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Why was the Tonghak Rebellion so significant?

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Presentation on theme: "Why was the Tonghak Rebellion so significant?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why was the Tonghak Rebellion so significant?
L/O – To identify the causes, events and consequences of the Tonghak Rebellion Ch’oe Che-u

2 The Tonghak Rebellion 1892-1895
Koreans responded to the opening of their country in two ways: there were some attempts at reform but there was also violent protests and rebellions. The Tonghak Rebellion was a huge revolutionary peasant movement that was both religious and social in character and aims. It fought for social change and national regeneration against economic exploitation by foreign powers and the Yangban class.

3 What was ‘Tonghak’? Tonghak means ‘Eastern learning’. It was a religious movement founded by Ch’oe Che-u ( ) It was a combination of Buddhist meditation, Confucian ethics, primal Shamanism, Taoist cultivation of energy and the personal God of Catholic Christianity. The movement was opposed to ‘Sohak’ or ‘Western Learning’ that was introduced to Korea by French Catholic missionaries in 1836.

4 What was ‘Tonghak’? “Also, even if I become an immortal, flying about the heavens, I will destroy the dog-like Japanese in one night, with God’s agreement and make it omniscient and eternal.” The movement was also anti-Japanese. In his writing Anshimga, Ch’oe criticised the Japanese Invasion of 1592 by saying: This anti-Japanese message became part of the Holy Scripture which all Tonghak believers memorised and sang often at meetings.

5 What was ‘Tonghak’? The movement believed that God and man were the same once you understood Chigi, the pure force of the universe. Divine virtue could be obtained through self-discipline and understanding the Chigi. Only by your own actions could you be saved. It is also included Shamanistic beliefs such as worshiping nature gods and chanting magic formulas.

6 Characteristics of Tonghak Ideology
Consider how the following characteristics would appeal to peasants in 19th century Korean society: Nationalist and Anti-foreign Thought – The name ‘Tonghak’ means Eastern Learning and was established to counter Western Learning and overcome it. It was also anti-Qing, since the 1636 invasion and anti-Japanese, recalling the 1592 invasion. Egalitarian Ideology – Each man had God in his heart and this God was the same regardless of social rank, sex, age or wealth – Yangban or Peasant. ‘Man is God’ Humanism – Men were equal to God, they did not serve God. Therefore if man is God and men are equal, then social distinction and ranks are wrong. Later Creation Prophecy – Tonghak would usher in a new age of the world & universe – “…the poor and the lowly will be the rich and the honoured in the coming age.”

7 What was ‘Tonghak’? Ch’oe Che-u
Ch’oe Che-u was accused of being a Catholic by the government who persecuted Christians as they were seen as agents of foreign powers. He was arrested in 1863 and executed in 1864 for sedition and heresy. The Tonghak movement was banned and persecuted with its members being forced into hiding. Ch’oe Che-u

8 What happened after his death?
Ch’oe Si-hyong ( ) became the second Patriach of the Tonghak movement. He was responsible for publishing the Bible of Tonghak Doctrine and Hymns from the Dragon Pool. He established a network of churches organising members into parishes called (p’o) with a hierarchy of church leadership. Ch’oe Si-hyong

9 How did the rebellion begin?
In November 1892 thousands of Tonghak members gathered at Samnye in Cholla province to petition the governor, Yi Kyong- shik. They demanded that Ch’oe Che-u be posthumously exonerated, Tonghak legalised and that suppression of its members be ended. The governor refused their petition. The Tonghak decided to petition the King directly.

10 How did the rebellion begin?
They marched to Seoul in February The King promised to carry out their wishes if they returned home - He lied. In March, the Tonghak leadership then called for a ‘crusade to expel the Japanese and Westerners’ and summoned members to Poun in Ch’ungch’ong province. Over 20,000 members arrived. This time the government promised to exonerate their founder however the movement had now turned into a revolutionary struggle.


12 What triggered military conflict?
The rebellion was triggered by the actions of the hated magistrate of Kobu county, Cho Pyong-gap in February He had illegally extorted large amounts of tax from the peasantry and had forced them to build the Mansokpo Reservoir, then charged them rice tax to use it! Peasants petitioned him to no avail.

