. Ngo Dinh Diem was backed by the United States, France, and the Catholic Church. Both of them opposed each other, and tried to eliminate each other at any cost without paying attention to the consequences of their thirst for honor and victory.
It was unnecessary for the Vietnamese people to know whether both of them were in real celibacy or not. They didn't need to know why they were in celibacy, either. The important thing was that, if it was true, their celibacy wasn't useful to Vietnam and to its people. It was certain that they weren't aware of the sufferings of their people. Most of them had their own families. In the world, in general, and in Vietnam, in particular, there were many great men, revolutionaries, patriots, and leaders, who were married and useful to their countries and to their people. Their life was normal. So were their needs. They deeply understood their people's aspiration.
The leaders, who gave themselves many super-human virtues and religious ethics couldn't avoid either dictatorship or personality cult. They were sanctified when alive. Their statues were erected. Their birthdays were celebrated after their death. The living must listen to the teachings of the dead from the bottom of their graves. Poetry, literature, music, arts aimed at praising these dictators.
Leadership, Sex and Alcoholism
King Hung Vuong XVIlI was an alcoholic addict. He was defeated by Thuc Phan. Van Lang was annexed to the Thuc. King Hung Vuong XVIII killed himself by jumping into a well.
Alcoholic addiction turned Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang blind when demoting Prince Dinh Lien by choosing Hang Lang as his successor. The most tragic consequence of his alcoholic addiction was that he and his oldest son Dinh Lien were killed by Do Thich when both of them got drunk.
Le Long Dinh (1005 - 1009) was a lustful king. His reign lasted four years. He was cruel and lacked lucidity. His hobby was to see human blood spill every day. His death marked the end of the Earlier Le.
Prince Sam was seduced by the beauty of Tran Ly's daughter. Coming to the throne he was known as King Ly Hue Ton. The king spent time drinking rice wine to have mental health problems. Members of his wife's family controlled the state affairs. His wife committed adultery with her cousin. Tran Thu Do. King Ly Hue Ton gave the throne to a 7-year-old princess (1224), and spent the rest of his life in a pagoda where he hanged himself in 1225.
King Tran Du Ton loved luxury, sex, gambling and hat bo. Mandarins, who drank much rice wine got fast promotion. He had sex even with his sisters. Under his reign there were many revolts. He died heirless in 1369. Kingship fell in the hands of Duong Nhat Le, who, fortunately, couldn't keep it for long.
King Le Thai Ton died in 1442 when he was 20 years of age. That night he was served by the young and beautiful concubine of Dr. Nguyen Trai, Nguyen Thi Lo, in the orchard of longan in Chi Linh, Hai Duong province.
Le Uy Muc (1505 - 1509) was a lustful and cruel King. He drank rice wine with his concubines every night. When he got drunk he killed them. He was killed in a coup led by a prince he imprisoned.
This prince came to the throne, and was known as King Le Tuong Duc (1510 - 1516). This king was as bad as King Le Uy Muc. He loved sex and luxury. An envoy of the Ming said that the pig-like face of the king warned of the fall of the Later Le.
General Lap Bao of the Mac was offered a beautiful lady by Nguyen Hoang. Seduced by her Lap Bao lacked vigilance. He was defeated by Nguyen Hoang in Ho Xa, Quang Tri province, in 1572.
The beauty of General Bui Van Khue's wife attracted King Mac Mau Hop. The latter planned to kill Khue to live with his beautiful wife. For that reason Bui Van Khue joined the Le and Trinh to oppose the Mac.
Sex and rice wine shortened the kings' longevity. The average age of the kings’ longevity varied from 45 to 50. Kings Le Long Dinh, Le Thai Ton, Le Chan Ton, Dong Khanh... died in their twenties. King Gia Long died at the age of 59; Minh Mang: 49; Thieu Tri: 40; Tu Duc: 53; Kien Phuc: 16; Dong Khanh: 25: Khai Dinh: 41 etc.
In the feudal times the Vietnamese Kings isolated themselves in their palaces. It was unnecessary for them to know what was going on in the outside world. The kings, Confucian scholars and mandarins knew only one civilized country: China.
