Confucianism and Social order in Korea

Published: 2019-09-25 07:00:00
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Introduction of Confucianism in Korea helped shape its intellectual history and was part of cultural influence on Korea from China. It defined the moral system as well as social norms in the Korean society and helped pacify the nation together especially after the chaos and dissent inherited from the Goryeo dynasty. In contemporary Korean society, Confucian thought still influences such aspects as education where importance is placed on study and memorizing exams

2. The role of the Hangul in the development of Korean national identity

The Hangul is a system of phonetic Korean alphabet developed in 1443 by the then King Sejong. Prior to the development of Hangul, the Koreans solely relied on Chinese alphabets. Even though, the Korean had their own distinct language, they lacked an alphabet system. The creation of Hangul thus helped nurture a sense of national identity relieving the Koreans from the cultural and intellectual colony of the Chinese.

3. Democratization of South Korea in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s

The 4th Republic commenced in 1972 upon adoption of the Yushin constitution by President Park Chung-hee. This abolished the presidential term limits of two terms as well as the National Assembly. Park was assassinated in 1979, Chui Kyu-hah took over only to be usurped 6 days later by Chun Doo-Hwann; a military commander. Civil uproar and protests especially by students for the need for democracy became frequent and in 1980, Gwangyu massacre occurred after confrontation between police and protestors. In 1987, the constitution was revised and approved to allow for direct election of the president and restoration of civil rights. This brought an end to the 5th Republic. The 6th Republic commenced in 1987 and remains to date and is democratic where presidents are directly elected with presence of term limits

4. The Sunshine Policy and its effects

The Sunshine policy was foreign policy of South Korea towards North Korea that occurred in 1998-2007. The policies were aimed at strengthening ties between the two Korean States and create peaceful co-existence without necessarily seeking regime change by the Northern state. It pushed for re-union of family members that had been separated by the war. The South took part in humanitarian aids in the Northern state too. North-south joint business ventures began, such as the Mount Kumgang Tourist region as well as rail road.

5. Geopolitical location of the Korean Peninsula

The geopolitical influence of the Korean Peninsula stands to affect the political future of China, Japan, United States as well as Russia. The Korean history started as a unified Kingdom. It also became under colony of both Japan and Chinese. The world war two defeat of Japan brought an end to Japanese colony in Korea. Russian and American troops entered the country and subsequently led to the division into a southern and northern state. The two states have been in a state of peacefulessness ever since due to ideological differences.

6. The 38th Parallel: how it was drawn, changed, and its current status

The 38th parallel formed the border between North and South Korea prior to the Korean War. It was established in 1945 upon Japan surrender and established the American and Soviet occupation zones. During the Korean Civil war when the North invaded the South, and the U.N troops helping the South, a new border was established to bring an end to the war in 1953. This military demarcation zone is surrounded by demilitarized zone. Though its different from the original border, it is still referred as the 38th parallel.

7. The Jucheideology of North Korea

This is a man-centered ideology that was developed by North Korean leader Kim II Sung. It puts credence on man as the master of everything and decides everything. Construction and revolution is clearly based on this ideology as man is supposed to drive everything independently. This ideology pushes for self-sufficiency and self-reliance as well as national sovereignty and defense.

8. The Tonghak Peasant War (1894): cause, mottos, and impacts

The Tonghak war was an armed Korean rebellion of peasants that were followers of Tonghak religion in 1894. This was caused when laws were created forcing peasants to build reservoirs and settle in squatter lands so that they could be exploited through taxations and fines. The wars motto was that all are equal, protecting nation from foreign influences and make the people secure". The government invited the Chinese troops to help them fight the peasants. This also led to Japanese troops joining. The peasants were eventually defeated.

9. The Korea War (1950-53) as a civil war

The Korean War began when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations, majorly comprised of The United States, came to the assistance of South Korea while China with the backing of the Soviet Union backed North Korea. The war arose from the division of Korea at the end of world war two after Japan surrendered leading to both Soviet Unions and United States invading Korea.

10. South Koreas aging population and its economic and social impacts

South Korea is faced by a rapidly aging population which is poised to impact on both its social and economic status. With low fertility rates, the aging population will reduce the rate of child dependency but this will be counteracted later by a sudden surge in old age dependency. The aging population will also cut on the working population. It also reduces domestic demand which is necessary for economic growth.

11. Peculiarities of Japanese colonial policy in Korea (1910-1945)

Japanese policies towards Korea were full of rhetoric and conflicts. The Japanese assimilation policy of Korea into the Japanese empire where the education system was changed and Korean educational system entirely abolished led to animosity instead of assimilation. Assimilation was a rhetoric since Japanese viewed Koreans as inferior to them and segregation policies was a common place. There was also mistreatment of Korean populace through forced military service and use of Korean women as comfort women.

