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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Xanthippus

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Hello all. This will be my first V2 AAR and my second attempt at an AAR overall. It is essentially a "sequel" to my first attempt, Korea: Kingdom of the Sleeping Tiger, which was a VIP:R AAR. Unfortunately life for me at that period in time was incredibly busy and it got in the way of things. I abandoned a lot of the online sites I frequented for a period of time, so it never got finished. I don't have that problem now, so I don't foresee any problems with finishing this one! :D

I will be writing in quite a different manner to how I did last time. My first attempt was more a slideshow with tactical commentary, mixed in with a bit of roleplay. This time I'm going to emphasise story and roleplay, but I want to make this somewhat of a strategy AAR too, so I shall be discussing why I've made those choices, but from the perspective of my ruler. Obviously some choices will be purely roleplaying rather than strategy, but so far as the most strategic choice doesn't break character, I have gone with it and I shall explain why.

Before I start, I would like to acknowledge those who have inspired me to start this AAR:

Tommy4Ever's Let The Ruling Classes Tremble - This is perhaps the most fun AAR I've ever had the pleasure of reading. If you haven't gotten in on it yet, you should! A lot of fun, and Tommy is a master storyteller.

Rensslaer's I Am Siam - A brilliant strategy guide that helped me learn some the intricacies of V2, as well as some truly excellent minor unciv strategies.

Kaltorak's Emirates United - Another truly excellent story writer who I've also learnt much minor unciv strategy from. I must confess that I've unashamedly stolen your focus on research techs first strategy. :p

There are also many other brilliant AARs out there today and over the years which I have had the great pleasure of reading while I lurked in and out of these boards... far too many to mention! So without further ado I'll get started. I hope you enjoy it!

Edit: I forgot earlier to mention that I was using several mods. They do make several important changes to the game, and things may look different to vanilla. Below is the list with a quick summary. Follow the links if you wish to find out more about them:

Age of Colonialism v. 1.4 - Basically limits the effectiveness of colonies, and restricts unrealistic assimilation (i.e. Indian > British). This severely nerfs the UK, but also makes all colonial powers less able to field immense armies conscripted from colonies, and less economic powerhouses fuelled by colonial goods. Colonies are still certainly profitable, just more realistically so.

Mobilisation Mod v. 1.01 - Makes several conscription laws available as political decisions that affect the size of your mobilisation pool, amongst other things. Also helps differentiate between the various war policies of governments, for example, Pacifist governments cannot demand a state they do not have a core on.

Canal Mod v. 1.31 - In essence makes canals far more expensive, time consuming but also realistic.

GTFO v. 1.1 - Allows you to remove a country from your sphere.
 
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Xanthippus

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Last edited:

Xanthippus

Byzantine Khaghan
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Chapter I: Europa the Bull meets Joseon the Tiger

As the sun dawned on the new year of 1836, the Kingdom of Korea did not appear to have favourable prospects. Heonjong Joseon sat upon the throne at just 10 years old, as his grandfather Sunjo, the previous King, had died at the age of 44 in 1834 without a direct heir. Sunjo had ascended in a similar situation, at just 11 years old. Too young to direct the affairs of state alone, his mother Dowager Keongsun, former Queen of Korea, acted as regent. Sunjo never managed to fully recover power, even after Dowager died in 1805. While the Kingdom was resilient, resisting the imperial ambitions of Chinese and Mongolians throughout the years to remain independent, it had become stagnant. The Traditionalists were secure in their position within Korean society, largely thanks to Dowager who had been fervently supportive of them. They now dominated the government and their members were amongst the most influential of the landed aristocracy, so naturally they had much influence over the direction Korea took. For the Traditionalists, there was no question as to how the Kingdom should proceed: they wished for it to continue the way it had for the last three centuries, living in splendid isolation.

While the Traditionalists were rabidly in favour of the monarchy, they did not support Heonjong. The Traditionalists wanted to maintain the monarchy, but at the same time hoped to secure greater power for the aristocracy by weakening the hold of Joseon clan on the throne. Moreover, while Sunjo's reign had been spectacularly unsuccessful, he was in favour of breaking the isolation. Had he been capable of outmanoeuvring the Traditionalists, he might have succeeded in doing so. Thus, they feared that he had planted such ideas in his grandson's head, and they feared that he would be more capable than his grandfather. Thus the Traditionalists were not short on reasons for wanting to weaken clan Joseon. Since Heonjong's ascension they had spent much time, energy and resources attempting to ensure that he, like his grandfather, never managed to regain power after the regency was over.

Unfortunately for Heonjong, their work paid off. Queen Dowager had belonged to a rival clan, the Gyeongju Kim clan. She had been married to Joseon clan as a peace offering. Following her regency, however, Gyeongju Kim clan had grown in power significantly. When Heonjong took the throne there was a power vacuum as various personalities within Korean society jockeyed for the position of regent. The prime candidate was his Uncle, Taejong Joseon, but the Traditionalist's machinations ensured that Andong Kims of the Gyeongju Kim clan took the position. Taejong was not willing to sit back and watch the Joseon clan be muscled out of the throne, however.

There was a growing sentiment in Korea, particularly amongst the lesser aristocracy, that it was time for Korea to change its course, to modernise its institutions and break its isolation. Harnessing this wind, Taejong launched a counter campaign against the Traditionalists and founded the Royalist faction. This was to be the first political party ever founded in Korea. The Traditionalists were more of an elite club of power brokers, but the Royalists would attract a wide range of aristocrats to rally around the ideas of minor political reform, maintaining the Joseon clan and modernisation. While this was a rather ragtag group, without the ideologically uniformity of a traditional European political party, these people agreed on the aforementioned points and worked together to achieve them. By 1836 they had become a force within Korean society, and Heonjong's face was to be found all over Korea largely due to their work.

HeongJong.jpg


At just 10 years old Heonjong was not ready to take control of government, and he was still forced to contend with Andong Kims, but Taejong was wily and helped Heonjong assert a modicum of control. Heonjong was also quite intelligent, and forced into a situation where he could not afford to be a child, he began to mature quickly and learn well from his uncle. To continue wresting control from the Traditionalists, Taejong advised his ward to take several important steps. The first was to increase funding for census and tax collection, and education, the second was to begin recruiting census and tax collectors loyal to the Royalist party in the capital, and the third was to send a group of Mahayana monks to Europe in order to learn about their education methods.

11836firstmoves.jpg


While these moves were wildly unpopular with the Traditionalists, for the moment there was little they could do. Andong Kims regency was largely illegitimate, and thus he only maintained his position with the support of the aristocracy. Since there were now large portions of the aristocracy aligned against the Traditionalists, he could not afford to overrule the young King, lest he alienate the majority of his support. He did, however, manage to meddle with Taejong's plans somewhat, decreeing that the mission to Europe was too expensive, and deeming that there should instead be a smaller group of just five monks to only one country, rather than fifty sent to five separate nations as originally planned. The Royalists, in their infancy, were not terribly cohesive, and many deemed the revision to be acceptable. This would greatly slow the path to modernisation, but the moves were a victory nonetheless. Taejong considered his options carefully when choosing which European nation to approach. The obvious option was the United Kingdom, whose fame was known even in isolationist Korea. After some research, however, Taejong decided that he did not wish to garner the attention of the UK, as they had a nasty habit of sending armies that never left to "help" their Asian friends. Thus, Taejong instead chose the UK's primary rival, France. After sending an ambassador to Paris, a reply was received several months later that they would happily receive the Korean monks.

