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Comparative Essay Han China Vs. Imperial Rome

Essay by   •  January 18, 2012  •  Essay  •  432 Words (2 Pages)  •  3,876 Views

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After a brief brush of decentralization and the experience of inclusive centralization, China evolved into its most extensive and influential period: Han China. Han China chose the middle path between the two diverse methods of government and pursued the policies of administrative centralization and imperial expansion. In contrast, Imperial Rome centralized political and military power which coincided with the preservation of traditional republican offices and form of government. Although, original forms of governing were adjusted; the military responded directly to the emperor to avoid the problems caused by generals commanding personal armies.

The Han government believed that the network of political alliances in the Zhou Dynasty caused chaos between states, but the tightly woven Qin dynasty diminished the reason for imperial family members the sustain the empire. Han China was preferably divided into administrative districts that were governed by officials. These officials reached the emperor's expectations, but allowed his authority over them while the bureaucrats implied his policies. Imperial Rome progressed, from a previous dictatorship, by fashioning a centralized political government and unifying military power. Imperial Rome, in comparison to Han china, handled governmental functions with more concern. The Roman Emperor accrued copious amounts of power for himself and took complete responsibility during these times. Both Imperial governments expanded their empire while maintaining an imperial government. As well as, incorporated conquered citizens into their empire's culture and society; Rome conquered distant lands and integrated them into the Roman Empire, and Han China dominated nearby countries such as Vietnam and Korea and orbited them into the society of the Han. Both imperial governments knew that with the expansion of their empire would come with the benefits of new trade routes. When Roman soldiers charged into less occupied areas, such as Spain, Germany and Britain, they brought with them the ideas of developing local economies and states. A problem occurred with the expansion of the Han Dynasty though, due to high taxes poor harvests and burdens of debt many landowners were forced the sell their land and often enough themselves. As smaller farmers began to fall, large estates grew and social tensions were stressed, creating more problems as well as a higher chance of social immobility in the Han society.

The determined Chinese commander Liu Bang founded the Han dynasty, a middle path of administrative centralization, while Octavian Augustus centralized the military and political powers and focused the empire more as a monarchy, yet maintaining the functioning ideas used in the republic. Imperial Rome and Han China ruled their governments similarly, but used past experiences to govern their empire with certain qualities.

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