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Evidence of inhabitants in Korea from asearly as 4000 BC exists in Korea. Legendhas it that the man-god Tan Gun foundedthe Joseon (meaning Land of theMorning Calm) Kingdom in 2333 BC.Almost no centralized communitiesexisted from then until three kingdomsemerged in the 1st century BC.
Goguryeo• Established by King Jumong• It was the first nation to develop as anancient kingdom• It developed in Manchuria and thenorthern part of the Korean peninsula• Buddhism was introduced in 372 AD
Baekje• Founded by King Onjo• It occupied the southern regionSilla• Established by King Pak Hyokkose• It also occupied the southern region• It formed the Hwarang (Youth FlowerCorps) - a voluntary militaryorganization, which contributed to thestrength of the Kingdom
• Silla allied itself with the Tang of Chinato defeat Baekje and Goguryeo• After the downfall of the twokingdoms, the Tang ruled over theirformer domains and also tried to conquerSilla• Silla finally drove out the Tang armedforces and succeeded in unifying the
• This period marked the start ofKoreas cultural development• Buddhism expanded and furled theconstruction of numerous templesand art works.•Society divided into distinct classeswith a large semi-slave populationsupporting an aristocratic minority.
• Warlords began amassing power basesto the north and eventually took overSilla and founded a new kingdom-Goryeo.• This period is the source of the Englishname “Korea.”• Laws were codified, and a civil servicesystem was introduced
• The art of celadon pottery was perfectedduring this period• The publication of Tripitaka Koreana (acollection of Buddhist scriptures) and theinvention of movable-metal-type printingpress also happened during this period• In 1231 AD the Mongols began itscampaigns against Korea and after 25 yearsof struggle, the royal family relented bysigning a treaty – Goryeo thus became avassal of the Yuan Dynasty of China
• The capital was moved to Hanyang(modern-day Seoul)• Confucianism became the country’sofficial religion• It was during this period that theHangul (Korean alphabet) wasinvented by King Sejong the Great
Social hierarchy during the Joseon Dynasty Royalty Yangban Jungin Commoners Slaves
Social hierarchy during the Joseon Dynasty• Royalty• Yangban - civil or military officials andland owners• Jungin - technical specialists such asscribes, medical officers, technicians inscience-related fields, artists andmusicians.
Social hierarchy during the Joseon Dynasty•Commoners – largest class; hadobligations to pay taxes, providelabor, and serve in the military. By payingland taxes to the state, they were allowedto cultivate land and farm.• Slaves
• Korea suffered from invasions by theJapanese (1592-1598) and the Manchus(1627-1636).•The Japanese were repelled by theinvention of “turtle ships” (massive, yetswift, ramming/cannon ship fitted withiron spikes) by Admiral Yi Sun-Sin andhelp from Ming China
• During the 19th century, JoseonKorea tried to control foreigninfluence by closing the borders to allnations but China – earning thenickname “Hermit Kingdom”• Due to the rise of converts, thegovernment massacred the illegalFrench missionaries and converts alikein 1866
• Beginning in 1876, the Japanese forced aseries of Western-style trade agreementson Korea, leading to Japans eventualannexation of the country in 1910.•People were forced to adopt Japanesenames, convert to the Shinto, and wereforbidden to use Korean language inschools and business.• Japan used Koreas resources, includingits people, to fuel its part in WWII
• The Japanese surrender in 1945 causedthe peninsula to came under dividedrule: the USSR occupied Korea north ofthe 38th parallel, while the U.S.occupied the southern section.• This division was meant to betemporary and was first intended toreturn a unified Korea back to itspeople until the US, UK, SovietUnion, and China could arrange atrusteeship administration.
• Initial hopes for a unified, independentKorea quickly evaporated as the politics ofthe Cold War and opposition to thetrusteeship plan from Korean anti-communists• In 1948, a democratic governmentestablished the Republic of Korea (SouthKorea) with its capital in Seoul while theCommunists established the DemocraticPeoples Republic of Korea (North Korea)with its capital in Pyongyang.
• On June 25, 1950, the North KoreanArmy invaded the South• UN forces helped the South whileCommunist Chinese volunteers sidedwith the North, resulting in a threeyear war which left millions dead onboth sides.