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Department
Korean
Course
KOREA 101R
Professor
Young Gon Kim
Semester
Winter

Description
The Founding of the Choson (Yi) Dynasty  Yi Song-gye a deputy commander (one of two who became famous in late Koryo) 1388 Ming dynasty said they wanted claim over Koryos NE territory  Ch’oe Yong was against Mings but Yi was pro-Ming policy – Yi ousted king Ch’oe Yong from power, seizing political control himself  This is the overthrow of Koryo and beginning of Yi dynasty  Yi carried out sweeping land reform- advocated by the new literati class – literati reform advocated were adherents of neo-Confucianism- opposed powerful families and Buddhist establishment- both on ideological grounds and because their estates and money were undermining the nations economic foundations  1390 – land relocated as either public or for the literati and new Yi class all other land was state land this killed the powers of those in the koryo empire and effectively destroyed the dynasty  state land brought increase in revenues  Moved capital to Seoul The Culture of the New Literati Class  Neo-Confusionism is a philosophical confusionism that explains the origons of man and the universe in metaphysical terms  Political ethics stress the mutual relationship of ruler and subject- rejects all other teachings  New literati made neo-confusionsm  Attacked Buddhism- said destructive for family morals and state  Korean history is all from this generations perspective- it really stressed the peoples suffering and since it started with Tan’gun it showed that b/c of the mongules raids they wanted to be seen as a distinct race- with their own origin Creation of the Yangban Society  Military strength is the reason Ti Song-gye was able to take over Korea and create his new Yi dynasty as King T’aejo, 1392-1389  Nature of Yangban = how they lived  1) devoted themselves to study of confusionism – self cultivation – Koryo dynasty followed Buddhism but by end it was very corrupt with Buddhist monks- Confucianism stresss loyalty to state and parents - Yan-Bhan claim their job in that society is to teach Confucianism and confusion morals to better themselves and others  Confusionism- religion- they imported it. And tried to preserve it they didn’t feel like they could change it- maybe if they had made it they could change it but they became very rigid  Neo- Confusionism- practicle study- practicle politics- prodecution- they despised working with their hands thy just wanted to think- very theoretical- studied classics and literally works- wanted to become gov. officals through state service examination  Focus was natural order of the universe- belived in their confusion system and rules of the universe-  2) their quest was to become government officals - Yan-bhan group different b/c they gained their political power through their famility- but they gained their positions through their knowledge and ability  But also is the literati didn’t give him support he wouldn’t have succeeded  In Yi’s early years the men of literati background wielded paramound power from their Privy Council- While Yi played back role- they set out law infused with Confusionism ideology  Yi’s youngest son killed Koryo empires heir and abolished private armies, centeralized military control (1400-1418) King T’aejong  His successor Sejong (1418-1450) got scholars in ‘ hall of worthies’ to study the ancient statues and instatutions of china as the basis of which he would reorganize political structure of Choson  Usurper of the throne Sejo (1455-1468) reaction against the influence of the scholars in the ‘hall of worthies’  He too tried to create a statutory code that would define the structure of the Choson government- producing the National Code  The literati were the dominant social class of the Choson dynasty – they were the ‘yangban’, members of the two orders of officialdom who served as civil or military officals- directed government economy and culture of choson  increased size of ruling class compared to older dynasties  increased the importance of state examination system  sole duty was to devote themselves exlusivly to the study of confusionsim doctrine- role was to fashion an ideal Confucian polity through the moral cultivation of Chosons people  technical posts, medical officer, translators/interpretors, astronomers, accountants, statue law clerks, scribes, artists, all possions were hereditary preserved of the ‘chungin’ middle class people  Yangban were elitest – had stratigies to protect their status and limit their numbers- they only married amongst themselves – lived in separate quarters of Seoul and in villages in country side  No distinctions btw yangban class itself- higher than military  Some people in yangban did have restrictions to civil office and accsess – because they were second wife relations  Those in northern offices to gain appointment to the higher offices – preserve yangban society not dilute or over populate Administrative structure of Yangban Bureaucratic Society  Highest organ of Choson was State council  Yangban means two orders of officials – two groups of government officals- one is civil officers other is military  Joint decisions were made by three high state counvillors  Six main ministries- Personnel, Taxation, Rites, Military, Punishments, Public Works  Problems could be laid before king though so state council gradually declined in authority  Samsa- office of special adviors for the king- authored major state documents- searched out admin and legal precedents  Office of Censor General examined and censored when necessary the conduct of the king himself  These two organs could also look into the background of people attempting to rise through the classes approval of their appointments?  