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HOME>Hamel Pavilion>Shipwreck and life in Jeju>The situation of Joseon in the 17th century



Joseon went to ruin by Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592 (Imjinwaeran) and in 1597 (Jeongyujaeran) provoked by Toyotomi Hideyoshi ().


A 7-year war reduced the people to the greatest misery and stroked a fatal blow at Joseon in all sides such as politics, economy, culture, society, and ideology. After a hard-earned victory, the pressing need of the government was to restore a destructed civilization and squandered wealth. To achieve this, the role of Bibyeonsa was reinforced and the military structure began to be reorganized.

However, before the scars of war healed up, Lee Gwal's Revolt broke out for the distribution of rewards according to the merits of King Injo Restoration in Joseon. In addition, the next invasion of the Jurchen tribes in 1627 and 1636 gave rise to great confusion. These brought a sense of futility in restoring the scars of Japanese invasion. Hou Chin rose to power, taking advantage of the weakened the Ming Dynasty and invaded Joseon in 1627 (Jeongmyohoran) and 1636 (Byeongjahoran).

As a result, Joseon became a tributary state of the Ching Dynasty. It was the start of organizing new international order in the East Asia circle. The Jurchen tribes of the Ching Dynasty came into political power instead of Chinese Ming Dynasty.

After King Hyojong, King Injo developed the expedition to conquer the north to clear the disgrace of the Court and as a key foreign policy. With reinforced expedition to conquer the north, the improvement of weapon was the most urgent business to build up the military strength. So it was deemed necessary to introduce foreign advanced technology.

In such situation, Weltevree (Park Yeon) and his two mates shipwrecked in Joseon in 1627 entered the war of "Byeongjahoran", the second invasion of the Ching Dynasty in 1636 and only Weltevree survived. Weltevree was attached to Hullyeondogam to involve in new Western weaponry, contributing to the development of weapon.

Similarly, Hamel and his mates shipwrecked in Jeju-do in 1653 were attached to Hullyeondogam at first to use them as a part of building up the military strength







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