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Han vs Roman Empire: A Comparison

AP World History Project

Johanna Mercurio

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of Han vs Roman Empire: A Comparison

Han Dynasty vs Roman Empire: A Comparison
The Han Dynasty: Preconditions
The Government was a balance between Zhou decentralized government and Qin centralized government.
Agricultural Potential: Fertile lands suitable for crop growth; used terracing to carve landscapes in the steppe mountains.
Environmental Mosaic: Rivers (Yellow, Yangzi), mountains, arable farmland, loads of metal deposits (bronze and iron)
The end of the Qin dynasty resulted in the rebellion of many different areas, and once the Qin imperialists were overthrown, the states were all alone fighting for power.
The Han Dynasty was able to inherit many antagonizing states after the internal collapse of the Qin Dynasty.
Military Resources: conscripted men into Chinese army from the neighboring states using a common ideology of hatred for the Qin and other militarial rewards.
The Roman Empire: Preconditions
Rome's first city government was run by a monarch alongside the Etruscans, who the Rome later devoured in their quest for expansion.
There were small farmers who blended with the nomadic farmers on the Iberian peninsula in which their was much agricultural potential.
There was The Mediterranean to the South East of Rome along with many metal deposits and fertile lands.
The main neighboring states were the Etruscans, Greece, and the Gaul which were all caught up in wars and internal/external challenges.
In the above listed states, they all fought in their later years coveting expansion but failing in the ability to do so.
Rome had successful military colonies or posts that were able to attack under the control of their military consuls with great force.
The Roman Empire: Ideologies
The republic
People had a say in their government with tribunes and other voting opportunities.
Working for the empire through taxation
Growth and Success
People were able to share in the empire's wealth through prosperity, free-time, entertainment (Circus Maximus)
Newly conquered states or empires began with a great sharing of the wealth and had to pay little taxes or none at all.
There was identification through the language Latin in written and spoken aspects
The religion of the deities and late of Christianity allowed people to identify with their government that followed that religion.
The Han Dynasty: Ideologies
Confusist, Legalist Government
Had Legalist style government for justice softened by Confucian so people related to the leaders and the government style in the philosophy
Centralized but bureaucratic government allowing for communication between different parts the dynasty
Community Punishment
There was community punishment in that when one person or a group did wrong the whole city or cities were punished
People related to each other and the governed punishment
Mandate of Heaven allowed people to relate their leaders to the tian or the idea of cultural heaven
Confucianism was widely accepted or presented by leaders in order to grow or increase followers who supported Confucianism
The Roman Empire: Characteristics
The Han Dynasty: Characteristics
Not much historical information is given about the roads and paths in the Han dynasty with the exception of the Silk Road. Silk trade began in the Han dynasty and the Silk Road was a way to get people to trade. There was most likely other roads because there is evidence of carts and chariots for transportation.
The Han dynasty was a great center for successful trade in all of Asia. They held the most expensive and valuable item, silk. They also held large quantities of iron and paper that were often traded too. The Silk Road was where most external trade occurred publicly. As the empire grew larger, there was less internal trade and more of a internal "sharing" system.
The city produced art from all social classes allowing all people to be participants in the culture and the economy. The education was mainly Confucianist which gave a central ideology in the school of the Han.
There was a mixture of Zhou and Qin govts. There was less imperialism, but there was much more centralization and state involvement.
The Han dynasty didn't have a language that every state or city in the dynasty spoke. The Han used a common writing so that they could communicate with each other. However, there was no specific spoken language.
While the Han imperial leaders claimed to support Confucianism they used the Legalist Qin style of justice and rewards.
After they conquered the surrounding empires around them when expanding, the Han imposed Confucius education and Legalist administration to make the conquered feel like another "Han."
The Han Dynasty: Results
The elite classes were given much more in times of agricultural and economic prosperity. For instance, the richer classes used chariots and received money and cultivator's taxes from the lower classes. They also created finer silk and garments to wear along with jade plaques in your tomb.
The Han dynasty began with more stability and prosperity with large metal deposits and agricultural growth. These provided prosperity economically and politically until the lower class population rebelled.
The high agriculture supported large growth economically (about 60 million by the end of Han).
The Roman Empire: Results
The higher classes were able to inherit most of the wealth (which caused some discourse within the empire). They built things like palatial houses and gardens in addition to large banquets where only other higher class aristocrats were invited.
The Roman empire was one of the most successful societies in the ancient times. There was high agricultural stability and a large trade network that lasted years (included overseas trade).
The population of Rome grew immensely with every new conquering. Most new citizens in the later days of the Roman empire were forced into slavery. The population was so large and successful that there were attractions like the Circus Maximus which could hold as much as 250000 people.
Experienced economic rewards that would first go to the upper class and then be distributed down to lower classes
A period of stability and prosperity
An increase in population occured

a form of state level government present
Arable land suitable for crop growth available
Rivers, mountains, metal deposits, arable land all present in environmental mosaic
many small states present
small states don't agree with each other (mutual antagonism)
Iron metallurgy resulted in a military a technological advantage

