By Michael J. Seth
This accomplished and balanced historical past of contemporary Korea explores the social, financial, and political concerns it has confronted in view that being catapulted into the broader international on the finish of the 19th century. putting this previously insular society in an international context, Michael J. Seth describes how this old, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society first fell sufferer to jap imperialist expansionism, after which was once arbitrarily divided in part after international conflict II. Seth strains the postwar paths of the 2 Koreas_with assorted political and social structures and diverse geopolitical orientations_as they advanced into sharply contrasting societies. South Korea, after an unpromising commence, turned one of many few postcolonial constructing states to go into the ranks of the 1st international, with a globally aggressive economic system, a democratic political method, and a sophisticated and dynamic tradition. against this, North Korea turned one of many world's such a lot totalitarian and remoted societies, a nuclear strength with an impoverished and famine-stricken inhabitants. contemplating the appreciably diverse and traditionally unheard of trajectories of the 2 Koreas, Seth assesses the insights they provide for figuring out not just sleek Korea however the broader standpoint of worldwide historical past.
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Additional info for A Concise History of Modern Korea: From the Late Nineteenth Century to the Present
10 While isolating Korea from other countries, Resident Yuan promoted Chinese trade in Korea to counter the rapid expansion of Japanese mercantile activities in the country. The Chinese merchant community was large enough to cause resentment among Koreans. Anti-Chinese riots broke out in 1888 and 1889 in Seoul, and Chinese shops were burned. However, the Japanese remained the largest foreign community and Korea’s largest trading partner. Very few reform efforts were carried out during this period.
Few nations escaped colonization in this era, including other long-standing states such as Vietnam and Burma. Among the small number of exceptions were states such as Thailand, Afghanistan, and Persia, which did so partly as buffer states between empires, but Japan’s victories over China and Russia ruled out this possibility. KOREA IN TRANSITION Despite the country’s loss of independence, this period brought about important changes that marked the birth of a modern Korea. Korea’s entry into the world of imperialism profoundly altered society.
The Korean foreign minister signed a protocol in February that in effect made Korea a protectorate of Japan. It gave the Japanese government the right to take any necessary action to protect the Korean imperial house or the territorial integrity of Korea if threatened by a foreign power and gave the Japanese the right to occupy certain parts of the country. In another agreement signed in August 1904, Korea agreed to appoint a Japanese advisor to the Ministry of Finance and a non-Japanese foreigner recommended by the Japanese government to advise the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A Concise History of Modern Korea: From the Late Nineteenth Century to the Present by Michael J. Seth