Download A Concise History of Modern Korea: From the Late Nineteenth by Michael J. Seth PDF

By Michael J. Seth

This complete and balanced background of contemporary Korea explores the social, monetary, and political concerns it has confronted due to the fact that being catapulted into the broader international on the finish of the 19th century. putting this previously insular society in a world context, Michael J. Seth describes how this historical, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society first fell sufferer to jap imperialist expansionism, after which was once arbitrarily divided in part after international conflict II. Seth strains the postwar paths of the 2 Koreas_with diverse political and social platforms and diverse geopolitical orientations_as they developed into sharply contrasting societies. South Korea, after an unpromising commence, turned one of many few postcolonial constructing states to go into the ranks of the 1st global, with a globally aggressive economic system, a democratic political procedure, and a sophisticated and dynamic tradition. in contrast, North Korea turned one of many world's so much totalitarian and remoted societies, a nuclear energy with an impoverished and famine-stricken inhabitants. contemplating the notably diverse and traditionally extraordinary trajectories of the 2 Koreas, Seth assesses the insights they give for knowing not just glossy Korea however the broader point of view of global historical past.

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They negotiated with the governors of Cho˘lla and Ch’ungcho˘ng provinces who agreed to stop the persecutions but explained they had no authority to exonerate their spiritual founder. Ch’oe Si-hyo˘ng then agreed to assemble with his believers outside the royal court at the Kwanghwa Gate in Seoul. Three days later, on March 31, a messenger vaguely promised their petition would be accepted if they dispersed and went home. But the persecution of members continued, and on the thirtieth anniversary of the execution, Ch’oe Si-hyo˘ng called a mass meeting in Poun in Ch’ungcho˘ng.

On August 29 the Japanese government issued edicts in the name of Emperors Meiji of Japan and Sunjong of Korea announcing the merger of the two countries. The Korean kingdom established in the seventh century and the Choso˘n dynasty that ruled it since 1392 came to an end. The Japanese takeover has been viewed by most Koreans as one of the two great tragedies of their modern history; the other being the division 36 Chapter 1 of the country. Could the colonization of Korea have been avoided? Historians often assign blame to the king, to recalcitrant conservatives, to a yangban elite that could not rise above self-interest, to mistakes by reformers.

Historians and political thinkers such as Pak U and Sin Ch’ae-ho (1880–1936) were reexamining Korea’s place in the world and what it meant to be Korean. In 1908, the young Sin published an especially important essay “A New Reading of History” (“Toksa Sillon”), in which he borrowed the concept of “folk” (Korean: minjok) from Japanese and Chinese writers and placed it at the center of history. The history of Korea became a history of a Korean people with their unique cultural tradition. Other scholars were standardizing and promoting the Korean alphabet, han’gu˘l, which was becoming a symbol of a modern, national identity.

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