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Viet Nam (The Kalmar Union)

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Empire of Viet Nam
Timeline: The Kalmar Union
Early Nguyen Dynasty Flag No coa
Flag Coat of Arms
Capital
(and largest city)
Hue
Language Vietnamese, other minor languages
Emperor Duy Thuan
Population 66,200,000 
Independence 938

The Empire of Viet Nam, Viet Nam, is a large authoritarian monarchy is southeast Asia. It is bordered by the Chinese Empire, Thailand, Tibet, Mughal Empire and Khmer Republic. The capital is Hue and the population is estimated at around 66 million.

History

The Vietnamese people have a long and illustrious history however spent much of their time either labouring under or fending off the advances of their more powerful neighbour to the north. Achieving independence in 938 when left to their own devices the kingdom indulged in intense rivalry with Champa to the south or the Thai kingdoms to the west. As a midway point between India and China and Japan the coastlines soon became wealthy off trade and several towns soon had Chinese or Japanese districts. This wealth spurred the Champa Kingdom to form a small trading empire in the East Sea linking the mainland with Luconia and Borneo.

The arrival of European trading interests coincided with the rise of the Nguyen dynasty, first as local lords then when the northern kings became too weak, usurpers of the kingdom. Emerging from internal strife campaigns against Champa led to their vassalisation (it would be fully absorbed in 1832) and led to a long drawn out conflict with Thailand over influence in the weakened Khmer realm.

A decree from Emperor Minh Mang in 1835 that Viet Nam should 'utterly dominate the Mekong River' saw a concerted effort to engage with the European trading powers so as to equip the army in a modern style. This led to a massive public works to turn the previously sparsely populated Mekong delta into a rice producing hub, the development of coffee growing in the highlands and the leasing of Pulo Condur to first United Netherlands then Kalmar. While Thailand kept abreast of military developments maintaining a rough status quo on that front, against China the new Vietnamese army was more successful. Opportunistically intervening in the Ming dynasty's internecine War of the Brothers Viet Nam successfully wrested away the province of Yunnan (or Vân Nam as it was rechristened) in 1884. The high degree of autonomy in the province has generally meant its populace has stubbornly resisted attempts to reintegrate it with China in the 1900s and 1920s. Viet Nam's studied neutrality in the Great Eastern War during which it was vigorously wooed by Japan led a beleaguered China to formally cede the province, however it has made noises recently that it wishes to 're-negotiate' the deal.

The authority of the emperor and the government is currently under severe duress thanks to several concurrent conflicts. Skirmishes with the revolutionary republic of Cambodia are the most visible to the wider world and indeed are mostly supported by the European trading powers. Meanwhile long running conflicts with Lao and northern hill tribes and even occasional exchanges of fire with Chinese border patrols, are more hidden from the view of outsiders, but no less deadly to the combatants. Many observers do not foresee the empire staying united for much longer as the centrifugal forces in Laos and Champa pull away from central control and the various wars test the limits of the treasury.

Government

An autocratic monarchy, Viet Nam's government is limited to enacting the Imperial decrees. However, the provinces are given considerable autonomy and are run on a day to day basis by a great cadre of mandarins.

The current Head of State is Emperor Duy Thuan.

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