Vietnam’s External Expansion and Colonial Diasporas (1471 -1859)
In Vietnamese history, a theme that transcends across time and space is the advance or the march to the south (“nam tien”). The southern advancement, as noted by Michael Cotter, is unique in that “it transcends the different periods of Vietnamese history – pre-Chinese, Chinese, independent, colonial, and contemporary” in which each has “its own theme.” 
As discussed in earlier blogs, Chinese colonial diasporas had both indirect and direct effects on the southern advancement.
For Vietnamese, they have been “victims” of Chinese colonial diasporas — being physically, psychologically, culturally, and intellectually displaced. However, as noted by other scholars, the “Vietnamese will to dependence was too strong,” there must have been “a special Vietnamese collective identity of some sort,”  and the “harmony between the Vietnamese . . . and their environmental conditions has proved to be so deep that no race has been able to resist their advance.” 
Simply, Vietnamese have always maintained their relationships with the collective memory and myth about their birth place and never more passionately than when displacement and disunity was imposed by foreign rule.
However, Vietnamese collective will to resist had to be modified because of Chinese military power in which resistance had to include strategic form of borrowing and localizing ideas of foreign powers in order to make and strengthen local cultural statements about its “Vietnamese cultural core.”
Cultural borrowing came from both north and south. And until late in the 14th century, Buddhism had acted as a common ground between Vietnam and southern states of the Cham and Khmer, during times of both peace and war; for instance, Vietnamese prince who married Cham princess and the Vietnamese Buddhist monk who practiced Indian asceticism. 
Vietnamese, on the one hand, were successful in localizing external influences in which what were borrowed were considered essential and integral to the culture at that particular time. But such situation sometimes was inevitably imperfect and had led to tension and stress within the society on the other. 
This was the case, when after repelling the Ming invasion (1407-1427), the Le emperors began to adapt the Ming Chinese model and began to transform ideologically, bureaucratically, and militarily.
This transformation enabled the Vietnamese state (Dai Viet) under the Le dynasty (1428-1524) to stabilize its southern and western frontiers. But in doing so, the conviction in the essential unity of their territory and people and cultural relativity began to take dual form or multiple forms (or even change character).
The transformation of Dai Viet was, in part, the result of its population becoming a specialist in wet-rice cultivation, which fostered “the trade, population growth, and resource concentration that promote state power and societal expansion.” 
Importantly, the state began to adapt the Ming Chinese model.
For example, it took on the Chinese ideals of bringing ‘civilization’ to the ‘uncivilized,’ which were applied to its relations with Champa and the Khmers. It also adapted Chinese meritocratic civil service examinations as the method of recruiting educated talent to service the government.  Moreover, Dai Viet had acquired gunpowder technology from China, although Vietnamese also had contributed to Chinese gunpowder technology by locally producing better techniques such as the wooden wad and possibly a new ignition, which was then exported to China.  Arming itself with new gunpowder technology, Dai Viet’s large and well-organized military force was able to achieve its military ends more easily than before. 
Indeed, under the Le dynasty, the Vietnamese state began to transcend its displacement and, according to one opinion, gradually developed into “a bigger hegemonist,” conceiving themselves as superior to all other peoples in Southeast Asia. 
But probably more accurate is that the transformation of Dai Viet changed the balance of power in mainland Southeast Asia. Yet, that balance was tenuous and was hampered by the eventual rise of two separate entities with two different representations of “what was a good Vietnamese.”
Notwithstanding, as a result of the above transformation, Dai Viet, on the one hand, were able for the first time, since independence, to stabilize its southern and western frontiers. But Dai Viet also took advantage of its new capabilities to end its conflicts with Champa over areas (that of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien) where the two mingled since the fifth century.
