Differences Between Bureaucrats and Aristocrats in Government

Topics: Aristocracy, Heian period, Bureaucracy Pages: 3 (1187 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Bureaucrats and aristocrats, the former evident in the government in the Tang dynasty (617-907) and the ladder pronoun in the government of Heian Japan. Both are different in many different aspects, such as within government, government structure, law, economy, and society.A bureaucrat can be defined by the following: an appointed government official with certain duties and responsibilities defined by disposition in the bureaucracy. A bureaucrat is more dependent on the government than an aristocrat because official power comes from official appointment through the bureaucracy (Class Lecture, Oct. 16, 97). Bureaucracy first replaced aristocracy in the Tang dynasty, under the rule of Empress Wu (625?-706?, r.690-706) bureaucracy was expanded by furthering expansion policies and supporting the examination system. Positions in government were filled through the examination system, and people who passed were called the literati. When one held this title of literati, you were considered intelligent and were considered to have high status (TA session, Oct. 28, 97). "They were a group of smart guys with a good education." (Steve, TA session, Oct. 28, 97). This of course deprived the hereditary aristocracy of power 'they had enjoyed during the period of division, when appointments had been made by recommendation, and opened government service to a somewhat wider class of people...' (Schirokauer, p.103). For the first time, men who entered office through examination could attain the highest office, even that of Chief Minister. Examination graduates earned (earn being the operative word) prestige, and even though officials still entered government by other means such as family connections, at the same time the literati and thus the bureaucrats were gaining authority, jurisdiction, and power. And thus, one could see this shifting of supremacy from the aristocracy to the bureaucracy.Government in the Tang dynasty was regulated by the Tang legal codes, a...
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