Long before 3000 BC, the tribal immigrants
of Manchuria and Siberia settled along the coasts and river
valleys of the modern day Korean peninsula. These settlers were
the original founders of what we know today as the Korean civilization.
The immigrant tribes solidified into three rival kingdoms: Koguryo,
Paekche, and Silla; and nearly simultaneously, the kingdoms
achieved a complete centralization of power through wars of
expansion, organized military systems, training institutions,
and tribal aristocracies assembled within the capital cities.
The maturation of monarchies in the kingdoms eventually eliminated
the influence of the aristocracies however, and the balance
of power waxed and waned as each kingdom endeavored to unite
Korea under their exclusive rule.
935 AD a general named Wang Kon established the Koryo dynasty,
which ruled the Korean peninsula until 1392 AD. Koryo, from
which the western word "Korea" is derived, was proclaimed
as the successor to all of the conquered kingdoms and states.
It was during the Koryo dynasty that Korea began to construct
its own distinct cultural identity among the rest of the East-Asian
civilizations. A bureaucratic system was created in order to
replace the archaic tribal system that had previously governed
the country, and civil service examinations were utilized as
a means to select only the most capable officials and provincial
magnates. The new bureaucratic force reaped by the civil service
examinations held the applied precepts of Buddhism in disdain
however, and with the assistance of Confucian-scholar General
Yi Song-gye, the disgruntled officials seized power and established
reforms that brought about the end of the Koryo dynasty, replacing
the Buddhist-based system with Confucianism. The Yi dynasty
named Hanyang (modern day Seoul) as the new capital of Korea,
and operated from it for approximately 500 years until the Japanese
annexation of Korea occurred in 1910.
During the reign of the Koryo and Choson / Yi dynasties the
advent of popular arts, as well as the introduction of Roman
Catholicism in the 17th and 18th centuries, propelled Korea
even closer to the modern state that exists today. A series
of changes transpired that would impact virtually every sector
of Korean society. Korean agriculture prospered as farming technology
advanced. The cultivation of special crops such as tobacco and
ginseng became possible, providing new and profitable trades
products; which consequently, improved the standard of living
for peasants drastically. The government began to mint coins
and collect farm rent in cash. Markets were established across
the country, creating a national trade network. Scholars switched
focus from theory and speculation to matters of practical relevance,
including the needs of society and state, while popular literature
and artistic works also came into fashion.
At the onset of World War II in 1941, Japan attempted to obliterate
Korea as a nation. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans were drafted
to fight and work for Japan during the war while the Japanese
continued to commit numerous atrocities upon the Korean populace.
The Korean provisional government organized the Korean Restoration
Army to fight alongside Allied forces in China until August
of 1945, when Japan surrendered.
The end of Japanese rule caused great political confusion among
the liberated Korean population. The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. supervised
the permanent removal of Japanese forces and government from
Korea, dividing it along the 38th parallel and sharing the task.
The Soviet army however, was accompanied by a group of expatriated
Korean Communists who were placed into key positions of power.
The Soviet Union installed a Communist-controlled government
in the North, which adopted the political structure of the Soviet
Union. This new agency became the only lawful Korean government
recognized by the U.S.S.R, essentially declaring war upon South
Korea. South Korea was largely unprepared to resist a total
invasion; aware of this, the U.S. Congress approved monetary
and military aid to support South Korea. The resulting war lasted
for approximately three years, but in that time over two-fifths
of Korea's industrial facilities, and one-third of its homes
were destroyed. On July 27, 1953 an armistice was arranged establishing
a cease-fire and a demilitarized zone between the two Korean
factions, which still exists today.
In Civilization III: Play the World, the
Koreans are considered a Commercial and Scientific civilization,
therefore, they start with Alphabet and Bronze Working, and
have significant bonuses to scientific and trade-related activities.
See the developer update on
Civ-specific abilities for more on these bonuses.
Some of the first anti-personnel devices created in Korea were
comprised of small rockets attached to arrows, which flung spikes
upon detonation. When it was discovered that several of these
rockets could be launched from the same container, larger versions
of these anti-personnel devices were created and utilized in
battle. These larger anti-personnel devices were designed to
be transported on wheeled vehicles such as a two-wheeled carts
and wheelbarrows. The Hwach'a, which was invented in 1451, allowed
a single man to transport approximately 100 rockets into battle,
and was well suited to combat the invading Japanese Samurai
who typically advanced on the Koreans in dense groups, presenting
ideal targets for the Hwach'a operators.
The Hwach'a replaces the cannon as the siege
weapon of choice for the Korean civilization in the Middle Ages.
The Hwach'a is a more advanced artillery unit, capable of bombarding
adjacent targets and unlike other siege weapons it is even able
to kill them rather than simply reducing their health. A Korean
city must have saltpeter to build a Hwach'a.