Han vs Roman Attitudes Toward Tech

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Kimberly Giron
AP World history
September 27, 2012
World History DBQ
Han society had positive attitude towards technology as some saw it as beneficial to society and others considered it a gift. Roman society had more of a supportive yet demeaning attitude towards technology.

There is no doubt that things that benefit people and gift are considered positive. A Han government official (Document 1) wrote to local officials in order to advise them on how to use their technology to prevent floods, showing his interests in maintaining the empire so that it doesn't fall. Not only that, Han Guan, another government official (Document 2) goes against the way the government is monopolizing the making of technology and that technology should be made by the people, since government made technologies are brittle and costing the government more money as not much salt is being produced. It is very interesting that an official would speak against the government, but it may be due to the fact that the scarcity of salt is costing this official money. Both officials may also be looking to maintain their positions or get higher ones once the emperor sees how well they are looking after the empire, which can only be maintained with the help of technology. Others in Han society consider technology as a gift from enlightened leaders. Huan Tan, an upper-class philosopher (document 3) mentions that Fuxi invented some technology which was efficient and beneficial to society. Fuxi, is said to be a wise enlightened emperor which means that since Fuxi made it, it is no doubt a great gift. There is also some government sponsored history (Document 4) which characterizes Tu Shih as a just and commoner loving man who developed technology in order lift some of the burden of labor off the people. Technology was Tu Shih's gift to the people and Tu Shih, was considered a Fuxi. Therefore this government sponsored historian also considers technology a gift.

Roman attitude towards...
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