Tonkin, also spelled Tongkin, Tonquin or Tongking, is an exonym referring to the northern region of Vietnam. During the 17th and 18th centuries, this term referred to the domain Đàng Ngoài under Trịnh lords' control, including both the Northern and Thanh-Nghệ regions, north of the Gianh River. From 1884 to early 1945, this term was used for the French protectorate of Tonkin, composed of only the Northern region.
"Tonkin" is an alternative spelling of 東京 Tongking (compare Nanking spelt as Nankin), meaning 'Eastern Capital'. This, albeit in Sino-Vietnamese pronounciation of Đông Kinh, was the name of Hanoi during the Lê dynasty. Locally, Tonkin is nowadays known as miền Bắc, or Bắc Bộ (北部), meaning 'Northern Region'.
The name was used from 1883 to 1945 for the French protectorate of Tonkin (Vietnamese: Bắc Kỳ 北圻), a constituent territory of French Indochina.
It is south of Yunnan (Vân Nam) and Guangxi (Quảng Tây) Provinces of China; east of northern Laos and west of the Gulf of Tonkin.
Having the fertile delta area of the Red River, Tonkin is rich in rice production.1
The area was called Văn Lang from around 2000−200 BCE. Evidence of the earliest established society in northern Vietnam, along with the Đông Sơn culture, was discovered in the Cổ Loa Citadel area, located near present-day Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.
According to Vietnamese myths the first Vietnamese peoples descended from the Dragon Lord Lạc Long Quân and the Immortal Fairy Âu Cơ. Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ had 100 sons before they decided to part ways. 50 of the children went with their mother to the mountains, and the other 50 went with their father to the sea. The eldest son became the first in a line of earliest Vietnamese kings, collectively known as the Hùng kings of the Hồng Bàng dynasty. The country was called Văn Lang and its people were referred to as the Lạc Việt.
By the 3rd century BC, another Viet group, the Âu Việt, emigrated to the Red River delta and mixed with the indigenous population. A new kingdom, Âu Lạc, emerged as the union of the Âu Việt and the Lạc Việt, with Thục Phán proclaiming himself An Dương Vương.
Âu Lạc was annexed into Nam Việt kingdom of Triệu Đà. After the Triệu dynasty, this region started to be officially under Chinese rule. In pre-Tang times Tonkin was the port of call for ships on the South China Sea, though the center of commerce later moved north to Guangdong.
The victory of Ngô Quyền at the Battle of Bạch Đằng in 938 ushered a new era of independence of Vietnam. The Ngô dynasty was followed by the Đinh, Early Lê, Lý, Trần, and Hồ.
Lê Lợi (reigned 1428–1433), a notable land owner in the Lam Sơn region, had a following of more than 1,000 people before rising up against the Chinese Ming dynasty. Following his victory he mounted the throne and established himself in the city of Thăng Long ('Ascending Dragon'), present Hà Nội. Thăng Long was also called Đông Kinh 東 京, meaning 'Eastern Capital' (東京 is identical in meaning and written form in Chinese characters to that of Tokyo).
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Westerners commonly used the name Tonkin (from Đông Kinh) to refer to Đàng Ngoài in the North, ruled by the Trịnh lords. Đàng Ngoài, or Bắc Hà, included not only the delta of the Red River, but also the deltas of the Mã River and Cả River. Meanwhile, Cochinchina or Quinan was used to refer to Đàng Trong in the South, ruled by the Nguyễn lords; and Annam, from the name of the former Chinese province, was used to refer to Vietnam as a whole.
After French assistance to Nguyễn Ánh to unify Vietnam under the Nguyễn dynasty, the French Navy began its heavy presence in Lower Cochinchina, including Saigon, and later colonized the whole of this southern third of Vietnam in 1867.
