Saturday, February 5, 2011

Korea History - Koryo Dynasty


Koryo Dynasty

Shilla was torn to pieces by rebel leaders such as Kyon Hwon who proclaimed the Latter Paekche (Hu Paekche) state in Chongju in 900, and Kung Ye who proclaimed to Latter Koguryo (Hu Koguryo) state, the following year at Kaesong.  Wang Kon, the last rebel leader, the son of a gentry family, became the first minister of Kung Ye.  Overthrowing Kung Ye for misdemeanors and malpractice in 918, he sought and received the support of landlords and merchants whose economic, as well as political, power overwhelmed the Shilla government.
Wang Kon easily raided Latter Paekche in 934.  Wang Kon accepted the abdication of King Kyongsun of Shilla in 935.  The following year he easily conquered Latter Paekche and unified the Korean Peninsula.
Wang Kon was at first content to leave provincial magnates undisturbed.  He was particularly careful to placate the Shilla aristocracy.  He gave former King Kyongsun the highest post in his government, and even married a woman of the Shilla royal clan, thus somewhat legitimizing his rule.
Enthroned as the founder king of the Koryo Dynasty (91801392), the name of which was derived from Koguryo, he drafted 10 injunctions for his successors to observe. Among the 10 injunctions he predicted probably conflict between his state and the northern nomadic states with Koguryo's territory as the objective, and advised the strengthening of the state.  He advised that Buddhist temples must not be interfered with, and warned against the usurpation and internal conflicts among the royal clans and the weakening of local power.

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