AnnamHistoryThe origins of the Annamese state may be traced to the peoples of the Red River valley in N Vietnam. After more than 2,000 years of contact with the Chinese, they fell under Chinese rule as the result of a Han invasion in 111 B.C. The region, to which the Chinese gave the name Annam (“Pacified South”; a name resented by the people), comprised all of what later became N Annam and Tonkin. Southern Annam was occupied by the kingdom of the Chams, or Champa, from the late 2d cent. A.D. In 939 the Annamese drove out the Chinese and established their independence, which they maintained, except for one brief period of Chinese reoccupation (1407–28), until their conquest by the French in the 19th cent.By 1558 the kingdom was in effect divided between two great families: the Trinh line, which ruled from Hanoi (then called Tonkin) as far south as Porte d'Annam (this area was called Tonkin by the Europeans who arrived in the 16th cent.), and the Nguyens, who ruled from Hue over the territory extending from Porte d'Annam south to the vicinity of Quy Nhon. The ruling dynasties
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