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Comparative Essay Han Dynasty and Roman Empire

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Both the Han dynasty and the Roman Empire were bureaucratic. The central rulers all eventually became hereditary and both empires had rulers that oppressed the peasants in order to boost political control. However, the two empires differ in that the emperors had varying justifications for ruling and rose to power in different ways. The Han Dynasty and The Roman Empire both were able to expand and develop their empires with their distinctive governing methods and control. To China, the centerpiece that supervised everything was knows as Confucianism. With all dependability focused on the emperor and society serving as a family unit, Han China's political system was known for a centralized, closed unit. It was ruled by an emperor who greatly observed the Mandate of Heaven. The Han developed a supply of soldiers, which kept their borders secured and made them capable to exchange with others from time to time. On the other hand, Rome had a centralized, blended structure. The main focus points of the Roman Society were operated by a Roman Republic, which was more like a monarchy, who controlled their complex structure. The Roman Society had more residents and rights than the Hans, Roman's political control lay in the hands of the wealthy, which then they were elected to a political seat. The governors were picked from family networks. The only way Romans could accomplish anything big in a certain time span was to make strong changes in their community. It was an enormous weight on Rome's resources and power, when they had to stress over big wins. For example, when there was barely any food to support the developing empire. The Romans and the Hans both had their wealthiest people control over their peasants, which caused a social distribution to each and every one, and could have leaded to outbreaks in little battles, wars between the communities, and what not. This was entirely not beneficial on each empire's part and especially their social interaction. The political structures of both Rome and Han China were based on bureaucratic systems with a strong monarchy set of succession. They strengthened their control by reducing the land holdings of old aristocratic families. However, the reversal of this process led to breakdown of authority in the central government. During its reign of power, the central bureaucracy promoted trading with neighboring societies. However, Rome was more aggressive with its role in trading in the Mediterranean verses Han China’s river trade. Rome’s trade led to a much greater technology, culture, and general transfer of knowledge in areas surrounding the Mediterranean which in turn led to a much longer lasting influence on the world. Under the Han Dynasty, the power of the emperor and bureaucracy were emphasized. The organized structure of government allowed such a large territory to be effectively governed, even though it was the largest political system in the world at the time. The Han's political framework stressed male dominated families. Han rulers didn't support local warrior-landlords, believing that they were corrupt. Because bureaucracy was so important, civil service exams were first given, a tradition that would be incorporated into modern politics. Not only did bureaucracy effectively govern, but it had a sort of checks and balance on the upper class. Chinese bureaucracy from the Han Dynasty lasted well into the twentieth century. The imperial government sponsored intellectual life, such as astronomy and mathematics. Han rulers promoted Confucianism, with the idea that they were in charge of their subjects' beliefs. The administration also took part in the economy. It organized production, standardized currency and measures, sponsored public works like canal systems and irrigation, and tried to regulate agricultural supplies to control price increases. The Roman republic allowed all citizens to meet in assemblies to elect magistrates. The most important legislative body was the Senate, made up of aristocrats. Public service and participation, political ethics, uncorrupt government, and oratory were extremely important. Roman leaders were very tolerant of local customs and religions and believed that well-made laws could hold the lands together. Aristocratic leaders supported legal codes to protect private property as well as their poor subjects. It was a sort of check on the upper class. They believed that laws should evolve to keep up with the demands of the changing society. Imperial law codes also controlled property rights and trade. The law of the land was fair and equal for everyone, for the most part. The Roman government also supported public works like roads and harbors to facilitate transport and commerce. It also supported an official religion, but tolerated others as long as they didn't interfere with loyalty to the state.

Unlike the Chinese, the Romans didn't emphasize as much on hierarchy, obedience, or bureaucracy, but more on participation. However, some of the Romans' political writing did resemble Confucianism. Both governments also supported government funded public works.

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