Was Goguryeo Manchu or Korean dynasty

A brief history of Korea

2333 BC Chr: Go-Choson

According to a legend, the heavenly god Hwanung has a bear who (in contrast to the tiger) behaved patiently according to his instructions and transformed into a woman and with her fathered the founder of the first kingdom. Tan’gun ruled for 1500 years, founded the capital Pyongyang and named his country Choson (or Joseon). Old Joseon = Go-Joseon.). A tomb for Tan’gun was erected in Pyongyang.

The name Choson is created using the Chinese characters chao (the morning and xian (fresh, still) written, hence: "Land of the morning calm"

There was no state that could be compared to China, but tribal societies to which immigrants from China brought Chinese knowledge of bronze making, then iron casting, silkworm breeding, textile techniques and the manufacture of paper. (Kuhn, 1482ff) (Image PD)


37 BC BC - 668 Three Kingdoms: Goguryeo, Baekje. (Kaya) and Silla

The largest empire Goguryeo (Koguryo) in the north occupied a dominant position for a long time. Centralized administrative structures were enforced in it in the second century under Chinese influence. In Silla, the centralized government also prevailed around 500.

All three kingdoms adopted Buddhism as the state religion. On the one hand, this gave an explanatory model for the fate of each individual, but could also be well integrated into shamanism and ancestral cult. The ancestor cult still had (and still has) important significance. Happiness or unhappiness have their origin in satisfied or dissatisfied old people. By equating the kings with the Buddha, the new religion also secured its power. (Kuhn, Item 3802 ff.). Life was also heavily influenced by the Confucian philosophy introduced in the third century. Their emphasis on loyalty and child patience and the upbringing they influenced also supported the existing conditions

Silla attacked Baekje in 551 and allied with the Sui and then the T’ang dynasties in China to subdue Baekje and attack Goguryeo in battles with hundreds of thousands of soldiers. This lasted for a very long time, but after 8 years had to retreat to the area north of Pyongyang, where the successor state Paerhe came into being (Cumings, 32ff) So even then there was a north-south division of the country (Kuhn, 2638)

Silla became the home of the cultural and wealthy elite who settled in the capital, Gyeongju (Kyongju).

To date, only one Korean president has not come from the Silla region.

If North Korea refers to Goguryeo and South Korea to Silla, the Baekje region (with Gwangju) still feels discriminated against) (Cumings, 30)


The Silla kingship with the capital Gyeongju prevailed in 676, it united Korea to a large extent. The Kingdom of Silla is considered a millennial empire (57 BC - 935) and has produced great cultural achievements. Signs of this are palaces, temples, the observatory and the burial mounds in Gyeongju. The oldest scrolls printed with wooden tablets from the Pulguk-sa temple in Gyeongju were printed before 751 (Kuhn, item 3701).

The united Silla encompassed practically the whole Korean peninsula, a Korean national identity began to develop (Kuhn, pos 2540, 2663).

Silla was a class society in which a small elite of aristocrats lived magnificently from the tax income of their inherited villages, opposed to a mass of peasants, unfree people and slaves who were almost without possession. (3283). While up to 3,000 slaves worked in the huge households of the aristocrats, the rural population lived in small settlements that were easy to monitor. (3287)

The Silla kingship with the capital Gyeongju prevailed in 676, it united Korea to a large extent. The Kingdom of Silla is considered a millennial empire (57 BC - 935) and has produced great cultural achievements. Signs of this are palaces, temples, the observatory and the burial mounds in Gyeongju. The oldest scrolls printed with wooden tablets from the Pulguk-sa temple in Gyeongju were printed before 751 (Kuhn, item 3701).


Kingdom of Koryo (Korea) 918-1392

From the collapse of Silla (due to power struggles between the aristocracy and the kingship), three more empires emerged for a short time and then in the early 10th century the empire Koryo (Korea) (918-1392) with the capital Kaesong. The aristocratic culture (hierarchical system of "bone ranks") was reformed, and a test procedure for civil servants based on the Confucian classics was created based on the Chinese model. Buddhism, Confucianism and Sino-Korean geomantics were among other things the basis of the state. (Kuhn item 2748)

However, the pressure took off Mongols to. They crossed and destroyed the area several times and also subjugated the country through marriage policies. In the hope of stopping the invasion, the second Tripitaka Koreana was created in 1236-1253, a wood print version of the Buddhist canon (picture). The more than 80,000 printing blocks are still preserved today and can be viewed in the Haeinsa Temple near Daegu.

With the exception of Japan, all of East Asia was ruled by the Mongols in the second half of the 13th century.


Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910

1392-1910 is the time of Joseon Dynasty. Now neo-Confucianism dominated, the power of Buddhism was restricted. Philosophy and literature flourished; Countless palaces were built in the new, geomantically conveniently located capital Hanyang, today's Seoul.