Although reduced in size, the expedition still proved terribly costly, as did the other policies Heonjong and Taejong had implemented. Despite this, the Korean economy continued to flourish. This was due primarily to two factors: the first was the large population of Korea who provided ample taxes, and the second was the rich natural resources these people produced for the Kingdom. Resources such as wood, coal and iron sold for a healthy profit, and Korea's many artisans made a decent living by turning these into even more profitable items such as steel, lumber and paper.

21836budgetsettles.jpg

This is just a shot to show you the budget after the "pre-game bubble" that you see in my first budget shot has calmed down. As you can see, still extremely healthy for an unciv!

31836Production.jpg


News soon returned to Korea that the mission to Paris was proceeding spectacularly. So well, in fact, that the French had decided to send a mission of their own to Korea! The Traditionalists were outraged, but the Royalists were overjoyed. Once again, Andong Kims was forced to accede to the popular sentiment amongst the aristocrats, and a group of French advisors were permitted to live in the Seoul palace.

41836Westernisation.jpg


Looking to the domestic scene, Taejong sought to rouse the army. The Traditionalists had become complacent in the long years of isolation, feeling that the mere memory of Korea's triumphant victories against superior forces in the past was enough to deter any future invasions. Taejong was not so naive, and he advised Heonjong to send the troops north to the border where China had troops stationed. This did not worry Taejong, as the Chinese had maintained troops on the border for as long as he could remember. He did not want to present an image of weakness to them, however, and so sought to display Korea's might in the hopes it would stave off any ambitions they might have to march on Seoul. The Traditionalists were worried about presenting Korea as expansionist and preferred to keep the troops close to their base of power, in Seoul. There was, however, an overwhelming majority in the court in favour of this, so once again they were forced to back down.

51836armymoves.jpg


By September the treasury is brimming with surplus, but the people themselves are having difficulty meeting their daily needs. Heonjong, as previously mentioned, was quite intelligent, and he was learning to read the census reports quickly. When he discovered this information, he went straight to his uncle and asked what should be done about it. Taejong was pleased with the young King's compassion and attention to detail, and set out a plan to lower the tax burden upon Korea's people. Heonjong added another idea, to help the people pay for some of the more costly items. Taejong approved, and with the support of the Royalists pushed through the new budget.

61836budgetadjustments.jpg


At first this created a strain on the Kingdom as the people rushed out to buy many new items they could previously not afford. By November the budget was in deficit.

71836budgetcrashes.jpg


Taejong hoped to hold out, believing that in time the returns for having healthier, happier people would mean a stronger economy for the Kingdom, but it was not to be. The Traditionalists mounted a viscous attack on the new budget, and the continuing decline only added fuel to their fire. Many Royalists started withdrawing their support, and so a revision was necessary. Taejong negotiated a compromise that many of the Royalists supported, and which satiated the Traditionalists somewhat. The subsidies were ended, but the tax cuts remained.

81836negativetarrifsdroppedbudgetadjusts.jpg


The start of 1837 was relatively uneventful, until in late March when the court was ruffled by the French advisors who burst out singing and laughing following the arrival of a French messenger. The Traditionalists in particular bristled at this display, but there were also a significant number of Royalists who found their boisterous outburst and foreign tongue unsettling. Apparently the French army had met with success in North Africa, expanding their empire there. This further unsettled many in the court, and whispers began to spread that the Korean Kingdom could be next.

91837FrancetakesSetif.jpg


This was hardly the worst of the news brought by the messenger, however, as he next approached the throne. Heonjong sat in the middle, with Andong Kims and Taejong either side. He presented a scroll, which was read to the court by an interpreter whom had recently learnt French. His translation was sketchy at best, but the intention was transmitted: the French sought to establish an expatriate community in Hamhung province.

101837WesternApproaches.jpg


The court was split with fierce arguing by many for and against. Once again the Royalists were not unified, and many thought that this was going too far. To have advisors was one thing, but French citizens living in Korea? For some it was too much to stomach. In the end, however, Taejong and his supporters triumphed. A slim majority were in favour, and the Traditionalists did not feel secure enough to start a civil war over the matter; particularly with the armies so far from Seoul where their ability to exert control is strongest. The French ambassador was told that Korea graciously accepted, but this was not without repercussions. As the government commissioned a new community be built for the Europeans who would soon be en route, angers flared amongst the general population of Hamhung. This would not have immediate consequences, but the Traditionalists began to encourage dissent and to build support for themselves amongst the peasantry.

The construction of this new community drained the budget once more, and the Traditionalists used the opportunity to fiercely attack Heonjong's revised budget again. Conceding to the counter pressure, Taejong advised raising taxes on the poor strata mildly. With the budget balanced again, the Traditionalists were satiated.

111837budgetrebalance.jpg


April also saw an interesting offer as an ambassador from Japan arrived in the court. News of Korea's break in isolation had reached the Emperor's palace in Edo, and he sought to forge an alliance. The French whispered to the court of the large Japanese army, and how this might help deter any invasions. While the Traditionalists were hesitant to back any moves that moved further from isolation, even they saw the wisdom of such an alliance. If nothing else, it would hopefully hold off any ambitions the Japanese might have of claiming Korea for themselves. Thus, the alliance was accepted with barely a tussle in the court's halls.

121837Japanalliance.jpg
131837Japansarmies.jpg


By August the budget was once again running into deficit. It appeared to be, at least partly, due to Taejong's efforts at recruiting census and tax collectors. While this would pay off in the long term, the immediate effects were an increased burden upon the government in administrative costs. This alone would've been fine, but the people were once again struggling to afford items, causing a drop in sales, and thus tipping Korea's budget over into deficit.

141837budgetfluctuates.jpg


Predictably the Traditionalists launched yet another assault on the budget, but Taejong begged patience of the court. He managed to convince the majority that these fluctuations were normal, and in time, particularly once the new European community had completed construction, the budget would return to surplus. He was proven to be right. Much to the Traditionalists' chagrin, by October the budget was reporting profitability again. Unwelcome news also reached Seoul late in October as rumours of the China's expansion at the expense of the Burmese were heard.

151837budgetbalancesandChinaconquers.jpg


In December the group of expatriates from France reached their new community in Hamhung, and with them came another request from the French ambassador. This time they wanted to set up a community in Seoul. Surprisingly, the Traditionalists offered no argument this time, and as such the Royalists were largely unified in their acceptance of the idea. This concession was not benign, however, as Andong Kims had a sinister plan. The support for the Traditionalists amongst the peasantry had grown considerably since the construction of the Hamhung community began, and he predicted this would grow considerably stronger with a greater European presence. His predictions were proven accurate as a second community began construction in Seoul. The Traditionalists exerted much effort in recruiting supporters, and they flocked in droves.

161837WesternApproaches.jpg


At the beginning of 1838 Taejong and Heonjong gathered a group of scribes and begun their own census of the court. Things were proceeding well. Despite the increase in support for the Traditionalists amongst the peasantry, in the court they had in fact lost supporters. The Royalists were gaining in strength, though there was a new trend emerging. Taejong had founded the Royalists on highly moderate policies, but there were now a significant number of courtiers espousing radical ideas, such as establishing a constitution and permitting the aristocracy to vote for a party to act as an advisory body to the King. Taejong was troubled by this development, but Heonjong seemed receptive. This only troubled Taejong more, and he later attempted to steer his ward away from such thoughts; as while he had originally intended for some political reform to be achieved by the Royalists, permitting votes was certainly not one of them.

