S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.29 (2002)
갑오개혁기 근대적 조세제도 수립 시도와 지방사회의 대응
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.29, pp. 217-252
- The primary goal which the government under the Gaehwa faction's administration was trying to achieve in their efforts to reform the taxation system, was to adopt modernized methods to operate it and secure needed amount of revalue which would be later used in other expenses for reformations in other areas as well. Steady but progressive reformation efforts commenced in June 1894 and were in progress till November the same year. The office primarily in charge of these efforts during this period was Gunguk Gimucheo. Those reformations included sanctioning the existing unofficial practices of collecting taxes solely from the land and also in cash forms. And the tax amount was fixed as well.
The coalition cabinet of factions lead by both Kim Hong-Jip and Park Yeong-Hyo, which was in power since November 1894 and till May 1895, enacted the Public Account Law in order to keep the financial procedures and taxation efforts free from any kind of corruptions, and officially proclaimed other taxation-related regulations as well But they were too hasty in their efforts and as a result the entire reformation program was ended prematurely because of the interventions from the Japanese authorities in Korea (led by ambassador Inoue Kaoru) and also because of the internal discord between parties inside the cabinet. As a result, implementation of these laws and regulations ran into several resistances, and many of them were later abandoned.
The responses from the local societies were quite intense, as the tax amount were established based on transportation methods of the grain and not on the productivity of the land. The conflicts among the gunsu, hyangim, iseo figures and the public, which were caused by the issue of naming personnels(Semujusa figures) in charge of the taxation process, were complicating matters as well. So the government had no choice but to reduce the fixed tax amount and reactivate the old taxation system, and to endure financial problems in their efforts to establish a modernized country.