Choson central gov. was designed to prevent power becoming over consentrated in any one segment of the structure- this sytem of checks and balences designed to prevent power becoming over concentrated in any one segment of the structure. The system however worked to well since often resulting in intrabeurocratic strife rendering the decision-making process dilatory and ineffective  Country was divided into 8 provinces and within provinces were counties  Governer was appointed to provinces and had jurisdiction over county magistrates  County magistrate also appointed by the central government so called shepard of the people- official who governed them directly actually to collect taxes so to more serve nation then people appointed for 5 yrs and couldn’t serve in his own local county- each local government had their own 6 cambers- discharged heridetarly  Military system chaotic since late Koryo- Yi T’aejo establishe the Three Armies Headquarters to assume control over the military apparatus  Personal armies were destroyed to create certalised military authority in hands of government in 1400’s  1455-1468 three armies headquarters were reorganized to five milirary commands headquarters by King Sejo  Provencial armies were more important to choson defense structure- each province had own naval and army command  3 kings of military men- combat soilders, labour batttalions and sailors who manned ships  garrison forces most important they were made of peasents – assigned to military service with rotation system – sustainers- men not on duty working on farms to sustain army – provisioners- supplying the conscription soldiers with a fixed amount of cotton cloth and being supported when they were called up  system of beacon fires to send messages of attack or peril quickly  yangban virtually monopolized the examinations leading to good jobs- two levels leading to civil office of exmas – the licentiate or lower level and the erudite or higher level 2 kinds- the classics licentiate examination that examined candidates on the four books and five classics of china and the literary licentiate exam that tested chinese literary composing forms  Military exams started at the end of the Koryo period continued into Yi dynasty  Also four Miscellanous Exams- in technical specialists, in foreign languages, medicine, astronomy and law- those who took degrees in these were employed in the appropriate government agencies Social and Economic Structure of Yangban Society  Rank land ( given by government ) was held hereditarly  Rank land turned to office land which was changed by 1466 Sejo- and land only went to office holders  The was abolished 1556 and officals were no longer given land but given saleries  State still collected rent from private and public land  Peasents tilled land- mastered a far better agriculture technology of this period than predecessors - Lives of peasent aggravated by elite- who kept owning more and more government land and these gov officals buying land were old military lords turned to civil officals  Used fertalizers and cultivated year after year b/c of this  Resouviors constructued for rice planting  Tried to develop seeds better for Europe  Position of peasents god better – significant number of independent peasents in this period – owner opperators who employed others to work for them  Typical peasent though still worked the field for yangban owned land – social status = freeborn commoner  Low born or out-resident slaves who tilled their owners lands – they were in charge of their own livelihood though and didn’t differ that much from peasents  Peasents were fixed to the land and couldn’t move if they wished – so they wouldn’t abandon and run away they had identification tags  b/c of two mid century 1450’s rebillions these laws around peasents ( Hop’ae) was strengthend  peasents were required to pay tax  production of cotton cloth was principal also paper and government arsalen makers ( weapons)  Six Lisensed Stores = silk, cottons, thread, paper goods, ramie cloth and fish products  Permanent markets began to develop early in the dynasty but these were suppressed since they were comprised of peasents who had run away  Two types of slaves: public slaves, owned by government and private slaves belonging to induviduals  One third of population slaves for much of Choson period  Paekchong- who