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Chapter 23

EAS105H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 23: Independence Club, Developmentalism, Liberal Democracy

East Asian Studies
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Chapter 23 Modernizing Korea and Colonial Rule (1896-1945)
Attempts at Reform (1896-1910)
- Competition between Japan and Russia gave Koreans the opportunity to promote
reforms, nationalism, and modern modes of social interaction
Russias Interests
- Russia and Japan signed two agreements that granted Russia equal rights with Japan to
station legation guards and grant loans to the Korean government
They almost divided Korea into two spheres of influence
- Korean also signed a secret agreement in which Russia promised to protect King Kojong
and provide military and financial aid, since he escaped from Japanese control
- King Kojong began to lease rights to exploitation of natural resources
- After he returned to his palace in 1879, he changed the title of kingdom to The Great
Empire of Korea and adopted the title of emperor to put himself on par with Chinese,
Russian, and Japanese rulers
Nationalist Movements
- First national movements: as Korean struggled to find a national identity fir for the
modern age
- The new Independence Club demanded the dismissal of corrupt officials and strove to
educate people on the need to modernize the country
- Although the club was banned after 2 years, in inspired elite women to debate sexual
equality and education for women in the context of Korean nationalism
- Weaned from their addiction to Chinese culture, scholars studied Korean language,
history and literature
- A new Korea founded on principles of social equality, equality of men and women, and
replacement of superstition with rationality
The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
- Conflicts led Japan entered into an alliance with Great Britain
- Prevented Germany and France from supporting Russia in a repetition of the Triple
Intervention of 1895
- Opened war by Japan against Russia alone February 1904
- Japan established a protectorate over Korea
- Itos vision was to maintain an independent Korean government that would willingly
carry out institutional reforms under Japanese guidance he used Japanese police and
regular army units to maintain order while Emperor Kojong was left on the throne
- Emperor Kojong secretly sent messages to head of European states for help in gaining
independence, but Japan outmaneuvered it.
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