Ho Dynasty (1400-1407)

The Ho lasted for 7 years, from 1400 to 1407, with two kings:
 - Ho Quy Ly (1400)
 - Ho Han Thuong (1401 - 1407)

 
       

The struggle launched by peasants, serfs and slaves in the later half of the 14th century weakened the Tran. Ho Quy Ly was descendant of a high-ranking mandarin of the Le family. He was talented and, as his two aunts married the king, he soon became one of the high-ranking mandarins of the Court. Using clever tactics Ho Quy Ly quickly climbed to the highest position in the Court.
Ho Quy Ly reorganised the rank of military officials and grasped all political and military power in his hands. Having founded a firm position, he decided on a number of reforms to rescue the shaky State.
In 1396, he had paper money issued and the circulation of bronze coins banned. In 1397, he had the policy on land limits promulgated, stipulating the area of land to be owned by aristocrats, mandarins and landlords. The land in excess would be given to the State.
In the next year, he ordered the measurement of land in localities and, at the same time, reorganised the court examination system, developed education, and reduced the number of monks.
In 1400, Ho Quy Ly dethroned the King Tran and declared himself king. Thus the Ho was founded. In subsequent years, he promulgated policies on the limit of serfs (providing the number of serfs to be owned by certain people in society) and new taxation methods, etc.
Ho Quy Ly also had a new population census conducted to serve as a basis for troop recruitment and labour mobilisation to build projects for national defence. The Ho Court was resolute in opposing acts of aggression of the Ming invaders.
Ho Quy Ly’s reforms had far-reaching impacts on most social circles and activities politically, militarily, culturally and educationally. These reforms, more or less, limited the concentration of land in the hands of the aristocrats and landlords, and weakened the power of the Tran family. The incomes of the central government increased considerably.
However, these reforms did not resolve the imperative demand of the people’s lives and freedom. Serfs and slaves who had been privately owned now belonged to the State. Peasants had to contribute more than before while agriculture declined.
Paper money did not bring about desired convenience for trade. The new tax policy made the people’s contributions more complicated. In addition, Ho Quy Ly’s usurpation of the throne sowed alarm and discontent among scholars and mandarins. The aristocrats of the Tran took advantage of this to oppose Ho Quy Ly.

 

   

 

   
 

 

Later Tran Dynasty (1407-1413)

The oppressive occupation soon triggered fierce resistance. As early as the end of 1407, many uprisings began to occur. A descendant of the Tran Dynasty proclaimed himself king in 1407, taking the name Gian Dinh and setting up his headquarters in Nghe An Province.

 

 
   

 

   

 

In late 1408, his army marched on the capital, attracting enthusiastic crowds of supporters along the way. Gian Dinh defeated the Ming forces at Bo Co in Nam Dinh Province, but the resistance was weakened by internal dissension due to the murder by Gian Dinh of his able lieutenants Dang Tat and Nguyen Canh Chan, whose sons and followers rallied around another Tran prince, Quy Khoang, in 1409. Starting from Ha Tinh, the movement then spread to other provinces.
Meanwhile, 47,000 reinforcements allowed the Ming general Truong Phu to launch an offensive and push the insurgents back to Nghe An. In 1410, hostilities between the Ming court and Mongols made it possible for Quy Khoang to reoccupy Thanh Hoa; however, in 1411, having defeated the Mongols, the Ming counter-attacked and in 1413 drove the insurgents back to the southern provinces. Early in 1411, the latter's leaders were captured. The Tran princes and aristocrats had proved themselves incapable of providing effective leadership for the resistance, which finally achieved victory under the leadership of a commoner, Le Loi.
In late 1408, his army marched on the capital, attracting enthusiastic crowds of supporters along the way. Gian Dinh defeated the Ming forces at Bo Co in Nam Dinh Province, but the resistance was weakened by internal dissension due to the murder by Gian Dinh of his able lieutenants Dang Tat and Nguyen Canh Chan, whose sons and followers rallied around another Tran prince, Quy Khoang, in 1409. Starting from Ha Tinh, the movement then spread to other provinces.
Meanwhile, 47,000 reinforcements allowed the Ming general Truong Phu to launch an offensive and push the insurgents back to Nghe An. In 1410, hostilities between the Ming court and Mongols made it possible for Quy Khoang to reoccupy Thanh Hoa; however, in 1411, having defeated the Mongols, the Ming counter-attacked and in 1413 drove the insurgents back to the southern provinces. Early in 1411, the latter's leaders were captured. The Tran princes and aristocrats had proved themselves incapable of providing effective leadership for the resistance, which finally achieved victory under the leadership of a commoner, Le Loi.