Tây Sơn dynasty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Tây Sơn)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tây Sơn

西山
1778–18 June 1802
Flag of Đại Việt
Royal Banner
Imperial seal of Đại Việt
Imperial seal
The political division of Vietnam at the end of the 18th century- dark blue: Nguyễn Huệ, yellow: Nguyễn Nhạc, green: the Nguyễn lord Nguyễn Ánh
The political division of Vietnam at the end of the 18th century- dark blue: Nguyễn Huệ, yellow: Nguyễn Nhạc, green: the Nguyễn lord Nguyễn Ánh
StatusQing tributary[1]
CapitalQuy Nhơn (1778–1788)
Phú Xuân (1788–1802)
Common languagesMedieval Vietnamese
Written Classical Chinese[2]
GovernmentMonarchy
Emperor 
• 1778–88
Thái Đức
• 1788–92
Quang Trung
• 1792–1802
Cảnh Thịnh
History 
• Nguyễn Nhạc establishes dynasty
1778
• Lê dynasty collapsed
3 February 1789
• Nguyễn Ánh captures Đông Kinh
18 June 1802
CurrencyVăn
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Lê dynasty
Trịnh lords
Nguyễn lords
Nguyễn dynasty
Today part ofVietnam
China
Laos

The Tây Sơn dynasty (Vietnamese: [təj ʂəːn], Vietnamese: Nhà Tây Sơn 家西山, Hán Việt: 西山朝 Tây Sơn triều) was a ruling dynasty of Vietnam, founded in the wake of a rebellion against both the Nguyễn lords and the Trịnh lords before subsequently establishing themselves as a new dynasty. The Tây Sơn were led by three brothers, referred to by modern Vietnamese historians as the Tây Sơn brothers because of their origin in the district of Tây Sơn.[3][a]

The Tây Sơn dynasty ended the century-long war between the Trịnh and Nguyễn families, fought off an attack by Qing China, and united the country for the first time in 200 years. Under the most prominent of the Tây Sơn brothers, Nguyễn Huệ (regnal title Quang Trung), Vietnam experienced an age of relative peace and prosperity. However, when he died in 1792 he left no successor capable of administrating the country properly, which allowed the exiled Nguyễn lord Nguyễn Ánh to retake the south of Vietnam and eventually pave the way for his own imperial dynasty, the Nguyễn dynasty.

Name[edit]

The Tây Sơn dynasty was named after the Tây Sơn District in Bình Định Province, the birthplace of the three brothers who established the dynasty.[3] The name "Tây Sơn" means "western mountains".[4]

Background[edit]

Quang Trung thông bảo (光中通寶), a coin issued during the reign of Emperor Quang Trung
Late 18th-century painting depicting the Qianlong Emperor receiving Nguyễn Quang Hiển, the peace envoy from Nguyen Hue in Beijing

In the 18th century, Vietnam was officially ruled by the Lê dynasty, but real power lay in the hands of two warring families, the Trịnh lords of the north who ruled from the imperial court in Thăng Long and the Nguyễn lords in the south, who ruled from their capital Huế. Both sides warred extensively for control of the country while simultaneously claiming to be loyal to the Lê emperor. Life for the peasants during these times were difficult- ownership of land became concentrated in the hands of a handful of landlords as time passed. The imperial bureaucracy became corrupt and oppressive; at one point the imperial examination-degrees were sold to whoever was wealthy enough to purchase them. As the people grew poorer, the ruling lords lived lavish lifestyles in opulent palaces. While the Trịnh lords had enjoyed peace since the end of the war between the Trịnh and the Nguyễn in 1672[5], the Nguyễn lords regularly campaigned against Cambodia and later the Kingdom of Siam. While the Nguyễn lords usually won these wars and opened up new fertile lands for the landless poor to settle, the frequent warring took a toll on their popularity.

Conquest of Nguyễn lords[edit]

In 1769 the new king of Siam Taksin launched a war to regain control of Cambodia. The war went against the Nguyễn lords and they were forced to abandon some of the newly conquered lands, which included Cambodia's eastern coast of Cochinchina. This failure, coupled with heavy taxes and endemic corruption at the local level, spurred three brothers Nguyễn Nhạc, Nguyễn Huệ, and Nguyễn Lữ (no relation to the Nguyễn lords) from the village of Tây Sơn to begin a revolt in 1772 against the Nguyễn lord Phúc Thuần.[6]

The Tây Sơn brothers styled themselves as champions of the people. Over the next year, the revolt gained traction and they won some battles against the Nguyễn army units sent to crush their rebellion. The Tây Sơn had a great deal of popular support, not only from the poor farmers but from some of the indigenous highland tribes. The leader of the three brothers, Nguyễn Huệ, was also a very skilled military leader. Nguyễn Huệ said that his goal was to end the people's oppression, reunite the country, and restore the power of the Lê emperor in Hanoi. The Tây Sơn also promised to remove corrupt officials and redistribute land.