Vietnam was a poor agricultural country. Over ninety five per cent of the population lived in the rural areas and practiced farming. A Vietnamese village was a small state. The bamboo hedge was its border. The huong uoc was its communal constitution in which all the communal customs were written and observed. The dinh (village temple) was the place where the villagers assembled to pay respect to the local deity, and to discuss the communal important problems. The village chief headed the executive. The tien chi (elderly) were appointed "senators" and "representatives" in their village. Few villagers left their native land. In Confucian society, it was a shame to leave the native land to look for raison de vivre. It was unhappy for those people who didn't take care of their ancestors' graves. Therefore, the Vietnamese peasants were conservative. Their knowledge of the outside world was almost nil.
In the 17th century Pho Hien (11) and Hoi An (12) were opened up to foreign traders. They were closed as both Dang Trong and Dang Ngoai banned the propagation of Catholicism.
The closed-door policy was rigidly applied in the 19th century by the Nguyen. It was tied to the banning of the propagation of Catholicism promulgated by King Minh Mang, Thieu Tri and Tu Duc. This policy had its politico-religious reason. It was a passive reaction from the Kings of the Nguyen, who tried their best not to face reality showing Western economic and technological superiority. The closed- door policy was dear to the Ch'ing (Qing) in China. After the opium war China signed the treaty on Nanking with Great Britain to concede Hong Kong to the winners. A series of unequal treaties were signed between China and the European countries to give up the Chinese coast and harbors to them. Russia occupied some 1,500,000 square kilometers of land in Northern Manchuria, and took control of Port Arthur. Germany occupied Shantung. Great Britain controlled Wei Hai-Wei. Japan occupied Taiwan. Pescadores Islands after the Sino- Japanese war (1894 - 95). France had its concession in Shanghai, and was present in Kwang Chowan etc.
Tz'u Hi (Ci Xi) hated Christianity and the White Barbarians. She treasured conservatism which couldn't either prosper China or save its territorial integrity. Siam (Thailand) signed many unequal treaties with the Western countries. Its independence was safeguarded for none of these countries had the monopoly of colonizing it. King Rama V (Chulalongkorn) whose teacher was a British lady, was influenced by Western culture. He was a Meiji Tenno in Southeast Asia.
Japan was modernized. and became an industrial country in Asia. It was independent. Its modernization was successful thanks to the true will of Westernization of the Mikaido, the Japanese people's patriotism, and the responsibility spirit of Shogun Yoshinobu Tokugawa, who resigned to give the Mikaido full power to modernize the country.
King Tu Duc wasn't Meiji Tenno. Nguyen Truong To wasn't Fukuzawa. The Vietnamese courtiers and Confucian scholars were loyal to the king because of their social positions without paying interest in the people's livelihood, and in the prosperity of their country. Their initiatives and courage were poor. The same thing was seen in the 20th century after peace was re-established in Vietnam in 1975. Vietnam was proud of its military victory, and used it to cover up its economic and technological backwardness. Le Duan hid the Vietnamese economic failure by invading Cambodia to excite the Vietnamese hard-liners' national pride. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam was denounced by the world public opinion after the invasion of Cambodia by the end of 1978. It isolated itself, and was isolated by the world community. Before 1975 many non-aligned countries supported Ha Noi and the National Liberation Front morally, believing that they were anti-imperialist. After the liberation of South Vietnam, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam carried out its imperialist dream in Laos and Cambodia with Soviet aid.
After 1986 Nguyen Van Linh, Le Duan's successor, advocated doi moi (renovation), following Gorbachev's example. The Vietnam Communist Party always insisted on American peace evolution. This political pretext was used to justify its conservatism and dogmatism. Nguyen Van Linh was replaced by Do Muoi after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Like Do Muoi (13), Le Kha Phieu (14) and Nong Duc Manh (15) followed the routine party line just to perpetuate the Communist regime but not to move the country forward by adapting to the world progress. The consequence was that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was among the poorest countries in the world.
Incompatibility between words and actions
During the Franco-Vietnamese war Bao Dai returned to power with the support of Paris and Washington. He opposed Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh while his family lived in France. The princes and princesses spoke French better than Vietnamese. Queen Nam Phuong was naturalisee. Their life style was more French than Vietnamese.
