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North Vietnam

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 This article is a C-class article. It is written satisfactorily but needs improvement. This article is part of Altverse II.
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam

North Vietnam
Flag of North Vietnam
Coat of arms of North Vietnam
Coat of arms
Motto: Vietnamese: Độc lập – Tự do – Hạnh phúc
English: Independence – Freedom – Happiness
Location of North Vietnam
Capital Hanoi
Official languages Vietnamese
Demonym(s) North Vietnamese
Government Marxist–Leninist single party socialist republic
Hồ Chí Minh
Nguyễn Giáp Mẫu
• General Secretary
Xuân Quỳnh Đam
• Chairman of National Assembly
Nguyễn Tuân Văn
Legislature National Assembly
• Independence from Gaulish empire
2 September 1945
• Partition of Vietnam
July 20, 1954
• Total
157,880 km2 (60,960 sq mi)
HDI (2014) 0.584
Currency đồng
Time zone UTC+07:00 (Indochina Time)
Driving side right

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam) more commonly known as North Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the west and South Vietnam to the south.

North Vietnam was formed after gaining independence from the Gaulish empire from the Viet Minh led by Hồ Chí Minh. The Viet Minh was a communist group officially, but started with many who just vied for Vietnamese independence. Slowly however the organisation became a lot more radical with eventually a war breaking out between the democratic State of Vietnam and the communist Socialist republic. In 1945 Vietnam was partitioned into North and South Vietnam with Hồ Chí Minh being elected president for life of the North known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. A war erupted between the north and the south, which saw US involvement. The Paris Peace Accords officially ended fighting with North and South Vietnam recognised as independent states. North Vietnam heavily fortified the boarder under the direction of communist party official Đặng Liễu Khải who created a large personality cult around the now deceased Hồ Chí Minh and increased state oppression of dissidents. Đặng also saw the implementation of far-reaching economic reform that transformed Vietnam from a socialist to market economy through the adoption of the Đổi Mới programme.

Today North Vietnam remains one of the worlds few Marxist Leninist states. After the Vietnam war North Vietnam was politically isolated. However economic reforms taken in the 1980's similar to China's has led North Vietnam to have a rapidly growing economy. Despite its expanding economy North Vietnam still experiences poverty, income inequality and alleged human rights violations. North Vietnam is a member of ASEAN, the League of Nations, the Chattanooga Pact, and the Organization for Mutual Economic Assistance and Development.




According to archaeological evidence suggests that human life has been in Vietnam from the Palaeolithic age - Homo erectus remains have been discovered in the caves of Lạng Sơn and Nghệ An, both of which are located in North Vietnam. Early homo sapiens remains from the Middle Pleistocene age have also been found in North Vietnam. These are the oldest homo sapiens remains in Southeast Asia.

Dynastic Vietnam

The first Vietnam state is generally said to be the Hồng Bàng Dynasty, established around 2879 BC, which was ruled by the Hùng kings. It is said to have lasted for around 3000 years - however a lack of written evidence means that much about this period is unknown.

The last Hùng king was defeated in 257 BC by Thục Phán who successfully
Expansion of Vietnam (1009 AD - 1834 AD)
consolidated power from various tribes to proclaim himself as the An Dương Vương. 50 years later Zhao Tuo, a Chinese general, invaded Vietnam and defeated the An Dương Vương transferring power into Nanyue. In 111 BC the Han-Nanyue war resulted in Nanyue being absorbed into the Chinese Han dynasty empire. Vietnam remained under Chinese rule for over a millennia although brief periods of independence (first from Trưng Sisters and Lady Triệu, and later as Vạn Xuân under the Anterior Lý dynasty) were seen. Autonomy was bestowed upon it under the Khúc family around the early 10th.

Vietnam was freed from Chinese control by Vietnamese general Ngô Quyền who renamed the country Đại Việt. The country flourished after gaining independence under the Lý and Trần dynasties, with Buddhism becoming the dominant religion and three Mongol invasions repelled. Despite this the Ming empire managed to overthrow the Hồ dynasty in the Ming-Hồ war in 1407. In 1428 Lê Lợi overthrew the Chinese founding the Lê dynasty. The Lê dynasty saw the zenith of dynastic rule of Vietnam under the rule of Emperor Lê Thánh Tông. The Vietnamese kingdom expanded southwards between the 11th and 18th centuries in what has been known as the nam tiến. The Vietnamese conquered the Champa kingdom as well as parts of the Khmer Empire.

