Modern Korean History 1876-1953 by lse16211


									Modern Korean History
   Arguably the most chaotic
    period in Korean history
    – Forced open by imperialism
      and fought over by other powers
    – Lost her national sovereignty
    – Suffered a 36-year colonial rule
    – Witnessed the division of one
      ancient country into two
      modern nations
    – Survived a destructive civil war
      with international intervention

 Number of ways to divide into sub-periods
 1876-1910: Korea faces internal conflicts
  over how to confront imperialist demands
 1910-1945: Korea confronts colonial rule

 1945-1953: post-colonial failure to achieve
  sovereignty and painful national division
 Not past, dead history but alive today
Some of the People Who Helped
    Make Korean History
    Enlightenment and Reform in
          the 19th Century
   Forces of “enlightenment” refers to small body of
    advocates of reform of the Chosŏn dynasty: saw
    value of “westernization” (e.g., Yu Kil-chun)
   But largely overwhelmed by forces of tradition
    that despised foreign technology and ideas (e.g.,
    Yi Hangno)
   Forces for isolation ascendant under Taewŏn’gun
    (1864-1873), father of King Kojong
        Treaty of Kanghwa 2/22/1876
   Japanese version of
    Commodore’s Perry’s
    opening of Japan
   Unequal treaty
    –   Open 3 ports
    –   Extraterritoriality
    –   Residential rights
    –   Commercial privileges
   Open Korea to Japanese
     Enlightenment Efforts after
   Enlightenment forces advocate modernization
    AND “self strengthening”
    – Li Hung-chang’s advice
   1880s foreign relations
   1882 Treaty with United States
    led to relations with other Western
   1883 first Korean mission to U.S.
Conservatives and Reformers
                 Kojong and reformers
                  make headway
                 Growth of anti-
                  foreignism:opponents of
                 Plot of Taewŏn’gun to
                  replace Kojong
                 Royal family torn between
                  conservatives and
                  – Conservative Min clique
        Soldiers’ Revolt of 1882
   Emblematic of problems
   Clash between “forces” modernity and tradition
   Resulted in murder of Min Kyŏmho and Lt.
    Horimoto, burning of Japanese legation
   Taewŏn’gun taken off to China
   Chinese forces to Korea to keep order;Yüan Shih-
    k’ai soon became resident Minister
   Chinese and foreigners as “advisors”: Paul Georg
    von Mollendorff
    Progressives and Coup of 1884
   Even reformers divided: gradualists of the
    “Eastern values, Western science” type
   Others wanted greater changes: progressives, for
    whom model was Japan
   December 4, 1884 banquet for Postal
    Administration Kim Ok-kyun and followers
    captured Kojong, killed several ministers and
    engineered a 14 point reform program
    – Assistance of Japanese
   Chinese troops put down coup: Kim, 8 others
    escape to Japan
   Japanese influence down, now contested
   Chinese influence ascendant: Yüan Shih-k’ai as
    “Director-General Resident”
    – Remove reformists
    – Stifle nationalism
    – Limit foreign contacts
   Even as China crumbling under foreign pressure,
    trying to hold on to influence in Korea
    – “Japan between Empires”
   Russia and England clash over interests in Korea,
    China settled issue over Kŏmun-do
   Korea no longer “arbiter of its own destiny”
Tonghak Uprising and the Sino-
   Japanese War, 1894-95
   Example: Tonghak Uprising
   Background of maladministration, high taxes,
    rural economic chaos, spiritual decay
   Growing hostility of peasantry towards domestic
    and foreign exploitation
   Ch’oe Che-u(1824-1864) and founding of
    Tonghak (“Eastern Learning”), preaching equality
    of men regardless of class
     – Religious AND social movement
Tonghak Uprising II
             Execution of Ch’oe:
              followers want to clear
             April 1893 in Poun launch
              “crusade” against ills
             By spring1894 a full-scale
              peasant uprising
              under Chŏn Pong-jun to
              topple corrupt leaders and
              drive out Japanese
             Defeat government troops,
              seize Chŏnju
Quelling the Tonghaks
              Worried gov’t. calls for
               Chinese troops, Japanese
               also dispatch
              Tonghaks quelled, but
               Japan attacks Chinese
               forces: Sino-Japanese War
              Japanese victory results in
               Treaty of Shimonoseki
                – Korean “independence
                – Taiwan
                – Liaotung peninsula
        Kabo Reforms, 1894-96
   Japan “reforms” government
    – Appoint reformers, pro-Japanese people appointed
       • Many studied in Japan and U.S.
    – Hundreds of reform bills passed by Deliberative
      Assembly over 16 month period
    – Massive social, political reform designed to totally
      reform nation
    – Queen Min assassinated by Japanese in October 1895
   Reforms unpopular with conservatives, others
    because of Japanese backing
     Incipient Nationalism: The
    Independence Club, 1896-98
   Triple Intervention after Sino-Japanese War
    – Russian position in Korea increases, multi-power
      struggle for advantage in Korea
    – Japan now considers firmer control
   Philip Jaisohn forms the Independence Club to
    champion independence and reforms
   Ran afoul of government, leaders jailed (Syngman
    Rhee) and Jaisohn deported to U.S.
   Last real chance for Koreans to effect reform
Japanese Imperialism and the
Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05
                 Increasing tension
                  between Japan and Russia
                  over Manchuria and Korea
                 Japan attacks Russia, stuns
                  everyone by defeating
                  Western power
                 Victory led to Japanese
                  decision to seize Korea
                 Theodore Roosevelt wins
                  Nobel Prize for peace at
    Korea Under Japanese Rule:
   Japan still not totally committed to colonization:
    “protectorate” with Ito Hirobumi as Resident
   Valiant Korean struggle against Japanese forces
   Assassination of Ito in Harbin by An Chung-gŭn
    leads to final seizure
   Japan forces Korean cabinet to sign document of
   36 years of colonial rule result
           Japanese Colonialism
   Japan mixes carrot
    and stick
   1910-1919 military
   1919 March First
    Movement leads to
   1920-1937 “cultural
    rule”: co-opt Koreans
     – forced
     Japanese Occupation, 1937-
   Forced mobilization
    –   Slave labor
    –   Japanese language
    –   Shinto worship
    –   Comfort women
    –   “Lost Names”
   This is the occupation
    that Koreans
    remember today
Koreans Struggle for Liberation
   Difficulties at home
   Korean Provisional
    Government, Shanghai
   Syngman Rhee
   An Ch’ang-ho’s work
    at home and abroad
   Guerrillas like Kim Il
Liberation, Disillusionment and
     Division: 1945-1950
   Jubilation at liberation short-lived
   USSR and US accept Japanese surrender
    – 38th parallel as temporary expedient soon becomes
   US and USSR to work towards “trusteeship”
    before Koreans “ready” for self-rule
    – Both occupations attract Koreans with similar
      ideological bent: Korean nationalism already developed
      left-right split under Japanese
    – Soviets encourage revolution, Americans provide
      bulwark for conservatives
Two Countries in One Nation
                 US-USSR unable to
                  make trusteeship work
                 Fall1948 ROK and
                  DPRK established
                 Rhee and Kim want a
                  single country under
                  their rule
                  – Both regard the other
                    as illegitimate
From Civil War to International
      Conflict: 1950-53
                        Understanding Korean
                         “Conflict” embedded in Cold
                         War history
                        Koreans knew it was a civil war
                        But in U.S. that term unused
                         until Vietnam
                        Always regarded from U.S.
                        Example: Who is this man?