In 1773 the Tây Sơn captured the port of Qui Nhơn, where the merchants, who had suffered under restrictive laws put in place by the Nguyễn, gave the uprising financial support. The Nguyễn, at last recognizing the serious scale of the revolt, made peace with the Siamese, giving up some land they had conquered in previous decades. However, their problems were compounded when Trịnh Sâm chose to end the 100-year peace and exploit the turmoil in the south by sending his army to attack Phú Xuân (modern-day Huế), the Nguyễn capital. The Trịnh army captured the city, forcing the Nguyễn to flee to Gia Định (later called Saigon).

The Trịnh army continued to head south and the Tây Sơn army continued its conquest of other southern cities. The Nguyễn were unpopular at this time, and the forces against them were too powerful. In 1776, the Tây Sơn army captured the last Nguyễn stronghold of Gia Định and massacred the town's Han Chinese population.[7] The entire Nguyễn family was killed at the end of the siege, except for one nephew, Nguyễn Ánh, who managed to escape to Siam. The eldest Tây Sơn brother, Nguyễn Nhạc, proclaimed himself Emperor in 1778. A conflict with the Trịnh thus became unavoidable.

Siam invasion[edit]

The Tây Sơn spent the next decade consolidating their control over the former Nguyễn territory. Nguyễn Ánh proved to be a stubborn enemy. He convinced the King of Siam, P'ya Taksin, to invade Vietnam in support of him. The Siamese army attacked in 1780, but in several years of warfare, it was unable to defeat the Tây Sơn army, as gains were followed by losses. In 1782, the Siamese king was killed in a revolt, and less than a year later, Nguyễn Ánh's forces were driven out of Vietnam. In 1785, Siam launched an invasion again and occupied part of the Cuu Long Delta, but was defeated by Nguyen Hue in the Battle of Rạch Gầm-Xoài Mút.

Conquest of Trịnh lords[edit]

Having vanquished the Nguyễn for the time being, Nguyễn Huệ decided to destroy the power of the Trịnh lords. He marched to the north at the head of a large army in 1786, and after a short campaign, defeated the Trịnh army successfully. The Trịnh were also unpopular and the Tây Sơn army seemed invincible. The Trịnh lord fled north into China. Nguyễn Huệ later married princess Lê Ngọc Hân, the daughter of the nominal later Lê Emperor, Lê Hiển Tông.

Qing invasion[edit]

A few months later, realising that his hope of retaining power had gone, the Emperor Lê Chiêu Thống fled north to the Qing Empire of China, where he formally petitioned the Qianlong Emperor for aid. The Qianlong Emperor agreed to restore Lê Chiêu Thống to power, and so in 1788, a large Qing army marched south into Vietnam and captured the capital Thăng Long.

Nguyễn Huệ gathered a new army and prepared to fight the Qing army. He addressed his troops before the battle saying:[citation needed]

The Qing have invaded our country and occupied the capital city, Thăng Long. In our history, the Trưng Sisters fought against the Han, Đinh Tiên Hoàng against the Song, Trần Hưng Đạo against the Mongol Yuan, and Lê Lợi against the Ming. These heroes did not resign themselves to standing by and seeing the invaders plunder our country; they inspired the people to fight for a just cause and drive out the aggressors... The Qing, forgetting what happened to the Song, Yuan and Ming, have invaded our country. We are going to drive them out of our territory.

In a surprise attack, while the Qing army was celebrating the Lunar New Year, Nguyễn Huệ's army defeated them at the Battle of Ngọc Hồi-Đống Đa and forced them, along with Lê Chiêu Thống, to retreat. The Tay Son were supported by Chinese pirates.[8] [1] Anti-pirate activities were undertaken by a joint alliance between Qing China and Nguyễn lords Gia Long while Chinese pirates collaborated with the Tay Son.[9][10][11][12]

After the battle, Nguyễn Huệ sought to restore the tributary relationship in order to deter a joint Qing-Siam pincer attack and prevent further Chinese attempts to restore the Lê dynasty.[1] Nguyễn Huệ sent a ritually submissive request to the Qianlong Emperor under the name of Nguyễn Quang Bình (also referred to as Ruan Guangping).[1]

In 1789, the Qianlong Emperor agreed to re-establish the tributary relationship and enfeoff Nguyễn as the King of Annam on the condition that Nguyễn personally lead a special delegation to Beijing to celebrate the Qianlong Emperor's 80th birthday.[1] For the Qianlong Emperor, the motivation for accepting the arrangement was to retain the Qing's supremacy and stabilize their southern border.[1] Chinese and Vietnamese sources agreed that Nguyễn sent an imposter with a delegation to Beijing, where they were received with lavish imperial favors.[1] The Qianlong Emperor approved the proposal and bestowed Nguyễn with the title An Nam quốc vương ("King of Annam"). The title indicated that Huệ was recognized as the legal ruler of Vietnam and Lê Chiêu Thống was no longer supported.[1]