In place of the influential land-owning aristocracy and the Buddhist monasteries came the yangban, the civil and (less highly regarded) military officials as the new social elite. According to the Confucian model, they took official examinations, which were open to everyone, but in fact only the Yangban could afford the time-consuming and costly preparation for their sons. (Kuhn 6819)

In 1443 King Sejong adopted the Korean alphabet Hangeul Created or commissioned, it is still considered a masterpiece by linguists and it enabled farmers (and women who had less time to learn the Chinese characters) to learn to read and write. However, the majority of the Yangbans, who stuck to the Chinese, met with rejection.

In the 16th century, 20-30% of the population would still be slaves. (Kuhn 6828, picture Koehler 59)

The woman's position had deteriorated significantly due to the strict adherence to the neo-Confucian regulations; she could no longer leave the house without the husband's permission, had to wear a veil and had few rights (Kuhn 6899)


From 1592 onwards, Japan attacked Korea several times and conquered parts of the country. (Imjin war) Japan's goal was to take China. The Ming Dynasty therefore supported Korea with soldiers and money. Thanks to the small and agile "turtle ships", Admiral Yi Sunsin finally succeeded in destroying large parts of the Japanese fleet and thus cutting off supplies from the Japanese army. Japan had to surrender.

The Koreans who were deported to Japan during the Imjin War spread new farming techniques and crops and new craft techniques in ceramics. The war left Korea, Japan and China enormously weakened.


The country recovered only slowly from the Imjin Wars and was repeatedly shaken by internal power struggles within the Yangban parties and the royal family. In addition, the conquest of China by the Manchurians in 1644 and the associated change from the Ming to the (Manchurian) Qing dynasty also had a strong impact on Korea, which now had to submit to the Manchus and became even more isolated. Overall, however, around 1800 East Asia was probably the region of the world with the greatest social stability and economic power; the people in China, Korea and Japan had a significantly higher standard of living than their contemporaries in Europe. (Kuhn 7579)


The picture changed rapidly in the 19th century - the East Asian countries were now forced to open up by the Western powers. China was the first country to have "unequal treaties" imposed on itself during the Opium Wars (1839-1842), after which Japan was forced to open up by Matthew Perry in 1853. Japan largely adapted to the Meji restoration and was soon considered an exotic model country in the West. Korea initially tried to shut itself off from all "opening attempts", but could not oppose the gunboat policy with anything and had to sign an unequal treaty with Japan in 1876, then also with the USA, Great Britain and Germany. Korea was torn by fighting between different factions of reformers and Confucian keepers, China and Japan fought for influence in Korea, each courted by other Korean factions, which eventually led to the first Sino-Japanese war, which Japan won in 1895. The Joseon dynasty collapsed within a few decades.

The Russo-Japanese war was also fought for supremacy in Korea. In this war with Russia, Japan defeated a “western, white” power for the first time in 1904 and then established a protectorate in 1905, initially supported by the West. After the last emperor was forced to resign, it subjugated Korea as a colony in 1910 (after Cumings 2005).


Japanese colony 1910-1945

Japan brought all areas of life under control with a large police force (with 40 to 50% Korean members) and an army of civil servants (also with a large proportion of Koreans). It could count on the support of many landowners from the Yangban class, who were able to keep their land and mainly had to deliver rice to Japan on a contractual basis.
The resistance increased after the First World War, there were many demonstrations, attacks and guerrilla warfare.
The resistance consisted of both left-wing, partly communist and "nationalist" groups that fought for an independent Korea. The colonial regime became more and more repressive. At the same time, Korea was modernized and partially industrialized in order to be able to produce for Japan. Roads and railways were built.
In 1932 Japan established the puppet state of Manchuko, which was populated with 1.5 million Koreans who were employed in rice cultivation, but also as soldiers, traders and bureaucrats. The state-militarily controlled industrialization in Manchuria had a major impact on the form of industrialization in South Korea after the Korean War.
During the Second World War, Korea became more and more important as an industrial location for the Japanese zaibatusu like Mistsubishi and Nissan, the family-controlled and state-supported conglomerates were models for the Korean ones chaebol, the first of which originated in the early 1940s.

A large part of the "elite" of that time compromised themselves (under great Japanese pressure) and worked together with the Japanese (Cumings 171).
The population was forcibly assimilated. The Korean language was banned. Each village had to keep a quota and make residents available for service in the Japanese army or industry (in 1941 there were already 1.4 million Koreans in Japan, hundreds of thousands joined by the end of the war). This is how the "comfort women" were recruited, Korean girls and women who had to work in Japanese war brothels.


1945 until the Korean War

In the conferences during the Second World War (Tehran, Cairo) it was envisaged that Korea would be placed under a joint trusteeship of different countries so that it could slowly prepare for independence. As agreed, the USSR troops march in Europe 90 days after the end of the war, i.e. on August 8, 1945, the USA hastily proposes a separation of the occupation zones at the 38th parallel and landed in the south a month later after the surrender of Japan. Since Korea is being liberated, there is no reason for a partition in Korea itself. The reason for division is the beginning cold war between East and West; each sphere does not want to allow the other any additional influence.