171838UpperHouse.jpg


In July the second group of French expatriates arrived at their new Seoul community, bringing news with them of further North African conquests. This time it was not just the French, but the Ottoman Empire too.

181838NorthAfricachanges.jpg


August heralded more troubling news as another colonial Empire, the Portuguese this time, expanded their East African holdings. Better Africa than Asia, as far as Taejong was concerned, but once Africa was taken, would they be next?

191838EastAfricachanges.jpg


The rest of 1838 was rather uneventful, excepting reports from the north that the Chinese border presence had increased. Still, Taejong was not terribly concerned. It was not unusual for the Chinese presence to increase and decrease periodically. He had faith that the alliance with Japan and new found friendship with France would be a significant enough deterrent. Nevertheless, Heonjong thought it prudent to try and befriend the Chinese too. Taejong was again pleased and approved of the suggestion, dispatching a diplomatic mission to Beijing.

201838Chinatroopbuildup.jpg

211838MakefriendlywithChina.jpg


1839 saw yet more changes within the court, though this time the support for the Traditionalists remained about the same. Instead there was a further swing within the Royalists towards these new, radical ideas. Taejong was severely concerned by this continuing trend, and he began plotting a way of dealing with the issue without destroying the support base he had gathered.

201839UpperHouse.jpg


April brought yet more unwelcome news, as rumours were received this time of the UK's expansion in India. While this had little immediate impact on Korea, it was in the fledgling Kingdom's best interests to see the behemoth stopped in its tracks.

221839Indianexpansion.jpg


Though things started to look up as by mid April the budget was not only in surplus, the economy was booming! Taejong's economic policies were validated in the eyes of the court, even more so in June when the boom increased in strength.

231839financialboom.jpg
241839boomcontinues.jpg


Although Taejong's, and by extension Heonjong's, popularity was surging in court, things were not proceeding as well amongst the population at large. Support for the young King was still not insignificant, thanks to the extensive propaganda campaign launched by the Royalists back in 1835, but anger at the presence of Europeans was reaching a head, and this was culminating in increasing support for the Traditionalists. By September, at the provocation of Traditionalist agents, a riot erupted in Seoul. The French enclave was attacked, and while the Traditionalists prevented the mob from killing any French expatriates for fear of retribution, they did badly beat a number of them. The French ambassador was outraged and demanded immediate action. Taejong was only too happy to oblige. The court was outraged at the Traditionalists' involvement, and the vast majority supported the dispatching of agents loyal to the Royalists to find out who was involved in the pogrom. From those found guilty, a number were selected at random to be executed. The law was loudly proclaimed for all to hear: the Europeans were to be treated as Korean citizens, and violence against them would not be tolerated. While this satiated the French, and made them feel safe, it only served to drive more people into the arms of the Traditionalists.

251839militancy.jpg
261839Europeansharassed.jpg


Following this event, things calmed, at least temporarily, and the remainder of the year was largely uneventful. The only exception was the returning of the mission to Paris. Although it had gone slower than originally hoped, the mission had been a resounding success. The monks returned with a working education model that Taejong and Heonjong immediately began implementing. Heonjong now wanted to show the world what Korea could do with this new educational prowess, and requested that the French ambassador have Paris send some philosophers to Korea to co-author a work with their monks. While the Ambassador was receptive, and gave Heonjong his assurances that Paris would be too, it would be some time before they arrived. In the meantime, the Ambassador gave Heonjong a book entitled 'The Rights of Man' by Thomas Paine. He gave this to the monks to study and translate into Korean.

271839newresearch.jpg


The last four years had been filled with strife, but also great progress. Both Taejong and Heonjong were pleased with the direction they had steered Korea in. At the beginning of 1840 Heonjong was now fourteen, and many in the court were beginning to trust his ability to run government. He had been taught well by Taejong, and was increasingly handling things without any aid. While Andong Kims remained regent in official capacity, in reality his power had waned significantly. Though, as seen already, the Traditionalists are gaining power amongst the peasantry. The road ahead would be difficult, but Heonjong felt confident he would succeed.
 
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LordTempest

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From what you've written so far, I can tell you're definitely a fan of Kaltorak's AAR, his influence is easily apparent in your first chapter.

Like Kaltorak, I think you have a tendency to "over-report" or write about every single event/popup regardless of relevancy, this slows down the AAR quite a bit from a reader's point of view and I can only imagine how long it took you to think and write up a description for each event! I'm not sure that the Koreans would be as concerned about Tunis, Oman or Algeria as they would be about Burma or India.

One other minor nitpick I have was a bit of awkward terminology during the first mention of the Korean monks, instead of saying "Mahayana" why couldn't you have just said "Buddhist" instead? Personally I would have used Taoists instead of Buddhist monks, due to the similarity between some aspects of Taoist philosophy and some aspects of Mathusianism.

I really like the way you edit and present your screenshots, the heart of any gameplay AAR, though I would suggest using a graph to show Upper House changes over a period of time rather than posting the individual popups to help keep under the screenshot limit. Anyways, nice work so far! :)
 

Omen

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I'm interested in this AAR, and will keep an eye out for the updates. Korea seems like an interesting country to play, and I'm looking forward to seeing where you take it.

@Tanzhang - That is some quality feedback!
 

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From what you've written so far, I can tell you're definitely a fan of Kaltorak's AAR, his influence is easily apparent in your first chapter.

Like Kaltorak, I think you have a tendency to "over-report" or write about every single event/popup regardless of relevancy, this slows down the AAR quite a bit from a reader's point of view and I can only imagine how long it took you to think and write up a description for each event! I'm not sure that the Koreans would be as concerned about Tunis, Oman or Algeria as they would be about Burma or India.

One other minor nitpick I have was a bit of awkward terminology during the first mention of the Korean monks, instead of saying "Mahayana" why couldn't you have just said "Buddhist" instead? Personally I would have used Taoists instead of Buddhist monks, due to the similarity between some aspects of Taoist philosophy and some aspects of Mathusianism.

I really like the way you edit and present your screenshots, the heart of any gameplay AAR, though I would suggest using a graph to show Upper House changes over a period of time rather than posting the individual popups to help keep under the screenshot limit. Anyways, nice work so far! :)

Hehe, yes very true! I am a big fan of Kaltorak's writing style! I myself like a lot of detail, and I guess I wanted to avoid being as shallow and sparse with detail as I was in my previous attempt, so I overcompensated. If it's making it too hard to read, then I'm all for reigning it in and making it more concise. And you are quite right, it took me a few hours to put it all together! For the next update I will try to cut out some of the less useful screenshots.

As for Koreans not caring what happens in Africa so much as India, I guess that's true. I included the French exploits because they would've heard about it through their French contacts, and the Portuguese because it's in East Africa so closer to home... but with the latter I guess there's really not a terrible difference between Portugal conquering Zanzibar, and Spain conquering Morocco (which I omitted). In the future I'll restrict it to news about France, and countries closer to home in India and Asia. Until I become an international power, at any rate.

You're also right about the monks. I wasn't really thinking too hard about it. Also since I don't know much Korean history (I've been getting very brief blurbs about the historical figures from wikipedia), I don't have a clue what their religion actually was. In my previous attempt I called them Confucian monks, but since in game it lists them as Mahayana I just called them that. But I do know that it's Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism, so it is easier to just call them Buddhists. Interesting that you think Daoism has similarities to Malthusianism... I've read the Dao Dejing, but didn't really pick that up. At any rate, I meant the mission to be more about the monks going over to learn how the Europeans modelled their education system, as the direct effect of Malthusian Thought is better education efficiency, and hence the monks being better at raising literacy.

