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Tonghak "Eastern Learning" And Chondogyo "Society Of The Heavenly Way"

1076 words - 5 pages

"Ch'oe spread the notion that the west could be warded off by using its' strongest weapon, GOD (Ch'onju), for developing national power, and he proclaimed himself the savior of the nation." This quote from the early 1860's was intended to inspire the Korean people to unite against the intrusion of foreign ideas and influences controlling Korea's government seen as the precursor to colonialism. Ch'oe created a tool through which the peasants could voice their discontent on issues of heavy taxation, official extortions, and widespread corruption all of which added to the instability and tension of the region. This tool was Tonghak which was a movement designed to dismantle the privileges of ...view middle of the document...

Like the Tonghak, the Chondokoyo was designed to instill a greater feeling of nationalism. The followers of the Chondokoyo and Tonghak can be branded as patriotic religious warriors with issues of economical and social equity as there template for a new improved goverment. Unfortunately, it too was seen as subversive and therefore outlawed by the government forcing it underground with the Tonghak.Chondokoyo continued to receive widespread acceptance as a popular faith, and gained strength from the martyrdom of it's founder Choe in 1865. Gatherings of followers loyal to Chondokoyo massed at Poun in Ch'ungch,ong province 1893 and protested against the government calling for the punishment of corrupt officials and the expulsion of Japanese and western influences. The result of this demonstration brought about the freedom of the Chondokoyo religion, but was to be only a temporary peace. The hostilities of the peasants were, however, not eased by this as they remained in bondage and indentured to the wealthier and more powerful Yangban class, and more specifically the Min Clan oligarches. Numerous attempts were made by the peasantry to voice their grievances and feelings of discontent, but to no anvil. This led to the armed insurrection led by the leader of the Kobu perish of Tonghak, Chon Pong-jun in 1894 where occupation of the Korean government offices occurred seizing weapons and the supply of illegally collected rice from the people . Then destroyed a newly constructed reservoir which the peasants had built under serfdom.Once the government was informed of the rebellion an official was dispatched to investigate. The leader, Chong Pong-jun was charged along with other Tonghak faithful for instigating the event with some being imprisoned and others executed. Chong Pong-jun, enraged by the investigators unjust actions, rallied the peasants and local Tonghak perishes to rise up and protest which swelled in ranks to several thousands. On April...

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