12. Asian Tigers

Asian tigers denote four Asian countries, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hongkong that are highly developed and free market economies. The countries are known to have maintained a very high growth rates between the 60s and 90s which led to their transformation from low income countries to high income economies by the start of the 21st century. Their economic success has served as a motivation to other developing economies

13. Korean nation and proto-nationalism

The Korean nation was divided into two distinct states in the 20th century into North Korea and South Korea. Prior to this, all Koreans were united as one nation with sense of national identity with things such as a common language and the Hangul giving them national identity. The division however, created proto-nationalism in ideological beliefs with the Northern state becoming communist inspired by Russia while the Southern state being Capitalist inspired by the United States.

14. Hallyu and Korean popular culture

The popularity, wave and influence of Korean pop culture in other Asian countries is referred to Hallyu. This has helped create a cross-national identity and consumers of the Korean pop culture across the Asian nations as well as reducing the influence of Hollywood on the Asian countries. This surge in the popularity of the Korean culture dates back to early 1990s and was first catapulted by Korean pop and Korean drama.

15. The tributary system in Koreas relationship with China

The tributary system of China helped influence its relationship with China. With the Chinese regarding themselves superior both culturally and in military power, the neighboring nations were expected to be loyal to the Chinese empire and in turn have the Chinese support. The Korean king for instance needed the support of the Chinese without which he could be easily ousted. Thus the tributary system helped Chinese influence the economic and cultural destinies of the region since being loyal to China meant assured peace and protection through Chinese support

16. Yang ban

These were part of the traditional ruling class of the Korean Joseon Dynasty. They were mainly comprised of Civil Servants and military officers. Unlike Japanese and European nobles which were hereditary, yang ban was chosen through testing on knowledge in Confucian studies through exams. A yang ban family that did not produce a government official for more than three generations risked losing its position and becoming a commoner family

17. March the First Movement

This refers to one of the earliest public displays of the resistance towards Japanese colonial government in Korea. It dates back to March 1st 1919. Grievances were mainly due to Japanese repressive rule over the Korean people that were discriminative where Koreans were subjected to harsher laws. The protest led to violence when the military was called upon to control the crowds after the policy were unable to do so leading to massacre and ethnic cleansing.

18. Korean ethnic economy

The Korean ethnic economy refers to an enclave economy where the Koreans in America build a unique business system unique from the mainstream business for the supply and consumption of items that are unique to their ethnic background. They create a supply-demand channel for goods and services that would otherwise not have been available in the mainstream market.

The Cultural Revolution

The Chinese revolution began in 1966 by the then communist leader Mao Zedong. In an effort to reassert and strengthen his grip on the government, Mao gathered a group of radicals to attack the party leadership. The young people formed paramilitary groups known as the Red Guards were used to attack the elderly. A personality cult was built around Mao.

2. The tribute system

This was a network of economic and diplomatic relations between China and its neighbors that helped shaped much of the regions history. In this system, China was regarded as the centre of the world and the other countries tributaries. The neighboring regional countries thus became sino-centric and much of its economic and social influence determined by China for so many years.

3. The great leap forward

This was an economic and social campaign in China in 1958-1961. It advocated for the transformation of the economy from agrarian to socialist industrialization. It was led by the Communist Party of China leader, Mou Zedong. It was never a success and is blamed for the great famine of China. Private farming was prohibited and stuff such as agricultural collectivization embraced.

4. China as Middle Kingdom

Throughout its history, China was known by various names. Zhonggou was one such name and it literally translates to The Middle kingdom. The Chinese viewed themselves as the centre of the world. This ethnocentrism perhaps explains why they called themselves the middle kingdom. It was also comprised of many states which were unified to form one huge empire and the middle kingdom may have referred to the states that were at the centre of the entire empire.

The first Sino-Japanese war

This war occurred between 1894 and 1895 between the Qing Empire of China and the empire of Japan over the control of Korea. The Chinese were defeated after only 6 months and for the first time in history, regional dominance shifted from China to Japan. The Chinese defeat was highly attributed by failure of the Chinese government to modernize its military, leaving it prone to external aggression. The Japan had on the other hand embraced western arts and modernized its military.

The Meiji Restoration

This refers to events that occurred leading to restoration of imperial rule in Japan 1868. It aimed to restore practical abilities to the emperor and brought an end to Tokugawa shogunate. T...

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