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Kelley_Johnson11

World History 7.3

STUDY

PLAY

How did the Han Chinese people attempt to assimilate conquered people?
intermarrying / settling with them and teaching them Confucianism
What role did women play in Han society?
(Wives,Nuns, and Scholars)
supposed to lead quiet lives and dedicate their lives to their families; some went on to become nuns and scholars
How did Wudi encourage learning?
to get jobs, civilians had to pass an exam which they could prepare for in a Confucian school
assimilation
As the Han empire conquered other groups, it would attempt to absorb their culture through the process of assimilation. This would help unify them as a people.
Han Dynasty
A Chinese dynasty begun by Liu Bang, that lasted for over 400 years and greatly influenced modern Chinese culture.
centralized government
A system in which a central authority controls the running of a state. This was used during the Han dynasty
civil service
These were government jobs that civilians could gain employment by taking examinations.
monopoly
It is when a group of people have exclusive control over production and distribution of a good. Han China had monopoly in salt, iron, coins, alcohol, and silk.The Chinese realized certain skills only they had allowed them to corner the market on the silk road with items like silk.
What problem do you think was the most reasonable for weakening the Han Dynasty?
This was a result of the income gap between the rich and poor. Large landowners were not taxed, leaving small farmers to pay for their share. The rich took advantage of the poor.
How important were Confucian teachings in the lives of people in the Han Empire? Provide details to support you answer.
Confucius taught that there is a natural moral order, or hierarchy in society. The founder of the Han dynasty was convinced by the scholars that he should actually enforce Confucianism because it would protect the idea of hierarchy in society.
Why was agriculture considered the most important and honored occupation in Han China?
Most Chinese citizens considered agriculture to be the most important job because of the enormous Chinese population of 60 million. Without agriculture, their people would starve.
What was the most lasting development in the Han Empire?
Assimilation, and the unification of Chinese culture through Chinese framers settling into the newly colonized areas, intermarrying conquered peoples with local peoples, and educating local people on Confucian philosophies helped bring everyone together and unite a civilization. Creating or restoring unity is an asset when evolving a civilization.
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Han dynasty

Chinese history
Written By:

  • The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
See Article History

Han dynasty, Wade-Giles romanization Han, the second great imperial dynasty of China (206 bce–220 ce) after the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 bce). It succeeded the Qin dynasty (221–207 bce). So thoroughly did the Han dynasty establish what was thereafter considered Chinese culture that “Han” became the Chinese word denoting someone who is ethnically Chinese.

  • China: Han dynasty
    China: Han dynastyMap showing the extent of the Han empire c. 100 bce.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
  • A discussion concerning Chinese art, from the documentary China: West Meets East at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    A discussion concerning Chinese art, from the documentary China: West Meets East at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.Great Museums Television
Read More on This Topic

China

China: The Han dynasty

The Han dynasty was founded by Liu Bang (best known by his temple name, Gaozu), who assumed the title of emperor in 202 bce. Eleven members of the Liu family followed in his place as effective emperors until 6 ce (a 12th briefly…

History

The dynasty was founded by Liu Bang, later the Gaozu emperor (reigned 206–195 bce), a man of humble birth who led the revolt against the repressive policies of the preceding short-lived Qin dynasty. The Han copied the highly centralized Qin administrative structure, dividing the country into a series of administrative areas ruled by centrally appointed officials and developing a salaried bureaucracy in which promotion was based primarily on merit. Unlike the Qin, however, the Han adopted a Confucian ideology that emphasized moderation, virtue, and filial piety and thereby masked the authoritarian policies of the regime.

ceramic horse
ceramic horseFigure of a horse, earthenware with amber lead glaze from China, Eastern Han dynasty, 25–220 ce; in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.Photograph by Veronika Brazdova. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Dr T. T. Tsui Gift, FE.30-2001

So successful was that policy that the Han lasted longer than any other Chinese empire , reigning—with a short interruption when Wang Mang temporarily usurped the throne and established the Xin dynasty (9–25 ce)—for more than 400 years. Some scholars divide the Han into two sections. The period before Wang Mang’s usurpation—when the capital was in the western Chinese city of Chang’an (now Xi’an , Shaanxi province)—is called the Qian (Former), or Xi (Western) Han (206 bce–25 ce), and the period after Wang Mang—when the capital was moved eastward to Luoyang (in present-day Henan province—is named the Hou (Later), or Dong (Eastern), Han (25–220 ce).

