B. Political Disturbances Resulting from the Struggle for the Throne
At the beginning of Joseon, Confucian was established as the doctrine of the state, and efforts were exerted toward the stabilization of the people’s livelihood. Within the ruling power, however, there emerged a conflict between those who aimed to strengthen the royal authority and those who were opposed to such a move. Conflicts also arose among the princes over the succession to the throne (Revolt of the Princes).
Yi Bang-won, the fifth son2)of King Taejo, twice mobilized the military to oust the opposition factions and seized the throne. After he came to the throne, King Taejong exerted great effort to reinforce the kingly authority.
When King Munjong, the fifth monarch of Joseon, died early from an illness his son, King Danjong ascended to the throne at the age of 12. As the boy-king was weak in power, many struggled to seize the throne. Prince Suyang, the second son of King Sejong, who was King Danjong’s uncle, organized a revolt and came to the throne (King Sejo). King Sejo had those who attempted to put King Danjong back on the throne killed and subsequently had King Danjong himself killed. To reinforce his power, King Sejo expanded his army of bodyguards, conducted major administrative affairs himself, and transformed the political structure to be centered only on the king.
There was political and ethical conflict at the beginning of the Joseon dynasty resulting from the fierce battles for the throne, but this resulted in strengthened royal authority.