Korean Modern History Timeline

  • Period: to

    Joseon Dynasty

    Exact time period: 1392-1897
  • First Westerners step into Korea

    Father Gregorio de Cespedes was the first westerner that Stepped into Korea. He was a Spanish Jesuit priest
  • Catholic movement

    Catholic movement
    More than 23000 converts by 1865
  • Russia became Korea's neighbor

    Upon Russia acquiring Maritime Province from China, Russia's geographic territory became even closer to Korea. This increase the threat of Russia occupying Korea
  • King Kojong was made the King (1864-1907)

    King Kojong was made the King (1864-1907)
    Taewǒn'gun relinquished control of the country to his son
  • Persecution of 8,000 Korean converts and 9 french missionaries

    Persecution of 8,000 Korean converts and 9 french missionaries
    From 1866 to 1867, Under the xenophobic regent, the king, Taewǒn'gun ("Prince of the Great Court”), persecuted catholics convert and missionaries
  • Signed the Treaty of Kanghwa with Japan.

    Under the threat of Japanese gunboat diplomacy, Kojong's government reluctantly signed the Treaty of Kanghwa with Japan. In 1871, Taewǒn'gun repulsed an American naval expedition to Kanghwa Island. Moreover, before 1876 Land and seacoast boarders were sealed with an isolationalist policy. This was a huge move to open up their boarders.
  • Founding of the first modern schools for boys and girls in Seoul by protestant missionaries

    Founding of the first modern schools for boys and girls in Seoul by protestant missionaries
    • The schools were the mentoring grounds for a large number of leaders who would later distinguish themselves in the national independence movement
    • As a result of these actions by the protestants, South Korea is the leading protestant nation in East Asia
  • Reforms for the "self-strengthening" and "enlightenment" of the country

    King Kojong tried to implement reforms for the "self-strengthening" and "enlightenment" of the country. He also keep a keen interest in establishing diplomatic ties with the United States in hope to fend off the growing Russian threat
  • Soldiers Riot

    Soldiers Riot
    • a violent military uprising of conservative soldiers who felt threatened by foreign practices and political norms
    • Qing China used this incident as an excuse to intervene in Korean affairs militantly for the first time since 1636
      • dispatched a large-scale expedition to restore order to seoul
      • unilaterally forced an unequal trade agreement on Korea, taking upon itself to appoint foreign affairs advisers to the Korean King *sent 3000 strong chinese garrison force to Seoul
  • Korean-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce signed

    Korea signed their first treaty with the Western power with America, followed by subsequent treaties with Great Britain and Germany in 1883, Italy and Russia in 1884, France in 1886, Austria-Hungary in 1892 and Denmark in 1902.
  • Kapsin Political Turbulence

    • Due to the Chinese intervention, members of the Enlightenment party staged a coup d’état against the Chinese dominated regime
    • Aborted after 3 days due to the mobilisation of the chinese garrison forces and reneging of the aid promised byJapanese Minister’s officer
  • Signing of the Li-Itō convention in Tianjin

    Signing of the Li-Itō convention in Tianjin
    • In this agreement, both china and Japan consented to withdraw their troops and military advisors from korea
  • Yaun Shi Kai as Chinese “resident” in Seoul

    Yaun Shi Kai as Chinese “resident” in Seoul
    Appointment of Yaun Shi Kai as Chinese “resident” in Seoul to oversee Korea’s internal and external affairs
  • Diplomatic legation

    Between 1885 to 1888 Korea established diplomatic legations in Tokyo and Washington, DC, respectively.
  • Tonghak-affiliated peasant uprising

    • Japan used this opportunity to involve themselves again in the affairs of korea
    • sent military expedition to Korea
    • Prompted China to defend their interests in Korea
  • Kabo Reforms

    Kabo Reforms
    • initiated during the war by Korean officials receptive to modern ideas
    • attempted to make major institutional changes that were regarded as crucial for Korea’s survival
      • discarded traditional Chinese style bureaucratic system
        • govt. structure reorganised according to Western and Japanese models
      • Discarded delineation between the Yangban and commoners together with slavery
  • Kabo Reform

    Kabo Reform
    • Modern military and police systems instituted * bolster the authority of the newly organised central govt.
      • Monetary and taxation systems were modelled after western counterparts
      • introduced modern judicial system
      • Introduced modern educational institutions
        • discarded traditional Confucian academies
  • Sino Japanese War

