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

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forced to concentrate their troops at mountain redoubts because they did not
have enough troops to organize a conventional army on the plains, but the weak-
nesses of the strategy were pointed out to them in advance by the Manchus them-
selves! Even had those forces been used to build up the strategic walled towns
in the plains along the invasion route, it is doubtful that any single point would
have been able to block the advance of the initial 120,ooo-man Ch'ing force.
What was needed in 1627 and I637 was to move the troops from the center and
south into the northern region as quickly as possible, not to leave them guard-
ing their home districts.
Finally, Korean foreign policy at this time has to be taken into account. Hind-
sight enables us to see that continuation of Kwanghaegun's neutralist foreign
policy could certainly have done no more harm than the Westerner anti-Manchu
policy and probably would have spared Korea both invasions, but the Western-
ers, who had placed King Injo on the throne in I623, were moralists who felt
an unending debt to the Ming and cultural racists who held the Manchus in con-
tempt. Since they were responsible for adopting the pro-Ming, anti-Manchu pol-
icy and were too powerful to allow the king to reverse it had he so desired, they
also had the obligation to guarantee the development of a sufficient military force
to back up the policy. Not only did the Yi K wal rebellion weaken national defense,
but the factional division within the Westerners prevented the possibility of a
unified, let alone correct, defense policy. In that situation, the continuation of
the anti-Manchu foreign policy was suicidal, guaranteed to lead to a humiliat-
ing defeat for the Korean people.
If there was a lesson to be learned for Korean students of statecraft, it was
that strategy, positioning, and organization of forces have to be devised to meet
the particularities of the situation, not simply copied from textbook models suited
to other situations, that the sheer number of troops in the field have to be ade-
quate for defense against an army of 120,000 men with a superior cavalry con-
tingent, and that unity of command is a necessity. Finally, if national military
strength is not suited to a hostile foreign policy, that policy should either be aban-
doned or time won to build up sufficient forces to prevent disaster.

Collaboration and Resistance: 1637-49

After the Manchu victory over Korea in I 637, defense policy became entangled
in political disputes involving King Injo and the radical anti-Manchus and the
moderates under Kim Chajom who favored a realistic acceptance of Manchu
hegemony and some sort of accommodation with Manchu demands. There were
no major changes in the composition of military divisions, but political conflict
continued over the control of those divisions, and the political atmosphere was
poisoned by Injo's animosity against anyone who favored compromise with the
Manchus, including his own Crown Prince, Sohyon.
Although Ch'ing forces did not occupy Korea after the peace treaty, they were
naturally concerned to prevent any serious rearmament by the Koreans. Nonethe-
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