Anglo-Korean Relations 1883-1910

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy

Table of Contents

November 26th 2008
November 24th 2008
November 24th 2008
November 20th 2008
October 16th 2008
September 26th 2008
September 23rd 2008
September 7th 2008
Chapter 5: July 23rd 2008
Chapter 4, 2nd draft : July 21st 2008
Working Table of Contents, 1st Update : July 15th 2008
Chapter 4 : July 14th 2008
Chapter 2 : June 3rd 2008
Working Table of Contents : May 22nd 2008
Bibliography 1st Update : April 4th 2008
Bibliography : March 28th 2008

November 26th 2008
check out this source
F.M. Anderson, A.S. Hershey, Handbook for the Diplomatic History of Europe, Asia, and Africa, 1870-1914 (1918), posted on Internet Archive, ch.83 : Chino-Japanese rivalry in Korea, 1876-1894, pp.240-241, ch.93 : Russo-Japanese Rivalry in Korea 1895-1904 pp.265-268, ch.110 : Japan's Relations with Korea 1904-1910 pp.317-319

November 24th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) I do not accept the usage of the term "Turkey" anywhere in your paper. Turkey, as a state, exists since 1920/1923. Use "Ottoman Empire" instead.
(2) Standardize your notes. P.123 - P.124 too long; use pp.123-124. the p or pp always in small letters.
URLs do not appear in notes; that is what reference lists are for. If, in your reference list, you begin every entry with a short reference : Kim 1994 : Kim Hyun-soo "The British Foreign Policy in the Nineteenth Century - Splendid Isolation Policy" Vol.43 No.1 1994., in your note you only need to write Kim 1994 p.46
(3) When 'balance of power' between United Kingdom and Russia was formed in the Far East, a military conflict between Qing Empire and Russia in Xinjiang occurred. A power vacuum appeared in the Far East temporarily. It was the reason why Japan succeeded to open Korea without any interference by Russia, Qing and Great Britain. The conflict in Xinjiang and the opening of Korea by Japan affected the British policy on the Far East. The change of the policy was also caused by emergence of imperialism in Great Britain. As military power and interest of foreign territories of other European nations increased, it was inevitable for Great Britain to choose strong foreign policy. Furthermore, the British government recognized that the Qing Empire was not strong enough to stop Russian southward expansion policy. Finally, United Kingdom accepted that forming a friendly relationship with Korea was necessary to repress the expansion of Russia. Nevertheless, she showed inactive attitude to sign and seal a treaty with Korea to the last. She thought that making a treaty with Korea was against her fundamental diplomatic principle that was "no intervention unless an affair harms the interest of the Kingdom." As a result, British government waited until the United States and Korea concluded the Shufeldt Treaty.
Conflict in Xinjiang : give dates (from .. to); Japan succeeded in opening - give date, Shufeldt Treaty - give date.
(4) Recognizing the necessity to amend the treaty, Parkes waited for an opportunity to make a new treaty. Fortunately, he found a chance soon.
Fortunately - for whom ? Did the Koreans want to change the treaty ? If not, you give the impression that you, as a Korean, take sides with the British. In general : avoid the term "fortunately" in a history paper.
Chapter 4 : in the text the numbers corresponding to 25 notes; under it 26 notes. Sort out the mess.
Chapter 4 note 1 : also pronounced as => also spelled as
When your paper is done, I recommend : move all notes to the end, renumber footnotes.
(5) Chapter V Note 13. Nice quote. Where from ?
(6) Main purpose of the diplomatic policy of Great Britain on Korea from 1883 to 1897 was restraining expansion of Russia in East Asia; it was also a derivative of the diplomatic policy of Great Britain on China and Japan.
Chapter V.4 is too short. You do fail to include a brief narrative of how Russia got Port Arthur, and how that changed the British attitude toward China. Without it, your paper is incomplete. You can do this without studying a lot of books in detail. East Asiatic Triple Alliance; Lease of Port Arthur.
(7) Title of Paper covers period 1883-1910; your conclusion focusses on 1883-1897. Want to amend title ?
(8) Another matter you omit is the Korean declaration of independence, the elevation of the Kingdom of Joseon to the Empire of Taehan

November 24th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

Just one comment : Wikipedia does not belong into the image file, as you refer to an English language source. I do not accept a general reference to the Wikipedia. I would accept onme summaric reference of the type : Wikipedia, URL (of main page), articles ...........

