I. Han dynasty came after the Qin dynasty and preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. A. After the death of Shih Huang-Ti, the dynasty was conquered by Liu Pang/ Liu Bang and the Han dynasty was established. B. Liu Pang or Liu Bang is first emperor of the Han Dynasty. 1. He believed in the teachings of Confucius and even restored Confucianism as the guide for imperial administration, side by side with legalistic philosophy. 2. He is commonly known by his temple name as Gaozu.
3. He built his capital in Luoyang (later moved to Chang’an) and appointed Lu Zhi as his empress and his son Liu Ying as crown prince. C. These are the first two periods of Han Dynasty:
1.Former Han Dynasty (Qian Han) or the Western Han Dynasty (Xi Han)
a. It ran from 206 BC to AD 9.
b. Its seat was at Chang'an.
2. The Later Han Dynasty (Hou Han) or the Eastern Han Dynasty (Dong Han)
a. It ran from 25 to 220 AD.
b. Its seat was at Luoyang.
D. Below is a list of the Emperors of the Han Dynasty:
E. Emperor Wu of Han was the 7th emperor of the Han Dynasty of China ruling from 141 BC to 87 BC.
1. His personal name was Liu Che.
2. He is best remembered for the vast territorial expansion that occurred under his reign, as well as the strong and centralized Confucian state he organized. 3. He was cited in Chinese history as the greatest emperor of the Han dynasty and one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history. II. Society during the Han Dynasty consisted of various rules, ideas, philosophies, and practices which, when mixed, created a culture that is uniquely Han. A. Politics in the Han dynasty followed a specific hierarchy. 1. Four qualifications were demanded for those who wanted to work for the government: a. He must have a credible recommendation.
b. He has finished a high level of education.
c. He passed the civil service examination.
d. He possesses experience for the position applied for . 2. Local officials were directly responsible to the central government and the central government was responsible to the emperor. Local officials made annual reports which were presented to their superiors. Investigations were also done to check on the performance of the individual officers. B. The subjugation of the Central Asian barbarians encouraged trade not only among their neighbors but with other empires as well and this improved the economy of China. 1. Under Emperor Wu Ti, garrisons were built along the trade routes to deal with problems of the northern barbaric invasions. This was also to ensure that looting and robbery were effectively stopped. 2. In return, the traders paid the Chinese government for the maintenance of their safety. 3. Farmers were also encouraged to live around the areas of the garrisons. They also contributed to government funds to ensure their protection against barbaric attacks. C. In industry, productivity was improved greatly in both metallurgy and the textile industry. Looms were used taking the place of manual labor in weaving. Iron-smelting was carried on a large scale and steel was made using coal as fuel. Hydraulics were developed using water power to drive a celestial sphere. D. Culture and arts during the Han dynasty was anchored in the idea of Confucianism. 1. Literature flourished with the invention of paper, as art flourished with the invention of the loom, and the invention of porcelain. From the reign of Emperor Wu, Confucianism became the main stream of thought in government. The phenomenon of letting a hundred schools of thought strive which was formed in the Spring and Autumn Period had disappeared. Henceforth, Confucianism became the philosophy for emperors in many dynasties to manage their state affairs. 2. The great historian SimaQian contributed to the Chinese historiography by writing the Book of History. It is the first chronicle of Chinese history (from Huangdi to Emperor Wu) and...