Enlightenment Party

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Enlightenment Party of the Joseon (hangul: 개화당, hanja: 開化黨, romanization: Gaehwadang) was a Korean progressive party founded after the Imo Incident. Other names they were known by include: Independence Party of the Joseon, the Innovation Party of the Joseon, and the Reformist Faction. They tried to cut off the submissive relationship Korea had to the Qing Dynasty, they were opposed to what they called the "Conservative Party" (hangul: 수구당) a group supporting Queen Min, and they reformed domestic affairs emulating the Empire of Japan's Meiji Restoration. They were also the organization that tried to found an independent Joseon nation. The central figures of this party were Kim Ok-gyun, Hong Yeong-sik, Seo Jae-pil and Seo Gwang-bum. Also the Conservative Party participated in enlightening/educational movements, so they were called the Radical Reformist Faction to make a distinction from them.

The Enlightenment Party of the Joseon orchestrated the Gapsin Coup after the Sino–French War with the promise of advice and support of Takezoe Shinichiro (hangul: 다케조에 신이치로, hanja: 竹添), the Japanese minister to Korea. Ultimately, the coup d'état was crushed by the Qing army, so Enlightenment Party members like Kim Ok-gyun, Park Yeong-hyo, Seo Jae-pil, and so on sought asylum in Japan. Since 1894, they had organized cabinets three times under Kim Hong-jip's leadership, but their politics were partially under Japanese support, indirectly resulting in aiding and abetting Japan's influence. With the popularity of pro-Russians on the rise, the Enlightenment Party collapsed.

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