Enlightenment Party

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The 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. As the Conservative Party also participated in enlightening/educational movements, the Enlightenment Party were also called the Radical Reformist Faction to make a distinction between them.

The Enlightenment Party 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 such as Kim Ok-gyun, Park Yeong-hyo, Seo Jae-pil, amongst others sought asylum in Japan.

Beginning in 1894, they organized three cabinets under the leadership of Kim Hong-jip, however their politics were partially supported by the Japanese; indirectly resulting them in aiding and abetting Japan's influence. With the rise in popularity of the pro-Russian faction, the Enlightenment Party collapsed.

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