Political strife and infighting dominated 16th century Vietnam. The Mạc dynasty (which had support from China) challenged the rule of the Lê dynasty. Despite the Lê dynasty defeating the Mạc dynasty its power was greatly weakened with the Trịnh lords from the northern provinces quickly engaging in decades longer civil war against the southern Nguyễn lords. Before the war ended in the 1670's the Nguyễn lords were able to annexe more of the Khmer empire into Vietnam. A hundred years later the country unified under a new dynasty led by the Tây Sơn brothers. However the last Nguyễn lords led by Nguyễn Ánh with French support managed to establish the last Vietnamese dynasty in the form of the Nguyễn dynasty.

Colonial History

French Emperor Napoleon III in order to counter British influence in India sought to expand French influence further into Indochina with many Catholic missionaries being sent to the territory of modern day Vietnam. The reported mistreatment of these missionaries along with the threat of a British invasion of France caused Napoleon III to invade Vietnam in 1862, capturing the south of the country a year later. In 1870 following the collapse of the second French empire and the re-establishment of French Republic efforts doubled to conquer the entirety of Vietnam. In 1884 following the Sino-French War the northern regions of Vietnam were also put under colonial rule.

French colonial rule in Indochina was primarily left in the hands of Gaulish administrators, who implemented key changes to the society of Vietnam. This included the promotion of Catholicism, the creation of Mandarin like bureaucrats and the ideals of confucianism in the upper classes of Vietnamese society and western education that encouraged the speaking of French. The needs of the Vietnamese people however were not a probity of the Gaulish administrators, who brutally suppressed peasants in the running of large plantations that formed the bulk of the colonial Vietnamese economy, as well as put down nationalist rebellions such as Phan Đình Phùng's that lasted from 1885 to 1895. Other revolts against French rule (such as the Cần Vương movement and the Pacification of Tonkin) were also dealt with harshly by the colonialist government.

Geography, climate, and environment





Government and politics

North Vietnam is one of the worlds remaining self identified Marxist Leninist states, along with Laos and Cuba. It maintains a unicameral legislature in the form of the National Assembly, which is comprised of around 317 members. A Chairman heads the National Assembly.

CPV General Secretary Xuân Quỳnh Đam
The Communist Party of Vietnam plays a central role in politics. It is the only institution can approve of any organisation taking part in politics. Examples of approved organisations include the Vietnamese Fatherland Front and the trade unionist parties.

The Head of State of North Vietnam is the Eternal President who is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. The Prime Minister of Vietnam is the Head of Government who is responsible for a cabinet of 28 ministers and 3 deputies. The General Secretary of the CPV conducts many executive decisions within the CPV such as organising the party and policy. These three figures are officially part of a collective leadership. However due to the fact that the incumbent Eternal President Hồ Chí Minh has been deceased since 1969 power is de facto vested in the hands of the Prime Minister and General Secretary. In 2014 the CPV held its Party Congress which has seen Vietnamese General Secretary Dương Văn Nhung (considered a party conservative) outmanoeuvred refomrist Prime Minister Nguyễn Giáp Mẫu as the most powerful man within North Vietnam.

Human rights

Human rights in Vietnam have been heavily criticised, mainly for the governments use of the death penalty, forced deportations, restricted emigration, arbitrary torture and imprisonment and suspension of the right of free speech, assembly, and political participation. However, since Nguyễn Giáp Mẫu took over as Prime Minister North Vietnam has moved to improve its abysmal human rights record with state oppression and censorship being reeled in. This has reportedly upset hardliners such as Xuân Quỳnh Đam.

Political divisions


Crime and law enforcement












Public holidays and celebrations


See also

Wikipedia logo This page uses material from the Wikipedia page North Vietnam, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (view authors).