November 16th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

I like this chapter. In previous chapters, you leaned too heavily on Korean historians, some of whom seem to think that Korea is the center of the world and world history somehow evolves around it.
If we would not find ourselves under time constraints, I would say that you might want to look into more books reflecting the British policy regarding the Far East, many of which are online (try the Internet Archive,, where lots of books printed before 1919 are freely available online. If we would have known this a year ago, your paper might be different right now, but then, a good number of the titles accessible there may have been posted more recently.
You may have to amend an earlier chapter.

October 16th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) Do not apologize about a short chapter. Some chapters are shorter than others.
(2) After the First Anglo-Japanese Alliance was concluded, Great Britain abandoned its traditional diplomatic policy, 'splendid isolation' and entered into an alliance with France and Russia
I wonder if you understand the term 'Splendid Isolation'. The United Kingdom, at all stages of her history, entered into (short-term) alliances. The purpose odf splendid isolation was to refrain from entering into long-term alliances so that the country could use alliance policy to try maontain the balance of powers on the European continent. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, from the London perspective, was there to check the momentary threat of Russian expansion in the Pacific region. Basically, by 1906 it had lost its raison d'etre.
The effect you imply it having had is, in my mind, a coincidence in history.
(3) On the other hand, Japan could afford to prepare a war against Russia more effectively. The First Anglo-Japanese Alliance consists of six clauses. In the treaty, both Great Britain and Japan defined their rights and interests in East Asia.The main purpose of the alliance was to preserve peace in East Asia, integral territory of Korea and fair opportunity in commerce and industry in East Asia.
You contradict yourself - Japan can prepare for war, and purpose of treaty is peace in East Asia. The last sentence is diplomatic language; in the text of the treaty they may write about peace, friendship (amity) and sunshine. You have to learn to read btween the lines; from the British perspective the purpose was to pep up Japan's military so that it could fight the Russians. Russi had control of an year-long ice-free pot on the Pacific; London wanted Japan to rectify that situation. If you find anyone writing the purpose of the treaty having been "peace in East Asia", put that statement in quotation marks, give the appropriate reference. You writing that without quotation marks and reference means you actually believe the purpose of that treaty having been peace in East Asia.
(4) Also Trans-Siberian Railway was under construction to expand its influence in China and Korea.
It wasw under construction - fact ; to expand Russia's influence in China and Korea - interpretation. If you want to convince, give evidence for your statement. Otherwise it is only provocative.
By 1898, Russia owned two ports on the Pacific - Vladivostok and Nachodka - and had leased another one, Port Arthur, in Chinese territory, from the Chinese government. Nobody in the world disputed Russia's claims to either. For Russia to want to connect these places to its railroad system can have had both domestic-defensive and expansionist-offensive motifs. It turns out6 that a major factor in Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War was the fact that the railroad had not yet been completed - stressing the defensive importance. If you make such claims, support them with evidence. If you find other authors making such statements, say ... which in the opinion of xyz 1999 p.675 was intended to expand Russia's influence in China and Korea.
I am a bit skeptical of the tendency of some Korean historians to twist international events to a point that they fit into the view of everything orbiting around a center called Korea.
Such actions were very threatening to both Great Britain and Japan, especially to Japan.
The Transib a threat to Japan - are you arguing the case of Japanese expansionism ? The Japanese militarists argued that the sheer existence of an independent Korea was a threat to Japan, "a dagger pointed at Japan".
(5) Thus, Japan sought various ways to preserve peace in East Asia
Specify what you mean by peace - peace for 1902 when Japan was not yet ready for a war with Russia, or a long-term peace ? For 1902 I might follow you; for any longer period the statement does not deserve any critical analysis.
(6) Moreover, the alliance was the first case which recognized Japanese suzerainty over Korea instead of Chinese suzerainty.
Did you get the book by Lo ? Did the British Consul General in Seoul after 1902 answer to the British ambassador in Tokyo, or to the one in Beijing ?
(7) The intended purpose of the alliance for Great Britain was to concentrate her power in Europe and to sustain her superior position in East Asia at the same time.
The treaty may treat Britain and Japan as equals; the British saw Japan as a pawn of British diplomacy. Now to concentrate her power in Europe - Britain was still fighting the Boer War, eyeing at the acquisition of the Congo, worried about Russian expansion in Central Asia, German influence in the Ottoman Empire. Britain regarded the world's oceans British ponds; only why fight Russia directly if you can use the ambitious Japanese to do in your stead ? My comment contains interpretations as much as your statements do. Only to show to you that in this one page of text you make a lot of debatable statements, which require support. If unsupported, they provoke your reader to take the opposite position, and you use credibility.
(8) The alliance was concluded in August, only one month before the Korean-Japanese Treaty of 1905 (9) was concluded. The alliance fully recognized Japanese control over Korea. Unlike the First Anglo-Japanese Alliance, the Second Anglo-Japanese Alliance did not guarantee independence and integrity of Korea. Thus, Japan could invade Korea without any restraint.
An uninformed reader might imply from your text : (1) Britain, in a treaty with Japan in 1905 recognized Japan's claim over Korea. (2) After Britain signed that treaty, Japan invaded Korea. In fact, the Japanese invasion took place at the very beginning of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904. Your text may be interpreted as a malicious representation of the facts. The British in 1905 were recognizing the facts on the ground, not causing them.
(9) In the end, Japan forcefully colonized Korea in 1910.
Do not use 'colonize' as a verb in this context. Japan annexed Korea in 1910, or Japan turned Korea into a Japanese colony in 1910. To colonize is usually interpreted as "to settle". Humankind hopes to colonize other planets some time in the future.
(10) General Comment : paper not too short, but too many unsubstantiated interpretations. Revision necessary.

