By Michael J. Seth
During this finished but compact ebook, Michael J. Seth surveys Korean historical past from Neolithic instances to the current. He explores the origins and improvement of Korean society, politics, and its nonetheless little-known cultural background from their inception to the 2 Korean states of this day. Telling the notable tale of the origins and evolution of a society that borrowed and followed from in a foreign country, Seth describes how quite a few tribal peoples within the peninsula got here jointly to shape one of many worlds so much targeted groups. He indicates how this old, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society used to be wrenched into the realm of late-nineteenth-century imperialism, fell sufferer to jap expansionism, after which turned arbitrarily divided into antagonistic halves, North and South, after global struggle II.
Tracing the previous seven a long time, the ebook explains how the 2 Koreas, with their deeply varied political and social platforms and geopolitical orientations, advanced into sharply contrasting societies. South Korea, after an unpromising begin, turned one of many few postcolonial constructing states to go into the ranks of the 1st international, with a globally aggressive economic climate, a democratic political procedure, and a sophisticated and dynamic tradition. North Korea, against this, grew to become one of many worlds such a lot totalitarian and remoted societies, a nuclear energy with an impoverished and famine-stricken inhabitants. Seth describes and analyzes the appreciably diverse and traditionally extraordinary trajectories of the 2 Koreas, previously one tight-knit society. all through, he provides a richdimension by means of putting Korean background into broader worldwide point of view and through together with fundamental readings from every one period. All readers searching for a balanced, a professional historical past might be richly rewarded with this transparent and concise ebook.
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Additional info for A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present
These Chinese commanderies have been likened to colonies. However, the commanderies were not foreign territories, but were an integral part of the Han Empire, with the same administrative structure that characterized the rest of China. The inhabitants included many Chinese settlers. Just how many is not known, nor is it possible to estimate the percentage of the population that was ethnically Chinese. indd 18 9/21/10 5:23 AM The Origins 19 of intermarriage and cultural assimilation is probable.
According to the third-century Sanguozhi there ˘ mnu (Chinese: Yilou), were nine Dongyi: Puyo˘ (Chinese: Fuyu), Okcho˘, U Eastern Ye (Chinese: Hui), Koguryo˘ (Chinese: Gaogouli), the three Han tribes of southern Korea, and the Wa of Japan. The actual classification of peoples is a complex matter, as different tribes were called by different names, peoples moved about, and groups split off from other groups. Trying to sort out these groups and their relationships to each other has been a problem for historians of early Korea.
Ethnicity is a very difficult term to define, but language is simpler. All Koreans speak Korean as their native tongue, and all people who speak Korean as their first language identify themselves as ethnically Korean. No other language is known to have been spoken by any large group on the peninsula in recent centuries. Korean is not closely related to any other language. Most linguists classify it as related to Japanese and remotely related to the Altaic languages of Inner Asia, which include Mongolian, the Turkic languages, and the Tungusic languages such as Manchu.