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The Han Dynasty of China: A Chinese Golden Age (206 BCE-220 CE) ©

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Presentation on theme: "The Han Dynasty of China: A Chinese Golden Age (206 BCE-220 CE) ©"— Presentation transcript:


2 The Han Dynasty of China: A Chinese Golden Age (206 BCE-220 CE) ©


4 Historical Setting of the Han  Followed the Qin dynasty  Rebel general, Liu Bang, gained control of China following years of fighting after the fall of the Qin Dynasty  Came from a poor family

5 Reuniting and Expanding China  Encouraged learning  Lowered taxes  Expanding China  Wudi (5 th Han Emperor) send armies to conquer lands in Central Asia  Less harsh punishments  Kept many of Qin laws  Confucian advisors encouraged rulers to set an example of mercy and proper behavior

6 Wudi  Wudi lived 141-87 BCE  Used warfare to expand the Chinese empire  Northern steppes  Borders under Wudi nearly what they are today

7 Structure of Government  Strong central government  Followed the example of Qin  Noblemen remained weak  Organized like a pyramid  Emperor and chief advisors  Officials to monitor progress  Towns and villages

8 Civil Service under the Han  Civil service= system of government employees selected for skills and knowledge  Civil service exams  Confucian principles described the qualities that emperors wanted in civil servants  Wudi set up a Confucian-themed school  Formal examinations in Confucianism, history, law, and literature for civil service positions  Officials could not serve in their home districts  Theoretically a merit-based system  But poor could not afford to educate their children

9 Silk Roads under the Han Trade routes across Asia on land – To Mediterranean (access to Europe) in the west Chinese silks were sold in the marketplaces of the ancient Roman empire Traded silk and other goods Cultural diffusion Also a path for the spread of ideas

10 Han Society  Based on Confucian values  Valued mental work over physical labor  Farmers were respected because they produced important basic goods  Artisans valued for skill and hard work

11 Social Classes under the Han Emperor Governors and Kings Nobles, Scholars, and State Officials Peasants (Farmers) Artisans and Merchants Soldiers Slaves

12 Han Family Life  Confucian teachings about family loyalty and respect for elders were key values  Legal code also enforced Confucian values  Parents could report children who did not behave with filial piety

13 Agriculture under the Han Farmers were the backbone of China’s economy 90% of the population “Agriculture is the foundation of the world. No duty is greater” Most farms in Han China were small Wheat, millet, barley, beans and rice

14 Industry  Iron and salt became and important industries during Han China  Became so important Wudi turned them into state monopolies  Monopolies brought in money which helped fund military adventures

15 Achievements under the Han  Science  Herbal medicines  Acupuncture  Art  Calligraphy  Lacquer  Inventions  Seismometer  Wheelbarrow  Paper  Seismometer

16 Unification of the Han Empire Colonization Farmers sent to settle new areas Settlers encouraged to marry locals Assimilation Established Confucian schools in colonized areas Chinese became the common written language

17 Important Terms to Know  CE= Common Era  We live in 2015 CE  BCE= Before Common Era  The Qin Dynasty ended in 207 BCE  AD= After Death  We live in 2015 AD  BC= Before Christ  The Qin Dynasty ended in 207 BC

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