September 26th 2008

In response to yesterday's presentation :
If you want to criticize the British for "only sending a consul general" to Seoul - you are free to do so - it would be more convincing if you would compare British action with that of other foreign parties, most notably Japan, the U.S. and Germany (as these were the nations who established diplomatic relations with Korea prior to/simultaneously with the United Kingdom.

September 23rd 2008

Times of London online, all issues since 1785 annual fee for access L 74,95 - reasonable. Keyword Corea threw out 2190 results

September 7th 2008

Check website of UK National Archive
Search Documents Online for Corea, Korea
Check (UK Nat'l Archive) Online Library Catalogue for Korea

Search RHS Bibliography for Corea, Korea

July 23rd 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) Since Imoh Army Revolt in 1882 and Gapsin Coup in 1884
For every event specific to Korean history only I expect a footnote with an explanation. Do not expect your reader to know anything about Korean history; if hey are capable to find the country on a globe, that is already a lot. Better : add a glossary explaining such trmas at the end of your paper.
(2) Fortunately, great chance came in 1894. (4)
Fortunately - for whom - the Japanese ? Do you identify with Japanese policy in this period ????????????????
(3) We will have to talk about your footnotes. The many direct quotations - do you get them from documents, document editions, or did you find them quoted in a book ? If the latter, you have to add where you found them.
(4) Note (13) : where did you get that quote ? reference.

July 21st 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

(1) You implemented a number of corrections. Unfortunately, you continue working on your file, instead of working on the file I post; so all the stylistic corrections which I made when I posted your file the first time around were NOT reflected in your second draft. Example : you keep writing British government, Korean government. It is the British government, the Korean government, a mistake you make regularly.
(2) note 1. You describe the location of Port Hamilton, but you say nothing about the size of its population.
(3) chapter IV.6 the Vice-Admiralty Dowell and his successor Hamilton claimed that retaining the possession of Port Hamilton
Vice Admiral Dowell. his successor, (title) (christian names or ininitals) Hamilton. In case of officer Hamilton being in charge of the administration of Port Hamilton, you should give a footnote explaining that Port Hamilton is not named after him and the identity of both names is pure coincidence.
(4) British navy left it or take possession of Port Lazareff in which Russia was deeply interested over thirty years.
Footnote - Korean name of Port Lazareff. How come that place has such a (Russian) name.
(5) note (9). your source ?

