ANH THUAN TRUONG. Research on Tonkin – Cochinchina Civil War (Vietnam) During the 17th and 18th Centuries Through Western Materials


Anh Thuan Truong

PhD History, Head of Department for History of Vietnam and History Teaching Methods,

The University of Danang, University of Science and Education,

Ton Duc Thang St, 459, 550000 Danang city, Vietnam

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Abstract. Introduction. The article researches Tonkin – Cochinchina Civil War (in Vietnamese history, also known as Dang Trong – Dang Ngoai War or Trinh – Nguyen War) that took place from the early 17th century to the late 18th century in Vietnam.

Methods and Materials. When researching this matter, the author used Western materials, including writings, reports, correspondences, diaries, etc., of Western missionaries, merchants, and travellers used to operate in Vietnam in the 17th and 18th centuries. The author combines two main research methods of historical science (historical method and logical method) with other research methods (system, analysis, synthesis, comparison, etc.) to clarify the article’s contents.

Analysis. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the struggle for political power between two powers: Trinh Lord in Tonkin and Nguyen Lord in Cochinchina, caused Vietnam to undergo a fierce civil war that lasted for more than a century. This civil war was scattered mentioned in Western missionaries, merchants, and travellers’ materials (including writings, reports, correspondences and diaries), operating in Vietnam during this period. The cause of the civil war outbreak, force correlation between two sides, happening of some battles and using foreign resources of Trinh Lord and Nguyen Lord to defeat the enemy, those were the contents recorded by Westerners. Despite not much adequate, researchers also have a basic visualization of Tonkin – Cochinchina Civil War’s panorama taking place in Vietnam in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Results. Based on researching several contents related to Tonkin – Cochinchina Civil War, mentioned in writings, reports, correspondences, and diaries of Westerners present in Vietnam in the 17th and 18th centuries, the author analyzed to draw out the advantages and limitations of these materials. On that basis, the author initially clarifies its value for the research and assessment of Tonkin – Cochinchina Civil War of Vietnamese scholars at present and in the future.

Key words: Civil war, Vietnam, Tonkin, Cochinchina, Trinh Lord, Nguyen Lord, 17th century, 18th century.

Citation. Anh Thuan Truong. Research on Tonkin – Cochinchina Civil War (Vietnam) During the 17th and 18th Centuries Through Western Materials. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 22-37. DOI:

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Research on Tonkin – Cochinchina Civil War (Vietnam) During the 17th and 18th Centuries Through Western Materials by Anh Thuan Truong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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