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Chinese History

The Han Dynasty – China History and Facts

The Han Dynasty (202 B.C.- 220 B.C.) was a unified dynasty after the Qin Dynasty. It was divided into two periods: the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 24) and the Eastern Han Dynasty (A.D. 25-220), which lasted four hundred and five years with twenty-nine emperors. As this dynasty was mainly ruled by those with the family name Liu, it was called Liu Han as well.

Part 1. The Rise and Perishment of Han Dynasty

At the end of the Qin Dynasty, the society was under a great mess and disorder. Liu Bang overthrew it and created the Western Han Dynasty, and made Chang An (today’s Xi’an) as its capital. His next two successors, Emperor Wen of Han and Emperor Jing of Han took some measures to reduce the ordinary people’s burden, develop the economy and created a flourishing age called “enlightened administration of the Han emperors Wen and Jing”. At A.D.8, Duke Wang Mang took over the throne and The Western Han perished. At A.D.25, Liu Xiu took back the throne and created the Eastern Han, with the capital at Luo Yang. Due to a series unforeseen events such as The Yellow turbans and the turmoil launched by Dong Zhuo, the Eastern Han Dynasty existed in the name only.

Part 2. The Religions of Han Dynasty

In the Han Dynasty, there are mainly two religions: Buddhism and Taoism. Buddhism is generated in the ancient India and was introducted into China during the Emperor of Ming in the Han Dynasty. The first Buddhist temple, Baima Temple, was contructed at that time. Meanwhile, Taoism was created as well.

Part 3. The Economy of Han Dynasty

  • Agriculture: Similar to the Qin Dynasty, the land was holded by individuals and they can decide whether to sell the land or not. The peasants need to pay taxes to the government for the land and the people in the family (age from 7 to 16). As the govenment encourage the development of the agriculture, the agriculture get a little developed to a certain extent. During the Han Dynasty, iron farm cattle farming is the most important means of production, and the most important method is two cow bickering. Some new tillage methods, such as the field law and the field law, have been born as well.
  • Iron Smelting: At the early times of the Western Han Dynasty, iron industy gets developed greatly. It can be divided into three including central-government-run, state-run, and privately operated.
  • Textitle Industry: It can be divided into state-run and privately operated as well. Silkworm breeding was extended greatly.
  • Commerce: Due to the policy of Proagricultural and Anticommerce at the early times, the merchants were at the low place in the society. With the policy changed, the commerce was developed and many commerce centers emerged like Chang An, Luo Yang, Han Dan and Chengdu, etc.

Part 4. Science and Technology in Han Dynasty

In the Han Dynasty, it achieved a lot in the technology including paper-making, astronomy(Seismograph), medical science(Shanghan Zabing Lun),  and mathematics(The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art).

 

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