The annexation of Silla and conquest of Hubaekje by Goryeo meant that the three kingdoms were now unified as Goryeo.
As a sign of friendship, the Khitan Liao dynasty sent 30 envoys with 50 camels as a gift to Goryeo. King Taejo hated the Liao dynasty for their destruction of Balhae and sent the envoys to an island and left the camels to starve under Manbu Bridge.
King Gwangjong expected the Khitans to attack in retribution for the Manu Bridge Incident. He established the Resplendent Army, a military force of 300,000 soldiers and built new fortifications in the north.
King Gwangjong emancipated the slaves. He did this to try to reduce the power of the nobility. This was repealed by Gwangjong’s successor in 975.
In a further move to reduce the power of the nobility King Gwangjong introduced exams for civil service positions. He wanted to ensure that civil servants were in position for their ability rather than their noble position.
The Khitan Liao dynasty attempted to establish friendship, but Goryeo wanted to expand north into Khitan territory. To help with this King Gwangjong formed an alliance with the Song dynasty which controlled central China.
The Khitan Liao dynasty invaded northern Goryeo but neither side made gains and the war ended in stalemate. The two sides reached an agreement. In exchange for land in the north, Goryeo agreed to pay tribute to Liao and end the alliance with the Song dynasty. However, Goryeo did not end the Song alliance and instead fortified the newly acquired territory.
This treaty agreed terms between the Northern Song dynasty and the Liao dynasty. This meant that Goryeo could no longer seek support from the Song dynasty.
General Gang Jo led a successful coup against King Mokjong. Mokjong was executed and Hyeonjong, grandson of King Taejo was installed as King of Goryeo.
Claiming to avenge the death of King Mokjong, the Khitan Liao dynasty invaded Goryeo. Gang Jo successfully repelled three attacks by the Liao, but was then defeated by a surprise attack and executed. King Hyeonjong agreed to negotiate a peace but then refused to meet the Liao emperor in person.
With no formal peace between Goryeo and Liao, sporadic outbreaks of violence had continued. The Liao dynasty now invaded but Goryeo had anticipated the attack and the Liao were annihilated.
A peace was agreed between Goryeo and the Khitan Liao dynasty.
Work began on the Cheolli Jangseong, also known as the Great Wall of Goryeo. The 500 km wall joined fortresses built along the border and took 11 years to complete.
King Munjong ascended the throne. He ruled for 37 years during which time there was peace between Goryeo, the Liao and the Song dynasty.
Goryeo, ruled by King Yejong, annexed the Tamna kingdom based on Jeju Island. However, the Tamna retained autonomy as a vassal state.
The Jurchen people of north-east China founded the Jin dynasty.
The Jin dynasty defeated the Liao dynasty. They then invaded the Song.
Fearing an attack by the Jin, Goryeo declared itself a tributary of Jin and peace was maintained.
Army officers led by Jeong Jung-bu, Yi Ui-bang and Yi Go led a successful military coup against King Uijong. Uijong was exiled to Geoje island and his brother, Myeongjong installed as a puppet king.
General Yi Uimin had rapidly advanced through the ranks and in 1173 killed the exiled King Uijong.
Follwing the death of Kyeong, military de facto leader of the country, Yi Uimin took control and began a 12 year rule by fear.
Tyrannical ruler Yi Uimin was assassinated by Choe Chungheon. Uimin had lived a life of luxury and Goryeo was virtually bankrupt. Chungheon assumed control of the country.
Having been invaded by the Mongols, the Khitan people invaded Goryeo seeking land in the north. After some successes they were defeated and pushed back.
Mongol leader Ögedei Khan invaded Goryeo. King Gojong and the Royal court were moved to Ganghwa Island. The military and civilian Righteous armies fought the invaders but were unable to defeat them. Goryeo was forced to sue for peace and the Mongols demanded a huge tribute including silk, cloth, horses and children.
Invasions by the Mongols continued. In return for peace, the Mongols demanded a huge tribute including silk, cloth, horses and children. They also wanted to take the Royal family hostage but Goryeo sent a minor royal and a number of children of the nobility instead.
Möngke Khan became leader of the Mongols. He demanded the presence of King Gojong at his coronation. This was refused stating the King was too old to travel but a royal heir was promised as hostage instead. However, Goryeo sent the king’s stepson Angyeong rather than his heir Wonjong.
The Mongols launched the first of four new invasions. They had discovered that Angyeong was not heir to Goryeo and used that as a reason to invade.
Kim Jun, who supported a pro-Mongol policy, assassinated Military leader Choe Ui.
With much of the country devastated, Goryeo had no choice but to sue for peace. Wonjong was sent as hostage to the Mongols. King Gojong requested the Mongols restore power to him from Kim Jun.
With the help of new Mongol leader Emperor Shizu of Yuan, also known as Kublai Khan, Wongjong became King of Goryeo – his father had died the previous year.
King Wonjong agreed a new treaty with the Mongols which made Goryeo a vassal state of the Yuan dynasty.
The Sambyeolcho was a military force. They opposed the rule of pro-Mongol Kim Jun and wanted to free Goryeo from the Yuan dynasty. Unable to take power they requested support from the Japanese.
The rebellion was crushed by a combined Goryeo-Mongol force.
Goryeo became a client state of the Yuan dynasty.
Ki, daughter of Ki Ja-oh, a low-ranking beaurocrat and his wife, Wangzai Han Khatun, was sent as a tribute to the Yuan dynasty. Prince Toghon Toghon Temür fell in love with her and made her an imperial concubine. She eventually became Empress in 1340.
The Yuan dynasty was facing rebellion in China and was beginning to lose power. King Gongmin used this to retake control of land in the north.
King Gongmin was killed and his 11 year old son became King. Because he wa a minor, minister Y In-im took control.
The Goryeo court was split between supporters of the Yuan dynasty and supporters of the rising Ming dynasty. Yi Seong-gye was selected to lead an invasion of the Liaogong Peninsula. However, he decided instead to use his force to stage a coup.
Having murdered King U, Yi Seong-gye installed Gongyang as king.
Influential poet and diplomat Jeong Mong-ju, also known as Poeun, was murdered on the Sonjuk Bridge in Gaeseong because he would not support the overthrow of the Goryeo dynasty.
Supported by his son, Yi Bang-won, Yi Seong-gye deposed King Gongyang and took the throne himself as King Taejo. He declared a new dynasty named Joseon.
Published Mar 25 2022 @ 12:46 pm – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2022). Kingdom of Goryeo 936 – 1392 Available: http://www.totallytimelines.com/kingdom-of-goryeo-936-1392 Last accessed May 15th, 2022