Gwangju Living

A brief history of Gwangju City situated in Korea

Gwangju City

Gwangju is a city of South Korea, it is the sixth largest city of South Korea. The Government is runned by the central government of Korea as it is a metropolitan city, the Home Ministry is responsible for running affairs inside the city. It was also the capital of South Jeolla province but later the capital was changed into Southern village of Namak as the provincial assembly was shifted there in Muan Country in 2005.

Historical overview

Gwang is a Chineese word which means light and Ju represents the province. The city is very popular amongst tourist for its cuisine and food richness. Gwangju has a great history, the city was established in 57 BC. It was one of the administrative centers of the old Baekje empire during the Kingdom period in Korea.

Japanese Rule

During the Japanese invasion in 1929, a conflict between Japanese and Korean students in the city evolved into a large, highly intense demonstration which later turned into a massive struggle to get rid of Japanese rule during the colonial era.

Economic Stability

The city’s fate turned into fortune when the construction of a railway to Seoul had taken place. The railway line helped the industrialist to found cotton textiles, rice mills and other breweries to the city. There was also a massive construction of industrial zone in the city in 1967 to encourage industrialist to invest in the city, automobile industry was the main priority of the Government.

Civilian Uprising Against Military

In May 1980, a historical but peaceful protest against the military coap lead by Chun Doo-hwan emerges in Gwangju city. However, the military managed to sustain the peaceful protest and supressed the demonstration against the Government. The elite units of the military command also took part in the action against civilians.

The situation evolved into a larger turmoil after the bloody crackdown by the forces which resulted into an uprising against the Government in which civilians attacked military installments and raided armories to steal military weapons. After a bloody fight between the military headed government and civilians the crisis ended in which many civilians, soldiers and policemen died.

The civilians were the victorious in the clash between government and general people, as the military rule was thrown and the civilian government was reinstated. A national cemetery was established by the Korean government in memory of the victims of the dispute.

Current Status of Gwangju City

After a long period of turmoil and crisis, the citizens of Gwangju city witnessed an era of peace. In 1986, Gwagju was separated from Jeollanam-do to become a directly ruled city which was called Jikhlasi but shortly just after 9 years in 1995 in became a Metropolitian city Gwangyeoksi. Gwangju is considered as the stronghold of liberal Democratic United Part and its followers.



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