S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.61/64(2013)
조선전기의 ‘農莊的 地主制’- ‘私債型’ㆍ‘勸力形’ 農莊 形成을 중심으로
Plantational Landlord System in the first half of Cho-sun Period : the plantation based on the private loan and the power based plantation
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.62, pp. 235-278
- 私債型 農莊; 勸力形’ 農莊; 權分; 告官徵收; 貪官; the plantation based on the private loan; the power based plantation; relief recommendation; the Canon for Statesmanship; greedy officials
- In Cho-sun period, the private loan stemmed from the "relief recommendation" which was one of the relief policies in a famine year. The relief recommendation had three kinds. One of them was the loan of the private grains, namely, the rich's lending grains to the poor farmers and peoples on the condition of interests. In the second half of Cho-sun, as the relief grains of the government grains drained, the private grains of the rich surfaced as an alternative, and government positively recommended the private loan. Particularly, during Seongjong's rein, ministers' loan for high interests was in vogue to the extent that people said "~o as a minister does not loan for high interests in this world?" Under the pretext that "people can not survive without the private loan", ministers taking advantage of a fact that there was no fixed due period for repayment waited for the interests to increase. When default occurred, they took the peoples property through a forced selling. Ministers original aim was not so much the high interests as poor peoples lands and property. Being a forced selling, it was none other than an extortion. Therefore, the farmer's lands were all over the mountains and fields, and if accumulated, amounted to districts and provinces. In the mean time, the latter, against the effects of the private loan relief, sold out family estates, thereby becoming wanderers. The purpose of relief recommendation was lost, and the regulations were needed. In the 10th rein of Seongjong(成宗 10년, 1479), "the Canon for Statesmanship" had a regulation of "collection by presenting a case to the court." In case of default, a creditor could collect the loan by presenting the case to the court only ~en he reported the lending within 1 year. This regulation caused avoidance of the private loan on the part of the rich families, thereby the ways of supplying the relief grains were blocked. The king and ministers were at a crossroads: to abolish the regulation or to keep it fast. However, while the situation of shortage of relief grains continued, the land possession and the seizure of peoples' property on the part of the rich families got aggravated. However, since the Confucian literati proposed land reformism, the king and ministers could not but adopting the regulation(Jungjong 中宗 13th year, 1518). It was a compromising method to solve the shortage of the relief grains through the private loan, while curbing the land possession and plantation expansion on the part of the rich families. It also was a choice satisfying the class interests of the owners of the plantations based on the private loan.
The power based plantations, in short, were greedy officials' plantations. Both the power and the status of plantations' owner were positive factors in the process of establishing plantations based either on private lands or on reclamation. The lands of those plantations, however, were bestowed in compensations for owners' merits, duty, or the goods and efforts invested in the reclamation of the waste lands and tidal flats. Contrary to this, the lands of power based plantations were mainly seized from farmers through abusing greedy officials' power. First of all, the officials explicitly robbed the common peoples of their lands using their power and status. Secondly, they took peoples' lands either by pressuring the local chiefs or in cooperations with the local officials who were either relatives or relatives by marriage. Thirdly, the local officials, under the pretext of performing duties, either appropriated peoples' lands or seized their lands as the ransom lands through false accusation. Fourthly, taking advantage of the privileges given to the aristocratic class, they persecuted both common peoples and the humbles, thereby making them slaves and seizing their lands. Fifthly, powerful courtiers like Yoon Won-hyung 尹元衡 and Sim Jeon 沈銓 meddled with both personnel affairs and criminal cases and received the bribes in exchange for personal favors and acquittals, thereby accumulated illegal wealth, and established a plantation using governmental authority. These greedy officials not only established a plantation through extorting the lands of common peoples, but also took houses, household goods, slaves, and cows-horses of other peoples. They even purchased lands and slaves with official grains and money, and bought up both public and private slaves. Their plantations brought into poor peoples public and private slaves, thereby becoming their hideout.