Between 1361 and 1390, Champa, under Che Bong Nga’s rule, conducted an interrupted series of victories against Vietnam, including the sacking of Vietnam’s capital of Thang Long several times and were able to retrieve Champa’s old northern provinces that it lost earlier in 1301 through a marriage alliance that did not endure. But after Che Bong Nga’s assassination in 1390, Champa had to hand back the provinces to Vietnam, yet these areas were still contested until the fifteenth century. However, in 1471, the Dai Viet’s military force appeared to have overwhelmed the Chams. One thousand Dai Viet warships and 70,000 troops captured Champa’s capital of Vijaya. According to Vietnamese source, more than 30,000 Chams were captured and over 40,000 were killed. In part, the fall of Champa in 1471 was due to the fact that it did not have access to firearms.  Thus, the year 1471 marked the rise of Dai Viet.
Vietnamese had by then conquered the northern part of Cham country, as far as the southern border of today’s Binh Dinh province. However, Cham kings continued to rule from this region, although less autonomous then earlier Cham kings. In addition, however, there were southern Champ polities, including a fourth Cham region (Kauthara) located near present day Nha Trang, which had been a part of Cham country since the beginning of Cham history.
On Vietnam’s western borders, Tai peoples were actively crossing Vietnam’s western borders, causing a series of conflicts between the two. But by the late 1470s, Dai Viet was able to claim Tai hill territories, bringing the Tai ethnic groups in modern Vietnam.  Taking advantage of its military technology, Dai Viet also pursued aggressive actions against Thai and Laos principalities. Its armies marched as far as the Irawaddy River in modern Burma.  As a result, by the early 1480s, kingdoms of northwestern mainland Southeast Asia, such as the Laotian kingdom of Lan Ch’ang and Thai principality of Ai Lao sent tributes to the Vietnamese capital.
In sum, the purpose and scope of Dai Viet’s external expansion was initially to stabilize its southern and western frontiers, of which had been militarily contested throughout the centuries without a clear winner, at least until 1471. Its external expansion was dynastic in nature, which was clearly reflected by the reign of Le Thang Tong (1460-1497) who sought to stabilize his state by securing its borders to prevent any repeat of foreign invasions, such as the Ming invasion of 1407-1427. The degree of success in stabilizing its borders, as well as going beyond its borders, was, in large part, due to the unilateral-monopolistic timing, as put forward by Frank Darling.  That is, Dai Viet’s external expansion occurred because of a “power vacuum” in which Dai Viet with the new gunpowder technology and under a more bureaucratic state were able to exert power in the region, limited by the available resources and the stability of the Le court.
Vietnam, however, did not develop a permanent colonial phase or colonial diaspora until the beginning of the sixteenth century. Even though Vietnam was active in acquisitioning Cham lands, it occurred at long intervals. In occupying Cham lands, the Le emperors would appoint frontier military governors with the rank of viceroy (kinh-luoc), but would also retained Cham officials in the administration in some regions. The purpose and scope of Vietnamese military and penal colonies were to consolidate their gains, to provide support for expeditions, and to relieve population pressures. 
During this period, Vietnamese rulers did not pay much attention to the specific matter of expansion into Champa, until the arrival of the Nguyen lords who eventually sought a southern autonomous state, separate from the northern state under the Trinh lords.
Vietnamese southern expansion or colonial diaspora under the Nguyen family can be described as a frontier movement, originating because of political and military unrest and conflicts at home; and expanding through military conquests, treaties, and “most difficult to document, colonization by transfrontiersmen.” 
In 1524, when the Le emperors were usurped by the Mac family, the Trinh family and Nguyen family both professed their loyalty to and attempted to restore the Le emperors. However, after the restoration of Le in 1592, the Trinh family gradually acquired all the important posts at the Le court so that the Le emperors were reduced to being “nominal” rulers.  Meanwhile, the Nguyen family saw the Trinh as usurpers and decided to officially break with the Trinh in 1600 and return to Thuan Hoa (modern Hue), where years earlier they were emplaced by the Trinh to establish control over the southernmost frontiers. Between 1627 and 1672, the Nguyen lords were able to defend Trinh’s expeditions, as well as defending Cham’s reacquisition of its former territories. By 1672, Trinh lords, whose militarily failures to defeat the Nguyen left them weakened, agreed to a division of the two states at the boundary of the Linh River. This resulted in a relatively stable coexistence of “two Dai Viets” for a little more than one hundred years.