The two victorious powers cannot therefore agree on modalities for the unification of the country as originally planned; the Soviet Union favors the former guerrillas Kim Il Sung as president, the USA, for lack of alternatives, the independence fighter who has lived in the USA for a long time Syngman Rhee.

The Soviet Union is better prepared for the establishment of a zone of occupation than the USA, which is initially very disorganized and which lacks translators, for example.

Korea itself is deeply divided, the former elite lived quite well under the colonial regime and therefore does not offer itself for the establishment of a new state, broad sections of the population sympathize with socialism and land reform. There is no middle class. The USA therefore supports the former elite, fearing that communism will otherwise win, but at the same time pushes through land reform (Cumings 2005, 194, 201)

In the south, a Korean police force and the forerunner of an army are being set up, for both of which the US must rely heavily on Korean officers and soldiers from the former Japanese army.

A provisional UN committee called elections in 1948, the numerically inferior and now tightly organized North refused to vote for a joint government. Syngman Rhee wins in the south, the ROK, Republic of Korea is founded. A little later, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea under Kim Il Sung was established in the north.

Civil war is raging in many places, police and paramilitaries are wreaking havoc, the prisons are overflowing with “communists”, the population is rebelling against the police and the military, the Cheju and Yeosu rebellions, which cost thousands of lives, are the best known.

In the north, following the Soviet and Chinese model and with many neo-Confucian elements, a people's republic is being built as a one-party state, repression, “re-education” and the “elimination” of all who have worked with Japan are the order of the day, land reform is being carried out.

In the south the USA withdrew its troops in 1949, in the north the USSR withdrew its troops, only military advisers remained in the country.

In 1949 the Chinese civil war came to an end and the Kuomintang with Chiang Kai-shek had to withdraw to Taiwan. Tens of thousands of Korean soldiers who fought for Red China (old communists and those who were forced by Kim Il Sung's regime to “volunteer” for it) are returning to North Korea battle-tested.

Both the South and the North want reunification, and the governments are ready to force it by military means. In the south (especially in the south of South Korea) a guerrilla war is being waged against the government troops and the police, one reason for this is that the farmers are still almost penniless tenants who have to give a large part of the land yield to the landowners.

Fighting is ongoing on the inner-Korean border, with hundreds of deaths on both sides. The US warning to withdraw all military and economic support in the event of an invasion of North Korea prevents Syngman Rhee from launching an invasion. The US only wants to support South Korea if it is attacked itself, but Secretary of State Acheson has also given contradicting signals. Kim Il Sung, on the other hand, is well armed with the troops that have returned from China; he has received hesitant consent from Stalin for an invasion and Mao has given him an assurance that he will support the north in the service of the world revolution, should that be necessary. On June 25, 1950, North Korean troops begin to advance south.


Korean War 1950-1953

South Korea will be completely overrun within a short time. The UN decides to support South Korea, the USSR is boycotting the corresponding session of the Security Council because Red China is not represented in it, so they do not use their veto. The highly decorated Allied Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific, General Douglas MacArthur, takes command of the UN troops, the US armed forces make up the largest contingent by far, they are hurriedly landed in Busan from Japan, but are able to advance the advance of the North Korean and South Korean partisans supported troops unstoppable. As later in Vietnam, the US soldiers do not know which side the civilians are on; massacres occur on both sides.

In September only the perimeter around the port city of Busan is under South Korean sovereignty.

With an amphibious landing near Incheon, the UN / US troops under MacArthur manage to break free in September.

Seoul is being recaptured, the USA and, vaguely, the UN are not choosing to be satisfied with the status quo, South Korea wants reunification anyway. The UN troops are crossing the 38th parallel and are quickly advancing into North Korea.During the occupation of South Korea, the North Korean troops released many political prisoners, and there are murders and massacres in South Korea. (Cumings 2005, item 1662)

The UN troops encounter little resistance, the North Korean troops have withdrawn into the mountains, Pyongyang is taken, the army is advancing against the Yalu on the Sino-North Korean border.

To the astonishment of the UN and the USA, China is now intervening in the war, Mao is sending several divisions of "volunteers" (some of whom are former Kuomintang fighters who are called in), they receive limited air support from the Soviet Union.

MacArthur demands 30 atomic bombs and plans to contaminate a wide strip between North Korea and China with cobalt so that a land army cannot cross it for many decades. (See New York Times interview with MacArthur 1954, published April 9, 1964)

In April 1951, President Truman relieved General MacArthur of all his functions, which led to violent reactions in Japan, where he was extremely popular as commander of the occupying power, and in the USA, where he was revered as a war hero.

The use of nuclear weapons is still seen as an option.