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Pawn on a Chessboard: Anglo-Korean Relations in the Period of the Korean Empire, 1895-1905

Kwon, Euy Suk (2020) Pawn on a Chessboard: Anglo-Korean Relations in the Period of the Korean Empire, 1895-1905. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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PHD East Asian Studies - ES Kwon (Corrected, Final).pdf
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Abstract

This thesis examines Anglo-Korean relations between 1895 and 1905, when Korea was independent of both Qing China and Japan. This thesis mainly uses official archival documents from both governments to study their high-level diplomacy and policy-making. In 1895, when Britain and Korea faced the change of the international order of Northeast Asia as a consequence of the First Sino-Japanese War, both nations shared that Korean independence would be desirable for their interests. However, both countries had different approaches to achieve it. Britain preferred the self-strengthening and the modernisation of the Korean administration, whereas Korea focused on diplomacy due to its incapacity to oppose foreign aggression by its own forces. Therefore, Anglo-Korean relations gradually deteriorated through a series of political crises in Korea and eventually reached a point where Britain gave up its hope in Korean independence. Meanwhile, Korea became a new battlefield for rivalry between Russia and Japan. Having confronted Russian advance together, Britain and Japan found that they shared the same interests in Korea. By 1900, both countries closely worked together to deter any Russian attempts to obtain concessions on the Korean Peninsula, which would potentially damage their interests in the region. Afterwards, British and Japanese representatives in Seoul worked not only for the defence of their shared interests, but also for the other’s own interests in the country. Thus, when the Russo-Japanese War broke out, British Legation in Korea helped Japan facilitate the occupation of Korea and eventually agreed with Japan’ establishment of a protectorate over Korea.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of East Asian Studies (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Euy Suk Kwon
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2020 09:52
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2020 09:52
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26013

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