Korean Tonghak Rebellion

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4 Apr 2012
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Koreans Tonghak Rebellion during first Sino-Japanese War
+ economic hardship and rebellious persecution
+ treaties with foreign powers worsened conditions for ordinary people
+ Japan bought rice; profits from increases in prices went to middlemen, not producers.
+ Japan fishery companies invaded Korean coastal waters and their ships took over carrying trade
+ Droughts reduced tax revenues; state expenditures risen with payment of items to foreigners and
need to finance modern institutions (army)
+ desperate for increase -> government allowed tax collectors greater leeway in oppressing peasants
Tonghak petitioned government repeatedly for end to persecution and religious toleration
+ Choe Sihong, second patriarch
+ Tonghak launched an insurrection in 1894 -> mad at officials and determined to drive Min faction from
court.
+ rebellion also fueled by xenophobic reaction to presence of Japanese and other foreigners on Korean
soil and rejection of Christianity.
King Kojong asked China for help, losing confidence in his armys ability to repress Tonghak
rebels
+ Before China arrived, King Kojong reached an agreement with Tonghak leader, Chon Pongjun, to call
off the rebellion in return for religious toleration and allow Tonghak to administer their captured
territory.
Japan took opportunity to force a war on China by sending more troops and make harsh
demands
+ Japan attacked China without declaring war, surrounded Korean palace and kept King and Queen
under detention while the war continued.
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