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Quốc gia Việt Nam
State of Vietnam

Flag Coat of Arms
Thanh niên Hành Khúc (The March of Youths)
The State of Vietnam claimed authority over all of Vietnam, although its rule was never effective in the North. In 1954, the country was partitioned at the 17th parallel.
Capital Saigon
Language(s) Vietnamese
Government Autonomous state associated with the French Union
Head of state
 - 1949-55 Bảo Đại
Prime minister
 - 1954-55 Ngô Đình Diệm
Historical era Cold War
 - Independence declared (from France) June 14, 1949
 - Internationally recognised 1950
 - Disestablished October 26, 1955
 - 1955 173,809 km2 (67,108 sq mi)
 - 1955 est. 12,000,000 
     Density 69 /km2  (178.8 /sq mi)
Currency piastre
History of Vietnam Map of Vietnam
Hồng Bàng Dynasty prior to 257 BC
Thục Dynasty 257–207 BC
First Chinese domination 207 BC – 39 AD
Triệu Dynasty 207–111 BC
Trưng Sisters 40–43
Second Chinese domination 43–544
Lady Triệu's Rebellion 248
Early Lý Dynasty 544–602
Triệu Việt Vương
Third Chinese domination 602–905
• Mai Hắc Đế 722
Phùng Hưng 791–798
Autonomy 905–938
Khúc Family 906–930
Dương Đình Nghệ 931–937
• Kiều Công Tiễn 937–938
Ngô Dynasty 939–967
The 12 Lords Rebellion 966–968
Đinh Dynasty 968–980
Early Lê Dynasty 980–1009
Lý Dynasty 1009–1225
Trần Dynasty 1225–1400
Hồ Dynasty 1400–1407
Fourth Chinese domination 1407–1427
Later Trần Dynasty 1407–1413
• Lam Sơn Rebellion 1418–1427
Later Lê Dynasty 1428–1788
• Early Lê 1428–1788
• Restored Lê 1533–1788
Mạc Dynasty 1527–1592
Southern and
Northern Dynasties
Trịnh-Nguyễn War 1627–1673
Tây Sơn Dynasty 1778–1802
Nguyễn Dynasty 1802–1945
Western imperialism 1887–1945
Empire of Vietnam 1945
Indochina Wars 1945–1975
Partition of Vietnam 1954
Democratic Republic
 of Vietnam
State of Vietnam 1949–1955
Republic of Vietnam 1955–1975
Provisional Revolutionary
Socialist Republic of Vietnam from 1976
Related topics
Champa Dynasties 192–1471
List of Vietnamese monarchs
Economic history of Vietnam
Prehistoric cultures of Vietnam

The State of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Quốc gia Việt Nam) was a state that claimed authority over all of Vietnam during the First Indochina War, and replaced the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam (1948-1949). The provisional government was a brief transitional administration between colonial Cochinchina and an independent state. The state was created in 1949 and was internationally recognized in 1950, although its main power was in the south, whereas the Democratic Republic of Vietnam dominated the north. Former emperor Bảo Đại was chief of state (Quốc Trưởng). Ngô Đình Diệm was appointed prime minister in 1954. Diệm ousted Bảo Đại the following year and became president of the Republic of Vietnam.




Unification of Vietnam (1947-1948)

By February 1947, following the pacification of Tonkin (North Vietnam), the Tonkinese capital, Hanoi, and the main traffic axis returned under French control. The derouted Việt Minh partisans were forced to retreat into the jungle and prepared to pursue the war using guerrilla warfare.

In order to reduce Việt Minh leader Hồ Chí Minh’s influence over the Vietnamese population, the French authorities in Indochina supported the return to power of the emperor (last ruler of the Nguyễn Dynasty), Bảo Đại. The latter had been forced to abdicate by the Việt Minh back in August 25, 1945 after the fall of the short-lived Empire of Vietnam, puppet state of the Empire of Japan.