The Nguyen, despite having a smaller population with a smaller number of trained officials, accordingly adjusted their organizational structure and localized themselves to their new geographical terrains and frontier influences, including redeveloping trading centers, absorbing local populations, and interacting with foreign merchants.
For example, in the former Cham territories, one of the key characteristics of the Nguyen administration was the use of Chams and of lower-class Vietnamese. It also redeveloped the commercially oriented society center in Hoi An, which had been pioneered by the local Cham population who still constituted a key component in the labor and basic patterns of the region’s trading center after the Vietnamese takeover.  Unlike the traditional northern economy, the Nguyen’s economy had a “fundamental basis in foreign trade.”  This attracted Vietnamese immigrants, as well as Chinese refugees who fled from the Manchu dynasty, arriving at various times in present day areas of Hue after 1636, further transforming the Hoi An region “into its now recognizably Vietnamese form.”  Moreover, from its contacts with foreign merchants, the Nguyen state was able to arm itself with modern weapons provided by Portuguese merchants, which assisted them to defend the Trinh expeditions as well as to continue the expansion of its control farther south.
As noted by recent works in Vietnamese historiography, in the Nguyen, we see a new version of being Vietnamese. Although these works tend to describe the Nguyen as breaking or escaping from the past and from the ancestors in order to create ways of being Vietnamese,  it is probably more accurate to say that the Nguyen was not rigid in conforming with the traditional culture in the north, which led to a more open, multiethnic society with emphasis on foreign trade.
This was true for both the central areas and the Mekong Delta areas. In the latter, Vietnamese had moved into southern plains by the early 1620s, due the political and military vacuum left by the declining Khmer kings. By this time, the Khmer court based in Phnom Penh was faction ridden and was subservient to Siamese (Tai) influence. This allowed the Nguyen to exert its influence in the Khmer court, including the marriage of a Vietnamese princess to a Khmer king in 1620. Three years later, the Khmer king granted permission for Vietnamese immigrants and traders to move into the areas, culminating in 1689 the establishment of a viceroyalty over the provinces around Saigon (Cotter254). 
Compared to the central areas, the Nguyen saw the Mekong Delta as more extensive and fertile for growing rice. It also used this area to utilize captured Trinh soldiers and lower class immigrants from the north to settle and develop this area. Chinese immigrants also had important role in redeveloping this region’s trading center. As a result, this region was ethnically pluralistic. From one perspective, these individuals and groups found southern Vietnam as a land of promise, where they could make a fresh start.  For instance, captured soldiers were expected to clear the land in which they were given farm implements and food to eat. So in several years “they could produce enough for their own needs,” and after twenty years after “their children can be soldiers of the country.” 
To be sure, however, the Nguyen’s colonial did displace the local populations of the Chams and the Khmers, whose “displacement but not replacement” is still today not assured.
A common perception is that the institutional weakness of Cham society, “a weakly institutionalized state system that depended upon personal alliance networks to integrate a fragmented population,” had sealed its fate.  Yet, the Chams were never easily conquered. In fact, it may be the same decentralized system that allowed the Chams for centuries to contest and stir rebellion against the Vietnamese. Despite the Nguyen’s presence in the Cham territories since the 1550s, it was until 1611 that Cham territory of Kauthara (modern Nha Trang) disintegrated and not until 1771 that Panduranga-Champa (modern Phan Rang) fell. However, over the centuries Cham society could not withstand the Vietnamese advancement, sometimes in “massive convulsions or in fits and starts.” 
