His name after death was Jaehwang whose childhood name was Myeongbok. His Choja was Myeongbu Ja, Seongrim, and penname Juyeon. He was the second son of Lee Haeung (Heungseondaewongun), grandson of King Yeongjo, and his wife was Min, daughter of Chirok, Yeoseongbuwongun. In December 1863 (14th year of King Cheoljong), the king died without a successor and he became king at the age of 12 by the order of Queen Mother Jo. Too young to govern, the Queen Mother became regent. Under a great cause to help the King more efficiently, power was passed to Daewongun, which led to his decade-long administration. For ten years of King Gojong's reign, his father, Heungseondaegun, carried out drastic reforms: getting rid of nepotism and divisive power structures between political scholars, hiring anyone with talent regardless of political backgrounds, abolishing Bibyeonsa, reviving the authority of Yijeongbu, establishing a strong military called Samgunbu, building an army, Yanghwajin, on the Han River to strengthen protection for the capital city, reforming taxation to make the ruling class pay their fair share, and punishing the ruling elites for the abuse of power . Daewongun's political missteps included a worsening national financial situation by extending Kyeongbok Palace, coining bad money, Dangbaekjeon, which led to the impoverishing of the commoner life, the enforced enlistment of physical labor from the commoners to build the palace which led to rioting, a crackdown on Catholicism, the killing of 8,000 Catholics, a closed door policy toward western powers, Byeoninyangyo (war against France), and Sinmiyangyo (war against the U.S). In November 1873 (10th year of Gojong), through Queen Min's conspiracy, he retired from political power and King Gojong became directly involved in governing. Afterwards, political powers were passed to Queen Min's family including Min Seungho, Min Gyeomho, and Min Taeho so nepotism began afresh. The Unyoho Incident in 1875 forced the Joseon Dynasty to abandon its closed door policy to foreign countries. The Byeongja Agreement with Japan was made and a new culture and civilization of modern capitalist countries came to Joseon Dynasty. Conflicts between those that supported openness and those seeking to remain closed became more serious. In 1881, Joseonchaeryak, written by Hwang Junhyeon, was published, encouraging advocates of Pro-Confucian ideas (the Wijeongcheoksa faction) to raise their voice against the Min family government. Conspirators, including An Giyeong, sought to place Lee Jaeseon, Daewongun's first child born of a concubine, on the throne which was a plot that was uncovered by Go Byeon. The Min family government severely cracked down on the Wijeongcheoksa faction. In 1881, Sinsayurandan (diplomatic envoy) was dispatched to Japan to learn about the new Western civilization. The military was reformed and a new, western-style military called "Byeolgigun" was established. In 1882, strong opposition against the new military system started Imogunran (military coup), which caused bloody fighting between the pro-Western civilization (Gaehwapa) faction and those against it (Sugupa). In 1884, Gapsinjeongbyeon (political change in Gapsin year) forced King Gojong to move to Kyeongu Palace, and then to Gyedong Palace by Gaehwapa. During this incident, King Gojong built diplomatic ties with the U.S. and Britain, but in 1885, the Tianjin Agreement, which removed the influence of Qing Dynasty in Joseon, gave power to Japan and provided a chance for Japan to colonize the Korean peninsula. In February 1896, King Gojong and the crown prince escaped to the Russian Embassy through Weber's Plot (this incident is called "Agwanpacheon) and advocates looking to open Korea to the West, including Kim Hongji, Jeong Byeongha, and Eo Yunjong, whom were assassinated. A pro-Russian cabinet was put into place, placing Joseon under the protection of Russia. On February 25th, 1897, King Gojong moved to KyeonguPalace (present-day Deoksu Palace) according to an agreement between Russia and Japan. In August, he changed the name of the regal year to Gwangmu and, on October, changed the name of the Dynasty to Daehan, and became emperor. In 1904 (8th year of Gwang-mu), victorious in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan was able to establish the 1st Japan-Korea Treaty in which they requested in favor for Foreign Government. A year later, the rights of the public order of Korea were replaced by the Japanese Military Police and that same year in November, the Eulsa Treaty, which was the 2nd Japan-Korea Treaty, was made. The right to foreign policy was taken over by the Japanese and pushed the Korean nation into a state of national crisis, following the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria. Korean patriots Min Young-hwan, Jo Byung-sae, Hong Man-sik, and others protested through suicide, but in February of 1906, Japan put in place a Governor-General of Korea to fully implement Foreign Rule of Government. In 1907 at the 2nd Hague Convention in The Netherlands, King Gojong sent secret emissaries, Lee Jun and others, in hopes to regain Korea's rights. But due to Japan's obstruction, the mission resulted in failure and the entire "Hague Secret Emissary Affair" became ammunition for Japan to threaten the Emperor with abdication of his throne to Sun Jong. It's said that after receiving the title of Former Emperor, he lived his later years in Duksoo Palace. In January 21st, 1919, he was said to been killed by poison by the Japanese. Gojong's 44 years of reign was a turbulent period for the Korean people and one in which he also experienced, the ill fate of the country and misfortune of losing his country after only 3 years of being on the throne. His royal tomb lies in Geumgok, Hongreung and he wrote the book "Juyonjib".