The Donghak Peasant Revolution was held in 1894, and farmers from 120 towns participated in the nation-wide uprising. What makes it different from the peasant riots that occurred before the 1860s was that it was a national event rather than a local one.
In January 1894, the peasants rioted in Gobu and occupied Malmok Market and Baeksan in Gobu-gun for almost 2 months. It was to address the tyranny of then Governor Jo Byeonggap. The dismissal of the governor was the established goal, however the peasant leadership sent letters of notification asking for the participation of each town around the Honam Region. They failed to earn support from the neighboring towns and the successor government talked the peasants out of the uprising in early March. Through the process, the occupation over the granaries in Hamyeol ended, but they could not make progress over the border of Gobu-gun.
After the dismissal, the Gobu Uprising leadership, including Jeon Bongjun escaped and mobilized the peasants in Mujang and made the Mujanggipo Declaration. The Mujanggipo Declaration was not a town-wise declaration, but a national declaration toward the central government. After the declaration of the Baeksan Convention, the four justifications and army rules were announced, The army was organized under the leadership of Jeon Bongjun. The purpose of the Mujanggipo Declaration was not to bring down governors and officials of local governments but to purge corrupt officials of the central government. Therefore, local officials were also encouraged to participate in the uprising. Even if the declaration did not deny the power of the king, it was a clear rebellion was against the Joseon Kingdom.
As it became a national movement, Donghak peasants already had experience raising the Remission Movement of Choi Jae-Woo. Once a subjugated class in a town had carried out three movements starting from 1892, they were able to provide contact information and organization networks required to mobilize peasants. Therefore, the memories and inheritance of the Donghak Peasant Revolution are to remembered for the growth process of the peasants’ awareness in overcoming suppression and the fetters of the feudal system and to remember their universal values which they sacrificed their lives to stand up for.
- Period in April
- Venue 308, Seonundae-go, Gongeum-myeon, Gochang-gun, Jeollabuk-do