Korea


History of Korea


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Perspective


The history of Korea begins with the mythic account of the Samguk yusa (1280s), which places the origins of the Gojoseon (Old Joseon) kingdom was founded in northern Korea and southern Manchuria in 2333 BC. Its defeat by the Han dynasty of China resulted in the fall of Gojoseon and led to warring states in the Three Kingdoms period. In this, the kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla came to jointly control the Korean peninsula and Manchuria as the Three Kingdoms of Korea (57 BC–668 AD). During the subsequent Goryeo period, laws were codified, a civil service system was introduced, and a Buddhist-oriented culture flourished. Then, the Mongol invasions in the 13th century brought Goryeo under the Great Khan’s influence until the mid-14th century.

In 1392, General Yi Seong-gye overthrew the Goryeo dynasty in 1388 to establish the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). Whereupon, King Sejong the Great (1418–1450) implemented numerous reforms of governance and established royal authority in the early years of the dynasty. His other reforms included replacing the cumbersome Chinese script with hangul, the phonetic Korean alphabet.

After nearly two centuries of peace, the Joseon dynasty endured political strife and the Japanese invasion of Korea. In 1657, the dynasty’s early period came to an end. Korea allied with Ming China to repel these Japanese invasions, only for Joseon to retreat into stagnant isolationism. But by the mid 19th century, the country remained unwilling to modernize, even when threatened by European powers. As a consequence, Korea was forced to sign unequal treaties. After Empress Myeong-seong’s assassination in 1895 and the turmoil of the Donghak Peasant Revolution, the Korean Empire and the Gabo Reforms came into being. With that, Korea experienced a brief spurt of modernization. But in 1905, the Korean Empire was annexed by Japan.

Korean resistance arose in neighboring Manchuria, China, and Siberia, encouraged by Korea’s peaceful protests against its occupiers. As a result, the leaders of these organizations in exile became important for Korean nationalism after World War II.

The history of Korea changed after the war ended, when the Allies divided the country into the north, under the protection of the Soviet Union, and the south, protected by the United States. In the absence of an agreement on the forming a single government, this division hardened into partition between the states of North and South Korea. As a result, the North had the backing of the Soviet Union and China, and the South was buttressed by the United States.Then, Kim il-Sung, the premier of North Korea, launched the Korean War in to unify Korea under Communist rule. Only after immense destruction, the war ended with a cease-fire in 1953.

While the North has endured endless privations under the Kim dynasty, South Korea has flourished. Notwithstanding a painful evolution from autocracy to democracy, South Korea is seen as a showcase of its alliance with the West.


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Index

Korea Index | Ancient Korea | Gojoseon Kingdom: PowerEconomy | Goryeo Dynasty: CulturePower | Three Kingdoms Period: BaekcheSillaGoguryeo | Joseon Dynasty: SocietyCulturePowerSejongT’aejoYeongjoEconomyJapanese Occupation | Modern Korea: Independence Movement DivisionKorean WarSouth KoreaNorth Korea


history of Korea

Korea: Index


Ancient Korea


Ancient Korea

Ancient Korea


Gojoseon Kingdom


Gojoseon Kingdom

Gojoseon Kingdom

history of Korea | Gpjoseon Kingdom | power

Power

history of Korea | Gojoseon Kingdom | economy

Economy


Goryeo Dynasty


Goryeo Dynasty

Goryeo Dynasty

Up to Index

history of Korea | Goryeo Dynasty | culture

Culture

history of Korea | Goryeo Dynasty | power

Power


Three Kingdoms Period


Three Kingdoms

Three Kingdoms: Index

Three Kingdoms | Baekche

Baekche

Three Kingdoms | Silla

Silla

Three Kingdoms | Goguryeo

Goguryeo

Up to Index


Joseon Dynasty


Joseon Dynasty

Joseon Dynasty

history of Korea | Joseon Dynasty | society

Society

history of Korea | Goryeo Dynasty |  culture

Culture

history of Korea | Joseon Dynasty | power

Power

Joseon Dynasty | T'aejo

Power: T’aejo

Up to Index

Joseon Dynasty | Yeongjo

Power: Yeongjo

Japan's colonization of Korea

Power: Japan’s Colonization of Korea

history of Korea | Joseon Dynasty | economy

Economy


Modern Korea


Modern Korea

Modern Korea: Index

history of Modern Korea | power

Power

history of Modern Korea | Korean Independence Movement

Power: Korean Independence Movement

history of Modern Korea | division

Power: Division

Korean War

Korean War

history of Modern Korea | South Korea

South Korea

history of Modern Korea | North Korea

North Korea

Up to Index

Samples


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