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By Michael J. Seth

During this accomplished but compact e-book, Michael J. Seth surveys Korean heritage from Neolithic occasions to the current. He explores the origins and improvement of Korean society, politics, and its nonetheless little-known cultural history from their inception to the 2 Korean states of this day. Telling the amazing tale of the origins and evolution of a society that borrowed and followed from in another country, Seth describes how a variety of tribal peoples within the peninsula got here jointly to shape one of many worlds so much specific groups. He exhibits how this old, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society used to be wrenched into the area of late-nineteenth-century imperialism, fell sufferer to jap expansionism, after which grew to become arbitrarily divided into adverse halves, North and South, after global conflict II.
Tracing the earlier seven a long time, the ebook explains how the 2 Koreas, with their deeply various political and social structures and geopolitical orientations, developed into sharply contrasting societies. South Korea, after an unpromising begin, grew to become one of many few postcolonial constructing states to go into the ranks of the 1st international, with a globally aggressive financial system, a democratic political method, and a sophisticated and dynamic tradition. North Korea, against this, grew to become one of many worlds so much totalitarian and remoted societies, a nuclear energy with an impoverished and famine-stricken inhabitants. Seth describes and analyzes the significantly diversified and traditionally exceptional trajectories of the 2 Koreas, previously one tight-knit society. all through, he provides a richdimension through putting Korean historical past into broader international point of view and by means of together with basic readings from each one period. All readers searching for a balanced, an expert background could be richly rewarded with this transparent and concise publication.

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A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present

During this accomplished but compact ebook, Michael J. Seth surveys Korean historical past from Neolithic occasions to the current. He explores the origins and improvement of Korean society, politics, and its nonetheless little-known cultural history from their inception to the 2 Korean states of this day. Telling the notable tale of the origins and evolution of a society that borrowed and followed from in another country, Seth describes how quite a few tribal peoples within the peninsula got here jointly to shape one of many worlds such a lot special groups.

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Extra info for A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present

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Indd 17 9/21/10 5:23 AM 18 Chapter 1 a land and sea invasion. Following initial setbacks, the Chinese occupied the Choso˘n capital of Wanggo˘m, and the last king, Ugo˘, a grandson of Wiman, was killed by his own ministers. For the next four centuries a northwestern part of the Korean peninsula was directly incorporated into the Chinese Empire, the first and only time the Chinese exerted direct rule in Korea. THE CHINESE COMMANDERIES The Chinese, having conquered Choso˘n, set up four administrative units called commanderies (Chinese: jun; Korean: kun).

Hwanung metamorphosed himself, lay with her, and begot a son called Tan’gun Wanggo˘m. [Tan’gun later was often considered the first Korean and/or founder of the first Korean state. This account goes on to say that in the “fiftieth year of the reign of Emperor Yao,” on a date calculated as October 3, 2333 BCE, Tan’gun was said to have established the state of Choso˘n. This date has become a national holiday in South Korea. indd 26 9/21/10 5:23 AM 2 X The Period of the Three Kingdoms, 4th Century to 676 T he fourth century is an important period for Korean history.

Also interesting is the fact that bronze was not associated with state formation in Korea as it has been elsewhere. Despite efforts by some nationalist Korean historians to claim bronze artifacts as evidence of early states, it is unlikely that any organization above the tribal level existed at this time. Iron also probably came to the peninsula from China sometime before 300 BCE. Iron is important not only because it is superior to stone for cutting trees, clearing fields, and eliminating enemies, but also because it contributed to economic specialization and the development of trade.

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