Far from Seoul during the Joseon era, Jeollanam-do was a place of exile, often used as a dumping ground for political and religious dissidents. The tradition of political dissent has continued; the province was a hotbed of opposition to the military governments that ruled South Korea in the 1960s and ‘70s. Students and trade unionists led countless pro-democracy protests and demonstrations, culminating in the 1980 uprising in Gwangju. As a result, development funds were withheld from the region for decades, something that is being rectified today with a flurry of new projects.