It is thought that the majority of Chams were killed, driven off, or assimilated by the Vietnamese.  Chams still exist today as an ethnic minority in Vietnam — though its number is relatively small (about 40,000) in comparison to the 30,000 Cham families in the eleventh century. To some degree, because the Nguyen’s purpose and scope of its colonial diaspora were of political and economic domination “with less concern about Cham social and religious life,” Chams were able to retain some of their culture, including their language, religious beliefs, matrilineal kinship patterns, and the practice of non-intensive rice growing.  And often overlooked or discredited is the contribution of Chams in the Hoi An region as international trade center. It is very likely that “Vietnamese immigrants encountered the well-established patterns of behavior of the peoples who preceded them and very likely continued to live alongside them.”  For instance, Vietnamese had been shaped by the Cham maritime logic in rebuilding Hoi An, learned to grow rice in terraced land, adopted local Cham deities such as Po Nagar, took up a form of Siva worship, lived in Malayic-style stilt houses, traveled in Cham-style boats, tilled with Cham plows, buried their dead in Cham-style graves, and practiced piracy and barter in slaves. 
Similarly, since the early 1620s Khmers were gradually displaced and were pushed out of their villages into Cambodia or into marginal lands near the sea;  and by 1780, the Vietnamese controlled most of the southern territories that comprise present Vietnam. During the 18th century, military colonies were used to expand in this region, which settled disputes between Khmers and encroaching Vietnamese, although in the favor of Vietnamese settlers.  In the 1978 border war with Cambodia, the new socialist government of Vietnam used the Khmers as an advance column in their invasion into Cambodia. Like the Chams, the Khmers were also “discredited” of their role in developing the commercial areas near Saigon. Their contribution to the Vietnamese vocabulary and phrases is often overlooked. This is also true regarding their religious practices, which the Vietnamese have adopted, including elements of Theravada Buddhism. Other cultural borrowing from the Khmers includes agricultural implements and foods, medicines, and different areas of arts. 
Also to be sure, there were a number of schisms that developed over the course of the Nguyen’s colonial diaspora — those between the various socioeconomic groups and the separate geopolitical entities. This culminated in the Tay Son rebellion (1772-1801), uprising against both the Trinh and Nguyen forces and unifying the country for the first time in 1788. Although the events of the Tay Son defy easy classification, peasant grievances were central and, yet, the “momentum that had carried the [Tay Son] brothers to a series of military triumphs disappeared as their respective regimes could not resolve the troubles facing them.” 
The equally multiethnic alliance that Nguyen Anh created in the Mekong Delta, who also got support from French mercenaries, defeated the Tay Son brothers and reunified the country in 1802. According to George Dutton, the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945) did little to resolve the conflicts that had been stirred up by the Tay Son wars. These conflicts “even accelerated” under the new regime that was able to tax more effectively than their predecessors, which peasants complained loudly about these further exactions and hundreds of peasant and other uprisings challenged the new emperor in the early decades of his reign. 
Perhaps, because of the fact that the reunified Vietnam was sill a highly divided territory, emperor Gia Long (formerly Nguyen Anh) sought to address this situation through “expedient of effectively ruling the country as three different regions” in which his dynasty controlled more directly at the center and his governor generals governed the northern and southern parts of Vietnam.  But by the reign of Ming Mang (1820-1840), the governor general and his associates (including Christians, Chinese settlers, and ex-convicts) in the south were seen “as a force that threatened to undermine the unity of Vietnam.”  He, thus, initiated a program to “cultivate” and “assimilate” southerners, particularly the latter disregard of the central government and royal authority (Choi, 194); but Ming Mang respected private land ownership and offered incentives for southern landlords to become part of the government hierarchy.  
