• History of Korea
  • Ⅳ. The Establishment and Development of the Aristocratic Society of Goryeo
  • 4. Goryeo Stands against Foreign Aggressions
  • F. Dreaming of a New Society

A new bureaucratic class of the literati (sadaebu) emerged at the end of the Goryeo period. In particular, these sadaebu were actively appointed in the implementation of the reformative politics during the reign of King Gongmin. The literati who studied Confucianism, advanced into the central government through the civil service examination and nurtured their factions. They accepted Seongnihak (Neo-Confucianism) as the new ideology, criticized Buddhism and called for social reforms. Buddhism, under which Goryeo was founded, which drove away the foreign forces and dominated the spiritual world of the populace, had degraded into a corrupt religion harassing the people and ruining the state. Based on the doctrine of Neo-Confucianism, the Sadaebu stood at the forefront in the politics and the efforts to restructure the society which had been so ill-used by the powerful families. Meanwhile, military commanders Choi Yeong and Yi Seong-gye who made a name for themselves in repelling the Red Turbans and the Japanese marauders, joined forces to defeat the existing power in politics. But the two men eventually came to confrontation regarding the future course of Goryeo. When Ming China demanded that Goryeo return the territories that had been occupied by Yuan, Goryeo set out to conquer Liaotung, which had been an ancient territory of Goguryeo. On their way to the expedition, however, Yi Seong-gye turned his army back from Wihwa Island in the mouth of the Yalu and launched a coup d’etat (1388). He ousted the king and Choi Yeong from power.

The new literati who dreamt of a new society, believing that the fate of Goryeo had come to an end, joined forces with Yi Seong-gye to implement the reforms in full swing. Yi Seong-gye was placed on the throne and thus came the establishment of a new dynasty of Joseon (1392).

Research Activities

The Science and Art of Goryeo That Stood out Brilliantly on the World Stage

What comes to your mind first when you think of‘ Goryeo’?
Goryeo celadon and Goryeo ginseng have already become global trademarks. Search the following on the Internet and gather materials on them.
[key words] Goryeo celadon, movable metal type, Jikji-simche-yojeol, Tripitaka Koreana, Najeon - chilgi


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고려
한국사 918 고려 건국 935 신라 멸망 936 후삼국 통일 1019 귀주 대첩 1126 이자겸의 난 1135 묘청의 서경 천도 운동 1170 무신 정변 1231 몽골의 침입 1236 고려 대장경 제작(~1251) 1388 위화도 회군 세계사 960 송의 건국 1192 일본, 가마쿠라 막부 성립 1206 징기즈칸의 몽골 통일 1338 영국과 프랑스의 백년 전쟁(~1453) 1368 원의 멸망과 명의 건국
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단원 요약
고려는 후삼국을 통일하고 발해 유민을 받아들여 한민족 전체를 아우른 통일 국가로 발전하였다. 고려는 불교를 국가의 종교로 숭상하고 유교를 통치의 원리로 삼아 중앙 집권적인 통치 체제를 확립하였다. 고려는 거란, 여진, 몽골 등의 침입을 받아 어려움을 겪었지만 이를 슬기롭게 극복하면서, 고려 대장경, 고려청자와 같은 세계적인 문화 유산을 남겼다. 나아가 개방적인 대외 정책을 통해 고려(코리아)의 이름이 세계에 널리 알려지게 되었다.
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Abstract
Goryeo unified the Later Three Kingdoms, accepted the displaced people of Balhae and united all the people of Korea. Goryeo officially recognized Buddhism as the state religion, while establishing Confucianis as the principle for ruling. Goryeo struggled under invasions from the Khitan, the Jurchen and the Mongols, and wisely overcame these hardships. It left behind such great cultural heritages as the Tripitaka Koreana and Goryeo celadon. Furthermore, through its open foreign policies, it succeeded in making the name Goryeo (Corea) widely known throughout the world.
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