History

The history of Vietnam begins around 2,700 years ago. Successive dynasties based in China ruled Vietnam directly for most of the period from 207 BC until 938 when Vietnam regained its independence.[1] Vietnam remained a tributary state to its larger neighbor China for much of its history but repelled invasions by the Chinese as well as three invasions by the Mongols between 1255 and 1285.[2] Emperor Trần Nhân Tông later diplomatically submitted Vietnam to a tributary of the Yuan to avoid further conflicts.
 
Evidence of the earliest established society other than the prehistoric Iron Age Đông Sơn culture in Northern Vietnam was found in Cổ Loa, an ancient city situated near present-day Hà Nội. 
 
According to myth, the first Vietnamese people were descended from the Dragon Lord Lạc Long Quân and the Immortal Fairy Âu Cơ. Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ had 100 sons before deciding to part ways. 50 of the children went with their mother to the mountains, and the other 50 went with their father to the sea. The eldest son became the first in a line of early Vietnamese kings, collectively known as the Hùng kings (Vietnamese:  Hùng Vương) or the Hồng Bàng Dynasty. The Hùng kings called their country, located on the Red River delta in present-day northern Vietnam, Văn Lang. The people of Văn Lang were known as the Lạc Việt.
 
Vietnam Văn Lang is thought to have been a matriarchal society, similar to many other matriarchal societies common in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific islands at the time. Various archaeological sites in northern Vietnam, such as Đông Sơn have yielded metal weapons and tools from this age. Most famous of these artifacts are large bronze drums, probably made for ceremonial purposes, with sophisticated engravings on the surface, depicting life scenes with warriors, boats, houses, birds and animals in concentric circles around a radiating sun at the center.
 
Many legends from this period offer a glimpse into the life of the people. The Legend of the Rice Cakes is about a prince who won a culinary contes because his creations, the rice cakes, reflect his deep understanding of the land's vital economy: rice farming. The Legend of Iron Horse King is about a youth going to war to save the country, wearing iron armor, riding an armored horse, and wielding an iron staff, showed that metalworking was sophisticated. The Legend of the Magic Crossbow, about a crossbow that can deliver thousands of arrows, showed extensive use of archery in warfare.
 
Confucianism heavily influenced early Vietnamese.  They practiced ancestral worship and this belief made up of about 90% of the population.  The earliest established religions in Vietnam were Mahayana Buddhism, and Daoism (Vietnamese:  tam giáo). In the 16th century, Roman Catholicism was introduced through central Vietnam.  Cao Dai, and Hoa Hao made up another minority of southern Vietnam in the early 20th century.  In the late 20th century, smaller minorities of adherents to Protestantism, Islam, Hinduism, and Theravada Buddhism were established.
 
Vietnam History and Timeline can be categorized as followed:
 
Period Country Name Time Frame Boundary
Hồng Bàng Dynasty Văn Lang Before 258 BC No accurate record on its boundary. Some legends claim that its northern boundary might reach the Yangtze River. However, most modern history textbooks in Vietnam only claim the Red River Delta as the home of the Lạc Việt culture.
Thục Dynasty Âu Lạc 258 BC - 207 BC Red River delta and its adjoining north and west mountain regions.
Triệu Dynasty Nam Việt 207 BC - 111 BC Âu Lạc, Guangdong, and Guangxi.
Chinese Han Domination Giao Chỉ 111 BC - 544 AD Present-day north and north-central of Vietnam

(southern border expanded down to the Ma River and Ca River delta).

Subsequent Chinese Dynasties Commonly called Giao Châu.

Vạn Xuân during half-century independence of Anterior Lý Dynasty. Officially named An Nam by Chinese Tang Dynasty since 679 CE.

544 AD - 967 AD Same as above.
Đinh and Anterior Lê Dynasty Đại Cồ Việt 967 AD - 1009 AD Same as above.
Lý and Trần Dynasty Đại Việt 1010 AD - 1400 AD Southern border expanded down to present-day Hue area.
Hồ Dynasty Đại Ngu 1400 AD - 1407 AD Same as above.
Lê, Mạc, Trịnh-Nguyễn Lords, Tây Sơn Dynasty Đại Việt 1428 AD - 1802 AD Gradually expanded to the boundary of present day Vietnam.
Nguyễn Dynasty Việt Nam 1802 AD - 1887 AD Present-day Vietnam plus some occupied territories in Laos and Cambodia.
French Colony French Indochina, consisting of Cochinchina (southern Vietnam), Annam (central Vietnam), Tonkin (northern Vietnam), Cambodia, and Laos 1887 AD - 1945 AD Present-day Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Independence Việt Nam (North) Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1945-1976),

(South) State of Vietnam (1949-1956), Republic of Vietnam (1956-1975 in South Vietnam)

(Unified) Socialist Republic of Vietnam (1976-present)

Present-day Vietnam.
 
 
References
Davidson, Jeremy H. C. S.; H. L. Shorto (1991). Austroasiatic Languages: Essays in Honour of H.L. Shorto.  Neale, Jonathan The American War, page 18-19, ISBN 1898876673
Tucker, Spencer C. (2000). Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. ABC-CLIO. pp. 366. ISBN 1-57607-040-0.
Bùi, Hữu Thư (2000).  Vietnam History.