Such process, on the one hand, sparked widespread insurrections by ethnic groups, but in the longer run led “southerners to stand with the Hue’s authority.”  For example, in 1833 a revolt of southerners, popularly called the Le Van Khoi revolt, broke out, declaring independent rule for southern Vietnam and lasting for two years before being crushed. But later in 1859, when the French landed in this region, the strong loyalist sentiments toward the Hue court fueled the southerner’s anti-French movement.
Importantly, the above ruptures which, nonetheless, coincided with unification/reunification shaped the political and social contours of a Vietnam that ultimately and unavoidably confronted the French colonial power in the mid-19th century. This confrontation again ruptured but also reunified Vietnam. But again a reunified Vietnam also sparked another wave of the country’s historical roots in refugee-exile circumstances beginning with:
- the Nguyen family under Nguyen Kim fled to Laos after the Mac’s usurpation of the Le dynasty in 1524;
- the Mac family fled to northern China when the Le dynasty was restored in 1592;
- the Nguyen family under Nguyen Hoang left northern Vietnam to the Cham territories after breaking official ties with the Trinh in 1600;
- the Nguyen family under Nguyen Anh fled to Siam (Thailand) in 1775 after its capital fell to the Tay Son brothers;
- the Vietnam Nationalist Party (or the Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang) fled to China when the Viet Minh in 1946 began to purge non-communist groups in order to create a communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
- and the leaders and members of the former Republic of South Vietnam evacuated and escaped to western countries after the fall of Saigon to communist rule in 1975.
As noted by Keith Taylor, there are different alternatives in reading the Nguyen’s southward expansion.
That is, for the non-experts, it is unclear whether the division between the Trinh lords and Nguyen lords was either the result of hatred and envy of Trinh towards the Nguyen’s military merit, or that, because the Trinh was appointed by the Le court to preside over a regency in the north, the Nguyen decided to return south and created its own autonomy. 
Utilizing two Vietnamese dynastic annals, one from the perspective of the Le court written in the second half of the 17th century and the other from the perspective of the Nguyen court written in the early 19th century, Keith Taylor provides a binary reading of Vietnam’s southward expansion: that of the northern and southern points of view.
Wherein the regional differences center on Nguyen Hoang, who was the second son of Nguyen Kim, the leader of a movement to restore the Le emperors in the 1520s. When Nguyen Kim was poisoned in 1545 by the Mac associates, the movement was then led by Nguyen Hoang’s brother-in-law, Trinh Kiem. Eventually, there was a split between Nguyen Hoang and Trinh Kiem.
From the northern perspective, Nguyen Hoang was more “clever than loyal, a capable man who can no longer be governed by appeals to his ancestors, a man grown arrogant by his familiarity with wealth and the power it confers.” From the southern perspective, Nguyen Hoang was “a hero who against all odds survives the bloody affairs of a cramped, impoverished polity and leads his people into a land of peace and plenty, a man who understands foreign merchants.” 
Keith Taylor’s regional binary, however, is a deliberate choice, imaginatively employed so that in Nguyen Hoang “we see the beginning of a southern version of being Vietnamese, and because Vietnamese today are no longer able to ignore the differences between north and south.” 
A possible reading of Nguyen Hoang’s going south is that it is a metaphor for all the decisions that going south would make possible. According to Keith Taylor:
[S]imply, because, in rejecting the traditional definition of a ‘good Vietnamese,’ options for being another kind of ‘good Vietnamese’ could be explored…[in which]…Talent and ability began to count more than birth and position. This was, in effect, an escape from ancestors, an escape from the past. For Nguyen Hoang, the result was a greater alliance on his own abilities, a shifting of the burden of moral choice from the past to the present. 
Essentially, the fact that the Nguyen Hoang “opted to turn his back on the world in which he was raised” and ‘risked’ being pronounced a rebel meant that he was not restricted by the northern ways (Taylor, 42, 64).  This allows him to freely explore options “without a coercive model of how things out to be.” 
