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


Th. reigning Emperor, whose surname is Yi and name Chök, was born March 25, 1874, and succeeded his father, Yi Hiung, on his abdication, July 20, 1907. He is reckoned as the thirty-first 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 Shinionoseki, 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. On February 23, 1904, an agreement was signed at Seoul on behalf of Japan and Korea, the Japanese Government undertaking to ensure the safety of the Korean Imperial House and guaranteeing the independence and territorial integrity of the country, while the Korean Government, placing full confidence in the Japanese Government, agreed to adopt Japanese advice with respect to administrative improvements. Under an agreement signed August 22, 1904, the Korean Government accepted a Japanese financial adviser, and a foreign diplomatic adviser for the department of Foreign Affairs, and agreed to consult the Japanese Government in dealing with foreign Powers and in making concessions to or contracts with foreigners.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1908

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  • J. Scott Keltie

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