The Spirit Of Independence: A Primer For Korean Modernization And Reform
The Spirit of Independence is the foremost classic of reformist political writings known collectively as "enlightenment" (kaehwa) literature of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Korea. The twenty-nine-year-old Rhee completed the manuscript in 1904 while imprisoned in Seoul for openly criticizing the Taehan Empire and calling for a constitutional monarchy. His work reveals the depth of Korean angst over the threat to Korean independence of the ongoing Russo-Japanese War. But, above all, it is an impassioned plea to the common people of Korea to recognize the mortal dangers threatening their nation and to carry out a series of drastic reforms based on Western political models.
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