Interestingly, behind Keith Taylor’s Nguyen Hoang has been his effort, along with his former students, to demarcate what is imagined as local or regional is “political neutral since it has both potential for both oppression and resistance” (Taylor).  This revisionist agenda avoids “the authority of what is thought to have happened in the past” by a master, national, or regional narrative that justifies the violence of dominance and resistance. Thus, it attempts to deconstruct Vietnamese history, so as to feature histories that go beyond nation and region. Moreover, this revision offers an alternative of representing (and strongly rejecting?) the Vietnamese history and culture as continuity and change, since the latter tends to constrain “independent histories.” Instead, revisionists, like Keith Taylor and his former students, argue for an interpretive framework that leaves “more open ends, widows, and adjoining corridors than previous works.” 
But the above may assume prematurely that a national or regional narrative necessarily needs to be rescued by academics who believe that their imaginative or revisionist schema is politically more responsible and one without (or has acknowledged) any shortcomings or contradictions.
In fact, while national or regional narrative is necessarily political, it is not necessarily coercive or intolerant.
This is may be the case of the Vietnamese southern, anti-communist historiography. Unlike the Vietnamese Marxist-nationalist historians, the Vietnamese nationalist/anti-anticommunist historians writting during the Vietnam War had a lot to say about Nguyen Hoang; the former, in general, has ignored Nguyen Hoang because he did not confirm or exemplify the theme of national unity or social cohesion necessary for a building a modern socialist state.
For the Vietnamese nationalist/anti-communist historians, Nguyen Hoang was loyal and who left his post in the southern frontiers to aid the Trinh against the Mac, despite his mistrust of the Trinh. From this perspective, the origin of the Nguyen state was due to the:
[W]ars and intrigues under the tyrannical rule of the Trinh; an abortive plot by the Le King and one of the Trinh Tung’s sons against the Trinh ended in Trinh Tung’s killing his disloyal son as well as the Le king. Power than passed to Trinh Tung’s eldest son, who ruled on behalf of the figurehead Le King who was subsequently installed. 
This perspective further views that the military conflicts between the Trinh and Nguyen to have weakened the former.
During this time, the Trinh reorganized their administration to promote honesty and efficiency, requiring all officials to take periodic examinations and weeding out incompetents. Unhappily, this well-intentioned program ended when money was needed to quell revolts, and the practice of selling administrative posts was instituted…The cruel reign of Trinh Giang (1729-1740)…resulted in the outbreak of more riots and revolts, thus preventing the continuation of earlier progressive policies. 
By contrast, the nationalist/anti-communist perspective saw the Nguyen state as more capable in terms of administration and economics, due to its foreign trade, agricultural colonies, and the settlement’s vast rich lands, which provided a solution to the Nguyen’s problems of population pressure. In addition, the Nguyen did not accommodate itself to the rigidity of the past. The Nguyen “readily absorbed, too, the influx of refugees who left the insecurity and tyranny of the Trinh…as well Chinese immigrants” who contributed to the well-established commercial trading centers. 
However, the Vietnamese nationalist/anti-communist historians did not hesitate to critique the fact that the enormous expansion of territory by the Nguyen was not matched by the economy, which remained static and village oriented. As a result, the lot of the peasant grew increasingly worse in which rebellions from the peasants erupted with increasing frequency.
These historians also appeared to be neutral in terms of mass politics, describing the Tay Son brothers as those:
[Who] came up from the masses, and profited by the occasion of internal disorders to raise the colors of liberation. They routed both the lords of the Nguyen and Trinh by 1777…One of the brothers, Nguyen Hue, became the Emperor under the title of Quang Trung, and thanks to him, the national unity as finally restored for a brief time. Unfortunately, he died in 1972 without being able to assure the continuation of his dynasty. 
But in regard to French colonial rule, nationalist/anti-communist historians argued that the Minh Mang was hostile to Western influence because “it had undermined the traditional Confucian order,” but that Minh Mang was no fanatic. 
