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Map of Vietnam showing (roughly) the areas controlled by the Trinh, Nguyen, Mac, and Champa about the year 1640

Trịnh Tráng ruled Vietnam from 1623 to 1654.

Trinh Trang, one of the famous Trinh Lords who ruled Vietnam. He started the Trinh-Nguyen War in 1627 and launched several major offensives which failed to crush the Nguyen Lords.


Early life

Trịnh Tráng was the eldest son of Trinh Tung. He took power after a brief succession struggle at the time of Trinh Tung's death. The main problem he faced during his rule was the power and independence of the Nguyen Lords who ruled the southern-most provinces of Vietnam. In modern terms the Nguyen ruled over Thua Thien-Hue Province, Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, and Quang Ngai Province. This was the frontier of Vietnam and, as these provinces were newly conquered from the Champa, there was new land to farm and plenty of work for ambitious men.

In 1600, the first Nguyen Lord, Nguyen Hoang, refused to acknowledge the authority of the Trinh-dominated court in Hanoi. With the death of Trinh Tung, the current Nguyen Lord, Nguyen Phuc Nguyen refused to send any taxes or soldiers to the court. After years of rising tension, Trinh Trang went to war against the Nguyen.


Trịnh Tráng launched many major offensives against the Nguyen, but all of them failed. The first attack lasted four months in the summer of 1627. The next was a sea assault, it was defeated in 1633. Two more assaults were made against the Nguyen's mighty defensive wall in 1642 and 1643. This time, with the aid of advanced Dutch cannons, one wall was breached but the other wall held firm. 1643 also marked the resignation of the king, Lê Than Tông, in favor of his son, Lê Chan Tông. In 1648 a major offensive came to grief as the Royal (Trinh) army was defeated at the battle of Truong Duc. The young king died at this time (Some people believe it was as a result of the battle) and so his father, Lê Than Tông, took the throne for a second time.

Now the Nguyen tried going on the offensive. In 1653, the Nguyen army attacked north and defeated the weakened Royal army. Quang Binh Province was captured. Then Ha Tinh Province fell to the Nguyen army. In the following year, Trinh Trang died as Nguyen forces made attacks into Nghe An Province.

Although he controlled a large, well organized state, with a powerful military and advanced European cannons, Trinh Trang was completely unsuccessful in his attempts to conquer the smaller and weaker Nguyen territory. At the end of his life it was the Nguyen who were on the offensive. Trinh Trang's only success came against the Mac. During his rule, the Royal army captured all but Cao Bang Province from the weakened Mac rulers.

Preceded by
Trinh Tung
Ruler of Vietnam

Succeeded by
Trinh Tac

See also




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