||This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2008)|
|Revised Romanization||Heungseon Daewongun|
|Revised Romanization||Yi Ha-eung|
Heungseon Daewongun (흥선대원군, 1820–1898) or The Daewongun (대원군), or formally Heungseon Heonui Daewonwang (흥선헌의대원왕) and also known to period western diplomats as Prince Gung, was the title of Yi Ha-eung, regent of Joseon during the minority of King Gojong in the 1860s and until his death a key political figure of late Joseon Korea.
Daewongun literally translates as "prince of the great court", a title customarily granted to the father of the reigning monarch when that father did not reign himself. While there had been three other Daewongun during the Joseon Dynasty, so dominant a place did Yi Ha-eung have in the history of the late Joseon dynasty that the term Daewongun usually refers specifically to him.
The Daewongun was the father of the penultimate Joseon monarch Gojong, and for many years during Gojong's minority, and even afterward, he effectively wielded royal power.
During the mid 1860s Heungseon Daewongun was the main proponent of isolationism and the instrument of the persecution of native and foreign Catholics, policies that led directly to the French Campaign against Korea, 1866 and the United States expedition to Korea in 1871. The early years of Heungseon Daewongun's rule also witnessed a large effort to restore the largely dilapidated Gyeongbok Palace, the seat of royal authority. During Heungseon Daewongun's reign, faction politics, Seowon and power wielded by the Andong Kim clan completely disappeared.
 Struggle with Empress Myeongseong
His political life was characterized by struggles with Empress Myeongseong of the Min clan, the wife of the king. He had himself chosen her as the bride for his son, wrongfully anticipating she would remain a docile figure indulgent to his own political ambitions. The Daewongun's period as regent came to an end in 1873 in the face of growing opposition by his mature son, his willful daughter-in-law and the Min clan, as well as by the country's powerful Confucian officialdom.
In 1882, however, the Daewongun was briefly restored to power in the Imo Incident. But the Qing general, Yuan Shikai soon had the Daewongun abducted by Chinese troops and taken to China, thus foiling his return to power. Four years later the Daewongun returned to Korea.
 Return to Korea
After his return, he lived at his own private residence at Unhyeon Palace in central Seoul not far from the royal compound at Gyeongbok Palace. He made one more brief return to power in 1895, chosen by the Japanese to oversee the Gabo reform government, but he was soon removed from power when his commitment to the reform program became suspect. He died at Unhyeon Palace in 1898.
- Father: Prince Namyeon (남연군, 1788–1836)
- Mother: Unknown
- Wife: Yeoheung, Princess Consort to the Prince of the Great Court, of the Yeoheung Min clan (여흥부대부인 민씨, 1818–1898)
- Yi Jae-myeon (이재면, 1845–1912)
- Yi Myeong-bok (이명복, 8 September 1852 – 21 January 1919)
- Yi Jae-seon (이재선, ?-1881)
- In chronological order: Seonjo's Father (Deokheung Daewongun), his son (Jeongwon Daewongun; Injo's Father), and Cheoljong's Father (Jeongye Daewongun). Gojong's Father is the fourth and last
- He is an illegitimate son.
 See also
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Heungseon Daewongun|