Ngo Dinh Nhu wrote speeches in French. These speeches were translated into Vietnamese, then corrected by himself. From Bao Dai, Ngo Dinh Diem, Duong Van Minh, Nguyen Khanh, to Nguyen Van Thieu almost all the children of the rich and powerful families in Vietnam attended French schools in Vietnam or were sent to France, Canada. Australia, New Zealand and the United States while the leaders claimed to heighten Vietnamese education.
In North Vietnam children of the senior members of dang Lao dong Viet Nam studied in the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China or Eastern European countries. None of them died in the second Vietnam war. Neither did the Communist generals. The Vietnamese Communists praised the working and farming classes and even killed the bourgeois and petit bourgeois without mercy while their leaders were from the governing class in feudal society. Their life was that of the king and mandarins in the feudal times. Ho Chi Minh was son of a Confucian scholar working at the Hue Court, then in Binh Khe district until he was dismissed. Pham Van Dong's father was a mandarin serving King Duy Tan. Truong Chinh was born into a rich, feudal and mandarin family in Nam Dinh. Le Duc Tho was son of a governor in colonial and feudal society etc.
The Vietnamese Communists were internationalist but in the past two Vietnam Wars they always used the patriotic slogans to excite the Vietnamese people. Before grabbing power the Indochinese Communist Party promised a classless society in which the whole people should enjoy freedom and better life. None of these things was seen after 1954 in North Vietnam, and after the country's reunification in 1975.
The Vietnamese Communists spread works by Lenin, and erected his huge statue in Ha Noi. After 1975 they forced the children of the war losers to study Russian while their children studied English. From 1990 on, children of the Communist officials studied and sought to stay in the Western countries such as France, Canada, Australia and the United States.
In April, 1975 the South Vietnamese soldiers received orders from their superior to fight the Communists to death while most of their generals left Sai Gon a week before its fall.
These political contradictions and deceptions were destructive. The people mistrusted their leaders, who, in their turn, sought to gain the people's obedience and submission with their bayonets and their network of police.
Misuse and killing of talented men
The course of the Vietnam history was influenced by the political events in China, France and the Soviet Union.
After the collapse of the Ch'in, Liu Pang founded the Han. Many talented men, who helped him oppose Chin Shih Huang, were killed except for Chang Leang, who lived a hidden life in the mountains not to be harmed by Liu Pang and his wife. Lu Hao.
King Le Thai To (1428 - 1433) killed Generals Pham Van Xao and Tran Nguyen Han. Both of them had good records of service during the anti-Ming resistance. In 1442, under the reign of Le Thai Ton (1433 - 1442), Dr. Nguyen Trai, author of the famous Binh Ngo Dai Cao (Anti-Chinese Proclamation), was executed. Tran Nguyen Han and Nguyen Trai were grand children of Tran Nguyen Dan. The Le lied to the Ming that there were no descendants of the Tran left after Tran Cao known as Ho Ong was forced to take poison. Therefore, they didn't hesitate to kill Tran Nguyen Han and Nguyen Trai, who, in the eyes of the Later Le, were dangerous to their kingship. Firstly, they were descendants of the Tran. Secondly, they were prestigious and well respected for having good contributions to the victory over the Ming.
During the resistance against the Tay Son Nguyen Phuc Anh (future king Gia Long) killed Do Thanh Nhan, one of his good generals, for fear that he would betray him. After the fall of the Tay Son, King Gia Long killed Marshal Nguyen Van Thanh's son, Nguyen Van Thuyen. Nguyen Van Thanh (16) was forced to kill himself. Minister of Defense Dang Tran Thuong was hanged.
King Minh Mang mistreated Dr. Phan Thanh Gian for not willing to listen to his constructive advice. He ordered his men to raze, and to chain the grave of general governor of Gia Dinh Thanh (17), Marshal Le Van Duyet. The grave of Le Chat, former General Governor of Bac Thanh (18), was leveled.
The Nghe Tinh Soviet Movement in the 1930s was compared to the Commune of Paris in France in the 1870s. Many tri, phu, dia, hao (intellectuals. rich people, landlords, notables) were killed for good. The same historic events were seen in the Communist-led revolt in Cochinchina in 1940 and in North Vietnam after the country's partition in 1954.