Nguyen emperors issued stronger and stronger edicts against the incursion of foreigners, and especially against Christian missionaries; but all of these injunctions went unheeded. Any actions taken to enforce the edicts served only to incite the West. 
Yet, the nationalist/anti-communist view also claims a Vietnamese identity that is open to the influences of the West.
The Vietnamese mind is not disposed to accommodate itself to the rigidity of a monolithic dogma. The subtlety and tolerance which this people manifests at all times could only be compatible with diversity. That no one should be surprised that Confucian pragmatism, Buddhist self-denial and Christian charity liver together in harmony and recruit so many adherents. Mostly, however, the existence of this mosaic of religions is a living tribute to the tolerance and generous spirit of the Vietnamese people. 
In sum, the Vietnamese southern, nationalist/anti-communist historiography in many ways avoids an essentialized version of a unified Vietnam, a village Vietnam, a Confucian Vietnam, a revolutionary Viet Nam, and the idea that of Vietnam as composed of two rice baskets held together by a pole. This historiography to a considerable degree appears to allow for restoration of the voices that have been ignored or marginalized. However, at the same time, it does not deny that Vietnam is “an ancient culture with its own rivers and mountains, ways and customs” in which the internal divisions of Vietnam have been the results of politics and not because Nguyen Hoang turned his back against or rejected the place of his birth.
So the option to shape the continunity in the longer trajectory of Vietnamese history leaves “more open ends, widows, and adjoining corridors,” and one that can entail “taking responsibility for acting at the surface of our own time and place.”
- For a concise dynastic history of the Ly, Tran, Ho, and Le (as well as the Cham and early Khmer kingdoms), see Keith Taylor, “Early Kingdoms,” in Nicholas Tarling, ed., The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
- For a concise social history of “nam tien,” see Michael Cotter, “Towards a Social History of the Vietnamese Southward Movement,” Journal of Southeast Asian History, 9:1 (1968).
- For historical account of Champa as recorded by Chinese classical texts, see George Wade, “The Ming shi Account of Champa,” Working Paper Series (No.3), Asia Research Institute, the National University of Singapore, 2003.
- What are the key differences between the northern “annal” and the “southern annal” regarding the appraisal of Nguyen Hoang? Is there any similarities?
- Why in Nguyen Hoang do we see a beginning of a southern version of being Vietnamese?
- Do you think there is such thing as a Western version of being Vietnamese as a result of the current Vietnamese diaspora?
Choi Byung Wook, “The Costs of Minh Mang’s Assimilation Policy,” in his Southern Vietnam under the Reign of Minh Mang (1820-1841): Central Policies and Local Response (New York: Cornell University, 2004).
- Why did Minh Mang change the country name from “Viet Nam” to “Dai Nam” in 1838?
- What are some of the methods used to assimilate the Khmer minority and other ethnic minority communities?
- What are the results of Minh Mang’s assimilation policy?
 Michael Cotter, â€œTowards a Social History of the Vietnamese Southward Movement,â€ Journal of Southeast Asian History, 9:1 (1968), p.251.
 Alexander Woodside, â€œVietnamese History: Confucianism, Colonialism, and Independence,â€ Vietnam Forum, Vol.11, 1988, p.27.
 John McAlister and Paul Mus, The Vietnamese and Their Revolution (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), p.47.
 John Whitmore, â€œForeign Influences and the Vietnamese Cultural Core,â€ in D.R. SarDesai, Southeast Asian History: Essential Readings (Los Angeles: Westview Press, 2006), p.29.
 Ibid, p. 25.
 Richard Oâ€™Connor, â€œAgricultural Change and Ethnic Succession in Southeast Asian States: A Case for Regional Anthropology,â€ Journal of Asian Studies, 54:4, p.986
 John Whitmore, â€œChung-hsing and Chang-tâ€™ung in Texts of and on Sixteenth Century Viet Nam,â€ in Keith Taylor and John Whitmore, ed., Essays into Vietnamese Pasts (New York: Cornell University, 1995) p.135.