Anyway, thanks very much for the feedback, glad to have you along!

I'm interested in this AAR, and will keep an eye out for the updates. Korea seems like an interesting country to play, and I'm looking forward to seeing where you take it.

@Tanzhang - That is some quality feedback!

Thanks Omen, glad to have you along!

Update coming soon, just got to edit some more screenshots.
 

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Just realised that I totally forgot to tell you all what mods I was using. I have Age of Colonialism 1.4, GTFO 1.1, Canal Mod 1.31 and Mobilisation Mod 1.01. There are some important changes with these, so if things look different, that's why! I have edited above with this information too, and links to the mods.
 

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Very nice start! Looking forward to see what happens with Korea and China, as well as if the Traditionalists have a few more conniving tricks up their sleeves :p
 

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Chapter II: Growing Pains

As the new year dawned, Heonjong sought to further ingratiate himself with the West, and to improve his own ability to govern. He approached the French ambassador alone and asked him if Paris would be willing to send a tutor to educate him. The ambassador was all too happy to send off a missive with his request, assuring him that Paris would not dare deny their new friend the right to a Parisian education!

11840Westerneducation.jpg


Although Taejong was mostly happy to see Heonjong furthering the path to modernisation, he was somewhat concerned that his ward had gone to the ambassador without first consulting him. He was also concerned over the motives of the French, as they seemed far too willing to send droves of their own people over. Were they trying to seduce the government? To lower Korea's defences and prepare it culturally for a French takeover? These fears were merely reinforced in September when the tutor arrived. Her name was Caroline Dupont. She was young, pretty beyond words, and she captured the attention of Heonjong far too well.

11166_239108003834_208567878834_4391697_8061659_n.jpg

Painted in the Seoul palace gardens.

Nevertheless, there was nothing Taejong could do for now, though he remained wary. Besides, there were plenty of positive benefits from her presence, and the coterie of tutors she brought with her to help improve education around the Kingdom.

November brings more unwelcome news as the UK's expansionism continues unchecked. This time they have taken southern Burma, linking their colonies in East India and South East Asia.

21840UKvBurma.jpg


1840 had, perhaps, been the calm before the storm. For the year of 1841 was marred with many unfortunate incidents. Anger towards the encroachment of Europeans was steadily on the rise, particularly since the arrival of Caroline. In the eyes of many, their government had now been poisoned by the Europeans and was hanging from their hands like a puppet on strings. Demonstrations and civil disobedience was becoming a common sight in Korea, though the government's heavy handed response to direct violence dissuaded any further direct action against the Europeans. Regardless, the increasing dissent was a matter of great concern, and the court met to discuss possible solutions. The Traditionalists, unsurprisingly, advocated for the immediate expulsion of all Europeans. Taejong and his Royalist supporters advocated moving the army into Seoul and Hamhung provinces, the heart of the disturbances, to mitigate any dissent. The third option was presented by the new radical Royalists, who advised Heonjong that political reform was the best option: show the people that he is willing to share power and they may not be so troubled by his radical decisions.

Taejong was strongly opposed to this idea, and for the first time found himself aligned with the Traditionalists. He had spent many years trying to counsel Heonjong away from such thoughts, and he had largely met with success, but it was now the young and beautiful Caroline who held Heonjong's attention. She whispered in his ear constantly as the council debated, and when she tutored him she told him stories of France. She regaled the story of the 1830 July Uprising in France, and how the King who holds onto power too tightly is doomed to lose it. Louis Phillipe, she argued, was a great King, yet he shared his powers with the ministers, and even attended reform banquets to hear the pleas of the people. She believed it to be important to not allow too much power to slip away, lest the horrors of the Napoleonic era be unleashed upon the world again, but that limited constitutionalism was a necessity in this day.

Heonjong was moved by her arguments, but not yet fully convinced. He ordered a survey done by the census collectors before he would make his decision. The primary issue on the minds of the people was slavery, which they were fervently in favour of. Implementing a vote was, however, the next biggest issue that preoccupied the people. It was primarily the aristocracy, officers and artisans who hoped for this reform, but it was not an insignificant number. Moreover, throughout the months of argument in the court halls, the radical Royalists had managed to convince a slight majority of courtiers that the rising dissent needed to be quelled by this reform. Therefore, on the 26th of October 1841, with the court's support, Heonjong declared that voting rights would be given to the aristocracy. A group of French and Koreans were selected to aid Heonjong in drafting a constitution, while a propaganda campaign was launched to spread the news to the people. They were advised how, even though they themselves would not receive the vote, they would now be better represented as the aristocrats would listen to their needs and relay their desires to the King. The campaign was quite successful in quieting some of the more moderate dissenters.

31840politicalreform.jpg


It took nearly two months, but on 15th December the first Korean constitution was proclaimed. Heonjong was heavily influenced by Caroline and the other French advisors he had recruited for the task, and the final product was quite similar to the French July constitution, though considerably more autocratic. The primary difference was in the way which government was to be voted upon. No political parties were to be officially incorporated. Instead all courtiers were given a vote towards who they wished to be the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister would act in a similar capacity to a regent, but with less power. In essence, rather than the Prime Minister having the capability to overrule the King, as a regent would, the King had the capability to overrule the Prime Minister. With the constitution drafted, and many in the court lauding Heonjong's abilities, the regency was officially proclaimed to be over.

41841Constitutionalism.jpg


After some time had passed, and the new laws had been fully enacted, Heonjong called Korea's first election in early 1842. Only two candidates stood for election: Andong Kims and Taejong Joseon. The court was given until the 20th June to consider their options. Unsurprisingly, the now heavily pro-modernisation court voted overwhelmingly for Taejong. A Joseon would be Korea's first Prime Minister.

51842election.jpg
61842electionresult.jpg


After just a short time in office, the Korean budget took a sharp dive. Heonjong was quite perplexed as to how Taejong, proven to be an adept economist, managed to achieve this. Caroline advised Heonjong to be wary, as Taejong had been opposed to this reform and could be trying to sabotage his efforts by making constitutionalism look weak. Heonjong dismissed Caroline angrily, but he had his own doubts and wondered if there was truth in her words. Regardless of whether this was intentional or not, Taejong decreed that tariffs should be raised to correct the budget. Heonjong offered no argument.

71842budgetadjustment.jpg


The end of 1842 saw more disturbances, this time directed against the Europeans. While many had been placated by the reform, the Traditionalists were violently outraged, as were many of the more conservative and militant elements of the peasantry. Now not only were the French living in their lands, they were changing their very government! Traditionalist insurgents roused people to action in Hamhung and Seoul, attacking the European enclaves again. Taejong once again responded heavily, rounding up suspects and executing them, but the situation was continuing to grow dire. Traditionalist support was increasing rapidly, and they now had somewhat of a militia forming. The Royalist census collectors estimated anywhere between 100-500 thousand members of this militia, although by all reports these members were scattered and highly disorganised. Nevertheless, something drastic needed to be done, and Taejong finally convinced Heonjong that he should recall one of the troop detachments to Seoul.

81842Europeansharassed.jpg


The beginning of 1843 was uneventful, something which Heonjong was grateful for given the events at the end of 1842. Good news came on 27th April when the monks whom Heonjong had given 'The Rights of Man' entered the court. They returned the ambassador's book along with a new copy in Korean for Heonjong. The young King was exuberant, and he now ordered the monks to travel south to Kwangju province in order to disseminate this new work. Taejong advised that it may be better to spend time recruiting more census and tax collectors there instead, but Heonjong overruled him. The government was still focused on recruiting these in Seoul province, and Heonjong felt that it was necessary to speed along the development of Korea's education. With this work translated, Heonjong ordered the government's research funding be funnelled into helping the work of the French philosophers who had arrived two years ago to co-author a work with Korean monks.