Decline and fall[edit]

Nguyễn Huệ, now stylized as Quang Trung, was resentful; he trained his army, built large warships and waited for an opportunity to take revenge on Qing. He also provided refuge to anti-Manchu organizations such as the Tiandihui and the White Lotus. Infamous Chinese pirates, such as Chen Tien-pao (陳添保), Mo Kuan-fu (莫觀扶), Liang Wen-keng (梁文庚), Fan Wen-tsai (樊文才), Cheng Chi (鄭七) and Cheng I (鄭一) were granted official positions and/or noble ranks under the Tây Sơn empire.[13] All attack plans had to be given up due to Nguyễn Huệ's sudden death.[14] The attack never materialized by the time that Quang Trung died in 1792.[15][16]

After a 1782 massacre of ethnic Chinese settler was carried out by the Tây Sơn, the support of the Chinese shifted towards to the Nguyễn lords.[17][18]

The Nguyễn lords eventually defeated the Tây Sơn dynasty thanks to ethnic Chinese support, took complete control of Vietnam, and established the imperial Nguyễn dynasty in 1802.[19][20] The Nguyễn used crushing by elephant to execute the defeated Tây Sơn leader Bùi Thị Xuân. The heart and liver from her body were consumed by soldiers of the Nguyễn.[21]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dutton (2006), p. 236. "For a detailed description of the lengths to which the Nguyễn went in this regard see the account in Quách Tân and Quách Giao, Nhà Tây Sơn (The Tây Sơn Dynasty), 234–249."

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Wang, Wensheng (2014). "Chapter Seven: The Pirate Crisis and Foreign Diplomacy". White Lotus Rebels and South China Pirates. Harvard University Press.
  2. ^ Holcombe, Charles (2017). A History of East Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 207.
  3. ^ a b Kim, p. 359.
  4. ^ Reid, Anthony (2015). A History of Southeast Asia: Critical Crossroads. John Wiley & Sons. p. 186.
  5. ^ Dupuy, p. 653.
  6. ^ Kohn, p. 523.
  7. ^ Owen, p. 113.
  8. ^ Little, p. 205.
  9. ^ Leonard, p. 136.
  10. ^ Spencer.
  11. ^ Dar, Sino-Vietnamese Relations.
  12. ^ Dar, Tay Son Uprising.
  13. ^ Murray, Dian H. (1987). "3". Pirates of the South China Coast, 1790-1810. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-1376-4. OL 2381407M.
  14. ^ "Maritime violence and state formation in Vietnam: Piracy and the Tay Son Rebellion, 1771–1802 (book chapter, 2014)". Research Gate. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  15. ^ Đại Nam chính biên liệt truyện, vol. 30
  16. ^ "Maritime violence and state formation in Vietnam: Piracy and the Tay Son Rebellion, 1771–1802 (book chapter, 2014)". Research Gate. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  17. ^ Choi, p.35–37
  18. ^ Choi, p.74–
  19. ^ "SINO-VIETNAMESE RELATIONS, 1771-1802: FROM CONTENTION TO FAITHFUL CORRELATION". Research Gate. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  20. ^ "Tay Son Uprising (1771-1802) In Vietnam: Mandated By Heaven?". Research Gate. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  21. ^ Marr, pp. 211–12.

References[edit]

Dar, Ku Boon. "Sino-Vietnamese Relations, 1771-1802: From Contention to Faithful Correlation". Research Gate. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
Dar, Ku Boon. "Tay Son Uprising (1771-1802) in Vietnam: Mandated By Heaven?". Research Gate. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
Dupuy, R. Ernest; Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present (Fourth ed.). New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-270056-1.
Dutton, George (2006). The Tay Son Uprising: Society and Rebellion in Eighteenth-Century Vietnam (Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2984-1.
Dutton, George (2013). "A Brief History of the Tay Son Movement (1771-1802)". English Rainbow. EnglishRainbow.com. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
Kim, Trần Trọng (2005). Việt Nam sử lược (in Vietnamese). Ho Chi Minh City: Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House.
Kohn, George Childs (1999). Dictionary of Wars (Revised ed.). NewYork: Facts On File, Inc. ISBN 0-8160-3928-3.
Leonard, Jane Kate (1984). Wei Yuan and China's Rediscovery of the Maritime World. Harvard Univ Asia Center. ISBN 978-0-674-94855-6.
Little, Benerson (2010). Pirate Hunting: The Fight Against Pirates, Privateers, and Sea Raiders from Antiquity to the Present. Potomac Books, Inc. ISBN 978-1-59797-588-9.
Marr, David G. (1984). Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920–1945. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-90744-7.
Owen, Norman G. (2005). The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press.
Tucker, Spencer C. "The First Tet Offensive of 1789" (PDF). Izcenter. Spencer Tucker. Retrieved 28 August 2019.