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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Distinctive Characteristics of the Joseon Dynasty’s Fiscal Policy in the Nineteenth Century

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2007, v.47 no.2, pp.99-136
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2007.47.2.99

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine the problems with the Joseon gov-ernments fiscal policy that led to the peasant rebellions of the nine-teenth century. The paper reveals the following problems in its fiscalpolicy. Local governments did not fulfill the quota of persons allocatedto each district in compiling the hojeok, thus rendering the householdgrading system inefficient in achieving its stated aim of equitable taxa-tion. Moreover, the lack of flexibility in the administration of house-holds imposed a further burden on the peasantry. This lack of flexibili-ty was also clear in the land tax system, which imposed a heavy bur-den on the peasantry due to the policy of collecting a fixed amountwithout regard to annual harvest variations. A further issue in poorharvest years was the uniform reduction of land tax instead of a morecareful assessment of each parcel of land. As a consequence, even peas-ants with no harvest at all due to land damage were forced to pay aland tax. The landlord exploited this situation to transfer the burden ofthe land tax to the tenant peasants. These problems in implementingtaxation policies constituted an important cause of the peasant rebel-lions in the nineteenth century.

keywords
quota of persons fiscal policy peasant rebellion equitabletaxation land tax lack of flexibility land surveyKim Kuentae (Kim Geon-tae) is Assistant Professor at the Academy of East Asian Stud-ies Sungkyunkwan University. He received his Ph.D. quota of persons fiscal policy peasant rebellion equitabletaxation land tax lack of flexibility land surveyKim Kuentae (Kim Geon-tae) is Assistant Professor at the Academy of East Asian Stud-ies Sungkyunkwan University. He received his Ph.D.

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