Telegraph lines and postal system: How communication systems served as a conduit for Korea-major power relations from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century

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Abstract

This article presents the major power competition over Korean telegraph lines and its postal system within the framework of Korean neutralisation, subjects that have largely escaped Western diplomatic historians' attention. To this end, under-examined British, French, and Russian diplomatic and personal documents are consulted, shedding new light on lesser-known aspects of major power activities in Korea during the age of High Imperialism from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Ultimately, the attempts of foreign powers, especially Japan, to control these means of communication severely undermined Korea's independent capacity to execute diplomacy during key moments and eventually extinguished any chance for Korea to retain its fragile independence through neutralisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-142
JournalActa Koreana
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • telegraph lines
  • postal system
  • Sino-Japanese rivalry
  • Russo-Japanese rivalry
  • imperialism

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