Hyojong of Joseon

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Hyojong of Joseon
Hangul 효종
Hanja 孝宗
Revised Romanization Hyojong
McCune–Reischauer Hyojong
Birth name
Hangul 이호
Hanja 李淏
Revised Romanization Yi Ho
McCune–Reischauer Yi Ho
Monarchs of Korea
Joseon Dynasty
  1. Taejo 1392–1398
  2. Jeongjong 1398–1400
  3. Taejong 1400–1418
  4. Sejong the Great 1418–1450
  5. Munjong 1450–1452
  6. Danjong 1452–1455
  7. Sejo 1455–1468
  8. Yejong 1468–1469
  9. Seongjong 1469–1494
  10. Yeonsangun 1494–1506
  11. Jungjong 1506–1544
  12. Injong 1544–1545
  13. Myeongjong 1545–1567
  14. Seonjo 1567–1608
  15. Gwanghaegun 1608–1623
  16. Injo 1623–1649
  17. Hyojong 1649–1659
  18. Hyeonjong 1659–1674
  19. Sukjong 1674–1720
  20. Gyeongjong 1720–1724
  21. Yeongjo 1724–1776
  22. Jeongjo 1776–1800
  23. Sunjo 1800–1834
  24. Heonjong 1834–1849
  25. Cheoljong 1849–1863
  26. Gojong 1863–1907
  27. Sunjong 1907–1910

King Hyojong (3 July 1619 – 23 June 1659) was the seventeenth king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea from 1649 to 1659. He is best known for his plan for expedition to Manchu Qing dynasty and his campaigns against the Russian Empire by the request of Qing Dynasty. His plan for the northern expedition was never put into action since he died before the campaign started.

Birth and Background[edit]

King Hyojong was born in 1619 as the second son of King Injo, while his father was still a prince. In 1623, when the Westerners faction (西人) launched a coup that removed then-ruling Gwanghaegun and crowned Injo, Hyojong was called to the palace along with his father and given the title Bongrimdaegun (Grand Prince Bongrim) in 1626.

Captive of the Qing Dynasty[edit]

In 1627, King Injo's hard-line diplomatic policy brought war between Korea and Manchus. Later, in 1636, the Manchus (Qing Dynasty) defeated Joseon, and King Injo pledged his loyalty to the Qing emperor at Samjeondo, bowing down at Hong Taiji's feet nine times. There, Injo and Hong Taiji signed a treaty, which included that Manchus would take Crown Prince Sohyeon, Injo's oldest son, and Hyojong to China as captive.

During his exile in China, Hyojong mostly tried to defend his older brother from the threats of the Qing Dynasty. Hong Taici and his Manchu forces were still at war against the Chinese Ming Dynasty and also engaged in battle with the Mongols and Chinese Muslims; and many times, the Qing emperor requested Prince Sohyeon to go to the battlefield and help command troops against the Manchus' enemies. However, Hyojong was worried about his brother because he was the official heir to the throne of Joseon and had no military experience. He went on to fight the Chinese in his brother's place, and he also followed Sohyeon to battles against the Uyghurs and Muslims on the western front.

Along with his brother, he made contact with Europeans while he was in China; and also he learned that Joseon needed to develop new technology and a stronger political and military system in order to protect itself from foreign powers. He also developed a grudge against Qing Dynasty, which separated him from his home country and his family. It was during this period that he decided to make a massive plan for northern campaigns against the Manchus, an act of vengeance on the Qing Dynasty for the war of 1636.

Enthronement[edit]

In 1645, Crown Prince Sohyeon returned to Joseon alone, in order to succeed Injo to the throne and to help Injo to govern the nation. However, he often came into conflict with Injo, who disliked Sohyeon's open view of European culture and diplomatic views of the Qing Dynasty. Soon he was found dead at the King's room, and buried quickly after a short funeral. Later, Injo also executed Sohyeon's wife who tried to find out the real reason for her husband's death. Legends say that Injo killed his own son with an ink slab that the Crown Prince brought from China.

Rather than selecting Crown Prince Sohyeon's oldest son, Prince Suk Chul, as the next royal successor, Injo selected Grand Prince Bong Rim and gave him the title of Crown Prince. When King Injo died in 1649, Hyojong inherited the throne, becoming the 17th monarch of Joseon.