worked in occupations like butchering, tanning and wickerwork hereditarily – lowborns- outcasts  Kisaeng- female entertainers- frequently taken by yangban as concubines/secondary wives  Female shamens/exorcists known as mudang Forgine Policey of Early Choson  Sadae- serving the great- as policey toward Ming dynasty in China  Every effort was made to have freiendly relationship  Embassies sent 4 times a year and whenever a ruler died with gifts ect  Also served as cultural borrowing and economic exchange  China got- horses, ginsing, furs, ramie cloth and straw hats Korea got- silk fabrics, meicines, books, and porcelain ware  Yi tried to have power up to the Tumen River- the native people there- Jurchen people called Yain or barbarians by the Koreans remained unruly  (1418-1450) King Sejong established 6 garrision fots in the NE thus making permanent the Tumen River boundary  wanted to extend defenses to the naturally formed rivers in north Yalu river  opened markets with Yain who needed Korean food, clothing, and other basic necessities  Piliging didn’t cease (1583) major rebellion broke out. Forts fell one after the other in North after uprising it was subdued by government  Choson sea needed to be watched too- threat by Jap marauders greatly subsided – pillaging still occurred from time to time – Japanese on Tsushima island counldnt make enough food on their rocky island- had to provide for themselves their by trade or forays against their neighbours  1419 Sejong sent military force to wipe out Tshushima  in end granted limited trading privilages- jap vessles could go into 3 ports  1510 jap rose in arms against Korean commanders after this trade was severed- in 1512 reestablished but with less allowed  While Choson enjoying simple life Japan was starting military attacks  b/c they were so concerned with China didn’t look at Jap- Jap was unified there was a strong military Man –Toyoto he finished internal military conflicts of the waring states  Japs said they wouldn’t attack Choson they’re gonna attack Ming- but they needed to go through Korea so they said they were just passing through but Choson knew this trick Yangban Beaurocratic culture  King Sejonh devise han’ gul – an indegiounous new alphabet for the Korean people – could control more people, instruct more people in Korean – easy to learn language writing so therefore far reaching 1466 – women used it to exchange letters and talk to one another- translate religious texts and text about farming and ect- write own history  Agriculture developed with help of instructural manules too  Astronomy, meterology and sciences related to agriculture also advanced – gauge and measure rainfall exp  Military technology imporved particularly cannon technology  Confusionism was paramount so Buddhism began to wither- T’aejo instituted a registration system to prevent the monk population from increasing and he banned any new founding temples – his son T’aejong was even worse- inaugurated a severe suppression of Buddhism, leaving only 242 temples and dismembering the rest (1406) confiscated lands and slaves  Buddhism could never recover – brief revivle brought because of personal faith of Sejong and Sejo kings but under Songjong (1469-1494) and Chungjong (1506-1545) further harsh measures were taken  Queen Dowang Munjong (1545-1567) gave responsibilities and rights to a certain monk and encouraged Buddhism but after she died it suffered repression and became a faith primarly practiced by women Emergence of Neo-Confucian Literati  Younger men highly successful in state civil service examinations – committed to abstract doctrines of Neo-Confucianism  Some feel rural neo-confusionism literati known as Sarim emeraged into political prominence through the civil exmas and repetadly attacked the power holding meritorioud elite and by last quarter of 16 cent they succsseeded in taking dominant political power into their own hands  But really the term sarim defines and attitude or political posture rather than one of two opposing socio political forces  The first literati purge was ‘history purge of 1498’  Yonsang ‘gun 1498 was king atticted to luxury and was squandering money tried to take land back from elite to pay depts. After 2 years of whimsicle and gruesome terror the king was removed from the throne by oppertunists who had survived his purges and replaced by Chungjong (1506-1544)  New king respected views of literati officals very attached and belived in neo- confusionism – inforced ‘village contract’ a mode of local self governing meant to give justice to all  Literati Purges, all four, were consequences of factional struggle for political power – young neo-confusionsm men wanted to use it to clense the government, politically ambious, and also rid it of their political rivals  Political battle was on each occasion lost- the ideological war was gradually but ultimately was won  Choson dynasty phenomenom was the Sowon- private academics- had existed at end of the Koryo- private schools dedicated to worthies of an earlier period now appeared for the first