The Autumn Revolution of 1945 was compared to the French revolution under Robespierre. Many Cao Dal, Hoa Hao, Trotskyites, Dai Viet, Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang members, Viet Nam Cach Mang Dong Minh Hoi members, landlords, local notables, counter-revolutionaries... were killed by the Viet Minh. Robespierre wasEtre Supreme. Ho Chi Minh was sanctified and called Cu Ho (Old Ho). His pictures and statues were seen everywhere.
The building of socialism in North Vietnam after 1954 was compared to the bloody and tearful events in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s, and in China in the 1950s.
The death of Nguyen Binh and Nguyen Son on the Communist side, and that of Trinh Minh The and Nguyen Bao Toan on the Nationalist side remained suspicious.
In the feudal times good Confucian scholars faced risky challenges. Chu Van An, Nguyen Trai, Nguyen Binh Khiem, Nguyen Thiep practiced Taoist philosophy by living harmoniously with the nature after being sick of officialdom. Dr. Phan Dinh Phung was dismissed and imprisoned for protesting Ton That Thuyet and Nguyen Van Tuong dethroning King Duc Duc with some vague reasons.
From 1945 to 1975 both the Communist and Nationalist Governments used the intellectuals as their political facades and decorations. The intellectuals were politicized. In consequence, their contribution to the country's growth and development remained humble.
Ta Quang Buu, Nguyen Van Huyen, Nguyen Van To, Pham Ngoc Thach, Ton That Tung, Nguyen Manh Tuong, Nguyen Manh Ha, Tran Duc Thao, Phan Khoi... followed Ho Chi Minh. Hoang Xuan Han was pro-Viet Minh. Their names were used for propaganda during the resistance only. After 1954 these intellectuals fell into oblivion. They were considered by the Communists to be the bourgeois intellectuals surrendering to the proletarian class. Tran Duc Thao had mental health problems for being isolated and brainwashed.
After 1954 Nguyen Quang Trinh, Le Van Thoi, Tran Huu The, Buu Hoi (18). Tran Le Quang, Pham Hoang Ho... served the Republic of Vietnam although some of them were leftist. Instead of using their talents to develop South Vietnam economically. scientifically and technologically, the Sai Gon government politicized them. Their talents were tied to the political regime they served.
After the collapse of South Vietnam the Communists politicized the South Vietnamese scientists staying in Sai Gon such as Le Van Thoi. Pham Hoang Ho, Chu Pham Ngoc Son, Phung Trung Ngan, Nguyen Thanh Khuyen, Tran Van Tan etc. Dr. Le Van Thoi was chairman of the Patriotic Intellectuals' Association. Dr. Chu Pham Ngoc Son was vice chairman of the Vietnamese-Soviet Association. Agrege Nguyen Ngoc Huy, President of the Sai Gon University, died in a car accident. Agrege Tran Ngoc Ninh, former Minister of Education, escaped and was resettled in the United States. Agrege Vu Quoc Thuc was sponsored by the French government to live in France. Dr. Nguyen Duy Xuan died in the Communist reeducation camp. Many South Vietnamese intellectuals were sent to the re-education camps throughout the country after 1975. Some died for lack of food and medicine during their stay in the gulags. Some left the country after their release. Some spent the rest of their life in the Buddhist temples.
Disunion and regional discrimination
Disunion and regional discrimination was the serious consequence of a longtime colonial past and intermittent civil wars and revolts. Under foreign rule the urban residents received foreign culture while the rural residents kept their national traditions. Some urban residents became collaborators of the foreigners while most rural residents were hostile to the foreigners. "Civilized" by the foreign rulers the former ridiculed the latter. The foreign colonialists liked to have the intellectuals on their side. These intellectuals belonged to the governing class. The grassroots, who were peasants living in the countryside, belonged to the governed class. The struggle between the governing class and the governed class erupted. Sometimes it was latent. Sometimes it was eruptive.
Disunion and regional discrimination got more and more serious from the 16th century to the 20th century. The political centers of Vietnam moved from the North to the South.
The founders of the Ngo, Dinh. Early Le, Ly, Tran, Mac were Northern born.
The founders of the Later Le and the Trinh shogunate were from Thanh Hoa. So was the founder of the Nguyen. In general, from 1428 to 1945, the leaders of Vietnam were from Thanh Hoa (Northern Trung Bo) (19).
The founder of the Tay Son (1771 - 1801) was from Qui Nhon.
