S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.85/88(2019)
조선후기 王室관련 연구 동향과 과제: 왕조국가의 성격에 관한 재정사적 검토
Studies of the Joseon Royal Family (in the Dynasty’s Later period): Past, Presents and Future tasks: In the area of Financial history, and on the Nature of a Dynasty State
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.87, pp. 125-158
- Examined in this article are past and present studies of the Joseon Royal family, especially in its later years, while keeping in mind the financial nature and characteristics of the Joseon dynasty itself. Studies of this kind have been focusing upon four major areas: ① Boundary of the Royal family, and operational institutions, ② Nature of the Royal family members, ③ Life and culture of the Royal family, and ④ Economic activities of the Royal family.
In the fourth area(“Economic activities of the Royal family”) particularly, recent studies have been contributing to the task of determining the very nature of Joseon as a dynasty state. Exploring the nature of the State-Royal family relationship from a financial standpoint allowed us the opportunity to apply the “State of Patrimonialism (where the royal family and state are not clearly separated from each other) Theory” to the Joseon dynasty yet in a critical and controlled manner. It should be remembered that while Joseon dynasty did feature notable characteristics of a Patrimonialist(ic) state [as mentioned by Weber,] and maintained the ritual budget’s size as well as its spirit in the Joseon dynasty’s latter half period, Joseon also continued trying to establish certain level of division between the state and royal family.
The financial system envisioned by the Joseon dynasty was rather based on a model that was actually beyond that of a Patrimonialist(ic) state. It could even be newly conceptualized as a system more closer to a variety of other systems (‘Tribute state’, ‘Domain state’, ‘Tax state’, ‘Fiscal state’) which appear in the ‘State Model in Financial Development’ Theory proposed by Bonney-Ormrod. Reviewing the Joseon royal family and state from this perspective may provide us with the very break we’ve been looking for, enable us to move on past the “Internal Development Theory,” and eventually serve as a vital opportunity to establish a perspective seeing the Joseon dynasty as a State. Hopefully, studies in such vein would continue to follow in the future.