91843newresearchandfocus.jpg


This good news was soured on 10th May when insurgents in Hamhung once again assaulted the European quarter. The army from Seoul was moved in to disperse the crowd, and once again executions were held.

101843Europeansharassed.jpg


As militancy was clearly on the rise again, the court was once more dominated by questions on how to deal with it. One of the suggestions that arose was new: to end slavery. After commissioning a survey, it was clear that the Europeans were having a large impact on the population. Support for slavery had waned slightly, and those arguing for freeing the slaves had risen drastically. Amongst the aristocracy, it was a more marginal support, only coming from the most radical of the Royalists. Caroline was enthusiastic over this idea, and while Heonjong was receptive, he felt that the time was not right, and would only serve to further enrage the insurgents. Instead, Heonjong heeded the advice of the more moderate Royalists that official political parties should be incorporated. On 28th June Heonjong amended the constitution to state that anyone standing for Prime Minister must belong to a political party that would then form the primary advisory body to the King and Prime Minister.

111843politicalissues.jpg
121843politicalreform.jpg


Taejong was outraged at this development. He had tried to advise Heonjong that this was a dangerous road to walk down, but he was promptly overruled. Unable to prevent the change, Taejong decided to make a move against the radical Royalists who were spearheading these reforms. As the political parties were being incorporated, he declared the necessity for conformity to several key policies within the Royalists:

1. Continued modernisation, but also reducing French influence.
2. Continued support of the monarchy and the Joseon clan.
3. Stopping all further political reforms indefinitely.

The radical Royalists refused to cooperate, and so Taejong, along with his conservative supporters, ejected them from the party. This was the worst move he could make, as he permitted Dae-Jung Ahn, of the Sunheung Clan, to rise to prominence. He had been the most vocal of the radical Royalists, and now without a faction he approached Heonjong to ask permission to found a new party based on the ideals of progressivism and reform. Heonjong gave his blessing, and the Modernist Party was formed. Many of the borderline Royalists now left the faction in sympathy for the exiles and joined the new party. Meanwhile, Andong Kims reluctantly formed an official party out of the Traditionalists.

While the court was now rife with rivalry and arguments, the rest of the year, and the beginning of 1844 proceeded uneventfully. In April news arrived in Seoul of the great success of Heonjong's diplomatic missions to China. Beijing sent a missive expressing their fondness for Seoul, and that they considered the Koreans neighbours and friends. Heonjong was pleased and hoped this would keep the Chinese Empire at bay.

131844Chinafriends.jpg


Also in April, a new missive from Paris arrived, requesting a third European community be established in Kimchaek. Heonjong was surprised, given the violence against them, but readily accepted. Taejong argued strenuously against this, now feeling validated more than ever in his belief that the French were trying to prepare Korea for occupation, but he was once again overruled.

141844Westernapproaches.jpg


The end of the year saw another dip in the budget, forcing a revision. Taejong advised raising taxes on the lower classes again. This was opposed by Heonjong, but as he could offer no alternative, he conceded. The Modernists challenged the change, and Heonjong permitted a vote, but it was overwhelmingly in favour of Taejong's change.

151844budgetadjustment.jpg


At the end of the year, Heonjong reviewed the census data, and commissioned another census of the court. He was pleased to see that support for the Modernists was strong, but less pleased to see that the Traditionalists were regaining strength somewhat. Still, things were progressing well, and he remained optimistic.

graph.jpg

For the years preceding the inception of the Modernists, this line just represents support for radical Royalist thought.
 
Last edited:

LordTempest

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I enjoyed that last chapter much more than I did the first, Caroline and the introduction of and rivalry between political parties were all nice touches, though I somehow doubt the Seoul Palace gardens possesses a Graeco-Roman statue like the on that appears in Caroline's portrait... :)

Gameplay wise, is there a reason you haven't gone for Freedom of Trade yet? Or has it been nerfed in 1.2?
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Things are heating up. Excellent... B-)
 

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Very nice start! Looking forward to see what happens with Korea and China, as well as if the Traditionalists have a few more conniving tricks up their sleeves :p

Thanks Henry! Welcome! The Traditionalists are definitely scheming to pull off something big. And China is certainly on the cards. I hope to at least take Manchuria, if not Mongolia and beyond. I'm praying that the Russians don't beat me to it... though even if they do, I'll give that a go too!

I enjoyed that last chapter much more than I did the first, Caroline and the introduction of and rivalry between political parties were all nice touches, though I somehow doubt the Seoul Palace gardens possesses a Graeco-Roman statue like the on that appears in Caroline's portrait... :)

Gameplay wise, is there a reason you haven't gone for Freedom of Trade yet? Or has it been nerfed in 1.2?

Thanks Tanzhang! I truly appreciate the feedback. I want to make sure my story is as interesting as possible! I'm trying not to turn Caroline into the King and Me... though that's somewhat difficult given the way the game virtually copies it. I hope my writing ability is sufficient to distinguish from it. As for the Graeco-Roman statue... Taejong during his earlier heavily pro-European years had it imported. Yes, that's right. I totally thought that one out and didn't just grab the first painting of a pretty French noblewoman I found on google images. :p

As for Freedom of Trade... I don't think it's been nerfed. When I was playing Serbia (which isn't an unciv obviously, but doesn't start with FoT), it about tripled my income after researching it. Korea, however, has a much stronger economy than any unciv I've played (which doesn't include China, haven't played it). It's even better than a lot of the minor civs I've played. All that coal and iron is really, really profitable. As is having 2 mil pops to tax, and the accompanying large amount of artisans producing a lot of crafted goods for me. Thus, it's really unneccesary for me to rush FoT. Instead I'm focusing on techs to increase my RP and literacy gain rate and prestige. I hope to civilise by the 1870s, and that won't be possible without very strong RP.

If anyone else has comments, criticisms or suggestions, please don't feel afraid to tell me! I welcome them!

Another update coming soon!
 

Konnigratz

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It's very good so far. I especially like the parts describing the conflict between the Modernists and the reactionaries. Are there any plans to harness the militancy to pass any social reforms?

One thing, though. Wouldn't it be possible to cut your national stockpile by a third or something? I don't know if it would encourage someone to try to murder you, but it seems much more effective for generating money than taxing the people.
 

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Chapter III: A New Dawn

After the success of the diplomatic missions to Beijing, Heonjong decided to cement the long standing friendship with Edo, and thus dispatched a mission there. When the diplomats returned, they reported that they met with success, pleasing the Japanese court and receiving guarantees that the alliance would stand and Japan's great armies would leap to Korea's defence should the need arise. The diplomats were also taken on a tour by the Emperor, showing off the immense size of his well trained samurai armies. On a more sour note, the diplomats had also encountered Chinese ambassadors. One of the diplomats was versed in the Han dialect, and he overheard them discussing their alliance with the Japanese. This was somewhat troubling, but on the otherhand, it did place Korea in a position of strength, as Heonjong believed that China would not want to risk angering Japan by attacking their Korean ally.

