First Chinese domination of Vietnam

First Chinese domination of Vietnam

Bắc thuộc lần thứ nhất
111 BC–40 AD
Map of the Han dynasty under Emperor Wu of Han
Map of the Han dynasty under Emperor Wu of Han
Status District of the Han dynasty
Capital Jiaozhi (Vietnamese: Giao Chỉ)
Common languages Old Chinese
Government Monarchy
• 111-87 BC
Emperor Wu of Han (First)
• 87-74 BC
Emperor Zhao of Han
• 40 AD
Emperor Guangwu of Han (Last)
111 BC
• Establishment of Jiaozhi province
111 BC
• Trưng Sisters Uprising
40 AD
• 35
Currency Cash coins
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Triệu dynasty
Trưng Sisters
Today part of Vietnam


The first Chinese domination is a period in Vietnamese history during which Vietnam was under Chinese rule from the north.[1] It is the first of four periods of Chinese domination of Vietnam, the first three of which are almost continuous and referred to as Bắc thuộc ("Northern domination").

In 111 BC, the powerful Chinese Han dynasty conquered the Nam Việt (which in Chinese translates to "land of the southern barbarians") kingdom during its expansion southward and incorporated what is now northern Vietnam, together with much of modern Guangdong and Guangxi, into the expanding Han empire.[2][3] Vietnamese resistance to Han rule culminated in the rebellion of the Trưng Sisters, who expelled the Han in 40 AD and briefly ruled Vietnam until being defeated by the returning Han Chinese army in 43 AD.[2]

Administration [ edit ]

In 111 BC, the Han dynasty defeated the successors of Zhao Tuo (Triệu Đà) and annexed Nam Việt and the former Âu Lạc into the Han empire.[3] Following annexation, the name of Jiaozhi (Giao Chỉ) was established, dividing the former kingdom into nine commanderies with the last three commonly used in modern Vietnamese history books:[4][5]

  1. Nanhai (; Vietnamese: Nam Hải; located in Lingnan, modern central Guangdong)
  2. Hepu (; Vietnamese: Hợp Phố; located in Lingnan, modern southern coastal Guangxi)
  3. Cangwu (; Vietnamese: Thương Ngô; located in Lingnan, modern eastern Guangxi)
  4. Yulin (/; Vietnamese: Uất Lâm; located in Lingnan, probably Guilin, modern northeastern Guangxi)
  5. Zhuya (; Vietnamese: Châu Nhai; located on Hainan)
  6. Dan'er (; Vietnamese: Đạm Nhĩ; located on Hainan),
  7. Jiaozhi (交趾; Vietnamese: Giao Chỉ; located in northern Vietnam and part of southern Guangxi)
  8. Jiuzhen (; Vietnamese: Cửu Chân; probably located in central Vietnam)
  9. Rinan (; Vietnamese: Nhật Nam; probably located in central Vietnam)

All nine districts were administered from Long Biên, near modern Hanoi;[6] each ruled by a Chinese mandarin while the old system of lower rank rulers of Lac Hau, Lac Tuong were kept unchanged.

Sinification [ edit ]

During the next several hundred years of Chinese colonization and domination, sinification of the newly conquered Nanyue was brought about by a combination of Han imperial military power, regular settlement and an influx of Han Chinese refugees, officers and garrisons, merchants, scholars, bureaucrats, fugitives, and prisoners of war.[7][8][9] At the same time, Chinese officials were interested in exploiting the region's natural resources and trade potential. In addition, Han Chinese officials also seized fertile land conquered from Vietnamese nobles for newly settled Han Chinese immigrants.[10][11] Han rule and government administration brought new influences to the indigenous Vietnamese and the rule of Vietnam as a Chinese province operated as a frontier outpost of the Han Empire.[12][2] The Han dynasty was desperate to extend their control over the fertile Red River Delta, in part as the geographical terrain served as a convenient supply point and trading post for Han ships engaged in the growing maritime trade with various South and Southeast Asian Kingdoms as well as establishing it as a prominent trading post with Ancient India and the Roman Empire.[13][14][15] During the first century of Chinese rule, Vietnam was governed leniently and indirect with no immediate change in indigenous policies. Initially, the practice of indigenous Vietnamese was governed at the local level but was ruled out in favor of replacing indigenous Vietnamese local officials with newly settled Han Chinese officials.[16][9] Han imperial bureaucrats generally pursued a policy of peaceful relations with the indigenous population, focusing their administrative roles in the prefectural headquarters and garrisons, and maintaining secure river routes for trade.[17] By the first century AD, however, the Han dynasty intensified its efforts to assimilate its new territories by raising taxes and instituting marriage and land inheritance reforms aimed at turning Vietnam into a patriarchal society more amenable to political authority.[18][10][15][17][13]

