Emperor Gojong of Korea

He was born in 1852 and became the 26th king of Joseon Dynasty and first emperor of Korea. Under Gojong, he increased isolation from France and US in 1871.He persecuted native and foreign Catholics. In 1873, he took over his father’s reign and declared himself as Emperor. By doing this, he broke away as a protectorate of China and equal status with the Qing Dynasty of China. Korea was a protectorate of China since the 16th Century.
Tensions increased between China and Japan leading up to Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95.Pro-Japanese forces in Korea fought against pro-Chinese forces under Korean Queen MIn. It ended with Treaty of Ganghwa. The treaty was unequal. It gave Japan on advantage over Korea. Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany all wanted to annex Korea. but Japan took over Korea by 1910. Japan gave the Korean emperor new types of rifles for his soldiers. Before, the Korean soldiers had matchlock rifles, swords, spears, and bows, and arrows. Gojong and Min were separated before they fought each other. His father, Daewongun, was restored to power briefly. It was to resolve the conflict between Gojong and Min. Talk about a divorce!
Chinese abducted Daewongun and 4 years later, he was released and returned to Korea.
Back in 1884, an attempted coup was against Gojong and Min.
Increasing widespread poverty and peasant revolts lead to this.
In 1894, the peasants revolted and Gojong asked for Japanese aid.
In 1895, Japanese agents assassinated Min. There were growing anti-Japanese sentiments in Korea. There were armies that called themselves Righteous Armies fought for independence from Japan.
In 1896, Gojong fled to Russia. He returned and took over his reign once more.
1904-5 was the Russo-Japanese War. Gojong sent a delegate in 1907 to the Hague Peace Convention to sue for independence. But he was more of a puppet to Japanese and they forced him to abdicate that year. Japan annexed Korea in 1910.He died in 1919, which led to the First Student March and brought in some reforms.


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