This paper will show how the Yeonam Group’s perception of the Han Chinese influenced the development of Northern Learning. Previous studies have noted this influence but did not adequately examine its cause. Conservative intellectuals in Joseon regarded the Qing and its subjects as barbaric, even repugnant. The queue hairstyle which the Qing insisted every adult male wear became a focal point for this disdain. The Yeonam Group also made the queue a focal point, but rather than seeing it as shameful, they tried to view it as an indication that the Han Chinese were acting in accordance with Confucian virtues, foremost of which was the loyalty a subject owed his sovereign. The Yeonam Group believed the Qing to be a worthy inheritor of the Mandate of Heaven and that the queue could be seen as a legitimate institution of the new dynasty. This belief did not cause them to abandon the Ming. By focusing on loyalty, the Yeonam Group found a Confucian virtue that allowed them to accept the advances made by the Qing without forsaking their fidelity to the Ming.
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