Northern campaigns[edit]

After rising to the throne, he began to reform and expand the military of Korea; first he removed Kim Ja-jeom, who had corrupted politics and had greater power than the king himself. Then, he called Song Si-yeol (Hangul: 송시열 Hanja :宋時烈) and Kim Sang-heon to his court, who supported war against the Qing Dynasty. His military expansion was massive, and he also built several border fortresses along Yalu River where Joseon and Qing shared a border. When a band of Dutch sailors including Hendrick Hamel drifted on Jeju Island, Hyojong ordered them to build muskets for the army, providing muskets to the Koreans for the first time after Seven Year War.

However, the Qing Dynasty continued to thrive, expanding quickly into the west after successfully conquering the Ming in 1644. The campaign was unable to be put in action, since the Manchus assimilated the massive Chinese army into their own. The Joseon military, although reformed and expanded, was no match against the combined Manchu and Chinese forces. Also, the Qing Dynasty began to treat Joseon as its friend and closest ally.

The expanded military was first put into action in 1654, when the Qing Dynasty called for help to fight against invading Russians. 150 Joseon musketeers, along with 3,000 Manchus, met Russian army at the Battle of Hutong (Hangul : 호통 Hanja : 好通), present-day Yilan), which was won by the Qing-Joseon allied forces. Four years later,in 1658, Hyojong sent troops once again to help Qing Dynasty against Russia; 260 Joseon musketeers and cannoners led by Shin Ryu joined the forces of Ninguta Military Governor Sarhuda, The joint force sailed down the Hurka and Sungari Rivers, and met the Russian forces under command of an Amur Cossack, Onufrij Stepanov near the fall of the Sungari River into the Amur, killing 270 Russians and driving them out of Manchu territory. The battles against Russia proved that Hyojong's reform had stabilized the Joseon army, although they were never put into action again. Despite the campaigns, Russia and Joseon remained on good terms. The Northern campaign is known as Naseon Jeongbeol (Hangul: 나선정벌 Hanja : 羅禪征伐), or "Suppression of the Russians".

Other Accomplishments[edit]

During his reign, many books about farming were published to promote agriculture, which had been devastated during the Seven Year War. Hyojong also continued Gwanghaegun's reconstructions; he had a hard time restoring the economy at the same time as expanding the military. He also had to make more coins with metals which could have been used to make ammunitions, but had to give them up in order to rebuild his kingdom. He had too much stress dealing with numerous problems inside and outside of the country, and died at the early age of 41 in 1659. Although his plan for northern conquest was never put in action, many people regard him as a brilliant and brave ruler who dedicated his life to serving his nation.

Family[edit]

  1. Queen Inseon of the Deoksu Jang clan (인선왕후 장씨)
    1. Prince Successor (세자)
    2. Princess Sukshin (숙신공주)
    3. Princess Sukan (숙안공주)
    4. Princess Sukmyeong (숙명공주)
    5. Princess Sukhwi (숙휘공주)
    6. Princess Sukjeong (숙정공주)
    7. Princess Sukgyeong (숙경공주)
  2. Royal Noble Consort An of the Gyeongju Yi clan (안빈 이씨)
    1. Princess Suknyeong (숙녕옹주)

His full posthumous name[edit]

  • King Hyojong Heumcheon Daldo Gwanggok Hongyeol Seonmun Jangmu Sinseong Hyeonin Myeongeui Jeongdeok the Great of Korea
  • 효종흠천달도광곡홍열선문장무신성현인명의정덕대왕
  • 孝宗欽天達道光穀弘烈宣文章武神聖顯仁明義正德大王

Modern depictions[edit]

Hyojong is portrayed briefly as the Grand Prince Bongrim (봉림대군) in the Korean drama The Slave Hunters (KBS2, 2010). He is also briefly portrayed as Hyojong in Horse Doctor (MBC, 2012), during the period when Gwang-hyun, the main character of the drama, was twelve years old. Hyojong also appears in Cruel Palace.

Ancestry[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Injo
Rulers of Korea
(Joseon Dynasty)

1649–1659
Succeeded by
Hyeonjong