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Feudalism--History; Korea--History


This paper analyzes three phases of feudalism in Korea. First, the genesis of Korea's feudalism, which developed from the end of the ninth century to the late fourteenth century. Secondly, the continuum of feudalism in Korea, which the author believes stemmed from power conflicts among the elite and the ensuing decline of the Silla dynasty. It is noted, also, that Korean feudalism has been transformed gradually from a decentralized form to a centralized one. Thirdly, structural distinctions are noted between the above two sub-types of feudalism. The analysis indicates that centralized feudalism has been characterized by absolute monarchism and various social and political systems, notably the estate, prebendalism, and kwako (civil service examination) systems which were lacking in the decentralized feudalism.

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