Quang Trung - the Tay Son rebellion

At the end of the 18th century villagers in Vietnam were in revolt against the oppression, land seizure and hardship caused by feudal landlords.  Three brothers from a small village, Tay Son, in the south of the Vietnam started an insurgency movement and begin by overthrowing the corrupt Nguyen dynasty in the south, and then the rotten Trinh dynasty in the north, but they remained subservient to the Le Emperor in Thanh Long (Ha Noi today).  One of the brothers, Nguyen Hue, showed great aptitude for military action, and defeated the 20,000 invaders sent by the monarchy in Siam, in the Mekong delta who had been summoned by the sole surviving prince of the defeated Nguyen dynasty.

The Le Emperor gives his youngest daughter, Princess Le Ngoc Han, in marriage to Nguyen Hue and they move the capital city to Phu Xuan (now Hue city).  Shortly after the Le Emperor in Thanh Long dies, and his son takes over as Emperor, assuming he can ignore the Tay Son movement.  He is removed and runs away to Beijing to meet the Manchu Tsing Emperor, whom he persuades to restore him as Emperor, and a 200,000 strong Tsing invading force from the Manchu Tsing Emperor, Kien-Lung, who with visions of restoring Vietnam as colony of China, appoints Governor Ton Si-Nghi (Soun Che-y) in support of the defeated Le Emperor.  Nguyen Hue declares himself Emperor Quang Trung and he leads the Tay Son troops who move quickly to Thanh Long and defeat the Tsing invaders in just a few days, cementing the position of Quang Trung as a supreme military leader.

Emperor Quang Trung begins both agricultural and educational reform, supported and advised by his knowledgeable wife, but he dies suddenly aged just under 40.  The grieving Empress lives only seven years longer herself, but writes some of the most stirring and beautiful poetry about her love for the Emperor, before she herself dies aged only 29.

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