Archaeological studies in Nghi Xuan, Thach Duc and Duc Tho and cultural, historical and language information shows that tens of thousands of years ago, prehistoric people came to settle in this area which might have been the great centre of the pre-Dong Son Civilization.
Throughout its history, Ha Tinh has experienced changes in organization, administrative borders and name. During Hung Kings’ tenure, Ha Tinh belonged to Cuu Duc, one of the 15 “bo” (old administrative unit equivalent to district) of Van Lang State. In the early 6th century, the Liang Dynasty renamed Cuu Duc to Duc Chau. In the late 6th century, the Sui Dynasty renamed Duc Chau to Hoan Chau. In 607, Duc Chau was merged into Nhat Nam. In 622, the Tang Dynasty renamed Nhat Nam District to Nam Duc District and later to Duc Chau and in 672 to Hoan Chau. The name Hoan Chau existed until the end of Chinese domination. The Dai Viet time also saw many changes.
In 1831, King Minh Mang carried out national administrative reform separating Ha Hoa and Duc Tho Districts of Nghe An Province for the formation of Ha Tinh Province. This was an important era in Ha Tinh’s history, showing that this region had all conditions to become an administrative unit under the royal court.
The V National Assembly on December 27, 1975 at its second session decided to consolidate Nghe An and Ha Tinh into Nghe Tinh Province. The VIII National Assembly decided on August 16, 1991 at its 9th session to split up Nghe Tinh Province into Nghe An and Ha Tinh Provinces.
Now Ha Tinh has a city under the province, a town and 10 districts. They are Ha Tinh City, Hong Linh Town and Nghi Xuan, Duc Tho, Huong Son, Huong Khe, Vu Quang, Can Loc, Thach Ha, Loc Ha, Cam Xuyen and Ky Anh Districts (including four districts and a town in mountainous areas). There are 264 communes, wards and townships.
The process of changing and renaming the administrative units in Ha Tinh Province is also a process of its integration with national development.
Being home to indigenous people and immigrant from other areas and once a “Phien chan” or “Phen dau” (an outpost) of the former Dai Viet (Great Vietnam), this land has been associated with many imprints and important events in the national history of struggles against foreign aggressors. It is the native place of Mai Thuc Loan who proclaimed himself emperor Mai Hac De and led the people to fight against the feudal Chinese domination in 772. In the early 15th century, Grand Duke Dang Tat and his son Dang Dung - the key leaders, helped the late Tran Dynasty record resounding exploits against Ming invaders. In the 15th century, Do Gia land (Huong Son) and Thien Nhan mountain range became the headquarters of Le Loi, and Ha Tinh people served as a mainstay for the Lam Son insurgent troops to fight against the Ming aggressors. In the 18th century, when Quang Trung-Nguyen Hue’s troops marched to the north to annihilate the Qing aggressors, they stopped in Ha Tinh to recruit more warriors and food. Once again, Ha Tinh people showed their faithfulness to their country. In the 19th century, King Ham Nghi selected Huong Khe mountainous area as a place for discussing and formulating great plans and strategies. Vu Quang forest and Huong Khe became the headquarters of Old Phan Dinh Phung, where heroes and strong-willed patriotic scholars from all parts of the country rallied to carry out a staunch 10-year-long resistance war. In 1930, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Ha Tinh together with the Nghe An people launched the Xo Viet Nghe Tinh uprising – the first rehearsal of the August Revolution in 1945 during which Ha Tinh was among the first provinces in the country to seize power. During the two resistance wars against the imperialist aggressors, tens of thousands of Ha Tinh people were engaged in combat, enduring hardships and sacrifices and greatly contributing to national independence and freedom.
Ha Tinh is endowed with superb and poetic natural landscapes. It is a land where “rivers and mountains converge” not only in geographic sense, but also in a cultural sentiment through different eras. In any period of time, Ha Tinh produced heroes, strong-willed patriotic scholars and cultural celebrities, from three first-rank doctoral laureates in the Tran Dynasty and 148 graduates of a pre-court competition-examination in the Nguyen Dynasty to renowned people who glorified the country, such as Nguyen Du, Nguyen Cong Tru, Nguyen Huy Tu, Phan Huy Ich, Nguyen Thiep, Le Huu Trac, Phan Dinh Phung, Tran Phu, Ha Huy Tap, Hoang Xuan Han, Le Van Thiem, Nguyen Phan Chanh, Xuan Dieu and Huy Can.
Ha Tinh still retains a rich treasure of cultural heritage though many of them have been destroyed by wars and natural disasters. Now it has 143 cultural relics which have been classified, many unique forms of folk arts and traditional craft villages which have been around for 500-600 years.
Embarking upon a period of industrialization-modernization and global integration, Ha Tinh people brought into full play the fine tradition of their forefathers and obtained important achievements in the economic, cultural, social, defence and security domains. With its efforts and assistance from the Party and State as well as organizations and individuals at home and abroad, Ha Tinh people are concentrating all resources on building their native land into a large industrial and service centre in northern central Vietnam