 Gen. Paik Sun Yup
Remembering the Korean War
                Korean “Conflict,”
                 “Police Action”
                “The Forgotten War”
                “The Unfinished War”
                USSR and Stalin as
                “Red” Chinese “hordes”
                 as main enemy
                North Korea as role
                 player: but they claim
The Korean War in Maps
    Summing Up the Korean War
   Exercise in futility
   Situation after the war little different from before:
    South lost Kaesŏng, gained more territory
   BUT
    –   Countries remained divided
    –   Hostility greater than ever
    –   Destruction of the two nations enormous
    –   Perhaps 4 million people died
         Important To Remember
   The Korean War is not
   There is only an armistice,
    a “cessation of hostilities”
   The war is a fundamental
    reason behind the current
    “North Korean Crisis”
   In America it is “the
    Forgotten War”-BUT
    U.S. seems quite ahistorical: not bound by
     history but beyond it
    In Korea, “History” strongly influences the
     present (not yet PAST, just not yet finished)
     – Several contentious periods, not forgotten
1.   Colonial period in current politics:
     – Internationally, continuing issue with the Japanese
     – Internally, Truth Commission and “collaborators”
2.   Korean War and the continuing problems of US-
     ROK-DPRK relations
Even Ancient History is Alive
   So teaching modern Korean history to your
    students is not irrelevant, but intimately tied to
                  important current issues

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