In 111 BC, Emperor Han Wudi successfully conquered Nanyue and annexed it into the Han empire.[19]

The Vietnamese paid heavy tributes and imperial taxes to the Han mandarins to maintain the local administration and the military.[16] The Chinese vigorously tried to assimilate the Vietnamese peacefully either through forced sinicization or through brute Chinese political domination.[12] The Han dynasty sought to assimilate the Vietnamese as the Chinese wanted to maintain a unified cohesive empire through a "civilizing mission" as what the Chinese regarded the Vietnamese as uncultured and backward barbarians and regarded their "Celestial Empire" as the supreme centre of the universe.[10][2] Under Chinese rule, Han dynasty officials imposed much of Chinese culture, including Chinese Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, its imperial examination system, and mandarin bureaucracy.[2] However, implementation of a foreign administrative system and sinification was not easy as frequent uprisings and rebellions were indicative of Vietnamese resistance to these changes.[9] Some Vietnamese welcomed the chance to assimilate as what they considered Chinese culture, to be a more civilized, advanced and superior culture.[20][9] Though the Vietnamese incorporated advanced and technical elements they thought would be beneficial to themselves, the unwillingness to be dominated by outsiders, the desire to maintain political autonomy and the drive to regain Vietnamese independence signified Vietnamese resistance and hostility to Chinese aggression, political domination and imperialism on Vietnamese society.[9][21][10] Han Chinese bureaucrats sought to impose much of Chinese high culture onto the indigenous Vietnamese including bureaucratic Legalist techniques and Confucian ethics, education, art, literature, and language.[20][22] The conquered and subjugated Vietnamese had to adopt the Chinese foreign writing system, Confucianism, veneration of the Chinese emperor at the detriment of the loss of their native spoken language, culture, ethnic and national identity.[12][18][23][10]

History [ edit ]

Western-Han miniature pottery infantry (foreground) and cavalry (background); in 1990, when the tomb complex of Emperor Jing of Han (r. 157 – 141 BC) and his wife Empress Wang Zhi (d. 126 BC) was excavated north of Yangling, over 40,000 miniature pottery figures were unearthed. All of them were one-third life size, smaller than the 8,000-some fully life size soldiers of the Terracotta Army buried alongside the First Emperor of Qin. Smaller miniature figurines, on average 60 centimeters (24 in) in height, have also been found in various royal Han tombs where they were placed to guard the deceased tomb occupants in their afterlife.[24]

Professor Liam Kelley wrote on how the 17th century Vietnamese historians like Ngô Thì Sĩ and Jesuits like Martinio Martini studied texts on the Hồng Bàng Dynasty like Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư and used mathematics to deduce that the information on them were nonsense given the impossible reign years of the monarchs. However, modern Vietnamese now believe that the information is true.[25] Ngô Thì Sĩ used critical analysis of historical texts to question the relations between Zhao Tuo's Nanyue Kingdom in Guangdong and the Vietnamese inhabiting Red River Delta, concluding that the Red River Delta was a mere vassal to Nanyue and not an integral part of it in addition to criticizing the existence of the Hồng Bàng Dynasty.[26][27]

Modern Vietnamese nationalists seek to stress local Vietnamese influence in history and downplay the role of foreign origin monarchs like the fact that the family of the Trần dynasty rulers originated in China.[28] Vietnamese historians have sought to construct a fantasy of a continuous succession since the Hung Kings of local political units in Vietnam.[29] Vietnamese scholars and historians have debated over whether to regard Zhao Tuo as part of the "orthodox succession" of rulers or as "enemy invader".[30]

The Jiaqing Emperor refused Gia Long's request to change his country's name to Nam Việt, and changed the name instead to Việt Nam.[31] Gia Long's Đại Nam thực lục contains the diplomatic correspondence over the naming.[32]

Trưng uprising [ edit ]

In response to increasingly oppressive Han rule, a revolt broke out in Jiaozhi, Jiuzhen (Cửu Chân), and Rinan (Nhật Nam) in 40, led by Trưng Trắc, the wife of a Lạc lord named Thi Sách who had been put to death in 39 by Su Ding (Tô Định) governor of Jiaozhi, and her sister Trưng Nhị. The Trưng Sisters incited a victorious armed revolt against Han authorities, took over 65 cities. They were crowned the queens in 40, renaming the country Lĩnh Nam. This marked the end of the first Chinese domination of Vietnam.

