이원익(1547~1634)은 선조대 과거에 합격하여 관직에 나아간 후 관료로서 그 능력을 인정받기 시작했다. 임진왜란 때는 평안도 도순찰사로 임명된 후 평안도 지역의 민심수습과 병사모집 및 군수조달에 전력을 기울였고, 선조의 피난에도 적극적으로 보필하였으며, 평양성을 지킺기 위하여 노력 하였다. 또한 일본의 재침을 대비하여 민심을 수습하고, 군 기강 확립, 산성의 개보수, 군사훈련 등의 현안을 매진하였다.광해군 즉위와 함께 영의정에 임명된 이원익은 국정전반에 관하여 과감한 개혁책을 주장하였는데, 임진왜란 이후 민심을 수습하고 방납의 폐단을 시정하기 위하여 대동법을 실시하였다. 또한, 인목대비의 폐모론과 관련하여 부당함을 주장하는 상소를 올려 조정에 커다란 파장을 불러 일으켜, 결국 그와 그를 동조하던 인사들은 처벌을 받았다. 그러나 인조가 집권을 한 후 다시 영의정에 발탁되었으며, 이후에도 민생을 위한 정책을 펼치고, 도체찰사 자격으로 이괄의 난을 수습 하는 데에도 기여하였다. 인조대 부강 여진족의 침입이 가시화 되었을 때는 이미 80대 중반의 고령이었지만, 국가 원로로서 임진왜란의 참전 경험을 바탕으로 전쟁에 대한 대비책을 제시 하였다. 이원익은 선조에서 관해군, 인조 삼대에 걸쳐 국가의 요직을 맡으면서, 정치·경제·사회·국방의 다양한 현안들을 합립적으로 해결하고 수습하는 역할을 하였다. 당쟁이 치열하게 전개되는 시점임에도 불구하고, 당파에 기울지 않고 국가의 현안 해결을 최우선으로 하는 그의 합리적인 처신은 3대에 걸쳐 6번이나 영의정을 맡는``진기록``을 세우게 했다.
Yi Weon-ik(1547~1634) passed the national examination during King Seonjo`s reign, and not before long he was recognized for his exceptional capabilities. During the war with the Japanese in the 1590s, he was named as the Pyeong`an-do Provincial Circuit Inspection officer, and was put in charge of tending to the needs of the public while continuing to draft soldiers and providing supplies to the military. He also escorted King Seonjo when the King evacuated the capital, and later put all his efforts into the protection of the Pyeong`yang-seong fortress. He also continued to make repairs to defense facilities while training the soldiers as well, even after the Japanese forces retreated from the Korean peninsula. With the enthronement of King Gwang`hae-gun, Yi Weon-ik was named as Prime Minister(Yeong`eui-jeong), and with his new assignment he embarked upon promoting a bold reform plan for the entire govemment. As an implementation of this plan, a new act called Dae`dong-beob was launched. It was a new institution designed to alleviate the pain of the population and eliminate the ``Bangnab`` problem of the time, through which people volunteered to submit particular items to the govemment and gain profit and interest from their victims. Later, Yi Weon-ik also filed a petition, arguing why it was wrong to strip Queen inmok`s rank and position, and for speaking out his opinions, he himself along with many of his colleagues suffered massive and harsh punishments. Yet when King Injo was newly enthroned, he was reinstated as Prime Minister. He continued to care for the Joseon people, and also contributed to the subjugation of Yi Gwal`s insurrection, with the title of Supreme Circuit Inspection Officer(Chechal-sa). And when the Jurchen invasion from the North turned out to be imminent, he made suggestions regarding how to avert a war, or defend the country in case one happened. He was already in his mid-80s, but he was a senior and an elder of the country, and he continued to serve the govemment with his personal experiences that he accumulated during the war with the Japanese. Yi Weon-ik served in high profile seats since the days of King Seonjo, and continued to do so during King Gwang`hae-gun`s reign, and also during King Injo`s reign. He was in charge of resolving all kinds of problems that were all over the spectrum of the goveming of the country. With all the party politics raging, he remained neutral, and diligently oversaw the operations of the govemment. He served as Prime Minister for total of 6 times, during his career which lasted for three kings` reigns.