Han Dynasty - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-18
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University of California, Santa Barbara
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(Hung, 2011).Over 2000 years ago at the period of states of Warring, China had seven states.They included: Chu, Hubei and Hunan, Zhao state, Yan, Wei state, Haan and the Qin state.All this state waged war amongst each other but the Qin state had the advantage of topographical.It had two parts of Guanzhong which were surrounded by mountains, Huanguguan located in the east, Wuguan in the south.Eastern area of Guanzhong had yellow river and mountains.This dynasty was one of the shortest in Chinese history.lasting 15 years.Qin Huang became paranoid about his death and this made him not able to survive multiple assassination attempts.He was obsessed by immortality and this led him to employ a lot of sorcerers and alchemists.He died of poisoning when he took the immortality potion.His son was killed and thus this dynasty collapsed.Chaos erupted until when Gaozu who was a petty official became general and hence helped to reunite China under Han dynasty.

Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty in China, Founded by Liu Bang.This dynasty copied Qin administrative structures.Han adopted a Confucian ideology which emphasized virtues of moderation and filial piety and masked regime authoritarian policies.

Economic of Han Dynasty

The economy of Han dynasty was defined by increasing urbanization, population growth, the growth of trade and industries, and nationalization by the government.In Warring state period there was private commercial development, development of handicraft industries and new routes trade. This led to the growth of Han's cities, Han recorded 56.7 million people.Luoyang and Chang' a had two marketplace with each market having a two-story office of the government

(Ikeo, 2006).Economic thought of Han dynasty was a continuation of the pre-Qin dynasty.One of the major reforms was introduced by Prime minister's nephew Wang Mang of Han dynasty. Western Han dynasty economy had serious problems as wealth had owned most of the land thus leaving poor people without enough land.

Wang built state monopolies on commodities such as iron, liquor, salt and copper coinage minting so as to increase revenues of the state.He then reinforced the system of leveling where the government purchased items and produce in times of need to sell in a period where there is deficiency.this helped to stabilize price but however this benefited national treasury to acquire profit.China's the population had grown in that, the average peasant had small land and the landowners were on untaxed estates and peasant in other parts was forced to carry a heavy burden on a small base of agriculture.

Wang also reintroduced earlier economic measures that worked well in Wu-di's time.He initiated agricultural loans to peasant policy.His most darling reform was land nationalization that sought to be parceled among peasant taxpayers and emphasizing that slavery had to be stopped.

Politics of Han Dynasty

Liu Che who ruled during Emperor Wu reign in Han dynasty which acquired its prosperous and most powerful period.He dispatched Huo Qubing and Wei Qing generals fight against Huns who were living in North of China and enlarged Western Han territory.Wu wars assured establishment of the great silk road and safe routes of trade.In his years, there was an improvement in agriculture which led to the economic development where he encouraged people to participate in the sector.Wu changed the religion of official state from Taoism to Confucianism.The decline of this dynasty began with Wu's policy of land sale to private landholders thus resulting in inequality and raise of taxes on poor peasants which led to displacement.

The Zenith of the dynasty was passed to Emperor Zhao and later emperor Xuan and emperor Yuan began to raise the power that dealt with affairs of the states this was against promoting of people on their abilities.He chose Confucians who were prominent and relied on fortune telling and astronomy to fill positions of the government.

Western Han ended with the country in revolution and with Liu Ying.Wang Mang, however, seized the throne and changed the dynasty's name to Xin.There were social rebellion and protests that led to the overthrowing of Wang Mang by uprising peasant, this was suppressed by Liu Xiu who later reestablished the Han dynasty.

Silk Road

This is the world's most historic and oldest trade route.The silk road is a collective name of several ancient routes linking Central Asia and China.The Chinese people traded silk from interior to western borders.The caravan was attacked by a small tribal group of Central Asians and for safety purpose, the government of Han sent Zhang Qian who was the general to build a relationship with small nomadic states.He reached Loulan, Yutian, and Qiuzi and later established relations of trade with this small important trade.Yutian, Qiuzi, and Loulan were abandoned later for reasons which were unknown but today travelers can see ruins of this places.Officers of Zhang went into Central Asia.He sent their envoys to every kingdom Zhang and his delegation visited so as to express the new relationship appreciation and thus show respect to the government of Han.From then the routes were safe for the merchant to travel and thus the merchant began to transport silk to other parts of the world.

Cultural Achievement of Han dynasty

Han was one of the most compulsive record keepers.Thus dynasty cultural milieu was documented well.Music Bureau(Yuefu) compiled descriptions of music details.In Confucian temples and in Court Music fell into two, ritual music and accompany banquets.Buddhism came from India to China during this dynasty.


The economy of China was developed after the dynasty of Han.Therefore, it is a misunderstanding to assume that there was lack of economic thought after the dynasty of Han.This misunderstanding left a troubling legacy and should be put right speedily.The reforms of Wang intended to improve peasant's livelihood and economic conditions.However, this reforms did not have adequate planning and there was mishandling of this reforms by the officials. Wang later came to the realization of the futility and went on to declare the end of this reform.However, today China faces a lot of the similar problems experienced by the ancient Chinese leaders.China is up to date an agricultural society,80 % of the population lives in the countryside. Current reforms are hard to implement with no agricultural policy that is sound.Han dynasty was an era that can be termed as intellectual and thus it is considered classical China's age.Today people still refer themselves to Han's children.This dynasty was unique and is similar to other ancient world's cultures.Under dynasty of Han, Silk became a great item of trade and medium of exchange.However, colonies of the military were established in Gansu so as to protect nomadic incursions and trade routes.Walls and tombs remain Hans architecture.This tradition has been carried on until modern times.

Works Cited

Hung, H. (2011). The road to the throne. New York: Algora Pub., p.5.

Ikeo, A. (2006). Economic development in twentieth-century East Asia. London: Routledge, p.35.

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