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  1. History of Korea - Wikipedia › wiki › History_of_Korea

    The Lower Paleolithic era in the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria began roughly half a million years ago. The earliest known Korean pottery dates to around 8000 BC, and the Neolithic period began after 6000 BC, followed by the Bronze Age by 2000 BC, and the Iron Age around 700 BC.

  2. A Brief History of Korea - Local Histories › korea
    • Ancient Korea
    • The Silla in Korea
    • The Goryeo in Korea
    • The Joseon in Korea
    • Europeans Arrive Inkorea
    • The Colonial Period Inkorea
    • The Koreanwar
    • South Korea in The Late 20th Century
    • North Korea in The Late 20th Century
    • Korea in The 21st Century

    By 4000 BC there were stone age farmers living inKorea. By 1000 BC they had learned to use bronze. By about 300 BC they hadlearned to use iron to make tools and weapons. At first, Korea was divided intotribes but eventually organized kingdoms emerged. There were 3 of them,Goguryeo in the north and Silla and Baekje in the south. According to legendSilla was founded in 57 BC by Bak Hyeokgeose, Jumong founded Goguryeo in 37 BCand Onjo founded Baekje in 18 BC. In reality, the 3 kingdoms emerged laterbetween the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. These 3 kingdoms were heavily influencedby Chinese civilization. By the 4th century they were highlycivilized. The three kingdoms of Korea fought for supremacy. Chinatried to defeat the northern kingdom of Goguryeo twice. Both times they weredefeated by General Eulji Mundeok. However the Chinese then made an alliancewith the Silla kingdom against the other two. The Baekje kingdom was defeatedby 660 AD and became part of Silla. Goguryeo followed in 668. K...

    Although Korea was united under one monarch it wasstill largely a tribal society. This was underlined by the existence of thehwabaek. Originally they were a council of tribal leaders. Later they were acouncil of nobles and they had the power to decide who succeeded to the throne. Korean society was strictly hierarchical. Most of the population were serfs andeven the nobility was divided into ranks. Following the Chinese example, auniversity was formed where Confucian classics were taught. (You had to be ofnoble birth to study there). There were also civil service exams following theChinese model. (Again only those of noble birth could take them). Buddhism wasintroduced into Korea in the 4th century AD and soon many Buddhist temples werebuilt. In the late 8th century AD the Silla kingdom beganto break down. There were fights over the succession to the throne. Moreover,local warlords began to break away from the government in the capital,Gyeongju, and formed their own states. One warl...

    The Goryeo kingdom was faced with aggressiveneighbors. A people called the Jurchens conquered north China and frequentlyfought the Koreans. Then China fell to the Mongols. They soon turned theirattention to Korea and they invaded in 1231. The Korean royal family fled tothe island of Ganghwa. The Mongols were unable to take the island but theywere able to rampage throughout mainland Korea. However the Koreans fought backand the Mongols were never able to completely subdue Korea. Finally in 1258 theKorean royal family surrendered. They were allowed to remain as puppetrulers. In the 13th century the Chinese philosophy calledNeo-Confucianism arrived in Korea. This was also an age when exquisite celadonpottery was made. A man named Kim Bu-sik wrote a history of Korea calledSamguk Sagi, The History of the Three Kingdoms. However, the Goryeo dynasty wasin decline. In 1392 a General named Yi Seong-gye was ordered to lead an armyagainst the Ming rulers of China. Instead, he turned against hi...

    The king moved the capital to Hanseong (Seoul) in1394. Under the Yi rulers Confucianism was made the official religion of Korea.Buddhism lost its influence. In 1443 king Sejong created a native Koreanalphabet. In Korea there was a class of scholar-officialscalled the yangban. In order to join the civil service or to become an armyofficer, you had to pass certain exams in Confucian thought. In order to takethe exams, you had to be the son of a yangban. So the scholar-official classwas hereditary. Below the yangban were a class of clerks and specialists likedoctors and accountants. They were called the jungin (middle-men). Below themWas the great mass of Korean society called the yangmin. They were peasants,craftsmen, and merchants. Certain trades such as butchers, tanners andentertainers were outcasts. At the bottom of the pile were slaves. Japan invaded Korea in 1592. They prevailed on landbut at sea, they were defeated by Admiral Yi Sun-sin. The Japanese were forcedto withdraw. The...