On June 5, 1948, the Halong Bay Agreements (Accords de la baie d’Along) allowed the creation of a unified State of Vietnam replacing the Tonkin (North Vietnam), Annam (Middle Vietnam) and the Republic of Cochinchina (South Vietnam) associated to France within the French Union then including the neighboring Kingdom of Laos and Kingdom of Cambodia.

Since the Halong Bay Agreements resulted in many aspects — excluding the referendum — in the enforcement of the March 6, 1946 Indochinese Independence Convention signed by Communist Hồ Chí Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam and High Commissioner of France in Indochina Admiral Thierry d'Argenlieu, representative of Felix Gouin’s Provisional French Republic led by the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO), some regarded the State of Vietnam as a puppet state of the French Fourth Republic.

French Union (1949-1954)

From 1949 to 1954, the State of Vietnam had partial autonomy from France as an associated state within the French Union.

Bảo Đại fought with Communist leader Hồ Chí Minh for legitimacy as the government of the whole of Vietnam through the struggle between the Vietnamese National Army and the Việt Minh during the First Indochina War.

The State of Vietnam found support in the French Fourth Republic and the United States while Hồ Chí Minh was backed by the People's Republic of China, and to a lesser extent by the Soviet Union.

Partition (1954-1955)

Roman Catholic Vietnamese taking refuge in a French LST in 1954.

After the Geneva Conference of 1954, as well as becoming fully independent with its departure from the French Union, the State of Vietnam became territorially confined to those lands of Vietnam south of the 17th parallel, and as such became commonly known as South Vietnam.

The massive migration of anti-Communist north Vietnamese, essentially Roman Catholic people, was proceeded during the French-American Operation Passage to Freedom in summer 1954.

Republic of Vietnam (1955-1975)

In 1955, the State of Vietnam ceased to exist and was replaced by the Republic of Vietnam whose reformed army pursued the struggle against the Việt Minh in the Vietnam War.


Provisional Central Government of Vietnam (1948-1949)

On May 27, 1948, Nguyễn Văn Xuân, then President of the Republic of Cochin China, became President of the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam (Thủ tướng lâm thời) following the merging of the government of Cochin China and Vietnam in what is sometimes referred as “Pre-Vietnam.”

State of Vietnam (1949-1955)

On June 14, 1949, Bảo Đại was appointed Chief of State (Quoc Truong) of the State of Vietnam; he was concurrently Prime Minister for a short while (Kiêm nhiệm Thủ tướng).

On October 26, 1955, the Republic of Vietnam was established and Ngô Đình Diệm became the first President of the Republic.

Leaders (1948–1955)

Name Took office Left office Title
Nguyễn Văn Xuân May 27, 1948 July 14, 1949 President of the PCGV
1 Bảo Đại July 14, 1949 January 21, 1950 Prime Minister; remained Chief of State throughout the State of Vietnam
2 Nguyễn Phan Long January 21, 1950 April 27, 1950 Prime Minister
3 Trần Văn Hữu May 6, 1950 June 3, 1952 Prime Minister
4 Nguyễn Văn Tâm June 23, 1952 December 7, 1953 Prime Minister
5 Bửu Lộc January 11, 1954 June 16, 1954 Prime Minister
6 Ngô Đình Diệm June 16, 1954 October 26, 1955 Prime Minister


Vietnamese National Army (1949-1955)

Following the signing of the 1949 Elysee Accords in Paris, Bảo Đại was able to create a National Army for defense purpose.

It fought under the State of Vietnam’s banner and leadership and was commanded by General Nguyen Van Hinh.



A 100 piastres sample note of 1954.

The currency used within the French Union was the French Indochinese piastre. Notes were issued and managed by the “Issue Institute of the States of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam” (Institut d’Emission des Etats du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viêt-Nam).

Preceded by
Provisional Central Government of Vietnam
State of Vietnam
1949 - 1955
Succeeded by
Republic of Vietnam

See also


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