Comparison Essay : the Fall of Han and Rome

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Dr. Kuhn
AP World History
The Han and Roman Empire thrived during their golden ages and left many long-lasting legacies. For example, Han China left Buddhism and Confucianism, and Roman Empire left technology, art, and language. However, Han and the Roman Empire went through a decline gradually and eventually collapsed. These two empires shared a similarity in that their economic difficulties and the political instability led to the empires’ collapse. However, they were different because China was unified again after the fall of Han Dynasty whereas Western Europe didn’t have any strong unifying country after the fall of Rome.

In the late years of Han China and Roman Empire, they both suffered from economic difficulties from population decrease and inefficient use of their money. In both empires, the spread of epidemics swiped out a great amount of their population. Bubonic Plague killed almost 20% of the whole population in Roman Empire and millions of working class citizens in Han China. Because the population decreased by a significant amount, there were fewer merchants to facilitate trade and fewer workers to produce goods. Most of all, the tax collection became difficult in both regions because of decrease in productivity. Though the government’s budget decreased, both empires continued to overspend their money and created even more economic burdens. The bureaucrats in the Han China took advantage of their position by excusing themselves from tax, which meant less tax income for government. Consequently, the large wage the government for bureaucrats and expense on military due to increased attacks from nomadic invaders added up the burden as well. Similarly, the Roman Empire also got more economic burden due to population decrease since they had to hire Germanic troops to fill in the vacuum of soldiers in military and protect themselves from nomadic invaders. These economic difficulties weakened the empires’ power and led them to their...
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