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Section 3. Han Emperors in China. The Han Dynasty expands China’s borders and develops a system of government that lasts for centuries. NEXT. SECTION. 3. Han Emperors in China. The Han Restore Unity to China. Troubled Empire

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Section 3

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Section 3

Han Emperors in China

The Han Dynasty expands China’s borders and develops a system of government that lasts for centuries.




Han Emperors in China

The Han Restore Unity to China

Troubled Empire

•In Qin Dynasty peasants resent high taxes and harsh labor, rebel

Liu Bang Founds the Han Dynasty

•Liu Bang defeats Xiang Yu, a rival for power, and founds Han Dynasty

•Han Dynasty—begins in 202 B.C., lasts 400 years

•Han Dynasty has great influence on Chinese people, culture

•Liu Bang establishes centralized government—a central authority rules

•Liu Bang lowers taxes and reduces punishments to keep people happy


Continued . . .




continued The Han Restore Unity to China

The Empress Lü

•Liu Bang dies in 195 B.C.; wife Lü seizes control of empire

•Empress Lü rules for her young son, outlives him

•Palace plots and power plays occur throughout Han Dynasty

The Martial Emperor

•Liu Bang’s great-grandson Wudi rules from 141 to 87 B.C.

•“Martial Emperor” Wudi defeats Xiongnu (nomads) and mountain tribes

•Colonizes Manchuria, Korea, and as far south as what is now Vietnam




A Highly Structured Society


Emperor’s Role

•Chinese believe their emperor has authority to rule from god

•Believe prosperity reward of good rule; troubles reveal poor rule

Structures of Han Government

•Complex bureaucracy runs Han government

•People pay taxes and supply labor, military service

•Government uses peasant labor to carry out public projects

Continued . . .




continued A Highly Structured Society

Confucianism, the Road to Success

•Wudi’s government employs 130,000; bureaucracy of 18 ranks of jobs

•Civil service jobs—government jobs obtained through examinations

•Job applicants begin to be tested on knowledge of Confucianism

•Wudi favors Confucian scholars, builds school to train them

•Only sons of wealthy can afford expensive schooling

•Civil service system works well, continues until 1912




Han Technology, Commerce, and Culture

Technology Revolutionizes Chinese Life

•Invention of paper in A.D. 105 helps spread education

•Collar harness, plow, wheelbarrow improve farming


Agriculture Versus Commerce

•As population grows, farming regarded as important activity

•Government allows monopolies—control by one group over key industries

•Techniques for producing silk become state secret as profits increase





The Han Unifies Chinese Culture

Bringing Different Peoples Under Chinese Rule

•To unify empire, Chinese government encourages assimilation

•Assimilation—integrating conquered peoples into Chinese culture

•Writers encourage unity by recording Chinese history


Women’s Roles—Wives, Nuns, and Scholars

•Most women work in the home and on the farm

•Some upper-class women are educated, run shops, practice medicine




The Fall of the Han and Their Return

The Rich Take Advantage of the Poor

•Large landowners gain control of more and more land

•Gap between rich and poor increases

Wang Mang Overthrows the Han

•Economic problems and weak emperors cause

political instability

•In A.D. 9, Wang Mang seizes power and stabilizes


•Wang Mang is assassinated in A.D. 23; Han soon

regain control

The Later Han Years

•Peace restored, Later Han Dynasty lasts until A.D. 220


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