History of Korea

Joseon Dynasty
Sejong the Great ©HistoryMaps
1392 Jan 1 - 1897

Joseon Dynasty

Korean Peninsula

Joseon was founded by Yi Seong-gye in July 1392, following the overthrow of the Goryeo dynasty, and lasted until it was replaced by the Korean Empire in October 1897. Initially established in what is today Kaesong, the kingdom soon moved its capital to modern-day Seoul. Joseon expanded its territory to include the northernmost regions up to the Amnok (Yalu) and Tumen rivers through the subjugation of the Jurchens, solidifying its control over the Korean Peninsula.

Throughout its five centuries, Joseon was characterized by the promotion of Confucianism as the state ideology, which significantly shaped Korean society. This period marked a decline for Buddhism, which saw occasional persecutions. Despite internal challenges and foreign threats, including devastating Japanese invasions in the 1590s and invasions by the Later Jin and Qing dynasties in 1627 and 1636–1637, Joseon was a time of cultural flourishing, marked by advances in literature, trade, and science.

The legacy of the Joseon dynasty is deeply ingrained in modern Korean culture, influencing everything from language and dialects to societal norms and bureaucratic systems. However, by the late 19th century, internal divisions, power struggles, and external pressures precipitated a rapid decline, leading to the end of the dynasty and the emergence of the Korean Empire.

Last Updated: Mon Jan 22 2024

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