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Charles S. Prebish Buddhism: A Modern Perspective 1975 Page 174 "This was the first Chinese domination of Vietnam which lasted until A.d. 39, when the heroic Tru'un Trac, outraged at the Chinese for the unjust execution of her husband, and her younger sister Tru'un Nhi, managed to free the land for a brief four years."
  2. ^ a b c d e Chua, Amy (2018). Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. Penguin Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0399562853.
  3. ^ a b Miksic, John Norman; Yian, Goh Geok (2016). Ancient Southeast Asia. Routledge (published October 27, 2016). p. 156. ISBN 978-0415735544.
  4. ^ Stark, Miriam T. (August 26, 2005). Archaeology of Asia. Wiley. ISBN 9781405102131 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Giáo án môn Lịch sử lớp 6 - Chương III: Thời kì Bắc thuộc và đấu tranh giành độc lập - Trường THCS Phả Lại".
  6. ^ Taylor 63
  7. ^ Chua, Amy (2003). World On Fire. Knopf Doubleday Publishing. pp. 33. ISBN 978-0385721868.
  8. ^ Suryadinata, Leo (1997). Ethnic Chinese As Southeast Asians. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 268.
  9. ^ a b c d e Largo, V. (2002). Vietnam: Current Issues and Historical Background. Nova Science. p. 94. ISBN 978-1590333686.
  10. ^ a b c d e Tucker, Spencer (1999). Vietnam. University of Kentucky Press. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-0813121215.
  11. ^ Bowman, John Stewart (2000). Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture. Columbia University Press (published August 15, 2000). p. 524. ISBN 978-0231110044.
  12. ^ a b c Murphey, Rhoads (1997). East Asia: A New History. Pearson. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-0205695225.
  13. ^ a b Cima, Ronald J. (1987). Vietnam: A Country Study. United States Library of Congress. p. 8. ISBN 978-0160181436.
  14. ^ Bowman, John Stewart (2000). Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture. Columbia University Press (published August 15, 2000). p. 525. ISBN 978-0231110044.
  15. ^ a b Largo, V. (2002). Vietnam: Current Issues and Historical Background. Nova Science. p. 93. ISBN 978-1590333686.
  16. ^ a b Tucker, Spencer (1999). Vietnam. University of Kentucky Press. pp. 6. ISBN 978-0813121215.
  17. ^ a b Miksic, John Norman; Yian, Goh Geok (2016). Ancient Southeast Asia. Routledge (published October 27, 2016). p. 157. ISBN 978-0415735544.
  18. ^ a b Anderson, David (2005). The Vietnam War (Twentieth Century Wars). Palgrave. ISBN 978-0333963371.
  19. ^ Largo, V. (2002). Vietnam: Current Issues and Historical Background. Nova Science. p. 92. ISBN 978-1590333686.
  20. ^ a b McLeod, Mark; Nguyen, Thi Dieu (2001). Culture and Customs of Vietnam. Greenwood (published June 30, 2001). p. 16. ISBN 978-0313361135.
  21. ^ Hyunh, Kim Khanh (1986). Vietnamese Communism, 1925-1945. Cornell University Press. pp. 33–34. ISBN 978-0801493973.
  22. ^ Cima, Ronald J. (1987). Vietnam: A Country Study. United States Library of Congress. p. 3. ISBN 978-0160181436.
  23. ^ Anderson, David (2004). The Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War. Columbia University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0231114936.
  24. ^ Paludan, Ann. (1998). Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors: the Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial China. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd., pp 34-36, ISBN 0-500-05090-2.
  25. ^ [1] [dead link]
  26. ^ [2] [dead link]
  27. ^ "Liam Kelley | Department of History". October 14, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-10-14.
  28. ^ [3] [dead link]
  29. ^ [4] [dead link]
  30. ^ [5] [dead link]
  31. ^ Alexander Woodside (1971). Vietnam and the Chinese Model: A Comparative Study of Vietnamese and Chinese Government in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century. Harvard Univ Asia Center. pp. 120–. ISBN 978-0-674-93721-5.
  32. ^ Jeff Kyong-McClain; Yongtao Du (2013). Chinese History in Geographical Perspective. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 67–. ISBN 978-0-7391-7230-8.

Sources [ edit ]

Preceded by

Triệu dynasty
First Chinese domination of Vietnam

111 BC – 40 AD
Succeeded by

Trưng Sisters
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