Re-evaluation of the Chosŏn Dynasty's Trade Relationship with the Ch'ing Dynasty

Re-evaluation of the Chosŏn Dynasty's Trade Relationship with the Ch'ing Dynasty


  • Journal title: International Journal of Korean History
  • ISSN: 1598-2041 (print) 2508-5921 (online)
  • Publisher: Korea University, Center for Korean History
  • Country of publisher: korea, republic of
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2018/May/12

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: History
  • Publisher's keywords: Chosŏn Dynasty's, Trade Relationship, the Ch'ing Dynasty
  • Language of fulltext: english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF


    Chul-sung Lee



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In this study, the overall magnitude and fashions of the Chosŏn dynastyʹs trade relationship with the Chʹing dynasty in China will be examined, to identify the nature and shortcomings of that relationship. Those trade activities included official trade activities, civilian trade activities, and even smuggling. Official trade activities involved tributary & bestowal actions, while civilian trade activities included Palpo(八包) transactions which involved official interpreters and merchants accompanying the emissaries, or transactions which involved Chosŏn dynastyʹs local officials. In the mid‐17th century, the Chosŏn dynasty merchants were heavily conducting intermediary trades. Traded items were purchased from the Chʹing dynasty, and sold to the Japanese markets. The Waegwan(倭館) city of the Chosŏn peninsula was one of the focal points in conducting these intermediary transactions. As a result of this trade traffic, huge amount of Japanese silver flowed into the Chosŏn peninsula, and eventually into the Chʹing dynasty as well. Being one of the major trade fashions of the era, and connecting China and Japan in the process, the intermediary trade efforts conducted by the Chosŏn personnel managed to re‐energize the economical activities of the Chosŏn peninsula in the process which were disrupted and devastated by the recent wars with the Japanese and the Chʹing dynasty. They also managed to bring some changes to the traditional ways of commerce maintained for centuries on this peninsula. And even in the ending days of the 17th century when direct commerce was initiated between the Chʹing dynasty and the Japanese people(which heavily affected the Chosŏn‐Japanese trade activities), the trade relationship between the Chosŏn dynasty and the Chʹing dynasty was maintained, and continued to have economical effects upon the domestic commerce and industrial activities of the Chosŏn dynasty.

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