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                           HAN GOVERNMENT 206-220 B.C.E.                                       
liupang    
Liu Pang, first emperor of Han

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When Liu Pang took over the Qin Dynasty, he created the new capital of the Han Dynasty at Ch'ang-an. The Han Dynasty's goal was to unite China as one unified whole and by doing that the state had total control over the people.

Although traditional Chinese history shows the Han Dynasty making drastic changes in government after the Qin Dynasty, evidence proves that the Han Dynasty continued to rule in a way similar to the Qin Dynasty. It was only later that the Han Dynasty added Confucian ideas into the former Legalist government. Some changes made more economic expansion, strengthening the palace at the expense of civil service, which is citizens farming and working for free, and weakening of the state's control over peasants.

The Han Dynasty government was a centralized bureaucratic government headed by a prime minister. By maintaining a centralized government the Han was less harsh in rule than the Qin Dynasty. By doing this, the Han Dynasty established an empire that rivaled the Roman Empire in prosperity, power, and achievement.

There was a basic local government in counties. Ten to Twenty counties formed a commandary, which was headed by the government.

The greatest Han emperor was Han Wu Ti, who became emperor at the age of sixteen, in 141 B.C.E. and ruled for fifty-four years. He was responsible for much of the Han Dynasty's expansion, taking over the south into Vietnam, and north, into Korea. He also extended Chinese colonies and Chinese influence towards central Asia. These influences led to the creation of the Silk Road, a trade route that brought Chinese civilization to the West.

The Han military was so strong, the Han Dynasty expanded very far across China. Often, the borders were attacked and because of the growing population, food supplies became scarce. Eventually, the extreme expansion of the Han Dynasty caused its downfall, mostly because of the high cost of military expeditions.

The Han Dynasty was perhaps the most influential dynasty in all of Chinese history, so much that in the Chinese language today, the people of China are referred to as Han Yuan, or "Han people."


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"Han Dynasty." Dynasties of Early Imperial China.
http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/prehistory/china/early_imperial_china/han.html

"The Han Synthesis." The Chinese Empire.
http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/CHEMPIRE/HANSYNTH.HTM

"Liu Pang." Chinapage.
http://www.chinapage.com/images/hangao-image.jpg

Cassar, George H. and Goff, Richard D. and Holoka, James P. and Terry, Janice J. and Upshur, Jiu-Hwa L."Han Government."World History Before1600:The Development of Early Civilization. Volume I. Fourth Edition. Wadsworth Group, USA. 2002. pp. 159-160.