During the Sino-French War (1884–1885), Tonkin, then considered a crucial foothold in Southeast Asia and a key to the Chinese market, was invaded by the French in the Tonkin Campaign. It was colonized as the French protectorate of Tonkin, and was gradually separated from the French protectorate of Annam, with Vietnam being effectively separated into three parts.
During French colonial rule within French Indochina, Hanoi was the capital of Tonkin protectorate, and in 1901 became the capital of all French Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, & Vietnam). French colonial administration ruled until 9 March 1945, with 1941-1945 during the World War II Japanese occupation of Vietnam. French administration was allowed by the Japanese as a puppet government. Japan briefly took full control of Vietnam in March 1945, as the Empire of Vietnam. Tonkin became a site of the Vietnamese famine of 1945 during this period.
After the end of World War II, French rule returned over French Indochina. The Northern part of Vietnam became a stronghold for the communist Viet Minh. Hanoi was later reoccupied by the French and conflict between the Viet Minh and France broke out into the First Indochina War. In 1949 it came under the authority of the State of Vietnam, a new associated state of the French Union.
After the French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in western Tonkin in 1954, the communist nation of North Vietnam was formed, consisting of Tonkin and northern Annam. The State of Vietnam's territory was reduced to the southern half of the country, becoming South Vietnam.
French Indochina, officially known as the Indochinese Union from 1887 and the Indochinese Federation after 1947, was a grouping of French colonial territories in Southeast Asia until its demise in 1954. It comprised three Vietnamese regions of Tonkin in the north, Annam in the centre, and Cochinchina in the south, Cambodia, Laos and the Chinese territory of Guangzhouwan. The capital for most of its history (1902–45) was Hanoi; Saigon was the capital from 1887 to 1902 and again from 1945 to 54.
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam. It covers an area of 3,358.6 km2 (1,296.8 sq mi). It is the second largest city in Vietnam, with over eight million residents within the city proper and an estimated population of 20 million within the metropolitan area. Located in part of the Red River Delta, Hanoi is the commercial, cultural, and educational centre of Northern Vietnam. Having an estimated nominal GDP of US$32.8 billion as of 2018, it is the second most productive economic area of Vietnam, after Ho Chi Minh City.
The history of Vietnam can be traced back to around 4000 years ago. Archaeological findings from 1965, still under research, show the remains of two hominins closely related to Sinanthropus, dating as far back as the Middle Pleistocene era, roughly half a million years ago. Pre-historic Vietnam was home to some of the world's earliest civilizations and societies—making them one of the world's first people who practiced agriculture. The Red River valley formed a natural geographic and economic unit, bounded to the north and west by mountains and jungles, to the east by the sea and to the south by the Red River Delta. The need to have a single authority to prevent floods of the Red River, to cooperate in constructing hydraulic systems, trade exchange, and to fight invaders, led to the creation of the first mythology Vietnamese states approximately 2879 BC. However, archaeologists suggested the Đông Sơn culture found in Northern Vietnam, Guangxi and Laos was around 700 BC.
Annam, or Trung Kỳ (中圻), was a French protectorate encompassing Central Vietnam. Before the protectorate's establishment, the name Annam was used in the West to refer to Vietnam as a whole; Vietnamese people were referred to as Annamites. The protectorate of Annam became in 1887 a part of French Indochina. Two other Vietnamese regions, Cochinchina in the South and Tonkin in the North, were also units of French Indochina. The region had a dual system of French and Vietnamese administration. The Nguyễn Dynasty still nominally ruled Annam, with a puppet emperor residing in Huế. In 1948, the protectorate was merged in the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam, which was replaced the next year by the newly established State of Vietnam. The region was divided between communist North Vietnam and anti-communist South Vietnam under the terms of the Geneva Accord of 1954.
The Gulf of Tonkin is a medium-sized gulf at the northwestern portion of the South China Sea, located off the coasts of Tonkin and South China. It is defined in the west and northwest by the northern coastline of Vietnam down to the Hòn La Island, in the north by China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and to the east by the Leizhou Peninsula and Hainan Island.
