Vietnam Bronze Age (photo: Republic of Korea).Vietnam is an area with a long history of civilization dating back to the Stone Age. Since then, Vietnam’s historical timeline has been a story of a struggle for independence.

Photo: Bronze Age work from Vietnam (Creative Commons: Republic of Korea).

Vietnam's Historical Timeline

12,000 - 10,000 BC

First Stone Age Settlements: nomadic Hoa Binh people settle along the Red River.

4000 BC

Bronze Age: increased use of bronze tools and cultivation of rice.

2900 BC

Hong Bang Period: smaller tribes consolidated. First Vietnamese state emerges which starts a period of dynastic rule.

111 BC

Chinese Conquest: China’s Han empire conquers Vietnam.

1 AD


Trung Sisters: first successful revolt against China creates a short-live Vietnamese ruled state.


China Reconquest: Han China reconquers Vietnam.

200 - 1407

Champa Kingdom: the Chams people revolt in Central Vietnam and establish a Hindu kingdom which lasts until 1407.


Independence: the Chinese are defeated and an independent Vietnam established. A second period of Vietnamese dynastic rule begins.

1400 AD


Partition: Vietnam is partitioned between the rival Trinh (north) and Nguyen (south) clans.

1600 AD


Tay Son Rebellion: both north and south lords are defeated by a peasant army.

1800 AD


French Colonization: in a series of steps, France places Vietnam under its control. Vietnam becomes a French colony (Indochina).

1940 - 1945

Japanese Occupation: Japan invades and occupies Vietnam during World War II.


First Indochina War: The Democratic Republic of Vietnam is established after Japan’s surrender by Ho Chih Minh. War with France breaks out.


Another Partition: France is defeated and Vietnam is again partitioned.

1954 - 1975

Second Indochina War: the communist North is victorious over a South that is allied to the US and the country is reunified. A period of rigid communist rule begins.


New Openess: the communist government adopts more capitalistic free market economic reforms.

2000 AD


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