    During the 19th century Korea adopted anisolationist policy. The Koreans refused to trade with Westerners. At first,this policy was successful. Some French priests were killed in Korea in 1866.The French sent a gunboat to avenge them but they were driven off by Koreanshore defenses. In 1871 Koreans burned a US ship called General Shermanwhich came to plunder the coast. The USA sent ships to Korea but they too werefought off. However Korea's policy of isolation meant she fell behind othercountries in technology and industry. After 1880 king Gojong attempted reform.In 1882 he introduced the slogan 'eastern ethics, western technology' but hismeasures were unpopular and were resisted by conservative officials and by theordinary people. Confucianism was a very conservative religion or philosophyand made radical change difficult. Until 1876 Japanese merchants were only allowed totrade in Busan. In that year they forced the Koreans to sign a treaty of tradeand friendship. (King Gojong real...

    The Japanese turned Korea into a colony to supplyJapan with food. However, they also built bridges, railways, and roads. TheJapanese also built many factories in Korea. The urban population grew rapidlyalthough Korea remained predominantly agricultural. Nevertheless, Japanese rulewas repressive. In 1919 many Koreans took part in peaceful demonstrations forindependence. The Japanese responded by arresting and executing thousands ofpeople. Afterwards they made some small reforms. TheKoreans were allowed to print newspapers and hold meetings. They were alsogranted religious freedom and more respect was shown to Koreancustoms. However all these reforms were superficial and inthe 1930s the Japanese tried to assimilate the Koreans by persuading them toadopt Japanese names. From 1938 education was only in Japanese. Schoolchildrenwere forbidden to speak Korean. The Japanese also tried to persuade the Koreansto adopt Shinto (the Japanese national religion) without much success. DuringWorld W...

    Even before the war ended Russia and the USA hadagreed that after the war Korea would be divided into two zones, Russian andAmerican. In August 1945 Russian troops entered the north. In September, afterthe Japanese surrender, American troops landed in the south. Korea was dividedin two along an imaginary line, the 38th parallel. It was originally intendedthat the two zones would eventually be united into one. Of course, that did nothappen. With the onset of the cold war, the divide between them hardened. TheRussians installed a communist government in the north and in the south, agovernment was elected in 1948. Korea became two countries, one Communist, and oneDemocratic. The North Korean army invaded the south on 25 June1950. They quickly drove south and captured Seoul. The UN Security Councilinvited members to help the south. US troops arrived on 30 June but they wereforced to withdraw into the area around Busan. The first British troops arrivedin Korea on 29 August 1950. On 15 Se...

    Democracy did not flourish in South Korea in the1950s. The president, Syngman Rhee used a national security law of 1949 toclose newspapers and imprison critics. However, his administration was corruptand by 1960 it was facing growing economic problems. In 1960 riots by studentsforced Rhee to resign. Faced with inflation, unemployment and continuing riotsthe army staged a coup in 1961. General Park Chung-hee became ruler.

    In stark contrast is North Korea. After Russiantroops occupied the north a communist government was installed. Kim Il Sung wasmade a ruler. Like many dictators, he created a 'cult of personality' by erectingstatues of himself everywhere. Schoolchildren were taught to see him as thefount of all wisdom. In fact, he created a very repressive regime. Religiousbelief was outlawed and the people strictly controlled. Today North Korea isthe last Stalinist regime in the world. With a great deal of Russian aid, NorthKorea was transformed from a poor agricultural country into an industrialone. However in the mid 1970s the economy began tostagnate and North Korea was overtaken by the south. Furthermore, North Koreawas harmed by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Kim Il Sung died in 1994 butwas succeeded by his son. In effect, the Communists have created a newdynasty. Kim Jong-Il. He died in 2011 and he was followed by his son Kim Jong Un. In the late 1990s a severe famine occurred in NorthKorea...

    In 2008 a woman named Yi So Yeon became the first Korean to travel in space. Then in 2013 Park Geun Hye became the first woman president of South Korea. In 2018 there was a thaw in relations between North and South Korea. Today the population of North Korea is 25 million while the population of South Korea is 51 million. A brief history of Japan A brief history of China A brief history of Vietnam A brief history of Cambodia A brief history of Laos A brief history of Indonesia Home Last revised 2019

  3. South Korea - HISTORY › topics › korea

    HISTORY OF KOREA Around A.D. 668, several competing kingdoms were unified into a single dominion on the Korean Peninsula. Successive regimes maintained Korean political and cultural independence...

