A Korean Timeline


This is a Korean Timeline I am building as I learn about Korea. As you explore it you will find topics in certain colors, this is the legend for those.  By the way, as I research these I will also place a “link” next to them…

  • history
  • social structure                                                                                                                 
  • language                                                                                                                                 
  • economy                                                                                                                                    
  • ethical, civic and religious beliefs                                                                                         
  • science and nature                                                                                                              
  • arts  (visual, music, theater, dance)                                                                            
  • architecture                                                                                                                              
  • cuisine                                                                                                                                
  • Clothing: link                                                                                                                                              

Reminder: This Blue means that there is a link to a page with more information!




Prehistoric Korea

Humans settle in Korea                                                                                                    30,000 BCE


Ancient Chosun (Joseon)

Legend: The country was established in 2333 BCE by Dangun                                   2333 BCE

Because they used iron they made better weapons and expanded into what is today’s China.

Built homes with central heating called “ondol.” A furnace  fed hot smoke through passages on the floor onto stones that made the floors warm!


Three Kingdoms

The three Kingdoms arise in Korea.  They are: Baekje, Silla and Goguryeo.  Map        1 BCE

Kongfuzi  (Confucius) (551-479 BCE)   influences Korea with his fundamental beliefs.

The Silla Kingdom unifies the peninsula and starts a cultural golden age.                  668 CE


Goryeo Kingdom

The Goryeo Kingdom is founded by Wang Geon.                                                                     918

Astronomy advancements.  Oh Yoon-boo produces and entire whole sky atlas during his life!  Observatories built in Kaesong and Seo Woon-kwan.

Khitan Invasion.                                                                                                                            1018

Mongol Invasion.                                                                                                                          1231


Joseon Dynasty

Joseon Dynasty is founded by Yi Song-gye (known as Taejong).                                              1392

Gyeongboksung Palace built by the first King of the Joseon Dynasty.  (completed in two years, by 1394. 

Changdeokgung Palace  “Palace of Ilustrious Virtue” also built by King Taejong in 1405. It has a “Secret Garden” and it is UNESCO World Heritage Site.

King Sejong inaugurates the Korean Alphabet (Hangeul).                                                   1446

The Imjin War: Japan invades Korea.                                                                                  1592-98

Admiral Yi Sun-sin uses ironclad turtle ships and defeats the Japanese.                          1598

First Manchu invasion.                                                                                                                1627

Westerners arrive. Catholicism is introduced.                                                                        1780

Korea opens three ports to international trade.                                                                     1871

The Donghak Uprising leads to the Sino-Japanese war for Korea.                                     1894

Korea’s Queen Min is murdered.                                                                                               1895


Korean Empire

King Gojong returns to the his palace after 1 year of refuge at the Russian legation.   1897

Gojong was abdicated in favour of his son, Sunjong by Imperial Japan.


Japanese Colonial Rule

The Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910 started the annexation of the Korean Empire by Imperial Japan                                                                                                                                                1910

The March  First Movement begins the fight for Independence.                                        1919

Thousands of Korean workers are conscripted into the Japanese army.                    1939-42

The Korean Peninsula is divided at the 38th parallel.                                                           1945


South Korea History Begins

The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is established in the south, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is established in the north.                                              1948

The Korean War (North Korea invades South Korea)  The North is communist, the  South is Democratic.                                                                                                                                 1950

Armistice agreed.  The DMZ (The Demilitarized Zone) is established as a border between North Korea and South Korea.                                                                                                   1953

General Park Chung-hee seizes power in a coup.                                                                   1961

Roh Tae-woo wins South Korea’s first democratic presidential election.                          1987

Seoul host the Summer Olympic Games.                                                                                  1988

South Korea and Japan host the Soccer World Cup.                                                              2002

Park Geun-hye, a daughter of Park Chung-hee, is elected as president.  She was impeached  by the National Assembly on charges related to influence peddling by her top aide, Choi Soon-sil. She was officially forced out of office in March of 2017.                   2012


April 17, 2017

I love history…and herstory!  Whenever I am going on a “big” trip I like to study the history of the country I’m visiting.  I usually read a youth’s history book of that country so it helps me get an overview.  The next step is a Timeline.  I love timelines!  They help visualize a country’s, or a person’s life in parts.  Then I can study the parts that I like more deeply.

After this I plan to create pages of the periods as I study them.   Ultimately I would like to place the touristic attractions I will be seeing in their time periods, so I can really see how it all comes together.

(Update June 20, 2017) I actually decided to take off the focus from history and study all aspects of Korea and just call it A Korean Timeline!!!

I met a student philosopher in one of my LYFT rides the other day!  We got talking and he suggested that I go beyond history in my reading (which he said was mostly about wars and who was the leader) and to focus my studies more on the cultural aspects of Korean people and how they changed (or has remained the same throughout time).

He said look at the way they live: social structure, their work and economic structure.  What have been their advancements in science? How have they met basic needs such as food (cuisine), clothing (fashion), shelter (architecture).  What is their ethical, civic and religious beliefs, how did they develop their language and how do they express themselves in the arts.  Of course I would look at these, but now instead of reading a book about history, I will probably read about specific parts of Korean history and read about the many aspects I highlighted in color! I would add nature to his list…what are plants and animals only found in Korea, what earthly formations do they have that are unique?

So for now what I will do now is add these as I learn about them in their color code in the time-line.  WOW!  so much to learn!!!   And I may create pages about them if I have time…