By Michael J. Seth
During this entire but compact e-book, Michael J. Seth surveys Korean background from Neolithic occasions to the current. He explores the origins and improvement of Korean society, politics, and its nonetheless little-known cultural background 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 overseas, Seth describes how a number of tribal peoples within the peninsula got here jointly to shape one of many worlds so much particular groups. He exhibits how this historic, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society was once wrenched into the realm of late-nineteenth-century imperialism, fell sufferer to eastern expansionism, after which turned arbitrarily divided into hostile halves, North and South, after international battle II.
Tracing the prior seven a long time, the ebook explains how the 2 Koreas, with their deeply assorted political and social structures and geopolitical orientations, advanced 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 economic climate, a democratic political procedure, and a worldly and dynamic tradition. North Korea, in contrast, grew to become one of many worlds such a lot totalitarian and remoted societies, a nuclear strength with an impoverished and famine-stricken inhabitants. Seth describes and analyzes the considerably assorted and traditionally exceptional trajectories of the 2 Koreas, previously one tight-knit society. all through, he provides a richdimension via putting Korean historical past into broader worldwide point of view and by way of together with basic readings from each one period. All readers trying to find a balanced, an expert historical past should be richly rewarded with this transparent and concise publication.
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Extra info for A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present
1 X The Origins THE KOREANS The Koreans today are one of the world’s most ethnically homogeneous peoples. In recent times there have been no significant ethnic or linguistic minorities. Ethnicity is a very difficult term to define, but language is simpler. All Koreans speak Korean as their native tongue, and all people who speak Korean as their first language identify themselves as ethnically Korean. No other language is known to have been spoken by any large group on the peninsula in recent centuries.
They were not organized as a state but were ruled by tribal chiefs who apparently met to elect a supreme chieftain for all the Puyo˘. This Puyo˘ tribal confederacy emerged by the second century BCE as the most powerful force in the region. South of the Puyo˘ lived the Koguryo˘, a people who according to the Chinese spoke a similar language and had similar customs but who differed from the Puyo˘ in their emotional and volatile temper. The Koguryo˘ may have originally been a branch of the Puyo˘ who settled farther into southern Manchuria in the region of the Yalu headwaters.
The early Koguryo˘ kingdom was more of a tribal federation than a centralized state. From 12 to 207 CE it was independent of China, and it was a formidable military power that conducted frequent raids on its neighbors. In 207, after suffering a series of retaliatory attacks by the Liaodong commandery, Koguryo˘ relocated to the Yalu valley. Its leaders set up a stone-walled capital at Hwando (Chinese: Wandu) in the Tonggou region of what is now Jilin Province in Manchuria. From there the kingdom expanded to the mouth of the Yalu, gaining an access to the Yellow Sea.