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The Making of the First Korean PresidentSyngman Rhee's Quest for Independence$
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Young Ick Lew

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831684

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831684.001.0001

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New Rivals and Detractors

New Rivals and Detractors

(p.235) Chapter 9 New Rivals and Detractors
The Making of the First Korean President

Young Ick Lew

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on Syngman Rhee’s rivals and critics. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, Koreans in the United States saw the outbreaks of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and the Pacific War between Japan and the United States in 1941 as opportunities to end Japanese imperialism in their own native land. A fever of independence arose among them in tandem with the resurgent Korean independence movement in China. Many of these Koreans openly expressed antipathy toward Rhee, labeling him “old and cranky”—and therefore hopelessly outdated. Rhee’s critics at the time were divided into two ideological groups. One was a conservative group whose members belonged to the Korean National Association of North America. The other major anti-Rhee faction was a progressive group affiliated with two left-leaning organizations: (1) the Sino-Korean Peoples’ League in Honolulu and (2) the Societies for Aid to the Korean Volunteer Corps in America.

Keywords:   Syngman Rhee, Korean independence, Korean National Association of North America, Sino-Korean Peoples’ League, Societies for Aid to the Korean Volunteer Corps in America

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