Ho Chi Minh, Ngo Dinh Diem, Nguyen Van Thieu, Le Duan, Le Duc Anh, Le Kha Phieu, Tran Duc Luong were from Trung Bo (Central Vietnam).
French colonization in Cochinchina, the birth of the Republic of Cochinchina in 1946 and the presence of the National Government in 1949 turned Sai Gon into the most important commercial and political center.
Chinese rule separated the Vietnamese living in the plains from the mountaineers.
The Civil Wars between the Mac and the Restored Le and Trinh, between the Trinh and Nguyen, and between the Nguyen and Tay Son disunited the Vietnamese people a lot.
French rule separated the Vietnamese in three ky (Tonkin, Annam, Cochinchina) from one another. It separated Confucian culture from Western culture, and the rural residents from the urban residents as well. The country's partition in 1672 and 1954 separated the Northerners from the Southerners.
In North Vietnam the leader and policy makers in the Vietnam Communist Party were from Trung Bo (Central Vietnam) and Bac Bo (Northern Vietnam).
In South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem's trustful entourage was mostly Catholic from Bac Bo or Trung Bo. Many Southerners joined the National Liberation Front because of regional discrimination. Regionalism divided the South Vietnamese, and weakened the Republic of Vietnam. Few Southerners supported Nguyen Cao Ky. In return, the North Vietnamese refugees never supported Tran Van Huong. The followers of different religions (Catholicism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Cao Dai, Hoa Hao, Protestantism etc.) had different view points on the Vietnam War. So did the politicians and military leaders. It was a political advantage for the Communists during the war.
Regional discrimination was latent and serious in the Communist regime. Ho Chi Minh, Le Duan, Pham Van Dong, Vo Nguyen Giap, Hoang Van Hoan, Nguyen Duy Trinh, Nguyen Chi Thanh... were in the Politburo ofdang Lao Dong Viet Nam. They were originally from Trung Bo (Central Vietnam.) Many middleranking Communist cadres in North Vietnam were from lien khu V (5th Interzone). After 1975 North Vietnamese Communist cadres were called cadres A while the Viet Cong cadres were called cadres B. The latter were accused of corruption. bureaucracy or rightist deviation to be replaced by the former. Nguyen Huu Tho, Huynh Tan Phat, Nguyen Van Hieu played their symbolic roles in the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Phung Van Cung, Tran Buu Kiem, Duong Quynh Hoa, Tran Bach Dang, Trinh Dinh Thao (20), Truong Nhu Tang... fell into oblivion after 1975. Many cities in Nam Bo had their names changed. Sai Gon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. Gia Dinh province was erased from the map.
Political vicious circle
Vietnam was noted for its struggle against the foreign invaders. In the 10th century Vietnam was independent but it paid tribute to the Chinese emperors. The Earlier Le, Ly, Tran, Later Le, Tay Son paid tribute to the Song, Yuan, Ming and Ch'ing (Qing) after their military victories.
In 1802, after defeating the Tay Son, Nguyen Phuc Anh came to the throne. He was known as King Gia Long. He sent Le Quang Dinh to Peking (Beijing) to bring tribute to Emperor Chia Ch'ing (1796 - 1820) to be recognized by the Ch'ing as King of Vietnam.
The Franco-Vietnamese treaties signed in the 19th century prevented the line Court from having diplomatic relations with China and other countries in the world. From 1884 to 1945 China lost its influence on Vietnam which was dependent upon France. In 1945 the Chungking failed to restore Chinese influence in Viet Nam through Nguyen Hai Than and Vu Hong Khanh because of Ho Chi Minh's political games and the Sino-French treaty of Chungking (1946).
In 1949 Mao Tse- tung (Mao Zedong) founded the People's Republic of China. He recognized Ho Chi Minh's government of resistance, and sent aid and politico-military advisors to the Viet Minh war zones in Bac Bo. Chinese aid helped the Viet Minh have their military superiority to the French in Bac Bo (Northern Vietnam). The French troops were defeated in Dien Bien Phu but Ho Chi Minh couldn't enjoy the fruit of this victory. He had to listen to Peking (Beijing) to accept the country's partition. The Viet Minh weren't diplomatically independent. Pham Van Dong couldn't resist the diplomatic policy of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of Vietnam. After 1954 the Vietnamese Communists expelled the French from North Vietnam to be dependent upon the Soviet Union and the People' s Republic of China politically and economically. In 1974 the Chinese troops defeated the South Vietnamese troops to occupy the Hoang Sa Islands (Paracel). Ha Noi kept its golden silence.