 Sun Laichen, â€œChinese Gunpowder Technology and Dai Viet, ca.1390-1497,â€ in Nhung TuyetTran and Anthony Reid, ed., Viet Nam: Borderless Histories (Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), p.109.
 Ibid, 110.
 Lucian Pye, Asian Power and Politics: The Cultural Dimensions of Authority (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985), p.59.Â Â Â
 Sun Laichen, â€œChinese Gunpowder Technology, p.101.
 John Whitmore, â€œColliding Peoples: Tai/Viet Interactions in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries,â€ Association of Asian Studies, San Diego, California, 2000.
 Sun Laichen, â€œChinese Gunpowder Technology, p.109.
 Frank Darling, The Westernization of Asia: A Comparative Political Analysis (Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1979), p.63-71.
 Michael Cotter, â€œTowards a Social History,â€™ p.252.
 Ibid, p.256.
 Georges Coedes, The Making of South East Asia. Translated by H.M. Wright (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), p.209.
 Charles Wheeler, â€œOne Region, Two Histories: Cham Precedents in the History of the Hoi An Region,â€ in Nhung TuyetTran and Anthony Reid, ed., Viet Nam: Borderless Histories (Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), p.168-170, 173.
 Keith Taylor, â€œNguyen Hoang and the Beginning of Vietnamâ€™s Southward Expansion,â€ in Anthony Reid, ed., Trade, Power, and Belief (New York: Cornell University Press, 1993), p.49.
 Charles Wheeler, â€œOne Region, Two Histories,â€ p.169.
 Keith Taylor, â€œNguyen Hoang,â€ p.64.
 Michael Cotter, â€œTowards a Social History,â€ p.254.
 Ibid., p.254.
 Tana Li and Andy Reid, Southern Vietnam Under the Nguyen (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1993, p.128.
 Kenneth Hall, â€œEconomic History of Early Southeast Asia,â€ in Nicholas Tarling, ed., Cambridge History of Southeast Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p.178-193.
 Charles Wheeler, â€œOne Region, Two Histories,â€ p.185.
 Michael Cotter, â€œTowards a Social History,â€ p.253.
 Ibid., p.253-254.
 Charles Wheeler, â€œOne Region, Two Histories,â€ p.186.
 Ibid., p.175, 186.
 Michael Cotter, â€œTowards a Social History,â€ p.254.
 Ibid., p.254.
 Ibid., p.254-256.
 George Dutton, The Tay Son Uprising: Society and Rebellion in Eighteenth-Century Vietnam (Honolulu: University of Hawaiâ€™i Press, 2006), p.230.
 Ibid., p.231.
 Ibid., p.233.
 Choi Byung Wook, Southern Vietnam under the Reign of Minh Mang (1820-1841): Central Policies and Local Response (New York: Cornell University, 2004),p.193.
 Ibid., p.195.
 Tana Li and Andy Reid, Southern Vietnam, p.4.
 Choi Byung Wook, Southern Vietnam, p.195.
 Keith Taylor, â€œNguyen Hoang,â€ p.55-58.
 Ibid., p.45.
 Ibid., p.45
 Ibid., p.45.
 Ibid., p.64.
 Ibid., p.64
 Ibid., 42.
 Keith Taylor, â€œSurface Orientations in Vietnam: Beyond Histories of Nation and Region,â€ Journal of Asian Studies, 57:4, (Nov. 1998), p.976.
 Nhung TuyetTran and Anthony Reid, Viet Nam: Borderless Histories (Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), p.17.
 Vietnamese Realities: The Land, the People, A Glimpse of Vietnam’s History, Written and Spoken Language, Literature, Arts. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Vietnam, 1967, p.69-70
 Ibid., p.71.
 Ibid., p.72.
 Ibid., p.73.
 Ibid., p.75.
 Ibid., p.172.