|Emperor Minh Mang’s real name is Nguyen Phuc Dam; his nickname is Kieu. He is the forth son of Emperor Gia Long and Madam Nguyen Thi Dang (titled Thuan Thien Cao Hoang Hau). He was born on the 23rd April of the lunar year of Tan Hoi (on May 25th 1871 of the solar calendar) at Tan Loc village, Gia Dinh province. Emperor Minh Mang was on the throne for 21 years (1820 - 1840).
During his reign, he made many significant reformations, such as: establishment of provinces instead of cities and towns (at that time, the whole country had 31 provinces); re-arrangement of the mandarate and regulation of the salary levels based on the ranks; unification of the measurement units and national costume; encouragement of land reclamation, repair of the traffic system, as well as building rest homes for the poor, the handicapped and the old who were homeless or lonesome.
The promotion of Confucianism and treasuring of talents were two priority policies of Emperor Minh Mang. He ordered the building of Quoc Tu Giam (Royal National University) and set up the advanced examinations of Hoi and Dinh (while only Huong exams were used under Gia Long’s reign).
During the Minh Mang time, Vietnam was a strong nation and its territory was considerably enlarged than ever. Accordingly, in 1838, Emperor Minh Mang renamed our country Dai Nam. Emperor Minh Mang passed away on December 28th of the lunar year of Canh Ty (on January 28th 1841 solar calendar) at the age of 50. After his death, his tablet was worshiped at the The Mieu temple with the posthumous title of Thanh To Nhan Hoang De.
Emperor Minh Mang had 142 children (including 74 sons and 68 daughters).