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The Japan Korea Annexation Treaty Essay

1015 words - 5 pages

In 1910, Japan successfully colonized Korea through the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty. Beginning in 1919, mass demonstrations erupted underlining the generalized mistreatment of the Koreans and the need for independence from Imperialist Japan. The March 1st 1919 Movement culminated into the creation of the modern-day of Korea. Without the protest, the Korean Declaration of Independence would not have been written and signed, the Provincial Government of Korea would have been delayed, and the Korean Liberation would not have formed or would have formed at a later point in time.

In January of 1919, President Wilson gave a speech on the right of “self-determination” at the Paris Peace Conference where many of the world powers met to discuss how to avoid major bloodbath like in World War I. Wilson gave fourteen “points” in his speech to avoid deaths of millions of lives like those in WWI. He underlined that World War I began because there became a “violation of rights” and that it had led to countless bloodshed because important issues including territories had not been discussed resulted in the path of war. Wilson’s resolution for tensions among countries included peace and diplomacy. Although this did not regard Korea, students studying in Tokyo heard news of this speech, which inspired them to think about peaceful demonstrations against Japan and diplomacy before acts of war. From this inspiration, the students published a statement about a movement of independence from Japan. Another buildup of tensions occurred when the beloved emperor of Korea, Gojong died of unknown reasons. The people of Korea thought that the Japanese had poisoned him. In that era, poisoning influential leaders was common, and some Koreans decided that the Japanese poisoned him because the leader of Korea would have been eliminated, causing mass confusion.

On March 1st, 1919, thirty-three activists met up at a restaurant in Seoul, the modern capital city of Korea, and the Korean Declaration of Independence began to be written and signed. Inside this document, the activists declared they were a self-governed body of people. With the copy of the document sent to the Governor General of Korea, an estimated two million attendees protested peacefully in the streets of Seoul. The Japanese Police Force, did not allow the Koreans to protest, and used unnecessary violence against the peaceful Koreans. When the movement went throughout the day, the Japanese fired into groups of Christian signing hymns, police beheaded young children, Christian leaders were crucified, and countless churches were burned down Estimates show that about 7,500 were killed, 15.000 were injured, and 45,000 were arrested in the cause for independence.

From this movement, there were a slew of events that started an enormous rebellion against Japan. First, in response to this movement, the Provincial Government of Korea was formed in Shanghai one month after the protest. This government was the...

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