Han China and Classical Athens Dbq

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Peter C.
DBQ Essay
09/12/12
3rd block

For many reasons, Han Empire and Classical Athens have many differences. As Rudyard Kipling once wrote, Oh, East is east,
West is west,
And never the twain shall meet

Kipling stated the obvious, the Han Empire and Classical Athens are completely different (Introduction). However, is it true? Of course these two civilizations have many differences, one is located in the west and the other is located in the east. The two civilizations are different not just for their locations but also population distribution, government, society treatments, and culture.

The main difference between the Han Empire and Classical Athens is their population distribution. While Classical Athens population was total with Environs equal to be 315,000, the Han Empire consisted of 65,000,000 total (documents B & C). The population classification is also different, one is more specific and the other is more general. For instance, the population of Athens were divided into four sections: free male citizens, free male non-citizens, free females, and slaves, while the Han’s classes are more specific: emperor & appointed officials, educated mandarin bureaucrats, land aristocracy, peasants farmers & skilled urban workers, merchants, and “mean people” (documents B & C). As you see from the list above, Han classified their classes specifically. Even though the two are very different, they also have some similarities like the peasants and the slaves are both the highest percentage in the population for both Han China and Classical Athens. A third of the Classical Athens’ populations were slaves and 90% of the Han China’s populations were peasants (document C).

Han China and Classical Athens’ governments were completely different. The state of Athens had a form of government where the citizens’ votes will decide on the political choices called democracy (document D). The democracy government of Athens was the first democracy...
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