World Ch. Schedule : KST
* Date : 2019-03-01
Finding the roots of Korea's democracy!
A nationwide revolution 100 years ago, the March 1st Movement
The March 1st Movement was an event in which all the people of Joseon came together to stage a full-scale demonstration. Even women and students, who were looked down upon at the time, took to the streets and brought about a true transformation within Joseon from the inside out. The movement spread globally to the Korean diaspora as well.
Professor Xie Jun-mei of Huadong Teacher's College even said of the movement of having an global nature and that it is a rare event in history. We look back on the historic day that made Korea what it is today.
XIE Jun-mei, Professor at Huadong Teacher's College
The March 1st Movement was very influential. It involved men, women, the old and the young from all over the nation.
Sun Yat-sen said that Korea's March 1st movement had an important impact on anti-imperialism in East Asia.
The Ripple Effect- A huge impact created by the March 1st Movement
The Korean Peninsula at the time was essentially a huge prison tightly controlled by the Japanese as they stifled freedom of the press, politics and education. But as a result of the March 1st Movement, Japan sought out a more cultural ruling instead. By taking advantage of this opportunity, Koreans were able to develop their capabilities and establish a provisional government in Shanghai where the independence fighters engaged in fervent diplomacy until the long-awaited liberation in 1945. This movement set afire to the independence movement of many other Asian countries as well. Chen Du-xiu, the Chinese revolutionary socialist, praised the March 1 Movement and appealed to the Chinese to follow the example of Koreans. As a result, students at Peking University staged the May 4th Movement in Tiananmen Square.
Arirang TV has unearthed an assessment of the March 1st Movement by Professor Chen Du-xiu of Beijing University. He made the following evaluation of Korea's March 1st Movement in 1919:
‘The independence movement happening at Chosun is great, sincere and heroic. We feel a sense of admiration, sadness, excitement, hope and horror at this. We, the Chinese people, feel a sense of shame for not being like the Koreans as we see the glory of Chosun's movement. It's been eight years since the establishment of the republic, yet, there has not been a single movement. Look at Chosun. It's not that you can't rebel because you have no weapons. We should not let go of our convictions and rights. We are ashamed of ourselves seeing the people of Chosun. ’
Freedom, Equality, Justice, Peace! The spirit of the March 1 Movement in the Republic of Korea.
The March 1st Movement was launched with a non-violent protest, which planted a thought that the people of Joseon were the masters of their own country. And after much struggle, a provisional government was established. The spirit of democracy displayed through the March 1st Movement was expressed once again through the Candlelight Revolution. From the April 19th Revolution of 1960, the May 18th Gwangju Democracy Movement, the June 10th uprising in 1987 to the candlelight vigil in the 21st century. We take a look at how the independence movement of 1919 helped form the Republic of Korea that it is today.
LEE Jun-sik, President of the Independence Hall of Korea
If we look back on the history of Korea's democracy, we can actually find its origin in the March 1st Independence Movement.
KIM Jung-in, Professor at Chuncheon National University of Education
We called for democracy, held nonviolent peace protests, and peace on the Korean Peninsula came. I believe that peace on the Korean Peninsula contributes greatly to world peace. The spirit of the March 1st movement blossomed in Korea 100 years later.
HAN Wan-sang, The Presidential Commission on Centennial Anniversary of March 1st Independence Movement & Korea Provisional Government
"With the spirit of the March 1st Movement, let's find a way to make peace between the two Koreas and create an economic community together for the next 100 years."
In addition, we anticipate the coming of the next 100 years as the spirit of the March 1st Movement, which emphasizes the importance of Korea's independence for Asia and world peace, is leading to peace between the two Koreas.
- HAN Wan-sang, Commissioner
- The Presidential Commission on Centennial Anniversary of March 1st Independence Movement & Korea Provisional Government
- XIE Jun-mei, Professor
- Huadong Teacher's College
- OU YANG Zhe-sheng, Professor
- Beijing University
- LEE Jun-sik, President
- The Independence Hall of Korea
- KIM Jung-in, Professor
- Chuncheon National University of Education
- BAEK Seung-jong, Professor