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Han Dynasty Autopsy
Transcript of Han Dynasty Autopsy
Vi Tran 3rd Period
Significant Leaders & Accomplishments
- Liu Bang; led army that conquered Qin
Dynasty. He established Han Dynasty and
Chang'an (capital of Han)
- Han Gaozu (Liu Bang)
- Han Huidi (Liu Ying) Son of Liu Bang
- Han Wendi (Liu Heng) 4th Son of Liu Bang
- Formal education based on Confucianism
~ schools were built
- Established the social and moral basis of Chinese
- Expanded their frontier and increased trade
contact with other people
- Borders were expanded to Vietnam &
North Korea making Han Empire
the largest empire to date.
- Legalist nature while eliminating its extreme ways such as corporal punishments.
- Clear social classes
- Basic unit of life = family; not just the alive ones, but the ancestors too
- Father = absolute authority
- Women were inferior
- Hans allied themselves with
class next to wealth below aristocrats
- Emperors worshiped their ancestors by costly burials
- Esoteric, mystical rites, divination, and sorcery were very widespread
- Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism flourished in Han Dynasty
- Taoism and Confucianism became main philosophy of Han Dynasty
- Also, Hans believed in Legalism
- Emperors worshiped Heaven & Earth
- It was a tradition for the emperor to climb Mount Tai to give offerings to Heaven & Earth
- Government was largely characterized by a combination of feudal structures and central bureaucracy.
- Emperor was head of government
responsible for creating laws
headed the armed forced as its commander-in-chief
served as chief executive official
- Central was established
- 3 councils of state
Chancellor Over the Masses
The Imperial Counselor
The Grand Commandant
- Counselor's main duty was to draft the government budget, conduct disciplinary procedures for government officials, and to command military respectively.
- 9 ministers; each assigned to head a specialized ministry
- Princes were given the title of kings
- Economy was defined by population growth, growth of industries, as well as trade and nationalism
- Removed heavy taxation on small land owners, and imposed heavy taxes on merchants
- Govt. nationalized salt and iron industries to restrict industrialist power
meaning peasants employed by merchants in salt & iron workshops could go back to farming = increased in agricultural tax revenue
- Many military forces used advanced weapons
- Because of Han military, they were able to get rid of many Chinese enemies & helped spread kingdom over large Asian areas.
- Embraced visual art as well as poetry, literature, and music
- In the case of fine and decorative art, major stimulus was the revival of tomb art
- Tombs tended to contain artifacts which were made exclusively for burial purposes. Artifacts include:
miniature items of ceramic art
miniature models of farms, pigsties, and farmyard animals
- Mural paintings were popular on brick walls that lined with underground tombs and many relief sculptures
- Jade carving and craftsmanship during this era was product of centuries of goldsmiths and jade cutting
most remarkable example of jade carving were jade suits
- Watchtowers, palaces, temples, and store houses were built
- Architects began to experiment with baked bricks
- Architects began to build Buddhist temples that look like Indian temples or
- Wheelbarrows, seismographs, stirrups, and iron tools were invented
- Paper money was invented
- Paper, porcelain, and gun powder invented
- Examination system was put into use
- Brush pen, water mills for agriculture, rudders, and compasses for ships were built
- Slaves were at the bottom of the society, while peasants were at the top
- Peasants were considered valuable members of society because they grew food for the country, they worked hard in farms and raising animals
- Private and government slavery had a marked growth under Han Empire
- Slaves worked in homes to perform everyday task such as menial chores
- Slaves had some certain rights specified in contracts
- Greatest contributor to Han's economy was the silk trade and the opening up of the Silk Road
- Silk Road linked Romans and Chinese
- Silk Road led the Hans to trade with western people
- Traded directly from Europe, Africa, Arabia, and Central Asia
- Mediterranean Sea Trade Routes also included China
- Hans traded because of the invention of the loom which allowed for silk to be made
- Silk was traded, along with porcelains, spices, gems, furs, papers, and gun powder
- In return they got: gold, silver, cosmetics, ivory, amber, perfume, carpets, and glass
Silver & Gold
Literature & Documents
- A lot of literature was base on Confucius teachings
- Five Confucian Classics - Wu Jing; officers had to learn and study this
- New calendar was introduced called taichu
- Long, elaborate descriptive poems were composed
a combination of rhyme and prose
that began to flourish
the fu genre were description of the capital cities
- Historiography reached a crucial point during the Han Dynasty
- Historian Sima Qian wrote the Book of Hisotry; first account of Chinese history
from Huangdi to Emperor Wu
- World renowned "Three Treasures of the Han Dynasty" was also created
Autopsy: Decline of Han Dynasty
- Lasted for 400 years, the decline happened in the last 200 years
- Han Dynasty met resistance from nomadic groups whose livelihood depended on horses and herds
- They thought the nomads were barbarians; uncivilized people
- In the end, continuous military vigilance burdened Han fiances and worsened economic troubles of Hands
- Many factors led to the fall of the Han Dynasty:
uprising of desperate and hungry peasants
spread of banditry
attacks on nomadic groups on the northwest frontier
ambition of rival warlords
issues defending long borders
land distribution problems
local nobles gaining power
official corruption and disorganization of govt.
Han suffered ill effects of the dynastic cycle
Five Confucian Classics
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