Goryeo military regime

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Goryeo military regime
Revised RomanizationMusin Jeonggwon
McCune–ReischauerMusin Jŏnggwŏn

The term Goryeo military regime (Korean무신정권; Hanja武臣政權; RRMusin Jeonggwon; MRMusin Jŏnggwŏn) describes the government of Goryeo from the time of the military coup d'état of 1170 to the Sambyeolcho Rebellion of 1270 and the definitive subordination of Korea to the Mongol Yuan dynasty, division of the Mongol Empire. The rule of the Ubong Choe house from 1196 to 1258 is in particular known as the regime of the Choe clan (최씨정권, 崔氏政權).

The History of Goryeo exemplifies the period in its evaluation of the reign of one of the kings of the military regime, Sinjong:

Sinjong was put upon the throne by Ch'oe Ch'ung-hŏn, and all matters of life and death, decisions to accept or to reject, were in Ch'oe's hands. Sinjong stood above his subjects holding only empty authority. Alas, he was nothing but a puppet.[1]

List of leaders[edit]

Name Assumed power Power ended Monarch Notes
Yi Ui-bang 1170 1174 Uijong
Led a successful rebellion against the civilian government and deposed Uijong, installing Myeongjong as a puppet king. Overthrown.
Jeong Jung-bu 1174 1179 Myeongjong Participant in 1170 rebellion; ordered the assassination of Yi Ui-bang and assumed personal power. Overthrown.
Gyeong Dae-seung 1179 1183 Myeongjong Assassinated Jeong jung-bu and his family. Gyeong Dae-seung tried to restore the civilian government. But Myeongjong, who regarded him as violate on royal power, hated him. Consequently, Gyeong Dae-seung failed to restore the civilian government, but historians of the Joseon Dynasty didn't consider him as traitor. (All other leaders considered as traitor against the king)
Yi Ui-min 1183 1196 Myeongjong Assumed power by request of Myeongjong after Gyeong's death. Overthrown.
Regime under the Choe clan
Choe Chung-heon 1196 1219 Myeongjong
Overthrew the governing War Council and assassinated Yi Ui-min.
Choe Woo 1219 1249 Gojong Son of Choe Chung-heon.
Choe Hang 1249 1257 Gojong Son of Choe Woo.
Choe Ui 1257 1258 Gojong Son of Choe Hang. Overthrown and Killed by Kim Jun and Yu Gyeong (1211–1289).
Later regimes
Kim Jun 1258 1268 Gojong
Assassinated Choe Ui. Overthrown.
Im Yeon 1268 1270 Wonjong
Assassinated Kim Jun. Unsuccessfully attempted to instate a new king.
Im Yu-mu 1270 1270 Wonjong Son of Im Yeon. Overthrown by Sambyeolcho under direction of the Mongols. End of the military regimes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lee 1984, p. 142.


  • Lee, Ki-baek (1984). "Chapter 7: Rule by the Military". A New History of Korea. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-61576-2.
  • Schultz, E. J. (2000). Generals and Scholars: Military Rule in Medieval Korea. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2324-5.