Europeans and Americans in Korea, 1882–1910: A bourgeois and translocal community


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This article deals with the European and American community in Korea between the conclusion of Korea’s first international treaties in the early 1880s and the country’s annexation by the Japanese Empire in 1910. It begins by presenting an overview of the community. Concentrated in Seoul and Chemulp’o, the Anglo-Saxon element dominated a community made up of diplomats, foreign experts in the service of the Korean government, merchants and missionaries. Next, the article describes two key characteristics of the European and American residents in Korea. First, they were individuals who defined themselves as bourgeois, or middle-class; second, the term “translocality” serves to bring together the multiple layers of border-crossing these individuals were involved in—as long-distance migrants between Europe or North America and East Asia, as migrants within East Asia, and as representatives of different European and American nationalities living together in Korea. Copyright © 2016 Research Institute for History, Leiden University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-28
JournalItinerario: European Journal of Overseas History
Issue number1
Early online dateMar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016



Dittrich, K. (2016). Europeans and Americans in Korea, 1882–1910: A bourgeois and translocal community. Itinerario: European Journal of Overseas History, 40(1), 3-28.


  • Korea
  • Treaty powers
  • Extraterritoriality
  • Bourgeoisie
  • Translocality