13 What triggered military conflict?
In 1894, the Head of the local Tonghak Parish, Chon Pong-chun, led a peasant protest against the magistrate. Peasants occupied the country office, seized weapons, redistributed the illegally collected rice tax to the poor and destroyed the reservoir. In response the government arrested and executed some Tonghak members. The rebellion had begun. Chon Pong-chun

14 What happened during the rebellion?
The ranks of the Tonghak soon swelled to over 10,000. Peasants were armed mainly with bamboo spears and magic amulets! They soon crushed the 800 government troops sent from Seoul and marched north, occupying the city of Chonju.


16 Foreign Involvement The government panicked and appealed to China for support. Yuan Shikai and soldiers landed in Asan Bay near Seoul. The Japanese also sent a force of 7000 troops to Korea to ‘protect its interests’. In reality, Japan was looking for an excuse to combat Chinese influence in Korea.

17 Ceasefire and Discussion
To avoid further bloodshed, the government proposed a truce. Chon Pong-chun set conditions. He wanted: An end to government misrule Curb the power of the Yangban class Government to block foreign merchants from trading. The government agreed to consider this, and the Tonghak soldiers dispersed back to their home districts.

18 The Development of Tonghak Reforms
The Tonghak leadership told its followers to establish congregations in every village. Local Tonghak Directorates were established with the aim of reforming local government and operated alongside county administration. A national HQ, the Chonju Directorate was established with Chon Pong-Chun at its helm.

19 Tonghak Reform Programme
The Tonghak used the break in fighting to introduce a Reform Programme in the areas it controlled. The reforms were essentially to end the persecution of the movement, stop economic exploitation, abolish social class status and end foreign influence.

20 Tonghak Reform Program
Eliminate mistrust between the Tonghak and the Government Investigate crimes of corrupt officials Punish men of wealth who had extorted money from the Peasantry Discipline members of the Yangban Class Burn all documents relating to slavery Stop discrimination against the ‘seven despised occupations’ Permit re-marriage of young widows Ban collection of arbitrary taxes Officials should be men of talent, not from any particular class Punish Japanese collaborators Cancel outstanding debts Distribute land equally amongst all peasants.

21 How did the Tonghak Movement end?
During the lull in fighting, the Japanese had begun the Sino- Japanese War ( ), attacking Chinese forces and taking over control of Korea. In October 1894 the Tonghak marched north to expel the Japanese however they were defeated at the Battle of Ugeumchi and Battle of Taein. It lasted from October – November 1894 and resulted in the annihilation of the Tonghak.



24 Why was the Rebellion significant?
Chon Pong-chun was captured in March 1895 and executed. The movement failed but contributed significantly to Korean modernisation. Peasant demands for democracy, expulsion of foreign influence and an end to Feudalism awakened a sense of Korean national identity.

25 Causes of the Tonghak Rebellion
Religion – Tonghak was primarily a religious movement. The rebellion in the 1890s started over the attempt to exonerate Ch’oe Che-u who accused of being a Catholic and executed. Tonghak ideology emphasised the equality of man – led to peasant discontent. Peasant Discontent Economic exploitation by Yangban and Government. High taxes. Social System left Peasants dominated by Yangban class, had little rights. Japanese imports dominated the economy, peasants in debt to Japanese merchants Foreign Influence – Caused resentment as foreigners exploited Korean economy, bullied government. China – Worked to maintain tributary system, blocked reform, left Korea weak Japan – Treaty of Kanghwa in 1876 opened Korean ports and Japanese domination of economy Western Powers – Treaties signed with Korea after 1882 opened Korea to domination by Western trade Christianity – Foreign missionaries brought Catholicism into Korea in 1830s, which partial inspired Tonghak. Complete this diagram on the causes of the Tonghak Rebellion, adding as many details as you can.

26 Consequences of the Tonghak Rebellion
Sino-Japanese War - The most immediate consequence was that the Tonghak Rebellion triggered the involvement of China and Japan. The Treaty of Shimoneski which ended the war in excluded Chinese influence from Korea, leaving Japan in a position to control Korea.

