In the tenth century, they finally overthrew Chinese rule. Chinese influence remained, however. Vietnamese rulers realized the advantages of taking over the Chinese model of centralized government. The new Vietnamese state, which called itself Dai Viet, adopted state Confucianism. Following the Chinese model, the rulers called themselves emperors and adopted Chinese court rituals. They also introduced the civil service examination as a means of recruiting government officials on the basis of merit instead of heredity.
The states of Southeast Asia can be divided into two groups: agricultural societies, whose economies were largely based on farming, and trading societies, which depended primarily on trade for income. States such as Vietnam, Angkor, and Pagan drew most of their wealth from the land.
Until French colonization in the middle of the 19th century, Vietnam's economy was mainly agrarian and village-oriented. French colonizers, however, deliberately developed the regions differently, designating the South for agricultural production and the North for manufacturing. Though the plan exaggerated regional divisions, the development of exports--coal from the North, rice from the South—and the importation of French manufactured goods stimulated internal commerce.
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