At the time of King Jeongjo's death the XIX century was about to begin. From the West came some strange rumors about a little general that was making a lot of trouble in the continent, but it was eventually defeated and expelled far away.
If the Joseon didn't care much about this fact, there was something else that deserved much more attention: the British presence in Asia.
King Heonjong (1827-1849), Joseon ruler at the time of the Great Campaign's beginning
Around seventy years before the incoronation of King Heonjong there was a war in the Indian lands that opposed some kind of British Company to the French and the Bengali people, and this ended with Bengal being annexed by the English. From then British merchants increased their power in India and consequently in Far East, especially in a dirty business like opium trade. The Qing empire became one of the main market of this plague and the Chinese government tried to counter the problem by negotiations and a ban of opium importation.
Chinese officers destroying opium stocks
Unfortunately the measures token by the capital proved to be ineffective and the Chinese people become more and more addicted to opium. Because of this the Qing empire not only has to face an internal situation growing unstable, but his vulnerability to the foreign smugglers erodes badly the international reputation of the Manchu dynasty.
A war between the two powers is possible, perhaps it is unavoidable at this point.
The Joseon are really worried of this situation. They know that their giant master has not to fear any foe. But someone in the court suggest that it is better to not understimate these British people. Someone else even says that this could be an opportunity for the Korean people, and that these western powers could be a potential ally to enfranchise the kingdom from China and start a new golden era for the Joseon dynasty.
But the balance of powers is still undecided. Only time will tell what awaits the Korean kingdom
See you again tomorrow for the beginning of this adventure.