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The development of Farm encouragement policy and Silhak(實學) in late Joseon Dynasty

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2013, (109), pp.187-231
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Yoon Oh Choi 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article examined the farm encouragement policy(勸農策) in the late Joseon period by making a comparison between the traditional way of the ruling hierarchy and the reformed way of the ‘Silhak scholars(實學者).’ The latter showed the practical and reformative attributes while the former showed the slow and long term changes. It was the extreme contrast. First, the farm encouragement policy of the ruling hierarchy was proceeded in the Joseon’s way through the ‘rites to the heavens(祭天儀禮)’ and ‘agricultural ritual(勸農儀禮).’ Especially, ‘Sinocentrism(中華主義)’ becoming cracked in the late Joseon Dynasty, these rituals were also nationally emphasized and conducted more autonomously. For instance, in the reign of King Yeongjo(英祖) and Jeongjo(正祖) ‘the ritual of Royal plowing(親耕儀禮)’ which had been conducted perfunctorily was changed practically by the King’s plowing real land. Furthermore, King Jeongjo elevated the position of the ritual of ‘Nam-dan(南壇)’ and ‘Pungu-Noewu-dan(風雨雷雨壇)’ to ‘Hwangu-dan(圜丘壇)’ in the reign of King Sejo(世祖). Finally it could not help being diminished, as the ritual must be conducted only by the emperor. However, it was changing to the autonomous ritual as it was classified and emphasized as the ‘agricultural ritual.’ Secondly, ‘Silhak scholars’ proposed the farm encouragement policies that aimed the reformation of landlordism. It was the actual reformative discussion, which was different from the policy of ‘Zhu Xi(朱熹)’ that had been based on the landlordism. For instance, Ban-gye Yu Hyoung-won(磻溪 柳馨遠) made a application of Jeong-jeon system(井田制) by simplifying ‘the ritual of Royal plowing(籍田親耕)’. Especially, he regarded cultivation and irrigation facilities as the key points of the farm encouragement policies. For another example, Da-san Jeong Yak-yong(茶山丁若鏞) proposed the reformative thought that the governors(牧民官) were existing just for the peasants. Futhermore, he suggested the way the peasants could be wealthy. Especially, in Mok-min Sim-seo(牧民心書), the book he wrote, he spoke about not only the present problems in cultivation, farming tools, and farming cattle but also the future problems after the Jeong-jeon system implemented. Although the farm encouragement policies of the both sides were extremely different, they seemed to have mutual interactions. The fact that King Yeongjo and Jeongjo in 18th century republished Ban-gye su-rok(磻溪 隧錄), written by Ban-gye Yu Hyoung-won, means that the kings of the dynasty also referred the farm encouragement policy of the ‘Silhak scholars’.

Citation status

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