Annam (Chinese province)

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History of Vietnam
(geographical renaming)
Map of Vietnam showing the conquest of the south (the Nam tiến, 1069-1757).
2879–2524 BC Xích Quỷ
2524–258 BC Văn Lang
257–207 BC Âu Lạc
207–111 BC Nam Việt
111 BC – 40 AD Giao Chỉ
40–43 Lĩnh Nam
43–299 Giao Chỉ
299–544 Giao Châu
544–602 Vạn Xuân
602–679 Giao Châu/An Nam
679–757 An Nam
757–766 Trấn Nam
766–866 An Nam
866–967 Tĩnh Hải quân
968–1054 Đại Cồ Việt
1054–1400 Đại Việt
1400–1407 Đại Ngu
1407–1427 Giao Chỉ
1428–1804 Đại Việt
1804–1839 Việt Nam
1839–1887 Đại Nam
1887–1945 French Indochina (Tonkin,
Annam, & Cochinchina)
from 1945 Việt Nam
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{{History of Vietnam}}

Annam was the name of the southernmost province of imperial China after the Tang dynasty. The name is the Vietnamese form of the Chinese name Annan (Chinese: 安南, p Ānnán), meaning "Pacified South" and a clipped form of the full name, the "Protectorate General to Pacify the South" (t 安南都護府, s 安南都护府, p Ānnán Dūhùfǔ; Vietnamese: An Nam đô hộ phủ). This was one of a number of such protectorates formed by the Tang.

Before the establishment of the Tang protectorate, the area was governed as Jiaozhou (交州, Jiāozhōu) or Jiaozhi Province (交趾, Jiāozhǐ; Vietnamese: Giao Chỉ). From its placement, it is now also sometimes known as Tonkin.



Main: Nanyue and Jiaozhou

The territory was conquered for the Qin Empire by Zhao Tuo after the death of the First Emperor. In the chaos surrounding the contention between Han and Chu, he declared his independence as Nanyue and ruled from Panyu (within modern Guangzhou). Jiaozhou was the Han province formed from the annexation of this tributary kingdom in 111 BC and initially comprised the areas of modern Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam. During the Three Kingdoms period, Wu split off Liangguang as Guangzhou. The area of Tang-dynasty Annam is now part of present-day Vietnam.[1]

China under the Tang dynasty, c. AD 660 (bright yellow).

Tang Protectorate[edit]

In 679, the Tang dynasty established Annam as their military government in Jiaozhi, but were not immediately successful because the local people didn't recognize the Tang Dynasty and instead led a series of protective wars against Tang Dynasty rulers. This is known in Vietnam as the "Third Northern Domination" of the country.

It was to remain Annam for the next 600 years, seemingly living up to its name. A peaceful territory, part of a succession of Chinese kingdoms: Eastern Wu, Jin, Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang, Chen, Sui and the Tang. However there were still revolts from time to time and periods of weaker government control.

Finally in 939, Ngô Quyền successfully expelled the Chinese at the Battle of Bạch Đằng where he beheaded the Commanding Admiral and Prince of Southern Han dynasty, Liu Hongcao (劉弘操) and re-established the independent state of Đại Việt. This was the effective end of Annam as a Chinese province. Several attempts were made by various Chinese governments to retake Vietnam, one succeeded (Ming rule of Vietnam) but only for 20 years (1407–1427).

French Protectorate[edit]

In the 1860s, the French government under Napoleon III conquered first southern and then central Vietnam. The central portion of the country they ruled as the protectorate of Annam.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John King Fairbank (1978). The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press. p. 693. ISBN 0-521-21446-7.