Kingdom of Viet Nam
Đại Việt Nam quốc
|Largest city||Ha Noi|
|Recognised regional languages||Tho |
|Foreign languages||Philippine Spanish|
Viet Nam (/vîət nāːm/, Spanish: /bjedˈnam/), formally the Kingdom of Viet Nam (Viet: Đại Việt Nam quốc, 大越南國; Spanish: Reino de Viet Nam), is a monarchy located in southeastern Asia bordered by China, Thaitania, and Kampuchea. Ruled by various dynasties, the Nguyen (Nhà Nguyễn) prevailed in the 19th century under the Spanish empire. On 1 July 1935, the country achieved full independence after almost six decades of colonial rule.
The term Việt Nam (越南, 'southern Ye 粵') was first coined in 1558 to describe the Viet nation. For most of modern history, the form Đại Việt 大越 was used as the official name of the country. During the late 19th century, the former became increasingly popular both within Viet Nam and in Spanish and Philippine accounts. After independence in 1935, the country was officially dubbed Việt Nam. However, the terms Đại Việt and Đại Nam 大南 continue to be used colloquially and also intermittently by government officials.
'Viet' is the most common demonym for the country and members of the majority ethnic group, the Kinh 𠊛京. The terms người Nam ('people of the South') and người Việt are used to describe the citizens of Viet Nam regardless of ethnic or cultural affiliation.
Since the mid-17th century, Viet Nam, nominally under the Lê dynasty, had been engulfed in war between the Trinh and the Nguyen families. By the end of the century, the Trinh, with Dutch support, gained de facto control of most the country, pushing the Spanish-backed Nguyen to the south. After a civil war concluded in 1787, the Trinh abolished the Lê and formally proclaimed themselves the rulers of Viet Nam, achieving recognition from the Qing not long after. Spanish forces in the Philippines would continue to support the Nguyen dynasty, who were thereafter relegated to a minor role in the extreme south of the country.
After the Dutch-Spanish War and the Canton War, the Trinh lost its main supporters and increasingly fell victim to internal peasant rebellions, the dominance of Chinese immigrants, and economic chaos. In 1864, the Dutch were forced to cede their northern port of Santa Maria (Hạ Long) to New Spain. Another civil war erupted in 1867 between the Trinh (supported by Tauland and Siam) and the Nguyen, backed by the Kingdom of Canton and the Spanish Philippines. By 1877, the Nguyen had emerged victorious, with the Spanish empire establishing the protectorates of Tonquin and Quinam over the country the following year. High Commissioner Iñigo García y Magrina became notorious for his support of Catholicism, his avid interference in domestic Viet politics, and ominous control over Emperor Phúc Mạnh.
During the wave of Spanish decolonization in the 1920s, an independence referendum was held in Viet Nam in 1929. Due to limited access to voting and manipulation of elections, independence only won by a narrow margin. The process of transition began in 1930, resulting in the adoption of a constitution in 1934 and the proclamation of a sovereign Nguyen monarchy in 1935.