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Joseon and Siam being engaged in open-door trading during the 19thcentury have created crucial turning points in history that transformed their domestic and offshore economies. This study aims to examine the comparative history caused by the Open Door Policy through reviewing trade treaties, courses of actions behind the policy establishments, and preventive policies put in place to support economic fluctuations. The obtained data were compared and analyzed to identify the characteristics of adjustments made by both intra-regional kingdoms and draw a conclusion on the processes involved that helped these nations transition to the modern era.
The findings revealed that the Joseon-Japan Treaty of Ganghwa and the Siam-UK Bowring Treaty were made between both kingdoms and other foreign counterparts to initiate the Open Door Policy. Both treaties share similar characteristics and contents, including free-trade agreements, grants of extraterritorial rights, uses of judicial powers at governmental offices, and establishments of embassies at Joseon and Siam for Japanese and British diplomatic missions. These privileges evidently indicated that the superior nations forced economic interventions, violations of sovereignties, and acquisitions of extraterritorial rights upon both kingdoms. The difference was that once the treaties were made, Siam attempted to do its best to utilize the “Open Door.”This phenomenon was influenced by Siam’s past diplomatic encounter, i.e., the Burney Treaty. The lesson facilitated Siam with its adaptation to embrace the global economic shift. In contrast, Joseon lacked the knowledge of capitalism primarily due to its closed-border policy.