11845Japan.jpg


The beginning of 1845 was otherwise quiet, which Heonjong was thankful for. This changed in June. Heonjong took Caroline on a retreat to idyllic Jeju island. Whispers abounded of a highly scandalous and improper affair, though the details of what happened on the island were never fully known. What was known, was that while Caroline was there she witnessed first hand the plight of the slaves in Korea. She had known about it previously, and had even encouraged Heonjong to emancipate them, but never had she seen it, or any slavery for that matter, with her own two eyes. When she did, she departed Jeju island with her French handmaidens in a furore. She arrived back in Seoul a day before Heonjong and locked herself in her quarters. Whispers of a lover's tiff echoed throughout the halls of the court, and even sinister plots to 'remove' the troublesome French dame from some of the more hardline Traditionalists, now that she was supposedly out of favour with Heonjong. When the King returned the following day he proceeded to her chamber where he was permitted to enter. This quelled the rumours that she was out of favour, but only served to exacerbate rumours of an affair. Either way, the Traditionalists were growing increasingly enraged. Taejong and many of his Royalists were also, to a lesser degree, fuming at the King's relationship with the royal tutor.

This anger would come to a boil the following day when Heonjong called the court together. After the traditional ceremonies that marked the beginning of court, rather than preparing to make an address himself, Heonjong announced that Caroline would be making an address. To cries of anger and excitement, though mostly the former, Caroline proceeded to passionately present a case for the abolition of slavery. When she finished she turned upon Heonjong and angrily demanded what he was going to do about this grave injustice and heinous sin against mankind. Heonjong was infuriated at her impudence. She had requested the chance to put her case to the court, but had not suggested she would be making any demands upon the King. This put Heonjong in a most difficult position, as the majority of the court was clearly grievously upset at the gall of Caroline, and for Heonjong to look weak would no doubt turn a large proportion of the courtiers against him. Heonjong rose from his throne and bellowed at the young woman, reminding her that he was King.

Feeling that she was sufficiently cowed, Heonjong lowered his voice and cleared his throat, then proclaimed that while her manner was unacceptable, her proposition may have merit, but he would permit his advisors to argue for their own positions before he would make a decision. The court erupted in loud and vociferous argument, with many Modernists and even some Royalists arguing in favour. In the end, the pro-slavery arguments were far too prevalent, and Heonjong felt that things were unlikely to have changed radically from the last census of the people where the results were strongly in favour of slavery. Taejong, as Prime Minister, first declared that no change to the law would be made. The court's eyes turned to Heonjong, and he nodded slightly. Looking to Caroline, he thanked her for her suggestion and expressed admiration for her passion and dedication, then turned to Taejong and thanked him for his wisdom in understanding that slavery was necessary in Korea, at least at this point in time.

21845slavery.jpg


Caroline was infuriated by the outcome and retreated to her chambers again. Over the next week she would scarcely be seen in the palace halls. This was the least of Heonjong's concerns, however. Caroline's anger paled in comparison to the outrage of the Traditionalist's. It was not enough the the motion had been overturned, the mere fact it had been raised at all, and moreover raised by a French woman, was in their eyes a clear indication that Korea was on the path to oblivion. Just three days later Traditionalist insurgents launched the biggest riot against the Europeans to date. Thousands swarmed the European quarter on the morning of June 15th. Several were killed and hundreds beaten before the army managed to disperse the crowd and cordon off the quarter. For the next two days the people rioted, setting buildings on fire and assaulting the army. In the end the army prevailed, but the damage was incredible.

31845Europeansharrased.jpg
89859857.jpg

Artist's impression of the June Day Riot.

Heonjong was shocked in the aftermath of what became known as the June Day Riot. Disturbances were not uncommon, but such an explosive demonstration, with so many dead, had never before been seen. Taejong was becoming increasingly distant from Heonjong as the young King's support for these contentious issues alienated him from his previous mentor. This was creating a second split within the Royalists, between the more conservative who gravitated towards Taejong, and the more progressive who sympathised with Heonjong. Still, Heonjong felt that his support in the court was waning, and so he looked to make amends with the Traditionalists. He pledged that the issue of slavery would not again be questioned, and the Traditionalists in turn gave their word that they would encourage their network of supporters to raise their grievances peacefully and legally in the future.

Heonjong next sought to make amends with Caroline. He explained to her that Korea was not yet ready for such radical changes, but that he highly valued her tutelage and her friendship. In a pleading manner he made it clear that he would be most remiss if she returned to Paris. Reluctantly she agreed to stay. Over the next week Heonjong worked with Caroline and his supporters amongst the Modernists and Royalists in repairing his waning popularity. A new propaganda campaign was started, akin to the campaign launched by the Royalists back in 1835, spreading pamphlets with the King's face and a positive message all over Korea.

Heonjong.jpg


After the week had passed, Caroline had become less indignant. She apologised for her behaviour in court and admitted that she would have been heartbroken had she stormed off to Paris in a rage. She did not, however, let the issue of slavery rest. The day after her apology, as she tutored Heonjong again she brought up the issue of slavery. She suggested that he bring the topic up himself with support of the Modernists. Without the suggestion coming from a foreigner, she explained, it might not be such an outrageous proposition. The topic made Heonjong angry, but he discussed the issue with her nonetheless. She remained adamant that, despite any consequences it might entail, it was the best path to take. Heonjong agreed with her sentiments, but in the end dismissed her suggestion, unwilling to deal with the repercussions it would entail.

41845slavery.jpg


In August another ambassador arrived from France. This time Paris wished to set up an enclave in the city of Inchon. Heonjong was, as always, receptive, but confused as to how best proceed. The June Riot had been terrible, and militancy remained on the rise. He was also curious as to why French would be willing to come over here with the threat of such violence. Taejong decried the offer, proclaiming that he knew precisely why: the French were preparing to make Korea a colony. The ambassador was insistent that this was not at all the case. Paris wished to see Heonjong, and the Korean Kingdom, succeed. Louis-Philippe and his ministers felt that the best way to help Korea adjust to the modern world was to help bring all its people into contact with the West. Once people were used to Europeans, they would be much less resistant to change. In the end Heonjong was convinced by the ambassador's words and overruled Taejong's decision.

51845Westernapproaches.jpg


November saw Taejong's recruitment plan to establish a large and efficient bureaucracy in Seoul province come to fruition. Taejong advised Heonjong that the levels of census and tax collectors were now sufficient, and efforts should be directed elsewhere lest the bureaucracy become bloated. Heonjong ordered that the dissemination of the new scholastic system that had been developed over the last 10 years should be the highest priority. Recruitment efforts were now switched to recruiting monks and other educated Koreans to take up positions within this new system.

61845newfocus.jpg


The start of the new year heralded the close of Taejong's term as Prime Minister. In June Heonjong declared the elections open. This time three candidates stood for election. Andong Kims would stand as the Traditionalist candidate, Taejong Joseon as the Royalist candidate and Dae-Jung Ahn as the Modernist candidate.

71846elections.jpg


As the court deliberated, more unwelcome news filtered in from the west. First the Chinese Empire expanded at the expense of the Kokand Khanate, then the United Kingdom pushed further into the Panjabi mountains.

81846Chinaexpands.jpg
91846UKexpands.jpg


In the countryside rumblings were heard once again as militant anti-European elements stirred up trouble. The court turned once again to discussing methods of dealing with the dissent. Dae-Jung used the opportunity to bring the issue of the press to the fore in Korea for the first time. The only semblance of a press in Korea was the state run propaganda system that disseminated pamphlets and messages when the King willed it. Of course the lack of a newspaper was also largely due to the fact that literacy levels were dismally low throughout the Kingdom, but literacy was improving. Dae-Jung argued that, with the new education system, it would not be long before the people of Korea could either read a paper for themselves, or at least find someone near by who could read it for them. Having an outlet for their dissent, he suggested, would help mitigate outbursts such as the June Riot. Caroline was quite enthusiastic about this idea, and caught Heonjong's ear once more, urging him to push through the reform, with government censorship, of course. Heonjong was convinced and ordered the incorporation of a government newspaper, and to allow anyone else who wished to do so.

