Presentation on theme: "The Han Dynasty A Time of Great Achievement. From Chaos and Disunity to Stability and Great Works With the fall of the Qin Dynasty, China was plunged."— Presentation transcript:
From Chaos and Disunity to Stability and Great Works With the fall of the Qin Dynasty, China was plunged into chaos and fighting. In time, a farmer-turned soldier, Liu Bang, emerged the victor and was proclaimed emperor. He and his descendants ruled the powerful Han dynasty for more than 400 years. The peace initiated by Liu-Bang brought the stability necessary for the Chinese culture to thrive and grow. Liu-Bang followed the teachings of Confucius and promoted them in his empire, which set a pattern that continues to the present day. However, he was tolerant of other philosophies, and, as a result, literature and education flourished under his reign. After his death in 195 BCE, his successors continued his policies.
Great Works: Government and Education Between 141- 87 BCE, the greatest of the Han emperors, Han Wudi (also known as Han Wu the Great,) took steps to improve China’s government. Instead of choosing family members and loyal aristocrats to help him run the government, Han Wudi recruited dedicated and talented people for government jobs, and created schools to prepare them. Scholars and officials recommended qualified candidates; these candidates took long, difficult written examinations. Candidates with the highest scores got the jobs of government officials or teachers and were greatly respected in society because they were well educated. Unfortunately, the system favored the rich because only they could afford to educate their sons for the difficult tests.
From c. A.D. 45- A.D. 116, a woman named Ban Zhao served as the imperial historian. She wrote poems, essays, and historical pieces. One work is a guide for women that explains how women should behave and encourages education for females. Although the Chinese followed her teachings for hundreds of years, most of her thoughts on education were ignored.
Great Works: Inventions Cast-iron plow could break up soil more quickly and easily than wooden plow. Waterwheel ground more grain. Rudder and a new way to move a ship’s sails allowed the Chinese to travel farther and against the wind.
Paper was made out of hemp, rag pulp or a mixture and was used at first for wrapping. * It was found to be ideal for writing. * It was used instead of bamboo strips or silk, and was traded with the west.
Great Works: Medicine They learned to use herbs to treat illnesses. Highly skilled and trained doctors used acupuncture- they pierced patient’s skin at certain points with thin needles to relieve pain. Doctors discovered certain foods prevented disease.
Expansion and a New Problem During the Han rule, China’s population grew to about 60 million. Farmers needed to provide more food. This caused a new problem. Land was divided among a farmer’s sons when he died. After many generations of this, the amount of land farmed by a family became smaller and smaller. By the middle of the Han Dynasty, most farmers did not have enough land to grow enough food to feed their families. They were forced to sell their small plots of land and become tenant farmers. Tenant farmers farm for someone else. They must turn over most of what they raise to the land owner, and keep only a small portion for themselves. Consequently, tenant farmers were very poor. Those who could afford to keep their land became wealthier.
Expansion and Peace ~ The Chinese population continued to grow as the Han Empire conquered more territory. ~ Armies conquered lands to the north, including Korea. They moved south and west as far as northern India. When Han Wudi’s soldiers pushed back the Xiongnu, China had peace for almost 150 years.
The Decline of the Han Empire Much time passed, and many of the later Han emperors were weak and dishonest. Corrupt officials and greedy aristocrats took over more of the land. People began to rise up and rebel. By A.D. 220, civil war divided China For the next 400 years, China remained divided into many small kingdoms. Han Dynasty c. A.D.100
Do you remember? 1. Who founded the Han Dynasty? 2. What was the reason Han Wudi began schools? 3. Which philosophy became more prominent under Han rule? 4. What was an effect of the long period of peace during the Han Dynasty? 5. What caused many farmers to begin tenant farming? 6. What led to the downfall of the Han Dynasty?