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Chapter 21

Chapter 21 Korea in the Turbulent Nineteenth Century.docx

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East Asian Studies
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Chapter21KoreaintheTurbulentNineteenth Century(1800-1895) Politics and Society under consort rule New Social Policies - Because of social dislocations, new diseases, flood exacerbated by deforestation… - Population dropped In 1801(liberalization of the slave system) - The dowager regent released most of the sixty-seven thousand official slaves, while retaining those slaves working in local offices - Many government slaves had already gained their freedom either through military service or purchase, and the remainder no longer worked for the government - But mostly yangban slave masters retained their power until the dynasty itself was near its end - Sent Christians into exile, Chong Tasan wrote several treatises proposing reforms in local administration and the penal system Social Ferment and Popular Culture th - 19 century, no longer dominated by men of yangban origin, new ideas that reied to make sense of society and promote reform were propagated by men of intermediate statues Economic Developments and Rebellion - Peasants adopted a number of strategies for survival; when these failed or when officials proved rapacious, they rebelled - 2 survival strategies 1. Kye: voluntary organization that promoted mutual assistance  Provided a mechanism for people to pool funds and take turns using the capital  Functions in the modern Korea, provide a means of women to gain access to credit, and in overseas communities where immigrants lack access to banks 2. Planting New World crops and opening marginal fields th - Rebellions constitute the chief indicators of social unrest un 19 century - A major rebellion led by fallen yangban and professional geomancer Hong Kyongnae broke out in the northwest P’yong an province in 1811 - In 1862, the government’s failure to solve the problems of maladministration in the land tax, military cloth tax, and grain relief and loan systems provided the main cause for a series of rebellions throughout the country Ch’oe and the Tonghak Religion - A more lasting response to social dislocation came in the form of new religion - Tonghak Religion: combined Confucian ethics with Buddhist faith, Taoist naturalism and longevity, etc, supposed to represent Korean thought as a counterpoise to Western learning or Christianity Attempts at Reform and External Pressure (1864-1894) th - 1864 marks a divide in Korea’s 19 century - Taewongun tried to revive dynastic power and the Korean state by pursuing a course of domestic reform and foreign isolationism  Abolished the majority of private academies in the provinces  Persecuted Korean Catholics for suspected treasonous collaboration with foreigners  Minted the first multiple-denomination coin in Korean history  Resisted Western and foreign demands for treaties and trade Military Pressure from the West - Western powers tried to change the Taewongun’s isolationist stance - Memorial recommended that Korea concentrate on building advanced cannon and sea mines and distribut
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