Instances of book burning and repression during the 14-year Qin period that spared only a writing system for keeping records were intended to stamp out all forms of dissent, and they took a great toll on cultural expression. However, the brutish Qin regime was too brief to thoroughly accomplish such a broad goal, and the vestiges of culture were revived by the successor Han.

Drawing of landscape scenes from a bronze chariot canopy fitting, from Dingxian, Hebei province, c. 2nd–1st century bce, Xi (Western) Han dynasty; in the Hebei Provincial Museum, Wuhan, China. Height 26.5 cm.
Drawing of landscape scenes from a bronze chariot canopy fitting, from Dingxian, Hebei province, c. 2nd–1st century bce, Xi (Western) Han dynasty; in the Hebei Provincial Museum, Wuhan, China. Height 26.5 cm.Zhang Ping/ChinaStock Photo Library

Cultural achievements

The Han was not only a literate society but one of compulsive record keepers. Thus, the cultural milieu of the dynasty was well documented. The Yuefu, or Music Bureau, for example, compiled detailed descriptions of the music of the day and its instruments, techniques, and songs. In the court and the Confucian temples, music fell into two categories: music to accompany banquets and ritual music. In temple rituals, dance was often an important element, and something resembling a system of dance notation recorded the movements of large bands of musicians and companies of dancers in their performances. There also were highly informal dances with much body movement but little footwork that were part of private entertainment. Several forms of plucked string instruments were in use during the Han. Buddhism came to China from India during the dynasty, and with it came richly sonorous bronze bells. A form of drama appeared in which performers acted out the heroic deeds of celebrated warriors.

incense burner
incense burnerIncense burner, bronze, from China, Western Han dynasty, about 100 bce; in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Height 10.16 cm.Photograph by Jenny O’Donnell. Indianapolis Museum of Art, gift of J. W. Alsdorf, 55.174

Although little except walls and tombs remains of Han architecture, much has been learned about the style from mingqi house models and paintings on tomb tiles. Imperial records describe the main palace of the Dong Han at Luoyang as being immensely proportioned, surrounded by tall towers variously of timber, stone, and brick. The tombs had vaulted roofs and were enclosed in huge earthen mounds that still stand centuries after their contents were looted. Interior walls of important buildings were plastered and painted—so the ubiquitous records relate—with figures, portraits, and scenes from history. Although the names of the artists did not survive, the highest-ranking of them—the daizhao, or painters-in-attendance—were close associates of the emperor. That tradition was carried on in ensuing dynasties until modern times. In addition to wall paintings, paintings on standing room-divider screens and on rolls or scrolls of silk appeared in the Han.

Scenes from the tomb of the Wu family in Shandong province, China, stone rubbing, Han dynasty, ad 147. 7.5 × 6.3 metres.
Scenes from the tomb of the Wu family in Shandong province, China, stone rubbing, Han dynasty, ad 147. 7.5 × 6.3 metres.Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, gift of Horace H.F. Jayne

The first major stone tomb sculpture in China was created in the Han period, and lifelike clay figurines of people and animals also appeared. In the Xi Han, bronzework continued the style of the late Zhou period and often was inlaid with silver and gold. Bronze vessels were made both for sacrificial rituals and for household use, the latter including lamps, mirrors, and garment hooks fashioned in the form of humans, animals, and mythical beasts. The weaving of silk in rich colours and patterns of geometric designs or cloud and mountain themes became a major industry and source of export trade. Han potters included house models and human figures among their funerary wares, and two types of glazed ware were used domestically, often closely imitating the shape and design of bronze vessels.

Horse and Swallow, bronze sculpture from the tomb of General Chang, Leitai, Wuwei county, Gansu province, 2nd century ad, Eastern Han dynasty; in the Gansu Provincial Museum, Lanzhou, China. Height 32.4 cm.
Horse and Swallow, bronze sculpture from the tomb of General Chang, Leitai, Wuwei county, Gansu province, 2nd century ad, Eastern Han dynasty; in the Gansu Provincial Museum, Lanzhou, China. Height 32.4 cm.Robert Harding Picture Library

Artisans in the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 bce) had discovered lacquer, but it was during the Han that lacquerwork was brought to extreme perfection. The high quality of Han lacquerware can be seen in lacquered wine cups, still in perfect condition, that have been excavated from water-sodden graves in northern China. Many exquisite examples of Han lacquerware survive.