  4. Timeline of Korean history - Wikipedia › wiki › Timeline_of_Korean_history

    Establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with Kim Il-sung as Premier. 1949: The murder of Kim Gu. Kim Gu was a Korean independence activist who believed in, and fought for, a unified Korea. He strongly objected to the formation of a separate South Korean state.

  5. A Brief History of Korea: Isolation, War, Despotism and ... › Brief-History-Korea-Isolation

    Exploring Korean history from its ancient roots to the present day, A Brief History of Korea is the story of a people with a rich and united culture that has become two Koreas in modern times—one isolated and secretive and the other among the world's most successful economies. Korean culture developed on a 600-mile-long peninsula, bordered on ...

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    • Michael J. Seth
    • Michael J. Seth
  6. BRIEF HISTORY OF KOREA JJK reformat › images › pdf

    This is a revised, updated version of my booklet, Brief History of Korea, published in 1994 by the Korean Educational Development Institute in Seoul. It is an outgrowth of my lectures to English-speaking students, teachers and writers who have had little or no prior exposure to Korean history and culture. It

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  7. South Korea - History | Britannica › place › South-Korea

    The First Republic, established in August 1948, adopted a presidential system, and Syngman Rhee was subsequently elected its first president. South Korea also adopted a National Security Law, which effectively prohibited groups that opposed the state or expressions of support for North Korea.

  8. History of Korea - New World Encyclopedia › entry › History_of_Korea
    • Overview
    • Prehistory
    • Gojoseon
    • North and South States
    • Japanese Occupation
    • Notes
    • References

    The History of Korea stretches from Lower Paleolithic times to the present. The earliest known Korean pottery dates to around 8000 B.C.E., and the Neolithic period began before 6000 B.C.E., followed by that Bronze Age around 2500 B.C.E. The Gojoseon (Old Joseon) kingdom, founded in 2333 B.C.E., eventually stretched from the peninsula to much of Manchuria. By the third century B.C.E., it disintegrated into many successor states. In the early years of the Common Era, the Three Kingdoms (Goguryeo, Silla, and Baekje) conquered other successor states of Gojoseon and came to dominate the peninsula and much of Manchuria. During that period, Koreans played an important role as a transmitter of cultural advances, aiding the formation of early Japanese culture and politics. Census records from early Japan show that most Japanese aristocratic clans traced their lineage to the Korean peninsula. The Japanese Emperor stated that "it is recorded in the Chronicles of Japan that the mother of Empero...

    Main article: Prehistory of Korea Archaeological evidence shows that hominids first inhabited the Korean Peninsula 700,000 years ago, though some North Koreans claim it may have been inhabited for 1,000,000 years. Tool-making artifacts from the Paleolithic period (700,000 B.C.E. to 40,000 B.C.E.) have been found in present-day North Hamgyong, South P'yongan, Gyeonggi, and north and south Chungcheong Provinces. The people lived as cave dwellers and built homes, using fire for cooking food and warmth. They hunted, gathered and fished with stone tools.

    Main articles: Gojoseon, Dangun According to legend, Korea's first kingdom, Dangun founded Gojoseon (then called Joseon), in 2333 B.C.E., in southern Manchuria and northern Korean peninsula. By 2000 B.C.E., painted designs evidence a new pottery culture in Manchuria and northern Korea.

    Post-668 Silla kingdom is often referred to as Unified Silla, though the term North-South States, in reference to Balhae, is also used.

    In 1910 Japan effectively annexed Korea by the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty. Japan still asserts the legality of the treaty, while Korea has declared the treaty invalid since Emperor Gojong never applied the royal seal as required. Japan violated international convention by extorting Korea's compliance to the treaty. Japan controlled Korea under a so-called Governor-General of Korea until Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces, on August 15, 1945, with de jure sovereignty passing from Joseon Dynasty to the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Korea constructed European-styled transport and communication networks across the nation. That facilitated Japanese exploitation, but modernization had little if any effect on the Korean people. Japan utilized the modernization of Korea to enhance colonial control, serving Japanese trade and consolidating control of Korea. The Japanese removed the Joseon hierarchy, destroyed Gyeongbokgungpalace, and revamped Korea's t...

