To What Extent Did the March 1st Movement Help Shape Modern Korean Nationhood?

High School Level Readings and Worksheets

CREDIT: USC Digital Library

On March 1, 1919, Korean activist leaders read aloud their Declaration of Independence, which quickly encouraged more demonstrations around the peninsula. Colonial Japanese forces swiftly suppressed these protests and demands for independence went unheeded, but the movement did ultimately help shape modern Korean nationhood. 

The excerpts and worksheets attached on the right sidebar explore how the March 1st Movement began and how Korean leaders were influenced by Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points." Students are also asked to evaluate the overall success of the movement.

The attached excerpts are from a March 2019 Carnegie Council podcast entitled "The Crack-Up: 1919 & the Birth of Modern Korea, with Kyung Moon Hwang." The podcast is based off The New York Times opinion piece "The Birth of Korean Nationhood" written by historian Kyung Moon Hwang.

Helpful additional teaching resources: DBQ on Korean Declaration of Independence, March 1, 1919. (Asia for Educators, Columbia University)