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KOREA101R Study Guide - Final Guide: French America, Sarim, Righteous Army


Department
Korean
Course Code
KOREA101R
Professor
Young Gon Kim
Study Guide
Final

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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-

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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

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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
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