Compare and Contrast the Fall of the Han Dynasty with the Fall of the Roman Empire

Topics: Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Decline of the Roman Empire Pages: 2 (662 words) Published: January 10, 2013
Compare and Contrast the Fall of the Han Dynasty with the Fall of the Roman Empire. During the late Classical Period (200-600 C.E.), all the great empires collapsed. The collapse of the empires did not happen abruptly but was a process. The fall of the Han dynasty and the Roman Empire showed similar characteristics. Both empires simply got too big, too overextended, and when weakened were overrun by barbarian tribes. However, there are profound differences as well. The Roman Empire proofed too expansive to be sustained by the available resources with no new technological innovations especially when the revenue decreased due to no new countries being conquered. China during the Han dynasty produced several new inventions like the ox drawn plow. China’s increase in population contributed to the collapse of the empire as did the decrease of the Roman population. The Han dynasty empire in China collapsed by the year 220 C.E. For the next 400 years, China was divided into several regional kingdoms. The Roman Empire came to an end by 476 C.E. However, it had already declined over several decades and the golden age of Rome, the Pax Romana, came to a close with the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 C.E. In contrast to China, the eastern part of the empire maintained the tradition of imperial Rome, the Byzantine Empire, for another thousand years. The Han dynasty was interrupted by Wang Mang (9-23 CE) who was a government official taking on power and weakened the empire by his unsuccessful attempt to reform land ownership and currency which caused chaos in the local economy among the poor and the rich. The Han dynasty was restored two years later by the empire could not fully recover. The size Officials were exempt from taxes and the heavy taxation of impoverished tenant farmers caused a major peasant revolt, Yellow Turban Rebellion, in 184 C.E. which weakened the authority of the central government. In the Roman Empire small landowners were frequently forced to sell...
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