Cochinchina is a historical exonym for part of Vietnam, depending on the contexts. Sometimes it referred to the whole of Vietnam, but it was commonly used to refer to the region south of the Gianh River.
Articles related to Vietnam and Vietnamese culture include:
Vietnamese people or Kinh people are a Southeast Asian ethnic group, especially native to Northern Vietnam. They speak the Vietnamese language, the most widely spoken Austroasiatic language. They formed 85.32% of the population of Vietnam in the 2019 census, and are officially known as Kinh to distinguish them from the myriad other minority ethnic groups within the country. The earliest recorded name for the ancient Vietnamese people is Lạc or Lạc Việt.
A concise postal history of French Annam protectorate and Tongking protectorate, former territories of colonial French Indochina, that were located in present-day Vietnam.Dates 1888 - 1892
The Mạc dynasty, as known as Northern Mạc or House of Mạc ruled the whole of Đại Việt between 1527 and 1533 and the northern part of the country from 1533 until 1592, when they lost control over the capital Đông Kinh for the last time in their wars against the Lê dynasty. Subsequent members of the Mạc dynasty ruled over the province of Cao Bằng until 1677.
French Cochinchina was a colony of French Indochina, encompassing the whole region of Lower Cochinchina or Southern Vietnam from 1867 to early 1945. In 1946, it was established as the Autonomous Republic of Cochinchina, a controversial decision that helped trigger the First Indochina War. In 1948, the autonomous republic, whose legal status had never been formalized, was renamed as the Provisional Government of Southern Vietnam, not to be confused with the 1969–76 Viet Cong government. It was reunited with the rest of Vietnam in 1949.
The Empire of Vietnam was a short-lived puppet state of Imperial Japan governing the former French protectorates of Annam and Tonkin between March 11 and August 23, 1945.
Northern Vietnam, Central Vietnam and Southern Vietnam are historic, geographic and cultural regions within Vietnam. Each region consists of subregions, with considerable cultural differences between subregions.
The Tonkin campaign was an armed conflict fought between June 1883 and April 1886 by the French against, variously, the Vietnamese, Liu Yongfu's Black Flag Army and the Chinese Guangxi and Yunnan armies to occupy Tonkin and entrench a French protectorate there. The campaign, complicated in August 1884 by the outbreak of the Sino-French War and in July 1885 by the Cần Vương nationalist uprising in Annam, which required the diversion of large numbers of French troops, was conducted by the Tonkin Expeditionary Corps, supported by the gunboats of the Tonkin Flotilla. The campaign officially ended in April 1886, when the expeditionary corps was reduced in size to a division of occupation, but Tonkin was not effectively pacified until 1896.
Đàng Ngoài, also known as Bắc Hà or Annam Kingdom (安南國), was an area in northern Đại Việt during the 17th and 18th centuries as the result of Trịnh–Nguyễn War. The word "Đàng Ngoài" first appeared in the Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanum et Latinum by Alexandre de Rhodes.
The following is a timeline of the history of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam:
The Six Provinces of Southern Vietnam is a historical name for the region of Southern Vietnam, which is referred to in French as Basse-Cochinchine. The region was politically defined and established after the inauguration of the Nguyễn dynasty, and called by this name from 1832, when Emperor Minh Mạng introduced administrative reforms, to 1867, which culminated in the eight-year French campaign to conquer the Six Provinces.
The China–Vietnam border is the international boundary between China and Vietnam, consisting of a 1,297 km terrestrial border stretching from the tripoint with Laos in the west to the Gulf of Tonkin coast in the east, and a maritime border in the Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea.
Tonkin, or Bắc Kỳ (北圻), was a French protectorate encompassing modern Northern Vietnam.
The Lê–Mạc War was a long-time civil war waged between two Vietnamese dynasties, the Mạc and Revival Lê, during the Southern and Northern Dynasties period of Vietnamese history.
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