1946–47 Autonomous Republic of Cochinchina (Chính phủ Cộng hoà Nam Kỳ tự trị). The creation of this republic, during the First Indochina War (1946–1954), allowed France to evade a promise to recognise Vietnam as independent. The government was renamed in 1947 Provisional Governenment of South Vietnam, overtly stating its aim to reunite the whole country
1948–49 Provisional Central Government of Vietnam (Chính phủ lâm thời Quốc gia Việt Nam). This "pre-Vietnam" government prepared for a unified Vietnamese state, but the country's full reunification was delayed for a year because of the problems posed by Cochinchina's legal status.
1949–1955 State of Vietnam (Quốc gia Việt Nam). Internationally recognized in 1950. Roughly 60 percent of Vietnamese territory was actually physically controlled by the communist Việt Minh. Vietnam was partitioned at the 17th parallel in 1954.
Bảo Đại (1949–1955). Abdicated as emperor (constitutional monarch) in 1945 following surrender of Imperial Japanese occupying forces at the end of World War II, later serving as Head of State to 1955.
1955–1975 Republic of Vietnam (Việt Nam Cộng Hòa). Fought Vietnam War [Second Indochina War], (1959–75) against the Hanoi government of Ho Chi Minh.
Ngô Đình Diệm (1955–1963). Once highly lauded by America, he was ousted and assassinated in a US-backed coup in November 1963.
In 1963–1965, there were numerous coups and short-lived governments, several of which were headed by Dương Văn Minh or Nguyễn Khánh.
Nguyễn Văn Thiệu (1965–1975). Prime Minister Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, former charismatic maverick Air Force marshal was the top leader of the last of the military regimes in 1965–1967 before a US-backed civilian government was instituted, following a new constitution and elections in 1967, with Thieu elected president.