Leaders were more focused on furthering their own needs rather than the needs of the empire. Factions formed within the government that caused political instability.
Over expanded to the point where the empire was too far-flung to have effective control over subjects, land, and resources
Failure to expand caused the empire to lose their subject's faith and weakened state ideology
Internal and external rebellions put a strain on the empire's military and government

The Han Dynasty: Decline
The Han Dynasty ended with failure to lead by the leaders sucking the wealth from agriculture and economy to themselves and the military. The leaders forced crops and resources into the army leaving little for the peasants. Also, factions composed imperial and aristocratic families formed which caused a divided government
The military began expanding to larger parts of Asia and somewhat succeeded, but as soon as they failed, the people revolted because all of their hard earned crops went to a failing military resulting in economic downfall.
As the failure to expand the empire became a more prominent problem in the Han dynasty, peasants and cultivators began to receive less land only fueling their lack of ideology.
In the Han dynasty, a failure of equal distribution of land and weak leadership resulted in the rebellion of many unpleased peasants and Confucian scholars.
The Roman Empire: Decline
Rulers like Constantine and Diocletian were unable to upkeep the internal and external peace of the empire and were overwhelmed with a loss of followers and military successes. Factions formed between barracks emperors, and emperors were often violently overthrown.
The Roman empire fell less to an overactive amount of expansion but more to the internal and external pressures. However, there was still a failing of military conquests that expended many troops and resources.
The failure of these many expositions resulted in less Roman followers. Constantine gained a good amount when he declared Roman Christianity but it fizzled out in the end.
Rome fell from strong internal rebellion much like the Han dynasty. There was a large amount of problems just because Rome's size was becoming unmanageable. Internal countries rebelled however external forces came in with great momentum also. Due to all this and a lack of ideology, Rome fell.
The Han conquered all the rebellious states after the Qin dynasty.
The Romans had roads throughout their empire with examples of roads from Iberia to Sicily and Gaul to Macedon. These roads allowed people to initiate trade and communication.
The empire was so large that internal trade was initiated in the empire alongside external trade with other empires like the Han and the Classical Indian on the Silk Road.
The Roman had extensive art depicting war valor and the honoring of leaders like Julius Caesar and Augustus.
Rome was a republic with consuls and a Senate to lead imperially with smaller leaders in a buraeocratic style that enforced laws in the empire with roads and communication. There was an extensive justice system and a dictator if needed.
The Romans had a common language called Latin used in all communication and education. Some cities still spoke their own languages but you were "a part" of the Romans if you spoke Latin.
The Romans had a system of justice similar to many modern systems today. They had a judge that allowed the defendant to speak up against his accuser with a fair chance or trial.
The conquered people in the Roman empire did not have as many responsibilities in order to make them feel welcome. They did not have to pay as many taxes and got to rule or govern their own internal affairs.
Constantine was the emperor credited with with converting the Roman Empire to Christianity and ending the persecution of Christians.
Han Video Summary
Barracks Emperors such as Maximinus Thrax (pictured above) violently fought each other for the imperial throne thus causing political instability.
The Yellow Turban Uprising were caused by unsatisfied peasants that were living in poverty as opposed to the luxury the wealthy were living in.
Roman Video Summary
Model of a typical Roman house.
Jade was highly valued by the Han. It was used in the building of various things.
Construction of empire-wide transportation systems
Increase in trade
Art and education bloom in cosmopolitan cities
Bureaucracy established that enforces law, oversees coinage, collects taxes, and ensures communication
Wide-spoken official language
Codified system of laws and justice throughout empire
Those conquered have citizenship and rights to some degree
Thomas Godwin, Johanna Mercurio, Austin Pyle, Trey Brennan, Micah Bull
leaders used philosophy/religion to increase favor with people
Instituted system of law and justice to further community unity
had effective bureaucracy that increased loyalty in its people and allowed for taxation
The Tiber River provided
fertile land in the area
around it which provided
agricultural potential.
Depicted above is
Shang Yang, the
founder of
Romans built extremely
advanced roads complete
with curbs and sidewalks.
The Han never had a uniform language, but they had uniform writing.
Full transcript