The Joseon dynasty, also known as the Yi Dynasty, was the last of its kind in Korean history. It is also the longest-serving dynasty in Korea, having lived on for over five centuries. The dynasty was formed by Yi Song-gye. Its capital was located at Hanyang, presently known as Seoul. The Kingdom drew its name from the state that had established authority over the Korean peninsula in the past.

The Joseon Dynasty

Yi was close to the bordering Ming dynasty in China. As a result, Ming considered Joseon as a client to his kingdom. Due to the high indolence of Chinese culture at the time, Joseon borrowed its governance model form Neo-Confucianism.

The first change implemented by the Yi dynasty was the redistribution of land parcels which was previously controlled by a chosen few in the leadership. The kingdom was also supportive of scholarship, with the most remarkable achievement on this front being the introduction of the Korean alphabet, known as Hangul.  Later on, Yi introduced a bureaucratic system of administration.

Jan attacked Korea in 1592. Despite assistance from Chinese forces, the Japanese prevailed over the Koreans. This caused the loss of several valuable assets as well as the weakening of the kingship. The country, however, had fully recovered from the effects of the invasion by the beginning of the 20th century.

Korea isolated from international relations until very late into the 19th century. In 1876, the country signed the Treaty of Ganghwa after insistent pressure from Japan. The Joseon dynasty ended in 1910 after Japan seized Korea.

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