    ↑ Byeon (1999), 27. Byeon explains that the lower layers of Seokjangni and other sites have been dated to 600,000-500,000 B.C.E., and that the discovery of yet older layers at a site in Damyang Cou...
    ↑ Go-ChosonRetrieved February 19, 2013.
    ↑ Jonathan Watts, The emperor's new roots The Guardian, December 28, 2001. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
    ↑ Chang-Gyun Han. 2002 한국의 선사시대에 대한 북한 고고학계의 동향과 시각-구석기시대와 신석기시대를 중심으로- "Trend and Perspective of Korean Prehistoric Study in North Korea."한국고대사연구 (25) (March): 5-27. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
    Diamond, Jared. Japanese Roots, Discover19:6 (June 1998). Retrieved February 19, 2013.
    Han, Chang-Gyun. 한국의 선사시대에 대한 북한 고고학계의 동향과 시각-구석기시대와 신석기시대를 중심으로- Trend and Perspective of Korean Prehistoric Study in North Korea.한국고대사연구 (25) (March 2002): 5-27 (in Korean)
    Henthorn, William E. A History of Korea. New York: Free Press, 1974. ISBN 978-0029146101
    Hulbert, Homer B., and Clarence Norwood Weems. History of Korea. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962. ASIN B000PC3KY6
  9. Korean culture developed on a 600-mile-long peninsula, bordered on the north by mountains and thExploring Korean history from its ancient roots to the present day, A Brief History of Koreais the story of a people with a rich and united culture that has become two Koreas in modern times--one isolated and secretive and the other among the world's most successful economies.

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  10. Korean History and Political Geography | Asia Society › education › korean-history-and
    • Korea Before The Twentieth Century
    • Divided Korea and The Korean War
    • The Two Koreas
    • The Korean Diaspora

    Settled, literate societies on the Korean peninsula appear in Chinese records as early as the fourth century BCE. Gradually, competing groups and kingdoms on the peninsula merged into a common national identity. After a period of conflict among the “Three Kingdoms”—Koguryo in the north, Paekche in the southwest, and Silla in the southeast—Silla defeated its rivals and unified most of the Korean peninsula in 668 CE. Korea reached close to its present boundaries during the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392), from which its Western name “Korea” is derived. The succeeding Choson Dynasty (1392-1910) further consolidated Korea’s national boundaries and distinctive cultural practices. Within Korea there are some regional differences expressed in dialect and customs, but on the whole regional differences are far outweighed by an overall cultural homogeneity. Unlike China, for example, regional dialects in Korea are mutually intelligible to all Korean speakers. The Korean language is quite distinct fr...

    The surrender of Japan to the allies at the end of World War II resulted in a new and unexpected development on the Korean peninsula: the division of Korea into two separate states, one in the North (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, D.P.R.K.) and one in the South (the Republic of Korea, R.O.K.). In the final days of the war, the United States and the Soviet Union had agreed to jointly accept the Japanese surrender in Korea, with the U.S.S.R. occupying Korea north of the 38th parallel and the U.S. occupying south until an independent and unified Korean government could be established. However, by 1947, the emerging Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, combined with political differences between Koreans of the two occupation zones and the policies of the occupation forces on the ground, led to a breakdown in negotiations over a unified government of Korea. On August 15, 1948, a pro-U.S. government was established in Seoul, and three weeks later a pro-Sovi...

    Since 1953, North and South Korea have evolved from a common cultural and historical base into two very different societies with radically dissimilar political and economic systems. The differences between North and South Korea today have little to do with pre-1945 regional differences between northern and southern Korea. North Korea has been heavily influenced by Soviet/Russian culture and politics as well as those of China. It has developed a self-styled politics of juche (“self-reliance”) based on economic and political independence, having a highly centralized political system with a “Great Leader” at its apex (Kim Il Sung until his death in 1994, his son Kim Jong Il since then) and a command economy. North Korea developed into perhaps the most isolated and controlled of all communist states, and even 10 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, showed little sign of political and economic liberalization despite severe economic hardship. South Korea, on the other hand, has b...

    In addition to the 46 million people in South Korea and 23 million in the North, some 6 to 7 million people of Korean descent, or approximately 10 percent of the population of the two Koreas combined, live outside the Korean peninsula. In proportion to the population of the home country, the Korean “diaspora” comprises one of the largest groups of emigrants from anywhere in Asia. The largest communities of overseas Koreans are in China (two million), the United States (over one million), Japan (700,000), and the former Soviet Union (450,000), mostly in the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The Korean diaspora is distinctive both for its relative size and the fact that it is almost entirely a twentieth-century phenomenon, with the exception of Koreans in China and Russia, who began to immigrate there in large numbers in the 1860s. There were no Koreans in U.S. territory until after 1900, and most Koreans in Japan today are, or are descendants of, immigrants who ca...

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