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(EAST ASIA) 20th century korean history - Essay Example

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(EAST ASIA) 20th century korean history

The latter pulled out in failure in October of 1866.
Japan started its plans to have control over Korea in 1868 and was impliedly encouraged by the Americans and, in 1871, the United States government gave orders for its Asian naval war chests to occupy the island of Kanghwado in an attempt to compel Korea to open its ports. Despite their might, the American soldiers did not succeed in gaining entry and withdrew from Korean territory.
Japan finally got control of Kanghwado with full combat equipment on January 16, 1876. Under intimidation and vitiated consent, the Koreans were coerced to enter into a very one-sided treaty consisting of twelve articles all advantageous to the Japanese while onerous against the islanders. The pact gave what appeared to be a legal basis for Japan to win some more concessions in its favor. Gradually, Japan established further prominence and influence in Korea in 1881 when its Wonsan and Inch'on harbors were opened. As Japanese presence and supremacy became apparently burdensome, the Korean people started to differ in their inclinations. Some were against the corrupt foreign intervention while others were for reforms in the domestic landscape.
Divergent Thoughts
Koreans who were advocates of the theories and principles of Confucius despised the entry of foreigners including European capitalists. These idealists considered the intrusions disturbing and destructive. In the process, the Confucian creed followers initiated alliance with other ethics with whom they can work toward restoring Korean preeminence. At this point, there were already deprivations in spiritual, political and financial aspects. As a matter of fact, many local schools with Taewon-gun orientations were closed. The characteristics of this crusade were particularly pushed to deter and stop European traders from encroaching the local scene. One of the vehement proponents, Yi Hang-no crusaded to reform and stabilize the country politically and to fortify the capabilities and strengths of its defense. He counseled that Korea could keep foreign capitalism out and, along that struggle, avoid and prevent European influence. In the same vein, most of the Confucian leaders and followers expressed dislike over Chinese and Japanese policies.
On the other hand, another movement with a different approach was being hatched presumably to counter the Confucian advocates. In the undertaking, a goodwill mission was sent to Japan to learn new notions and institutions introduced from Europe. A literature was spread advising Koreans to adopt the innovations for the sake of the economy and the betterment of the national military supposedly in cooperation with China, Japan and the United States of America as balancing factors against Russia which was then expanding to the south. Further study groups were initiated by the conniving government to learn more institutions in Japan highlighting the fields of administration, military, education, industry and technology. The program also allowed a visit to China regarding the manufacture and handling of Western armaments.
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The Confucian clique immediately became aware of the strategy of those embracing foreign introductions. The ...Show more


Korea, just like most Asian countries, was plagued with the fangs of colonialist and imperialist powers either for political or economic motives or both. These were almost all throughout the nation's history among the remarkably evident of which was during the period spanning in the end term of the nineteenth century until the dawning of the twenty first.
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(EAST ASIA) 20th century korean history essay example
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