E. The Peasant Uprising - the Discontent of the Peasants Explodes
The peasant uprising that occurred sporadically expanded throughout the nation during the reign of King Cheoljong. The peasant uprising of 1862 organized in Jinju fueled the subsequent rebellions. As the fallen yangban1)stood up against the rapacious exploitation of the Provincial Army Commander, the populace came together and within a week, tens of thousands of peasants joined in the fierce uprising. The peasants attacked government offices, confined the soldiers, set fire to the homes of ‘local functionaries'2), condemned the extortions of the officials and urged for a reduction in taxes.
In the same year, peasant uprisings also broke out in Gaeryeong, Gyeongsang Province, by thousands of peasants in which . Popular disturbances with tens of thousands of peasants also broke out on Jinju Island the following year. The Jinju Uprising ignited a succession of outbreaks nationwide. The government became aware that more serious revolts would take place unless they regained the confidence of the peasants.
In consequence, the government established various offices to improve the ‘Three Administrations’and dispatched secret inspectors(amhaeng eosa) to expose corrupt officials. However, fundamental reform plans for setting the society in the right direction were not formulated, and proper reforms in the ‘Three Administrations’were not implemented as a result of opposition from the ruling clas. Thus the discontent of the peasants continued.
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