Naturally, the Traditionalists were strongly opposed, and Taejong was too. Although Heonjong had overruled Taejong several times in the past, Taejong's position was not weak. Taejong felt that Heonjong was going too far, and for the first time decided to contradict him. Using his powers as Prime Minister, Taejong undermined Heonjong's proclamation. In court he offered no argument, but when he convened the bureaucracy to carry out the order, he gave them an entirely different direction to follow. Taejong felt that the best way to combat the Traditionalist militias was to create a rival organisation loyal to the Royalists. He based this organisation around the European concept of the trade union. These organisations would be tied to the industry that the people worked in, and would organise them to attend social events, meetings and demonstrations. They would, obviously, be government controlled, and as such would engender loyalty to the crown and the Kingdom. He hoped it would help people adjust to the European presence and continued modernisation, but also hoped it would give him leverage to prevent further European encroachment. After all, the bureaucracy was largely loyal to the Royalists, and a nation wide strike would cripple the economy, forcing Heonjong to negotiate.

101846politicalreform.jpg
111846militancydown.jpg


Taejong attempted to keep this hidden from Heonjong, and was successful at first. After all, the King rarely ventured beyond the palace walls, and he only involved his most loyal supporters in the deception. In December, when the end of the allotted deliberation time for the elections came about, the court at large was still mostly ignorant of Taejong's actions. Still highly popular for his diplomatic nous and economic success, he was resoundingly voted in for a return to the position of Prime Minister.

121846electionresults.jpg


By the beginning of 1847 it was no longer possible to keep the new institution secret, as news spread throughout the Royalist faction. When the Royalists most sympathetic to Heonjong found out, they immediately informed Heonjong. Many of the Royalists, outraged at Taejong's deception, rallied around the equally enraged King. It looked as though a new split would happen within the Royalist party. As Heonjong and Taejong tried to outmanoeuvre one another in court, the Traditionalists sought to take advantage of this weakness, and reneged on their earlier agreement with the King, inciting more violence against the Europeans on 6th January. The army was dispatched again to round up the ringleaders amongst the peasantry.

131847Europeansharassed.jpg


Heonjong, preoccupied by the need to deal with this anti-European sentiment, temporarily forgot his rivalry with Taejong. Still convinced by the French ambassador's plan for helping the Korean people accustom to European presence, Heonjong sent an ambassador to Paris to negotiate an increased rate of establishing French expatriate communities. The newest one would be built in Kaesong.

141847Westernapproaches.jpg


The rivalry with Taejong was quickly brought to the fore once more in April. When Taejong found out about Heonjong's plan to increase French migration, he deigned to take immediate action. Attempting to utilise the new unions, he declared a nationwide strike until an official ban was put on any further migration. The Royalists loyal to Taejong joined with him, whilst those loyal to Heonjong were angered at the Prime Minister, but hesitant on what action to take. When Andong Kims, pleased by Taejong's actions, approached him with the offer to mobilise the Traditionalist insurgents in aid of the strike, Taejong all too readily accepted. For all his brilliance, when Taejong was roused to anger, he became blind to alienating his supporters. Just as he had sent the Modernists running from him earlier, the Royalists in support of Heonjong would not abide aligning themselves with the Traditionalists. These Royalists obfuscated Taejong's orders to the unions, and the result was far short of a nationwide strike. Aside from a few strikes, mostly in Seoul, and minor riots encouraged by the Traditionalists, the insurrection otherwise failed. Many of the Royalists who were on the fence, and even some Traditionalists who thought that this insurrection was going beyond the usual insurgency towards treason, now rallied around Heonjong. The majority of the court was in firm support of the King when he burst into court on the morning of April 4th and sacked Taejong.

151847elections.jpg


New elections were called immediately. The more radical Modernists were calling for Taejon's exile, but Heonjong decided to be lenient on his uncle. He was permitted to remain in politics, but had to step down from leading the Royalist faction. A brief power struggle erupted between the conservative and more moderate elements of the Royalists. In the end Buyeo Uiseong, of the Uiseong clan, emerged as the new Royalist candidate for Prime Minister. Buyeo was young, at just 22 years old he was scarcely older than the now 19 year old King, but had much clout within the Royalist party for his moderation and pragmatism. He supported the French involvement in Korea, though hoped to slow their migration considerably, and advocated for continuing modernisation without radical political reform. His ability to please both the conservative and moderate elements of the party made him highly popular, and this pushed Taejong into the background. Disgraced, and feeling old now at 46 years old, Taejong decided to retire from politics, returning to the ancestral home of Joseon clan in Chungcheong Province.

As the new election campaign wore on, Caroline approached Heonjong about slavery again. This time she tried a different tactic, advocating that after the actions of Taejong, Heonjong needed to assert his royal authority. She encouraged him to circumvent the court altogether, which would be most possible now with the Kingdom lacking a Prime Minister. Heonjong was finally convinced, and on April 14th he ordered the bureaucracy to work in tandem with the army in order to free the slaves. Around Korea the new law was posted on every corner, proclaiming all men to be free. When news reached the court, there was a great disturbance. When Heonjong arrived, there was much argument. The Modernists were overjoyed with Heonjong's proclamation, the Traditionalists infuriated, and the Royalists angered mostly by the fact that Heonjong had subverted the court. Fortunately, Heonjong's European tutelage served him well. Caroline had trained him in the art of oratory, and he delivered a rousing speech to the court. He reminded them that this was a monarchy, and Heonjong sought to bring Korea into the modern age, to resist the colonialism of Europe, hold off the ambitions of the Chinese, and benefit all Koreans. Moreover, Heonjong now had a not insignificant portion of the peasants who were devotedly loyal to their liberator. Heonjong's authority was asserted, and crisis, at least for the time being, was averted.

161847slavery.jpg


Riding on his success, with the support of the Modernists and some Royalists, including Buyeo, Heonjong pushed through the original press reforms he had intended previously. The bureaucracy was tasked with incorporating a government paper immediately. Another propaganda campaign was started with the task of advising the peasantry that they would now have a voice, as their landlords could found their own papers. It was successful in quelling many dissenters, even the pro-slavery portion of the population that was angered by the recent emancipation.

171847politicalreform.jpg
181847militancy.jpg


Not everyone was placated, however, as September saw a minor riot against Europeans, this time in Hamhung province. The army swiftly handled the situation with only minor injuries sustained by Europeans.

191847Europeansharassed.jpg


The end of the new elections came on 6th October. Heonjong had put his support behind Buyeo, and the court was overwhelmingly in support of his candidacy. The first non-Joseon took the position of Prime Minister in 1847.

201847electionresults.jpg


The court, and the country at large, quietened down for the rest of the year as people began to adjust to the new changes. 1848 opened with news to sour this good mood with the Kingdom of Burma ceasing to exist as an independent polity, and the United Kingdom establishing a protectorate over the regions that hadn't been annexed by the Chinese Empire.

