Alternate History

Korea (Principia Moderni IV Map Game)

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Yi dynasty
Joseon Wangguk
Flag of the king of Joseon.svg Coat of Arms of Joseon Korea.png
("Let there be light on the Land and in the Heavens!")
(and largest city)
Other cities Pyeongyang, Busan, Ulsan, Bukgyeong, Sinsado, Hwataesi
Official languages Korean
Ethnic groups  Korean, Manchu, Xibe, Hui, Nivh, Ainu
Demonym Korean
Religion Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism
Government Absolute monarchy
 -  King Yi Un
Legislature State Council of Joseon
 -  Coup of 1388 May 20, 1388 
 -  Coronation of Taejo July 17, 1392 
 -  Promulgation of Hangul 1422 
 -  Northern Conquests 1455–1461 
 -  1470 estimate 9,563,0829 
Currency Korean Mun ()
Time zone KST (UTC+9)
Date formats yyyy(), mm(), dd()
Korea (조선왕국, tr. Joseon Wangguk) is a Korean kingdom based in the Korean peninsula, expanse of land stretching from the Yalu River to the East Sea. It borders the Ming dynasty to the West and the Ashikaga shogunate to the East, and is home to over nine million people.

With the first Korean state being Gojoseon, Korea had not emerged as a single state until the seventh century, after centuries of conflict among the Three Kingdoms of Korea; Silla, Goguryeo, and Baekje. Under Unified Silla, Buddhism became cemented into Korean culture. However, a rigid caste system led to a period of power-struggles between the aristocracy, culminating in its dissolution into three states. In 935, Silla and its sucessor states were unified again under Goryeo, ending the Later Three Kingdoms period.

Goryeo was a highly cultured state and highly influenced by Buddhism, creating the Jikji document in the 14th century. In the 13th century, however, invasions by the Mongol Empire prompted it to submit as a Mongolian vassal. After the Yuan dynasty had collapsed, severe political strife ensued, culminating in an uprising led by General Yi Seonggyeo, who established the the current Yi dynasty in 1388.

The Yi dynasty strengthened its rule over its territory, overseeing peace and tranquility and the height of Korean culture, trade, science, technology, and the arts. Initially suppressed in favour of Confucianism, Mahayana Buddhism under the Yi sect (formed by King Sejong) became once again ingrained into Korean culture. Korea enjoys the highest living standards in East Asia and is one of the most technologically sophisticated countries in the world, having an entrenched naval tradition responsible for its naval prowess, having independently discovered gunpowder, first to use meteorology in agriculture, among other scientific advancements.


The term Korea is the modern spelling of Corea, it is an exonym derived from Cauli, a transcription of the Chinese 高丽 (Pinyin: Gāolì), which was the Hanja characters for Goryeo.

Koreans refer to Korea as either 조선 (Romanisation: Joseon) whose Hanja characters mean the "Morning Calm", or 한국 (Romanisation: Hanguk). The first term was derived from the earlier term Gojoseon, the oldest known Korean polity. Go– is simply a prefix meaning "ancient" or "old", added so that the two could be distinguished.

Government and Politics

Korea is an absolute monarchy under the Yi imperial household, with Yi Bang-won being its current King. The Joseon state-council is its legislative body, however, there is a decree that states all laws implemented must receive prior approval from the King.

Prominent members of the nobility are required to swear total allegiance to the royal family and the state-council, and to perform the humiliating ritual of godu monthly. The act consists of three kneelings, with each involving three prostrations before the king.

Administrative divisions

Korea is divided into fourteen provinces (Hangul: , Hanja: , translit. do).


Name Date of births/deaths Reign Achievements
King Yi Seonggye (이성계)
Taejo (태조)
1335 to 1408
(aged 73)
1392 to 1398 Established the House of Yi, which ousted the Goryeo dynasty. After the coup d'état, he proclaimed the current Joseon dynasty.
King Yi Bang-won (이반원)
Taejong (태종)
1367 to 1422
(aged 55)
1400 to 1418 Removed dissent and centralized the government through purges, initiated economic modernization of Korea.
King Yi Do (이도)
Sejong (세종)
1397 to 1451
(aged 53)
1418 to 1451 Further augmented Korean metallurgy, establishing the first conventions to the Korean language and grammar. Successfully defended Korea from Japanese invaders during the Korean–Japanese War. Started reentrenchment of Buddhism under the formed Yi sect and the divinization of the House of Yi.
Queen Yi Hyorin (이효린)
Gunyeo (군여)
1413 to 1468
(aged 55)
1452 to 1468 Conquered the Jurchens, Oroks, Nivkhs, Ainu to the north and acquired their territory, established a policy of militarization which led to the assertion of the Korean naval tradition and prowess. Reestablished basic relations with the Japanese after years of isolation.

Foreign relations

Ming dynasty

Relations with the Ming are very favourable. Korea, while independent and having its right to sovereignty and suzerainty, partakes within the Chinese Imperial tributary system, making it a tributary of China. It sends tribute (eunuchs and concubines, as well as luxury items) to China every two years.


Relations with the Yakuts are favourable


Relations with Tondo are favourable




Dai Viet







Korea, particularly in the northern portion of the peninsula, and the Buk-in province encompassing Manchuria, has large deposits of minerals and precious metals.

Korea is known to be one of the greatest gold producing countries in the world; even as far back as the ninth century, rumours of its great mineral wealth attracted Arab merchants and their agents, who traveled to Korea to trade for gold and silver utensils, along with copper, ginseng, paper and fans.

Korea is also a major exporter of silver, with China being its largest importer (Korea supplies much of the precious metals within Chinese banks). Silver plays an important role in Korean–Chinese trading relations, as silver forms the basis of both of the countries' currencies. There are sixty-eight silver mines across Korea, most in the Hamgyeong province.


Joseon is one of largest military powers within Asia, second only to the Ming. The Korean military is divided into four branches, the Korean Royal Navy, the Korean Royal Army, the Imperial Guard, and the Special Forces (used in the northemost Buk-in province to quell Jurchen insurgencies). Joseon can draw as high as three-hundred thousand levies, but during peacetime the number is much lower, currently at sixty thousand levies. The figures do not include the members of the Righteous Armies and Jurchen auxiliaries.



Joseon has one of the best navies within Asia, second only to the Ming. Joseon can attribute its naval prowess to Goryeo, who developed a strong navy in response to Japanese piracy. While it had temporarily declined under the reign of Taejong, Japanese aggression and piracy has prompted Yi Do to initiate a naval build-up and the consolidation of maritime borders.

The Joseon royal navy consists of about 1,000 naval vessels, with the composition as followed: 700 bigeodo, 180 gwaseon, 100 hyeopseon, and 20 junks. Korean naval vessels are usually equipped with artillery (such as Korean cannons and hwacha), and typically have a complement of a hundred sailors. Most of Korea's ships are stationed in the ports of Busan, Ulsan, and Incheon, with Korea's largest shipyard being in Ulsan.

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