Syngman Rhee

Syngman Rhee (sĬng´mən rē), 1875–1965, Korean statesman, president of the Republic of Korea (1948–60). Early an advocate of Korean independence, he led a demonstration against the Japanese in 1897 and was condemned to life imprisonment but was released (1904) under an amnesty. Rhee went to the United States, where he studied at Harvard and Princeton (Ph.D., 1910), and after returning to Korea went to Hawaii for a time. In 1919 a group of conspirators for Korean independence made him president of a government in exile, and he never ceased working for the cause. After World War II he became a leader in South Korea under the U.S. occupation, and in 1948 he became first president of the Republic of Korea, which claimed the right to rule over all Korea. When, on July 27, 1953, a truce was reached in the Korean War, Rhee maintained that all Korea should be united. Reelected to his fourth term in 1960, Rhee was accused of rigging the election. Student-led demonstrations protesting the election and government corruption soon led to riots and in May, 1960, Rhee was forced out of office and into exile in Hawaii.

See biography by R. C. Allen (1960).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History
William Stueck.
Princeton University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Syngman Rhee, the Truman Doctrine, and American Policy toward Korea, 1947-1948"
The Korea Knot: A Military-Political History
Carl Berger.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1957
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "Rhee's Rebellion"
An Alternate Course in Australian Foreign Policy: Korea 1943-1950
Dutton, David.
The Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 43, No. 2, Summer 1997
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Dictionary of Asian American History
Hyung-Chan Kim.
Greenwood Press, 1986
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Syngman Rhee begins on p. 468
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