The Conrad-Demarest Model of Empire: Basic Principles for the Roman, Han Chinese
I. Necessary preconditions for the rise of empires:
a. State-level government:
Rome: republic then empire with emperor
Han: kept most of Qin centralized government in place
b. High agricultural potential in the area:
Rome: wheat, grapes, cattle
Han: wheat, millet, pigs
c. An environmental mosaic
Rome: Alps, Mediterranean Sea, forests, Tiber and other rivers, hills Han: Tianshan mountains, Yellow and Yangtze Rivers, loess soil, Pacific Ocean.
d. Several small states with no clearly dominant state (power vacuum) Rome and other city-states on Italian peninsula; surrounding states in Mediterranean (Greek states, Egypt, Judea, Syria, Cyprus, Gaul, Romania, Spain, Sicily, Sardinia, Carthage, etc.) Han: Qin broke into smaller states
e. Mutual antagonisms among those states:
Rome: rivalry between pastoralists in hills and agriculturalists in plains Han: Warring States period before Qin unification
f. Adequate military resources:
Rome: soldiers first recruited only from peasant class on Italian peninsula; population inexhaustible. Han: Soldiers recruited from peasant class within the entire empire; population inexhaustible. II. The primary reason a state succeeded in empire building was: a. An ideology supporting personal identification with the state, empire, conquest and militarism: Rome: “republic” based on citizenship of free men; citizenship ensured loyalty to the state and brought taxes into the state treasury; emperor-dictators had to support the idea of the republic and pretend to follow what the Senate, council of elder wealthy men, decreed. Development of bureaucracy helped run empire.
Han: Militaristic Legalism developed by Qin continued, then softened by Confucian system of government based on ethics, meritocracy, and concept of the Mandate of Heaven. Development of bureaucracy helped run empire. Tribute system for...
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