Comparing Classical Athens and Han China

Topics: Democracy, Athenian democracy, Government Pages: 4 (1606 words) Published: March 20, 2007
The differences between Classical Athens and Han China were major and distinctive. The background information, government, values of the individual, and art of each society show how differently each empire developed.

Within the background information of both Athens and Han China you can automatically notice evident differences between the two. The first document shows the maps of both empires side by side. The Han Empire is isolated and much bigger than Athens's city-state Attica, which is a mere 50 miles long, while the Han Empires stretches to over 2400 miles long. Just their differences in size show how the Empires would have developed differently Since Athens is smaller the people are closer together so therefore it would have been easier to develop democracy there while everyone in Han China is more spread out. Therefore, Hans China would have be more difficult to govern if each citizen had a say in the government. The author of the maps is trying to show that The Han Empire was very different in size and geographically from Athens, and that because of these variations the two developed into dissimilar empires. The second and third documents show the population distribution in both Han China and Athens. The differences here are clear. First of all, there are only 315,000 people in all of Attica while Han China has 65,000,000. The total population of Han China is about 206 times bigger, which requires the need for a strong government system. The demographics also show distinct differences between the two empires. The majority of the residents in Athens was slaves, accounting for about 36% of the population, while in Han China they only had a few household slaves which fell into the category of "Mean people", which only account for about 7% of the population. Also, in Athens only 50,000 people out of 315,000 were citizens, all being male. Athens was a democracy, but just barely, because only the male citizens controlled the government. In Han China, the...
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