Ch‘ao-Hsien, or Chosen, or Dai Han
  • J. Scott Keltie
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


the reigning monarch, whose surname is Yi and name fleui, succeeded his predecessor—now known under his posthumous title of Ch‘yelchyong—in 1864. On October 15, 1897, he assumed the title of Emperor. He is reckoned as the thirtieth in succession since the founding of the present dynasty in 1392; but four of the so-called Kings were Crown Princes who never ascended the throne. Up to July, 1894, when war was declared by Japan against China, the monarchy, which is hereditary, was practically absolute. The constitution, the penal code, and the system of official administration were framed on the Chinese model, except that the government was in the hands of a hereditary aristocracy, exclusive and corrupt. Since early times Korea had acknowledged the suzerainty of China, a suzerainty which was denied by Japan and which was one of the alleged causes of the war between China and Japan, 1894. By the treaty of Shimonoseki, May, 1895, China renounced her claim, and under Japanese influence, with the aid of money borrowed from Japan, many reforms were introduced, such as the payment of taxes in money instead of in kind; fixed salaries for government officials; a reduction in the number of useless hangers on, and an effort towards order in the departments of State. There exists, however, a strong reactionary tendency, especially in the Household Department, and various abuses have recently revived. The Russo-Japanese war which broke out in February, 1904, has, so far, resulted in a great increase in Japanese influence in the affairs of Korea.


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Books of Reference concerning Korea

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1905

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  • J. Scott Keltie

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