Han Dynasty

 After Qin Shu Huang (more e-FILE Emperor Son of Heaven) united the whole China in 221 BC, the general public was heavily taxed under the feudal society.  Because Qin Shu Huang went on war frequently, the general public were forced to join the military forces.  Under severe laws and regulations, the general pubic was suffering significantly.  In 210 BC, Qin Shu Huang died and his son Hu Hai succeeded to the throne.  Incompetent and foolish, Hu Hai enhanced the public’s misery.

Chen Shen and Wu Kuang were the first gangs to rebel against Hu Hai.  After several battles, Hu Hai finally was killed.  The country was left for Liu Pang and Shian Yu to fight for supremacy.  In 202 BC,  Shiang Yu committed suicide by cutting his throat.  Liu Pang established the Han Dynasty in 206 BC, funding the capital in Changan.  Historians call this period the Western Han era. 

In the beginning of Han Dynasty, the government employed the policy of “rehabilitation of the public” based on tradition Taoism’s rule by inactivity.  Adopting both Confucianism’s policy of benevolence and Taoism’s rule by inactivity, the government lowered taxation and lessened
punishment on people.

Han D. Bronze Warrior Riding Horse

With strong economy and expanding territory, Han Wu Di (140 – 87 BC) started series of centralization of authority through diminishing dukes’ power.  The result of surprissing the royal member, wealthy men, and chivalrous men lead to suffering of poor farmers, class struggle, dispute over land distribution, and endless civil riots.

In 6 AD, Wang Mang poisoned Ping Di, crowned another emperor.  Three years later ( 9 AD), he enthroned himself as the emperor, established Shin Dynasty, and ended Western Han Dynasty.  Wang Mang was devoted to change the land distribution system, currency system, government system, and various economic systems.  With no success in changing the systems, Wong Mang put Shin Dynasty in even greater jeopardy.  Eventually, with help from the Lius, Liu Shiu took the throne in 25 AD and founded capital in Luoyang.  Historians call this period the Eastern Han era.

The biggest problem for the Eastern Han Dynasty was the power struggle between royal relatives and eunuchs.  The literati and officialdom was excluded and thus lead to government policy failures. 

Since 184 AD, armed rebellions were happening all over China.  The country was in the state of separatist regime by warlords.  The government was powerless in controlling local armed gangs.  190 AD, Han Dynasty ended and Three Kingdoms Period began.

Han D. Bronze Jiau Dou Heating Pot 




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