July 15th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log


July 15th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

Comment on chapter IV.
(1) In those days, British navy already recognized the strategic importance of Port Hamilton (1).
You are a Korean. The name the British military administration gave to "Port Hamilton" is a cultural affrontery; just imagine Koreans printing a map on which they call London PingPangPong. The first time you mention the place, you should use the Korean name and explain that the British administration referred to it as Port Hamilton. It is not sufficient to bury the Korean name in a footnote. Also you might want to give a better descrption of Komundo at that time - size, number of inhabitants.
(2) Bismarck, the German Prime Minister, tried to prevent Turkey from joining the United Kingdom.
As you write it, it can be read that the plan was to enlarge the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland and the Ottoman Empire. to prevent the Ottoman Empire from entering into an anti-Russian alliance.
(3) The purpose of occupation of Port Hamilton was not restraining Russia from influencing Korea but attacking Russian territory if a war between Great Britain and Russia had broken out. The main concern of Great Britain was India while Korea including Port Hamilton was a tool for restraining Russia from India.
And the United States acquired Alaska to prevent Luxemburg from invading Uruguay.
Port Hamilton was to check the Russian navy in what you refer to as the East Sea; reference to India is ridiculous. How many ships could Port Hamilton hold ? How many ship's crews could Port Hamilton supply over an extended period of time ?
Port Hamilton is part of the Great Game. But the British did not occupy Port Hamilton because of the Russian occupation of some places in Central Asia.
Here we face a general problem : you depend, in this argumentation, on secondary sources, written from a hindsight perspective. And I assume, on the narrative of a Korean historian exaggerating the importance of Port Hamilton.
I did not read many historians' accounts on Port Hamilton, but I read, and even (re-)typed, a number of documents on Port Hamilton. In these documents, the British used as an excuse for the occupation of Port Hamilton the rumour that the Russian fleet, with the consent of the Korean government, would have spent the winter in a bay on Korea's eastern coast called Port Lazareff. This rumour, which the British used to justify their action, turned out to be wrong; the Korean, Chinese and all other governments rejected the British claim as unbased, and in the end the British realized that they hd taken a diplomatically untenable position unless they wanted to be perceived as an agressor.
In your narrative, Port Lazareff appears late and does not receive the importance I believe it deserves. Not Merv and Pandjeh, Port Lazareff was the cause for British action. What you need is a contemporary account.
Of course you need reliable sources, not my memory of what I typed almost 20 years ago.
I have Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events 1886, Corea entry pp,.270-272 (published 1887); try to find volume 1885. Another approach : search New York Times archive for term "Port Lazareff". Any article on that term printed prior to the British occupation of Port Hamilton may help prove the point I tried to make.
(4) Finally, British Government decided on war with Russia over the Afghan boundary question (6). However, British army was not strong enough to fight against Russian army.
Reformulate; Britain did not declare war.
(5) Chinese Government was even opposed to laying of a cable from the Saddle islands to Port Hamilton
Saddle Islands must be Chinese territory and thus have a Chinese name; give it in the text or in footnote
(6) The Japanese Foreign Minister, Kaoru Inouye, said that it "... can not view without concern occupation of place so adjacent ..." and wanted to know "what arrangement had been made with Korea." However, the Japanese Government showed a contradictory reaction at Peking. The Japanese Minister at Peking strongly pushed the Chinese Government to oppose the occupation.
I do not see a contraction in Japanese action here.
(7) Since Great Britain occupied Port Hamilton, the suspicion that Russia would take Port Lazareff had arisen. Such suspicion greatly increased when it was revealed that Möllendorff secretly negotiated independence of Korea and concession of islands with Alexis de Speyer in 1885. He also requested Russian military advisers. However, all these negotiations were not authorized by Korean Government but those were Möllendorff's personal plan.
For such a statement I must insist on a footnote.
Try find this book : Lee Yur-Bok. West Goes East: Paul Georg von Möllendorff and Great Power Imperialism in Late Yi Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1988.

June 3rd 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

When posting your chapter, I added a few articlwes (THE Qing Empire), replaced "make" in MAKE a treaty with more suitable expressions, added information (expedition W.R. Broughton 1797, B. Hall 1816). I corrected Gutzlaff to Gützlaff (he was a German). Closely read the posted version, and if you consider to alter it, use the text as it is posted, not your file.
Your paper provided me with a host of information I did not have before.
(1) I asked for a chapter with notes; from where do you obtain your information ?
(2) You properly use the modern spelling of Li Hongzhang, the Qing Empire. Books published prior to World War I in English, however, may refer to these as Li Hung Chang respectively the Ching, Manchu or Chinese Empire. When you mention such names the first time, either mention both spellings :
Li Hongzhang (Li Hung Chang)
or refer to the alternate spelling in a foot-/ endnote.
(3) Spence, Kennedy, Maude - try finf their complete names.
(4) Okgyun Kim - do not turn Oriental names around ! You do not refer to Zedong Mao and Hongzhang Li either. The Wikipedia calls him Kim Okgyun.
(5) Edward Zappe, German consul - chck spelling; I suspect it to be Eduard Zappe.
(6) Ernst Satow, check spelling; I suspect Ernest Satow.
(7) The Korean government, unfamiliar with western style international diplomacy, requested Beijing to send an advisor, and Li Hongzhang sent one, Paul Georg von Möllendorff. He actually negotiated for Korea with both the British and the German delegation. Study about him and figure out how deeply he was involved; I do know that the British were displeased seeing a German negotiating on Korea's behalf, fearing that he might grant Germany more privileges than the British.
(8) The entire chapter is written from a British perspective. What about the Korean approach ? Möllendorff seems to form a part of it. Also, I do know that Kim Okgyun later became an exile and fugitive. Korea's court was a hotbed of factionalism and intrigue, to which Möllebndorff, after a 2 year stay, also fell victim. You may want to write about that.
(9) It did not have enough energy to spare for further conflicts in East Asia.
Other interpretations are possible - was it worth the bother, from the perspective of Downing Street ? Russia did not press that much; Japan was not yet on the British radar screen, and there were many other places of the globe in a similar situation. The statement above, is it yours or did you find it in Korean literature ? If yes, quote the source and distance yourself from it.
(10) It is assumed that there were two reasons why the British government did not pay much attention to Korea. Firstly, Korea was backward in industry and commerce. Thus, it was hard to expect any economic profit from trade with Korea. Instead British merchants were greatly interested in China.
You are a Korean; it seems you think of your readers to be Koreans too. Thus a more detailed explanation of Korea's economic situation seems not necessary to yourself. However, the word "backward" alone is too summaric. Imagne your reader to be unfamiliar with the economic situation of your country prior to opening, and describe it in a paragraph, not just a phrase. Do not automatically assume that you write for a Korean readership. You may do so in the Korean version of your paper; the English version is for n international readership and should not be a mere translation of the former.
(11) here some positions for your reference list. Websites do exist.