    Sino Japanese War
  • Period: to

    Sino-Japanese war

    • Major turning point in Modern Korean and East Asian history
    • Chinese lost this war
    • Balance of power in Korea tilted decisively in favour of Japan
  • Assassination of Queen Min

    Assassination of Queen Min
    • the assassination was an effort to maintain Japan’s power in Korea
      • Queen Min was pro-Russian and Pro-American
  • Fleeing of King Kojong

    Fleeing of King Kojong
    • King Kojong fled from Japan controlled palace to the Russian legation
    • Korea temporarily run from the Russian legation and under Russian supervision
  • Founding of the Independence Club

    Founding of the Independence Club
    • founded by So Chae-Oil
    • main reason for founding was frustration with the Emperor
    • Became the voice of reform inKorean society
      • demanded changes in government similar to those outlined in the Kabo reforms
  • Declaration of Korea as an empire

    Declaration of Korea as an empire
    • King Kojong declared himself an emperor and Korea as an Empire
    • was a desperate effort by a ruler with no direction nor competent advisors
  • Period: to

    Korean Empire

  • Emperor disbanded Independence lub

    • mobilised soldiers and mobsters and strong-armed the demonstrators
    • This decision proved to be self defeating as the emperor quenched the only political body capable of reviving the Choson Dynasty
  • Russo-Japanese war

    Russo-Japanese war
  • Period: to

    Russo-Japanese war

    • Japan Provoked the war because it wanted to be the only world power tohave a boise in Korean politics
    • After defeating the Russians, Japan imposed a protectorate treaty on the helpless Korean government
  • Aftermath of Russo Japanese war, Korea henceforth became a Japanese Protectorate

  • Renewing of the Anglo Japanese Alliance

    • GB’s way of upholding Japan’s expansionist policy toward Korea
  • Signing of the Secret Taft-Katsura Agreement

    • USA way of upholding Japan’s expansionist policy towards Korea
  • Formation of “Righteous Armies” and it’s resistance

    Formation of “Righteous Armies” and it’s resistance
    • Patriotic Koreans demonstrated against the protectorate treaties
    • formed a volunteer force of guerrilla fighters who harassed the Japanese aggressors
    • 20,000 volunteers died in fighting the Japanese military from
  • Period: to

    Decline of the Choson Dynasty

    • This resistance did little to stymie Choson dynasty’s recline
  • Formal colony of Japanese empire

    Significance: First time in Korea's history that entire country and Koreans were subjugated under alien rule Bitter pill for the Koreans to swallow as they had considered Japanese as culturally inferior
  • Period: to

    Japanese Rule

  • Period: to

    Phase 1: Harsh Military Rule

    A period where military had jurisdiction to carry out civil laws
    What it meant for the people: Deprivation of basic civil freedom
  • Retaliation

    March 1st 1919, people retaliated against Japanese rule
  • Period: to

    Phase 2: Colonial rule

    Korean government allowed people a degree of freedom of expression and assembly
    New Korea society: comprised of both rightists and leftists nationalists
  • Clandestine Korean Communist Party in Seoul

    Clandestine Korean Communist Party in Seoul
    Seoul Imperial university six private colleges built with public and private funding
  • Korean Manpower exploited to support Manchurian War

    Korean Manpower exploited to support Manchurian War
  • Period: to

    Rise of Communist Yenan Faction

    Compromised of Korean Expatriates in China Yenan Faction fought alongside Mao's Red Army in Northwestern China Partisan Faction: conducted guerrilla attacks against Japanese Kwantung Army in Southwestern Manchuria after 1932, where one of its leaders included Kim Il-Sung, future leader of North Korea The Partisan Faction sought refuge from Kwantung Army in Russian Maritime Province and received special training
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    Phase 3: Return of Draconian Rule

    Korean manpower heavily exploited to support war efforts Implications for the people:
    Forced to adopt Japanese names and Japanese language, illegal to use their own language Forced to worship at Shinto shrines Outcome:
    Fueled national sentiments among Koreans
  • Korean Manpower exploited to support Mainland China

  • Korean Manpower exploited to support war Pacific War

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    38th Parallel

    Korea divided at the 38th Parallel into two military zones Disagreement between the Soviets and Americans on which Korean political group should be consulted to create the new Korean government
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    United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK) on the Korean Peninsula

    September 1947 Disagreement presented before United Nations. The Soviet union refused to cooperate with the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK) on the Korean Peninsula, leading to the elections being held only in South Korea, with Syngman Rhee declared as First President of Republic of Korea on 15 August 1948. The United States recognized the ROK on 1 January 1949 and withdrew its troops from the peninsula by late June of that year.