Poetry was nurtured during the Han period, and a new genre , fu , a combination of rhyme and prose, began to flourish. Fu were long descriptive compositions that were meant to entertain, and they became the norm of creative writing. About 1,000 examples survive. The prose literature of the era included works of history, philosophy, and politics. One of the greatest of early histories comes from that period in the Shiji (“Historical Records”) of Sima Qian . In sharp distinction from the Qin, who tried to suppress culture, the Han came to require cultural accomplishment from their public servants, making mastery of classical texts a condition of employment. The title list of the enormous imperial library is China’s first bibliography. Its text included works on practical matters such as mathematics and medicine, as well as treatises on philosophy and religion and the arts. Advancement in science and technology was also sought by the rulers, and the Han invented paper , used water clocks and sundials, and developed a seismograph . Calendars were published frequently during the period. The governmental, cultural, and technological achievements of the Han were such that every ensuing dynasty sought to emulate them.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

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More About Han dynasty

57 references found in Britannica articles

Assorted References

    • major treatment
      • In China: The Han dynasty
    • Chinese architecture
      • In Chinese architecture: The Qin (221–206 bce) and Han (206 bce–220 ce) dynasties
    • dress and adornment
      • In dress: China
    • Great Wall of China
      • In Great Wall of China: The Han through Yuan dynasties

    art and literature

      • art markets
        • In art market: East Asia
      • bronze work
        • In Chinese bronzes: The Qin (221–206 bce) and Han dynasties (206 bce–220 ce)
      • Chinese art
        • In Chinese art: Art as a reflection of Chinese class structure
      • Chinese literature
        • In Chinese literature: Qin and Han dynasties: 221 bce–220 ce
      • East Asian arts
        • In East Asian arts: The visual arts
      • glassmaking
        • In glassware: Chinese glass

      External Websites

      • Ancient History Encyclopedia – Han Dynasty
      • The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Han Dynasty
      Britannica Websites
      Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.
      • Han Dynasty – Children’s Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11)
      • Han dynasty – Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up)

      Article History

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      More About This Topic
      • China: The Han dynasty
      • Education: Scholarship under the Han (206 bce–220 ce)
      • Daoism: Daoism in the Qin and Han periods (221 bce–220 ce) of the Chinese empire
      • Chinese literature: Qin and Han dynasties: 221 bce–220 ce
      • Chinese architecture: The Qin (221–206 bce) and Han (206 bce–220 ce) dynasties
      • Chinese music: Han dynasty (3rd century bce–3rd century ce): musical events and foreign influences
      • Chinese pottery: The Han dynasty (206 bce–220 ce)
      • Chinese bronzes: The Qin (221–206 bce) and Han dynasties (206 bce–220 ce)
      • Great Wall of China: The Han through Yuan dynasties



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      7 terms

      Srilakshmi321

      Review Questions From Reading 2: Han Emperors of China

      STUDY

      PLAY

      2. What was the most lasting development of the Han Empire? Explain.
      Paper allowed books to be cheaper, spreading the education amongst the people. Soon, citizens became smarter with knowledge of reading. Now instead of silk books, there were paper books.
      3. How did Wudi encourage learning?
      Wudi encouraged learning by creating civil examinations. They provided a way to fill government posts with good people, and parents had to educate their children for good job opportunities. They had to take formal examinations in history, law, literature, and Confucianism. However, in reality, only wealthy people and few peasants could pay the tuition to study for these exams.
      4. What role did women play in Han society?
      Most women lead quiet lives at home as housewives. They were required to dedicate themselves to their families due to confucian teachings, and devoted to the economic life and worked in the farm. Some upper class women held greater power and some nuns were able to get educations and lead lives away from their families. Others (especially in aristocracies) pursued education and culture and sometimes opened small shops and practiced medicine. Overall, very patriarchal society.
      5. How did the Han Chinese attempt to assimilate conquered peoples?
      To promote assimilation, chinese rulers sent chinese farmers to settle in conquered/colonized areas. It encouraged them to intermarry and become more interconnected with chinese culture. Some, like Sima Qian, recorded Chinese history.
      6. What problem do you think was most responsible for weakening the Han Dynasty? Explain.
      The thing that brought the end of the Han dynasty was the rich taking advantage of the poor. With smaller and smaller plots of land, the farmers had harder times raising enough crops to feed their family, and went into debt. They were then taken advantage of. Large landowners did not have to pay taxes, and so the amount of taxes the government received went down.
      7. How important were Confucian teachings in the lives of people of the Han Empire?
      Super ULTRA IMPORTANT. Everything was based upon them. Wudi enforced them with the civil examinations that forced people to learn the teachings if they wanted good jobs. Soon, people from all over were learning them and living by them.
      8. What was agriculture considered the most important and honored occupation in Han China?
      It was considered important because they gave food to the people. because there were so many people to feed, they gained more and more importance. The population in China only rose.
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