May 22nd 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

I took the liberty of changing "background and development of the friendship between ..." to "background and development of the relations between". The term "friendship (amity) is frequently used in diplomatic language, but rather hollow. Also I added years to certain chapter titles. I recommend you add the years of the various treaties.
Your table of contents has one weakness; it emphasizes the relations between Britain and Korea, and from 1895/1902 on brings in the relations between Britain and Japan affecting Korea. For the period until 1897/1902 you have to deal with the Anglo-Chinese relations in order to understand Anglo-Korean relations.

April 5th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

The updated list looks much better than your first draft; now you have books listed which promise to be relevant.
(1) I assume position 16 : Pak, Il Keun, to be published in Korean language. Thus it would make sense to move it into the gif part of your bibliography. I further assume that Pak Il Keun and Park Il-geun (bottom of gif file) are one and the same person. Figure out how he writes his name in English, and stick to that spelling.
(2) You are aware that position 20 probably is a one page illustration (can be larger than A4)
(3) In your gif file, continue the numbering of publications.
(4) You did not go through Myongji Bibliography, biography section :
Lane-Poole, Stanley, The Life of Sir Harry Parkes : Sometime Her Majesty's Minister to China & Japan, London : MacMillan 1894, 2 vols.
Lane-Poole, Stanley, Sir Harry Parkes in China, London : Methuen 1901
(5) Sort the publications in your gif file into bibliographies, primary sources, secondary sources
(6) In your next update, add relevant websites.
(7) split your bibliography into (A) a bibliography of sources you intend to use and (B) a bibliography of further titles you consider(ed) to use

Think of a working table of contents, and when you have it, send it as a file.

March 28th 2008 . . . go to Student's Log

In your gif file you failed to give, in addition to Korean language title listings, the English language translations of those titles. We have to operate under the assumption that our readers want the correct title in the original language, but do not understand Korean. fix that.
In your doc file, Longford's title contains Chinese characters in an otherwise English language title. Move that title into the list of non-English language books; otherwise the Chinese characters can not be shown.

At present I can not comment on the Korean language titles in your list.
Most of the English language books (except Hoare and perhaps Corfe) are about Korea, occasionally written by a person employed at the British consulate; in most cases they are not on the topic of Anglo-Korean Relations.
You rather might want to go for books on the following topics :
(1) Anglo-Chinese Relations until 1902, Anglo-Japanese Relations 1902-1910. The fact that the British maintained a consulate in Seoulindicates that they did not regard Korea (or Corea, as spelled in contemporary English documents) an independent country.
(2) Memoires of Diplomats who were stationed in the Far East in those days :
Sands, Undiplomatic Memories 1896-1904
Max von Brandt, Dreiundddreissig Jahre in Ostasien, 3 vols., 1901
(3) British maps of the Far East printed before 1902, showing Korea as a part of China (as they treated Tibet, Mongolia)
(4) London Public Record Office Catalogue of Documents on China in that time : Lo, Foreign Office Confidential Papers Relating to China
I used to have this book, gave it to Myongji Univ Library. Corea documents are listed under the heading "China". You can cheaply access the book at Jstor
(5) go for diplomatic issues of the time : books on Port Hamilton/Komundo, on the Sino-Japanese War 1894-1895
(6) look for sources on the 'British' gold mine in NK