211848Burmaannexed.jpg


Strange news came in March when ambassadors arrived from Paris. This was a common occurrence, but these ambassadors had never been seen in Seoul before. Moreover, they dressed very differently to the usual royal messengers. They dressed rather plainly, had brazen and disrespectful mannerisms, and did not speak Korean. After speaking with the French living in Seoul, the Ambassador and his aides burst out in anger, speaking threateningly. Those who could speak French in the court looked concerned. When Heonjong arrived, Caroline in tow, he asked after the cause for the disturbance. These men brought news of revolution. On February 22nd the people of Paris had risen up in bloody revolt, overthrowing the government. Prime Minister Guizot and his cabinet were forced to resign, while Louis-Phillipe was forced into exile.

757px-Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix_-_La_libert%C3%A9_guidant_le_peuple.jpg

'La Liberté guidant le peuple' - Artists representation of the 2nd French Revolution

The Second Republic was proclaimed, and many were not happy. Caroline was stunned, sobbing softly. The Seoul ambassador chased the Republican ambassadors out, while the court looked confused and uncertain how to react. Heonjong took aside one of the Modernist courtiers and asked him to chase after the Republican ambassadors. The King did not want to offend their potential new allies. People in Korea were not the only ones upset by this revolution, however, as in March the United Kingdom declared war on the fledgling republic. Heonjong viewed this with a mix of hope and concern: he hoped the French would knock the British down a peg or two, but was concerned that the republic, in its youth, would be incapable of withholding a concerted attack from the world's greatest power.

22Franceatwar.jpg


June brought with it more Europeans wishing to settle in Korea, but this time it was the Turks. The Ottoman Sultan sent an ambassador to offer the establishment of a military mission in Pyongyang. The Sultan would send a group of Janissaries to oversee the operation and train the Korean army in modern warfare. Heonjong was eager to accept and asked the Ottoman ambassador to proceed as soon as possible.

231848Europeanmilitarymission.jpg


The arrival of yet more foreigners in Korea flared tempers once more. Another riot broke out in Seoul, but the Traditionalists, with their position in court less secure than previous, kept the demonstration largely peaceful.

241848Europeansharassed.jpg


Encouraging news came in early 1849. The philosophical work that Heonjong had commissioned had been completed. The printers were ordered to begin publishing the work immediately, and the newly trained educators were told to expect a new text book to become central to academic discourse. After consulting with the court, Heonjong reached a consensus with how the government should focus its budget for research. A government stipend was to be given to Korean artists, to encourage the development of new and inventive styles. The court hoped this would bring great prestige to Korea, and lift it from obscurity onto the world stage.

251849newresearch.jpg


An unfortunate incident erupted on 1st June in Seoul. The Traditionalists had been sufficiently cowed in recent years, and Andong Kims had switched his focus to building a respectable political party. Thus, the Traditionalist party proper had been downplaying violent insurgencies and encouraging peaceful, but angry, demonstrations against the Europeans. One such demonstration was held on 1st June, until it was interrupted. Jesuits had recently arrived from France, particularly since the recent revolution. When the mob marched into the European quarter, they blocked its way, confident that they were protected by Korean law, and declared that these sinners were not welcome. The Traditionalist leaders demanded that the priests move and allow the demonstration to proceed, and when they refused the mob turned violent. Once again the army was called in to disperse the crowd. Fortunately, noone was killed.

261849Europeansharassed.jpg


The Traditionalists now petitioned Heonjong to come to their aid. They claimed that they were provoked by the priests, and these Catholics with their proselytising did not belong in Korea. They demanded the expulsion of the Jesuits and a ban on their entering Korea. Heonjong refused to even negotiate on such terms, alienating the Traditionalists once again. Andong Kims withdrew in disgust, still attending court, but less often and more distant and hostile with each showing. Heonjong felt that he had acted too brashly, and that he had undone years of work in bringing the Traditionalists under control. There was nothing to be done now, other than begin to prepare for an inevitable showdown.

271849aristosangry.jpg


It was now a new decade, and Korea was changing ever more rapidly. Heonjong issued another census of the court to review the great political shifts of the previous five years. He was pleased to see that Royalist support remained strong, but less pleased to see that the Traditionalists were gaining in strength at the expense of the Modernists. Still, things were progressing strongly. Heonjong's position and influence had been reaffirmed, and the court was less preoccupied with internal squabbles. The future of Korea looked bright.

graph.jpg
 
Last edited:

Henry v. Keiper

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Ah Taejong, how the mighty have fallen...the esteem of Korean nobility replaced with a French skirt...
 

Xanthippus

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It's very good so far. I especially like the parts describing the conflict between the Modernists and the reactionaries. Are there any plans to harness the militancy to pass any social reforms?

One thing, though. Wouldn't it be possible to cut your national stockpile by a third or something? I don't know if it would encourage someone to try to murder you, but it seems much more effective for generating money than taxing the people.

Thanks Konnigratz! Glad to have you along.

It would be quite possible to cut the national stockpile, since I don't really need it for anything, but the economy is going fine with a few budget tweaks, so I'd rather have it at full just in case I get attacked. China will have an easy enough time as it is, don't want to give them low organisation troops to decimate.

Ah Taejong, how the mighty have fallen...the esteem of Korean nobility replaced with a French skirt...

Indeed, Caroline has Heonjong quite bewitched. :p

Another update will be coming soonish. I've been rather preoccupied with the joy of looking for a rental property. Really not the time of year to be doing it. I should have a chance to play the next five years over the next couple of days, though.
 

BigBadBob

The One and Only BBB
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I'm really liking this AAR, especially the whole Heonjeong-Caroline thing. It's good to see that your ruler is human, and doesn't like the idea of living alone with a bunch of old politicians. :D
 

Xanthippus

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So disaster has struck... Things were going brilliantly, I even managed to civilise well in advance of what I'd hoped, achieving it in 1863. I then proceeded to conquer Johore and got into an epic war with Spain. Unfortunately, every time I finished of Johore and the Age of Colonialism event fired to add colonial modifiers to the province, the game crashed. I tried installing the latest version of the mod, v. 2.1, but that didn't fix the issue... so I saved my latest save game file, deleted the V2 folder and had Steam redownload it, then installed all the same mods again. The good news is that it seems to have fixed the issue and I'm able to play on... the bad news is that I completely forgot to save the screenshots folder. So the 100 odd screenshots between 1850-1870 are gone. Rather too big a gap to just continue on... so I'm going to go cry myself to sleep and call this AAR dead. If people are still interested, I'll show you what I managed to achieve by the end of the game.
 

LordTempest

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So disaster has struck... Things were going brilliantly, I even managed to civilise well in advance of what I'd hoped, achieving it in 1863. I then proceeded to conquer Johore and got into an epic war with Spain. Unfortunately, every time I finished of Johore and the Age of Colonialism event fired to add colonial modifiers to the province, the game crashed. I tried installing the latest version of the mod, v. 2.1, but that didn't fix the issue... so I saved my latest save game file, deleted the V2 folder and had Steam redownload it, then installed all the same mods again. The good news is that it seems to have fixed the issue and I'm able to play on... the bad news is that I completely forgot to save the screenshots folder. So the 100 odd screenshots between 1850-1870 are gone. Rather too big a gap to just continue on... so I'm going to go cry myself to sleep and call this AAR dead. If people are still interested, I'll show you what I managed to achieve by the end of the game.

That's a rather sad way to go considering story-wise things were just starting to get interesting. Have you considered continuing in a purely historybook fashion until 1870?
 

Xanthippus

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That is a good idea actually Tanzhang. I would be rather remiss to give it up, I've been so thoroughly enjoying it. I played on til 1875, but there's still plenty of time left. Tomorrow I'll start writing a history book of the intervening years, split into two sections, then I'll resume with screenshots.