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Ancient China – The Han Dynasty Arman, Bob, Chris , Keith, Nadheeran. The Three Kingdoms Wiki: The Han Dynasty, n.d., <http://the3kingdoms.wikia.com/wiki/Han_Dynasty> (May 8, 2013). . Themes. Centralization Advancement Hierarchical Society. Historical overview.
The Three Kingdoms Wiki: The Han Dynasty, n.d., <http://the3kingdoms.wikia.com/wiki/Han_Dynasty> (May 8, 2013).
The Han Dynasty marked a period of great change in Ancient China in which a multitude of technological and architectural advancements were implemented. They acted as a means of expanding China’s global power but also in enriching the lives of the average citizen. Inventions ranged from several pieces of ingenious machinery, to multiple developments in nautical technology. But, arguably, the two most important advancements of the Han Dynasty would have to be the perfecting of the Paper Making Process, and the creation of the Silk Road. In essence, both these innovations emphasized the monumental changes that occurred during the Han Dynasty, which ultimately led to the rise of the Chinese Empire.
The system of Government of the Han Dynasty was very similar to the system of Government of the Qin Dynasty; demonstrating continuity. In theory, both systems gave the emperors absolute power over the land and people. Denoting them as the “son of heaven” , and entrusting them with absolute authority. The Emperors were advised by a group of court officials, but the real power lies only with the Emperors, and to forbid or deny an order from the Emperor, would’ve meant certain death. This system provided China with a strong central government, which resulted in the Empire’s stability.
The Han emperor removed heavy taxes of small land owners and imposed heavier taxes on merchants in order to increase peasant’s production output. Emperor Gaozu also confiscated land from nobles to encourage peasants and farmers to start planting more to improve exports of silk, which was the name of the trade route that began in the Han Dynasty: The Silk Road.
The Emperor closed down the government mints in favour of coin currency produced by the private sector. There were many types of coins during the Han Dynasty.
Cultural-china, History and Literature; The Currency in the Qin and Han dynasty. n.dhttp://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/35History2385.html, May.9/2013)
The Han dynasty witnessed the development of China's organized belief system. Confucianism was revived after its ban during the Qin dynasty and was made a state religion as well as expanded upon. Meanwhile, Daoism became more mystical and religious-like. Daoism offered various techniques to improve the body and extend one's life. In the first century CE, Buddhism entered China. Yet it would only be until after the fall of the Han dynasty that Buddhism would actually become popular and significant in China. Therefore it can be seen that many old ideas from the past, like Confucius text and Daoism, returned to the Han Dynasty, thus showing how Han religious beliefs were more continuity than change.
Organized System of BeliefsConfucianism
Chinese painted artwork from an Eastern Han tomb displaying paragons of filial piety. It was created in the first or second century common era.
Anonymous Chinese artist, Painted figures on a lacquer basket, Eastern Han Dynasty, July 2008, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Painted_figures_on_a_lacquer_basket,_Eastern_Han_Dynasty2.jpg (May 4, 2013).
Patriarchy was the most fundamental part of life for families who lived in the Han Dynasty, just as it had been in the previous dynasty - the Qin dynasty. During this time period, male supremacy was justified by the Taoist idea of yin and yang; the yin (woman) was weak, yielding, and compliant, while the yang (man) represented strength and mastery. The prime duty of all women was to give birth to children, although sons were preferable; this idea was popularized by Chinese philosopher Confucius who stated that not having kids was the most serious way of being “unfilial”. More important that both of these concepts was being obedient to one`s parents; for example 2 young people falling in love was the exact reason why they shouldn’t marry, since they would follow their own wishes instead of their parents. The fact that rarely anyone challenged the preceding norms of male superiority, being filial, and obeying one’s parents demonstrates a clear image of continuity rather than change in the Han Dynasty.
Roles of Women Marriage and Divorce
A Female servant and male advisor from the Han Dynasty period (exact date of creation is unknown).
Jansoon, George. China.Terracotta statues007, January 2009, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:China.Terracotta_statues007.jpg> (May 2013)
A bronze lamp figurine of a kneeling servant girl found in the tomb of Dou Wan at Mancheng, China. It is 19 inches tall and has been dated back to 172 BC.
ChangXingongdeng, May 2006, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ChangXingongdeng.jpg> (May 9, 2013)