27 Consequences of the Tonghak Rebellion
Having huge influence over the government enabled Japan to force reforms on the Korean government, leading to the Kabo Reforms of which modernised Korea. The Japanese also consolidated their power by assassinating Queen Min, who’s family oligarchy were resisting Japanese influence. Queen Myeongseong

28 Consequences of the Tonghak Rebellion
Finally, in defiance of the Japanese, King Kojong sought closer ties with Russia, declaring himself Emperor of the Korean Empire – independent of both China and Japan. This would create tensions, ultimately leading to the Russo- Japanese War in

29 Summary Whilst the Tonghak Rebellion started as a religious movement for social change, it quickly took on the aspect of a national peasant rebellion against the prevailing system and the foreign influence that plagued Korea. The inability of King Kojong to deal with the rebellion triggered the involvement of China and Japan, which resulted in the Sino-Japanese War. The end result was that the Tonghak Rebellion weakened Korea enabling Japan to dominate and finally annex Korea in

30 14-16 marks – for detailed analysis covering all of the above.
Paper 3 - Exam Question To what extent was the Tonghak Rebellion in Korea in a response to Western Intrusion? (20 marks) The Tonghak or “Eastern Learning” movement was an anti-Western religious cult founded in the mid-nineteenth century and inspired by the Taiping movement in China. Uprisings in southern Korea in the 1860s were crushed, but the movement, although banned, continued to gain adherents. The revolt staged in 1894 caused the Korean government to call on Chinese aid, which crushed the rebels, but also set the scene for the Sino-Japanese War. Candidates should consider the ideology of the movement which was anti-foreign rather than solely anti-Western. Candidates should reveal awareness of the outside pressures upon Korea from China, Japan and Russia as well as from the European colonial powers and the United States. 7 marks – maximum for general narrative or for vague generalisations only. 8-10 marks – for an accurate description of the sequence of events stemming from the uprising of 1894. 11-13 marks – for simple analysis of those events and of the changing status of Korea with respect to China, Russia and Japan. 14-16 marks – for detailed analysis covering all of the above. 17+ marks – for balanced, detailed analysis and assessment of events supporting a clear argument and arriving at a conclusion supported by the evidence.

31 7 marks – maximum for narrative only
Paper 3 - Exam Question Assess the impact of the Tonghak Movement upon Korea up to (20 marks) The Tonghak or “Eastern Learning” Movement developed as a response to western ideas which entered Korea even before its opening by Japan in Founded by Ch’oe Ch’u, it incorporated elements from Taoism, Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, traditional Korean shamanism and Catholicism. It gained popularity amongst the peasantry and spread rapidly in the south where risings were crushed in the 1860s and Ch’oe was executed. His ideas continued to inspire those who resisted modernisation and the increasing Japanese influence. By 1894 it had acquired a large following, including those who suffered economic hardship from high taxation. It also had an anti-Japanese element. The rebellion of 1894 was crushed with Chinese assistance, but the Japanese also sent forces, thus precipitating the Sino-Japanese War of This war resulted in China’s surrendering its suzerainty over Korea, which became, nominally, independent. In the following years, the Russians and Japanese competed at the Korean court, until Russia’s defeat in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) resulted in Japanese influence becoming predominant. The Tonghak gradually took on the attributes of an independence movement. 7 marks – maximum for narrative only 8-10 marks – for an account which includes some understanding of the nature of the Tonghak Movement. 11-13 marks – for understanding of the Tonghak movement and its role in 1894 in precipitating the Sino-Japanese War. 14-16 marks – for analysis of the origins, course and outcome of that war in relation to the Tonghak movement. 17+ marks – for analysis which places the Tonghak in its context in Korean history and sees its role continuing as an embryonic nationalist movement.

32 1-2 No understanding of question, Little or no structure, Unsupported generalisations 3-4 Little understanding of question, knowledge present but insufficient detail, Poorly substantiated assertions. 5-6 Some understanding of question, knowledge is limited in quality & quantity, question partially addressed. 7-8 Question generally understood, relevant knowledge present but unevenly applied, knowledge is narrative or descriptive in nature, may be limited argument/analysis, attempt at structure 9-11 Question is understood but not all implication considered, knowledge largely accurate, critical commentary/analysis may be present, events in context, clear structure 12-14 Clearly focused on question, relevant in-depth knowledge applied as evidence, in-depth analysis/critical commentary used but not consistent, historiography may be used to substantiate, synthesis present but not consistent 15-17 Clearly structured and focused, full awareness of question, may challenge question, accurate and detailed knowledge used convincingly to support analysis/critical commentary, historiography used effectively, synthesis is well-developed & supported by knowledge and analysis 18-20 As above but… with high degree of awareness of question, may challenge successfully, knowledge is extensive and accurately applied, evaluation is integrated into answer, synthesis & use of historiography highly developed

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