History of Korea

Ⅴ. Joseon Society Focused on the Yangban Class


Joseon moved its capital from Gaegyeong to Hanyang(presently Seoul), carried out sweeping reforms in landholding and the ruling system, and formulated the framework of governing the state. Political and social systems centered on the Yangban class were solidified and Seongnihak, the New-Confucianism, became the governing doctrine of the nation. Furthermore, it became equipped with an economic structure based on agriculture which was supported by the government. Furthermore, the borders of Joseon were expanded to the Yalu and Tumen Rivers, developed the Hunminjeongeum, the Korean alphabet, and strengthened its status as an independent nation.
Following the 16th century, a faction based in the countryside (the Sarim faction) advanced into central politics and came into confrontation with the existing political power(the Hungu faction). The factions that seized political power then confronted one another according to regions, sects and doctrines
Joseon engaged in friendly relations with the Ming Dynasty of China and also made contact with the Jurchen and Japan. At the end of the 16th century, however, Japan launched a massive attack against Joseon, and in the 17th century, Joseon suffered hardship under invasion from the Jurchen which had grown powerful.