ABSTRACT

The eve of Park’s military rule, from April 1960 to May 1961, was marked by two revolutionary failures. One was the failure of the April Student Revolution of 1960 to bring about change in the national leadership elite, despite bringing down the Syngman Rhee regime (1948-60). The other was the failure of the new government (April 1960-May 1961) and ruling Democratic Party leadership to build public confidence in the government’s reform program, and to root out corruption and build the economy. In response, there emerged three notable developments: the rise of progressive reformist forces; the liberal intellectuals’ debate on national reconstruction; and the military reformists’ “Clean-up the Military” campaign which ultimately led to Park’s military coup of May 16, 1961.