Vietnamese history dates back more than 4,000 years to when the
ancient Vietnamese people founded their fist nation under the name "Van Lang" in
The history of Vietnam is best characterized as one long, continuous struggle for freedom and independence. The country was ruled by the Chinese for nearly a thousand years from 111 B.C. to 939 A.D. It was also colonized by France for almost 100 years from 1859 to 1945.
During the Second World War, Vietnam was occupied by Japanese troops, but the French administration continued. Vietnam was declared independent on September 2, 1945, but immediately plunged into a war against the French attempts to re-colonize, which lasted for another nine years. The war ended in 1954, leaving the country divided at the 17th parallel. The north became the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, led by the communists, while the south fell under the influence of the West, namely the United States . The U.S. involvement in Vietnam grew steadily in the 1950s and escalated into a full-fledged war in March 1965 when the first U.S. troops landed in Vietnam. Although U.S. troops were completely withdrawn by the end of March 1973 as a result of the Paris Peace Accords, the war continued until April 30, 1975, when the south was liberated. The nation was reunified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in January 1976. However, the legacy of war did not end until 1979. The country is currently at peace.
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