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        The Han dynasty had a very concrete form of law, for the dynasty needed a comprehensive law in order to survive.  It was based on Confucianism; Confucius believed that the spirit of his teachings influenced his laws, for he did not give laws.  He also believed in having harmony with nature, which meant that the people of Han China had to treat every aspect of nature with kindness, gentleness and respect.  Confucians also allowed individualism, which is also a freedom for it allowed people to strive: not based as much on merit as it was on intelligence.  Confucians did not have a total concrete law, but more of a law with beliefs.(World  History)  

    This picture shows Confucius, the man who shaped Confucionism and Han law.  


"He who knoweth the truth is not as good as he who loveth it and he who loveth it is not as good as he who delighteth in it" is one of Confucius' many famous teachings; these were the abstract forms of law that existed in Han.  Confucius w

One Han emperor, emperor Guangwu, was a person who believed that human rights should be progressed; he thought that people were equal, reguardless of their social classes including slaves.  He ordered that slaves be released, too.
Emperor Guangwu

The Han emperor Guangwu was, for his time, a progressive on human rights. He believed that people were the same regardless of social class and he banned mistreatment of slaves.  On several occasions, he even ordered their release.

Another important aspect of law was torture.


Chuan Chin-ju. "China at the Millenium." Millenium Law. 13 Mar 2003 13 Mar 2002
World History. Before 1600: THe Development of Early Civilization.
USA: Wadsworth, 2002.