In the early days of his ruling(without the presence of his father Daeweon-gun), Gojong embraced the argument of ‘Guarding the Eastern ways, while accepting Western frames.’ Yet at the same time, he was putting a rather stronger emphasis on the issue of ‘guarding the Eastern ways’, rather than ‘inviting the Western frames.’ At the time, the concept of ‘Eastern ways’ were essentially Confucian moral principles, yet it did not stop at that. It also meant the entire social order and the monarchy system as well, which have all been based upon Confucian ideology. Then, with Japan’s intervention in Korean affairs during the Gabo and Eulmi years, and the implications from the Russian-Japanese conflict, the ‘Eastern way’ concept began to be reduced to a rather narrower concept, which could be called as ‘Eastern teachings(東敎)’, such as ‘Three principles and five obligations(삼강오륜)’, with a touch of religious quality as well. The reformist argument of ‘Based upon the past, consul the new(‘舊本新參’),’ established in the Daehan Imperial period, in relationship with the concept of ‘Eastern teachings and Western principles(東敎西法)’, put an emphasis upon the large ‘Western frame’, rather than the reduced ‘Eastern way.’ The beginning of several radical changes can be found from the people’s elevated sense of political participation which was inspired by the activities of the Independence Club, and also from the fact that a ‘civilian-elected officials’ system was launched through the supervision of the Jungchu-weon office. Gojong accepted these trends and events because he believed that he could reinforce the country and not to mention his authority as a monarch, with helps from such growth in the area of civilian rights. Yet at the same time, congressional functions in the hands of the people could potentially turn against him, and become a threat. So Gojong put a significant amount of efforts into establishing a strong imperial authority for himself. And in the process he also sought for measures to reinforce the country’s status as well. Such efforts were accompanied by a series of modern reforms. He intended to bring changes to all kinds of social and economic institutions of the country. The only thing he did not embrace was the Western-style constitutional system. The scope of such changes was wide enough to be referred to as a radical approach to existing conventions. But to launch and see through such reforms, money was needed, and the public which was forced to share such pain began to feel the burden, and Gojong’s own efforts to establish a solid chain of command instead backfired and hurt his own base of support. King Gojong wanted to make a compromise with the Western civilization, yet still relied upon Confucianism in terms of ruling principles and moral issues. He was a king literally caught between two worlds. As a result, two distinctively different set of values, such as the Eastern ways and Western frames, or Eastern teachings and Western principles, continued to clash with each other inside him. And that led him to display two distinctively different aspects at the same time, one as a monarch who based his ruling upon a Confucian system, and one as an enlightened king ready to accept the Western frames and principles. And it should also be noted that, hanging on to a reduced concept of Eastern ways led him to feature a very conservative attitude in pursuing his own agenda of solidifying a ruling base for himself. Needless to say, such mishaps also caused him to lose a momentum for further reforms, and also a crucial chance to really communicate with his subjects.
2. 동도서기론의 변화와 변법론의 확산
3. 東敎西法論에 바탕한 고종의 정책