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According to legend, Korea was founded by Tan’Gun.
His father was a god, and his mother was a bear.
Another legend says that a descendant from the Chinese Han Dynasty founded Korea.
Like early Japan, many clans controlled different parts of Korea.
The Han empire conquered most of Korea in 108 B.C.
They established a military government.
With Chinese rulers, Korea learned of centralized government, writing, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
While the Han ruled Korea, the numerous Korean clans gathered into federations.
The federations turned into three rival kingdoms.
Korea’s Early History JD 4
Korean Dynasties The rise of one of Koreas most well known dynasty, the Koryu dynasty occurred after the fall of the Silla. Under Silla rule, Koreans took upon a new style of architecture, religion and a phonetic writing system. Now that Korea has gained so much, after the fall of the Silla, Korea was more powerful which made the Koryu dynasty strong as well. EFFECTS OF INFLUENCES ON KOREA
Korea modeled its central government after China, even using the Confucian civil service examination to determine work and status.
Although the public was eligible to take the exam, the best positions were usually given away to the sons of noble men. This resulted in Korea being divided between an aristocracy and the remaining population (military, slaves and commoners)
This wasn’t the only issue, for in 1231 the Mongols attacked Korea and demanded a tribute that included 20,000 horses, clothing for the military and children and artisans who were to be taken away as slaves
After the Mongol rule which lasted until the 1350’s, heavy taxation of the wealthy landlords resulted in revolts. These revolts continued until a group of scholars and military leaders overthrew the Koryu Dynasty in 1392. They established a new dynasty called the Choson which ruled for the next five centuries.
57 B.C. – A.D 935 918 – 1392* 1392 -1910 Silla Dynasty Koryu Dynasty Choson Dynasty 1231-1350 1270 Goryeo signs a Mongol Invasion peace treaty with the Mongols JM 4
During the Koryu period a great amount of culture emerged. Korean artists produced beautiful pottery and art works inspired by the Song Dynasty. Scholars and writers recorded the first national history of Korea in addition to producing fine poetry and literary works.
Korean skilled workers made one of the greatest contributions to the Buddhist culture when they carved the entire canon of Buddhist scriptures into thousands of wooden blocks.
However the 60 years of hard work was destroyed by the Mongols, but that was when Koreas perseverance and strength really shined through. A national effort began to re-create these wooden blocks, and in present day over 81,000 wooden blocks remain.
With the straights and sea routes in Southeast Asia, lords from other lands were allowed to come and spread influence over places like Korea. These seas also were the key to political power in Southeast Asia.
Over trade, in the Koryu dynasty with the development of celadon pottery came very colorful art period contributed by Mongolian influences.
Also, Korea accepted influences from other developing societies besides Japan and China.
In the construction of the million wooden Buddhist blocks, Korea made itself a center for Buddhist culture. Many people from China, Islam, Africa and Japan came to Korea to worship. With these alliances, Korea was able to expand it’s trade routes, therefore benefitting it’s economy.