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Formation, Course and Activities of Chang Myon Group during the First Republic

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2021, (142), pp.163-204
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : May 24, 2021
  • Accepted : June 7, 2021
  • Published : June 30, 2021

Yi Hye-young 1

1건양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study analyzes the formation process and activities of Chang Myon group during the First Republic. Chang Myon group was more commonly known as the leading political force of the Second Republic, leading institutional politics together with the Liberal Party(LP) and the old faction of the Democratic Party(DP) in the late 1950s. The group was formed as ‘the united front against the Syngman Rhee dictatorship.’ They were consist of two groups. One was Chang Myon and his close aides. The other was a variety of groups in the opposition forces excluding the Democratic National Party(DNP). These were a mainstay of Chang Myon group. They were first connected through political maneuvering making Chang president during the 2nd National Assembly, and uniting as a group by participating in the opposition unification movement after the upheaval in 1954 for the constitutional amendment. What bound Chang Myon group was the presence of Chang as a leader, and a collective sense of distinction against the old faction of DP. In the DP, which was born as a result of the opposition unification movement, Chang Myon group was called the ‘new faction’ against from the DNP(‘old faction’) In the late 1950s, they engaged in active political activities, fighting for anti-dictatorship outside and competing for party leadership against old factions inside. The main objective of these activities was to maintain Chang in the position of the vice president. In particular, the core of their political activities was the protection of Chang’s “presidential succession rights”. In the process, an intransigent hard-line course was established, which is the basic characteristic of the Chang Myon group. The group sealed off the LP’s attempts to remove the vice president's succession rights through constitutional amendment. They were also extremely wary of contact with the LP and the old faction of the DP, rejecting any compromise and leading to clear strife against the LP. As a result, the activities of the Chang Myon group in the late 1950s lacked flexibility, were somewhat passive and monotonous. However, their intransigent hard-line course became a critical bastion of defending the anti-dictatorship front at the end of the Rhee regime and also served as the basis for them to take power after the April Revolution.

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