time  Sowon sprung up everywhere and by the end of Sonjo’s reign in 1608 they already numbered more than one hundred  State would give them grants and tax-free land and slaves  Village contract (hyangyak) made after neo-confusionism emphasized- mutual encouragement of morality, mutual supervision of wrong conduct, mutual decorum in social relaionships, and mutual succor in times of disaster/hardship  Fractunal Strife began in 1575- with conflict btw two segments of officialdom- original strife was for powerful middle class position- and then yangban beaurocrats take positions – two franctions known as easterners and westerners – fractanal strife carried on over generations- wont end in single event Struggle against Japanese and Manchurians  Mid 16 century (1500s) - korea suffered sporadic attacks on its costs by the Japanese – created Border Defense Council- Yangban not use to conflict only took temporary measures  Toyotomi Hideyoshi cured japans inner strife so he tried to attack ming dynasty through korea  1592 japs landed in big numbers in Pusan- launched attack north towards Seoul  Kings court took flight to Yalu River further north  Population was infuriated with the governments incompetence and irresponsibility  Slaves set fire to documents- two sons were suppose to gather fresh troops found no one responding to their calls and were captured by japs  People felt government officals failed to concern themselves with safety of the people  Yi Sun sin 1545-1598 gained control of sea for korea he was a naval commander therefore the japs were unable to move north by sea and link with their land armies, jap supply routes were cut and the grain rich reigon of cholla prov. Remained in Korean hands  On land guerrilla forcd (uibyong/ righteous armies) sprang up on all sides and took arms to defend their homes – normally indifferent and didn’t respond to armies original calls – the guerrilla leaders were generally neo-confucian literati of high repute with locals  Bands of Buddhist monks aswell- hit and run thursts of these units dealt severe blows to japanses military operations  Ming dynasty relief army arrives 50,000 strong  1593 Haengju important battle won by korea against jap invaders  Peace talks btw Ming and Jap became underway- and jap proceeded to withdraw all the way SE  These eventually ended – China also wanted resolved in their favour- offering some trade with Jap if they said Hideyoshi was the king  Hideyoshi responded with absurd purposal of for a daughter of the ming emperior and portion of korea and prince of korea sent to jap as a hostage  After end of peace talks jap sent out another campaign in 1597- they didn’t gain much land at all since ming and korea was ready- and didn’t gain any sea progress at all either  In 1598 Jap got out of korea completely since Jap king had died  This was a 7 year struggle with japan and they pillaged and slaughtered a lot of korea- population decreased , famine and disease rose, loss of history, heavy taxes implemented, loss of government papers  During this time Jurchen people in Manchuria grew stronger- while Ming dy. Was busy with korea- they wanted to conquer ming and become masters of China  In japan new Tokugawa military regime established they wanted to create friendly relations with korea- 1609 entered into Tokugawa shogunate but anomisty remained  Jap stole Korean potters as POW and benifited a lot- also seized books which helped learning in Jap  Sonjo passed thrown to Kwanghaegun (1608-1623) – a monarch good with domestic and foreign affaires – rebuilt history archives, printed books and reinstates hop’ae indentification tags  The Koreans had to give soliders to Ming dynasty when Jurchen Manchus attacked Ming- 10,000 soliders were sent but with special instructions that when the tide changes they should surrender to the Jurchen thus diverting danger of Manchu punitive action against korea for the moment  He helped keep army strong aswell  He was forced out of the thrown by Westerners fraction to be succeeded by King Injo (1623-1649)  Injo didn’t wait like Kwan did but instead adopted a clear pro-ming and anti- manchu policey  Beginning of 1627 after some Koreans fled korea to Manchuria they conviced manchus to invade korea to write the wrong of Kwan being thrown from power  Manchus penetrated quickly well below P’yongyang south and Koreans sued for peace- and pledged o the Manchu throne as wold ayounger to and older brother – the manchus now withdrew  Manchus second invasion in 1636- when the Koreans refused to acknowledge Manchus suzerainty or power, korea was forced to sever all ties with Ming dynasty help Manchus take over Ming with support troops and send two oldest sons to Manchu to be hostages  Compared to the Jap war the Ch’ing invasion was of short duration but the north was heavily effected emotionally and physically Culture of Neo-Confusionism Literati  Because of the purges and fractional strifes led many in neo-confucian literati to abandon throught of careers in government an
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