The Geography of Vietnam Through History

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Vietnam geography

About Curzon

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon (1859 - 1925) entered the British House of Commons as a Conservative MP in 1886, where he served as undersecretary of India and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century where he delineated the North West Frontier Province, ordered a military expedition to Tibet, and unsuccessfully tried to partition the province of Bengal during his six-year tenure. Curzon served as Leader of the House of Lords in Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet and became Foreign Secretary in January 1919, where his most famous act was the drawing of the Curzon Line between a new Polish state and Russia. His publications include Russia in Central Asia (1889) and Persia and the Persian Question (1892). In real life, "Curzon" is a US citizen from the East Coast who has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently on assignment in Tokyo.
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9 Responses to The Geography of Vietnam Through History

  1. T. Greer says:

    I am curious — where is the kingdom of Funan?

  2. McKellar says:

    The map makes it seem as if there is an historical divide between North and South Vietnam. How true is that? Is this two countries untied by empire (like British India), or one country split by Imperial influence (like the other countries on China’s border: Korea, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Tibet)?

  3. tdaxp says:

    I think the part about the Japanese maintaining French rule is incorrect. Barbara Tuchman wrote that the Japanese invaded Vichy Vietnam, and beheaded the French officials they found. “Asia for the Asians” did not have room for “neutral” Vichy France.

  4. SJPONeill says:

    Was it not the US that maintained French rule post-WW2, reneging on understandings made with Ho Chi Minh, in a vain effort to bolster France in Europe? This lead directly to France’s major butt-kicking in 1954 (not necessarily a bad thing!) and, ten years later, the major and tragic (for all involved) US involvement in that country.

  5. T. Greer says:


    There has traditionally been an ethno-linguistic divide between the Southern coast and the rest of the country. The North and the interior has usually been ruled by Khmers, Viets, and their ancestors, while the Southern coast has been the domain of Malayo-Polynesians.

  6. Pingback: » The Geography of Vietnam Through History | Drakz Free Online Service

  7. Aceface says:

    “Barbara Tuchman wrote that the Japanese invaded Vichy Vietnam, and beheaded the French officials they found. “Asia for the Asians” did not have room for “neutral” Vichy France.”

    Barbara Tuchman is indeed correct about there were multiple cases that Japannese DID beheaded some French colonial officials whom Kempeitai regarded as the resistance or those who had collaborated with anti-Japanese military activity.
    But killing every single French officials they found is pretty absurd.Vichy France was considered as ally which is why French journalists could operate in Tokyo without being sent to internment camp until March 9 of 1945.

  8. Curzon says:

    T. Greer: Funan was centered in Thailand and Cambodia, and no more identifiable than modern Vietnam than the Khmer Empire, and thus not included.

    All: Referencing wikipedia, I quote…

    During the Second World war, after the fall of France and establishment of the French State, the French had lost practical control in French Indochina to the Japanese, but Japan stayed in the background while giving the Vichy French administrators nominal control. This changed on 9 March 1945 when Japan officially took over. To gain the support of the Vietnamese people, Imperial Japan declared it would return sovereignty to Vietnam. Emperor Bảo Đại declared the treaty made with France in 1884 void. Trần Trọng Kim, a renowned historian and scholar, was chosen to lead the government as prime minister.

    More importantly, the Japanese-backed “Empire of Vietnam” was when the key borders were established between the territories of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam that exist to this day. Previously, the territority had been split up, for administration purposes, into many more territories than those three countries.

  9. McKellar says:

    @T. Greer: Thanks.