Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions. Yu Hyongwon and the Late Choson Dynasty - James B. Palais

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mander (Toch'ech'alsa) of forces in the field, Chang Man, and officers under
his command like Kim Yu and Kim Chajom, and the members ofthe Elder West-
erner splinter faction (Nosa); the latter policy by the generals who dominated
the royal and capital guards, Yi Kwi and Yi So, and the Young Westerners
Since the king decided in favor of protecting his own regime, Yi So's Anti-
Manchu Division in Kyonggi Province took up the defense of the Namhan
fortress, and Yi Kwi's son, Yi Sibaek, led his 3,000-man force from Suwon to
be the core of the Royal Division. The king decided to send only 2,000 men
from the Anti-Manchu Division without even a full allocation of weapons to
meet Chang Man's request for reinforcements on the front.
Chang Man had worked out a defensive strategy of fallback defensive com-
mand posts in a line from Anju (just south of the Ch'ongch'ang River) to
Pyongyang, Hwangju, P"yongsan, and the Imjin River, but as soon as the Manchus
overran the northernmost outpost atAnju, the commanders of other districts began
to abandon their positions. Chang Man moved up to Kaesong to take command
while King lnjo moved to Kanghwa Island with his Royal Division, the Suwan
garrison, and a contingent of the Military Training Agency troops. The king had
just ordered Chang Man Lo defend a new line at the Imjin River and Yi So to
bring troops from the southern three provinces to the Namhan fortress, when
the Manchus offered peace terms. Although Chang Man wanted to continue the
fight, King Injo was only too happy to accept Yi Kwi's proposal to accept Manchu
terms. 14
Not only had the Korean army failed to improve that much over its condition
in 1598 in the size of its forces, the organization and training of its men, the
reserves of food and equipment, the repair of defenses, and the accumulation
of muskets and cannon, but the primary causes of Korean defeat in 1627 were
also domestic politics and poor foreign policy rather than the state of the mili-
tary. The Injo restoration of 1623 had not only led to a dangerous shift in pol-
icy toward the Manchus, it had also created an unstable political situation in
which the leaders of the coup were threatened more by the divisions among them
than by their former adversaries in the Great Northern faction. When one rebeL
Yi Kwal, led almost one-third the troops in the north against the capital, it wrecked
the possibility of maintaining a strong front against the Manchus unless a bold
and rapid transfer of forces from the center and south to the north could have
been carried out. The king could not do so because he was too weak to exert
authority over the generals who had brought him to the throne. After Yi K wal's
coup, he needed them more than ever, and he as well as they were determined
to build up the strength of the capital.
The strategic defense plan against the Manchus - a line of fallback positions
situated at a series of walled towns - a strategy developed as a result of the lessons
learned from the Imjin War, was static and inflexible. Whatever advantage this
strategy might have possessed was vitiated by the overall shortage of troops in
the area since the central government refused to move forces from the capital

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