Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

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Journal of Southeast Asian Studies (1994), 25:270-312 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © The National University of Singapore 1994


Nineteenth-Century Vietnamese Confucianization in Historical Perspective: Evidence from the Palace Examinations (1463–1883)

Nola Cookea1

a1 National University of Singapore
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cooke n [Google Scholar]


This essay examines the common perception that the nineteenth century was the apogee of Neo-Confucianism in Vietnam by a comparative analysis of high examination passes from 1463 to 1883. Analysing the data generated reveals the nineteenth century as the historic nadir of the traditional examination system. The essay then relates this result to the politics of the time, and especially to the southern nature of the new regime.