In 1975 the Vietnamese Communists took over South Vietnam. The Soviet battleships came to Cam Ranh Bay. In 1988 the People's Republic of China occupied the Truong Sa Islands (Spratley) by force. The treaty of 1999 ended the Sino-Vietnamese dispute on border and territorial waters at the expense of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The Vietnamese Communists were victorious in two Vietnam wars. The Franco-Vietnamese war was marked by the victory of Dien Bien Phu. The high point of the second Vietnam War was the Ho Chi Minh Campaign. The country' s partition, dictatorship, poverty and Sino-Soviet dependence came after the victory of Dien Bien Phu and the departure of the French troops. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam wasn't truly independent with the presence of the Soviet Navy in Cam Ranh Bay and Da Nang after the collapse of South Vietnam. It depended on Soviet aid to survive, and to maintain its troops in Cambodia when carrying out its international obligation there. It lost the Tay Sa and Truong Sa Islands, territories on the Sino-Vietnamese border, and territorial waters in the Gulf of Tonkin to the People's Republic of China after the collapse of South Vietnam.
The ironical thing was that the Vietnamese had relative freedom, human rights, and enough food under French rule. They wasted their time, energy and even their lives to struggle for independence to get dependence, the country's partition, territorial concessions, and to lose their freedom and happiness. The same thing was seen after 1975. It was very difficult for the Vietnamese people to have the right choice after World War II. Colonialism? or Communism? Both the paths led to the dead end. True independence, freedom and happiness are always a dream. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has a huge debt, and remains a backward country in the world. Its submission to the People's Republic of China got clearer and clearer after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
(1) equivalent to M.A.
(2) His reign title was Binh vuong.
(3) known as King Nam Tan Vuong.
(4) known as King Thien Sach Vuong.
(5) Nguyen Quynh. In the olden times those people who passed the ‘thi huong’ (regional contest) were called ‘huong cong’ (B.A). Nguyen Quynh was called ‘Cong Quynh’ for that reason.
(6) The Sai Gon Government and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and the South Vietnamese Army and the Liberation Armed Forces (Viet Cong).
(7) In reality king Gia Long died in 1820 according to the Gregorian calendar. According to the lunar calendar it was still in the year of the Cat (1819). Before French rule the Vietnamese historians used the lunar calendar.
(8) Tran Canh's brother was Tran Lieu whose wife was Princess Thuan Thien. The latter was sister of Princess Chieu Thanh known as Queen Ly Chieu Hoang (1224 - 1225).
(9) Tran Phe De wasn't his reign title. ‘Phe De’ means deposed emperor.
(10) Nguyen Phuc Con was father of Nguyen Phuc Anh (future King Gia Long).
(11) In Hung Yen province (Dang Ngoai - North).
(12) Capital of Quang Nam province (Dang Trong - South).
(l3) Do Muoi was General Secretary of the Vietnam Communist party from 1991 to 1997.
(14) Le Kha Phieu was General Secretary of the party from 1997 to 2001.
(15) Nong Duc Manh was General Secretary of the party in 2001.
(16) Nguyen Van Thanh was former General Governor of Bac Thanh, author of Hoang Viet Luat Le (Code of Gia Long).
(17) Gia Dinh Thanh: Nam Ky (Cochinchina).
(l8) Prince Buu Hoi was pro-Viet Minh in 1945. He sided with the Sai Gon government and was appointed ambassador. His prestige was jeopardized during the Buddhist crisis of 1963.
(19) 1428 - 1527: Later Le: 1532 - 1788: Restored Le; 1592 - 1786: Trinh shogunate; 1600 - 1801: Nguyen shogunate (1771 - 1801: Tay Son from Qui Nhon); 1802 - 1945: Nguyen dynasty.
(20) Dr: Trinh Dinh Thao was born in Tu Liem, Ha Dong province, but he practiced law in Cochinchina under French rule, and spent almost all his life in Sai Gon.
Pham Dinh Lan, F.A.B.I
Cái Đình - 2012