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Empires

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The Roman and Han Empires both had their differences and similarities. However their similarities out-weighed their differences by a large amount. Their governments, economies, traditions, even their ways of agriculture made them very similar but at the same time very different. A couple of things that made them similar are The Han and the Roman Empires was two of the most powerful empires to rule their respective parts of the world, however they both declined and failed. Another thing was that agriculture was the fundamental economic activity for wealth. A couple of differences were in The Han Empire; the merchant class in china was frequently disparaged and constrained by the government. The Romans were sort of a republic, where they got to choose their leader. Whereas to the Han Dynasty, power was passed down the family. One similarity was agriculture was a fundamental economic activity for wealth. For The Roman Empire the main crops of Roman farmers were various grains, olives, and grapes. Olive oil and wine were among the most important products in Rome. These farmers would take their crops to markets, sell them and gain their money. They also had to pay taxes, but the farmers didn’t always have to use money, they could pay partially with food as well. After building the great wall, China was in great depth from taxes. Looking down on merchants, china focused more on farmers to build their tax revenue and not only farming but trading along the Silk Road. Another similarity was that The Han and the Roman Empires was two of the most powerful empires to rule their respective parts of the world, however they both declined and failed after a period of time. The Han Empire dominated Asia from the Korean peninsula to present day Vietnam. The Roman Empire stretched from the present British Isles to present day Iraq. Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, brought order to the vast lands Rome had conquered and brought an end to over one hundred years of civil war. With peace came increased trade and commerce, and ideas traveled freely along the Roman Empire's well designed roads. However, the emperors after Augustus were not as a good emperor as Augustus. Four emperors and fifty-four years later, the Roman Empire was once again thrown into a violent civil war. The Romans gradually lost power, and people in the north frequently went on raids against the now falling empire. The Roman Empire became in debt as emperors tried to buy the loyalty of the army, and the moral condition of its subjects continued to spiral downward. Finally the Empire itself fell and collapsed. Both the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire were powerful and impressive. They both fell because of weak leaders and power hungry individuals. However unlike the Roman Empire, the Han Empire was later reformed, not as an exact empire but closely related with the same customs. One difference is The Roman Empire was more of a republic whereas The Han Empire had power passed down the family line. The emperor was the head of the government. He was responsible for creating laws, heading the armed forces as its commander-in-chief and serving as the chief executive official. The Han dynasty’s imperial government system was patterned after its predecessor, the Qin dynasty. However with the Romans it all began when the they overthrew their Etruscan conquerors in 509 B.C.E. Once free, the Romans established a republic, a government in which citizens elected representatives to rule on their behalf. A republic is quite different from a democracy, in which every citizen is expected to play an active role in governing the state. A central control was established, meaning that the emperors had full control over all of China. The aristocracy dominated the early Roman Republic. In Roman society, the aristocrats were known as patricians. The highest positions in the government were held by two consuls, or leaders, who ruled the Roman Republic. A senate composed of patricians elected these consuls. At this time, lower-class citizens, or plebeians, had virtually no say in the government. Both men and women were citizens in the Roman Republic, but only men could vote. Another difference was in The Han Empire; the merchant class in china was frequently disparaged and constrained by the government. The Romans had greater opportunities for not only economic but social chances in life. The absence of government interference in The Roman Empire resulted in greater economic mobility and a thriving and influential middle class in the towns and cities. In the end both empires had their differences and similarities, and they were both powerful. The Roman and Han Empires have affected history and will have an everlasting effect on history as the world goes on. Influences on government, society, and ways of life continue in similar ways to those in these empires and I’m sure will continue throughout time.

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