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Han and Rome Comparitive Essay

By GhettoYouth1 Dec 17, 2012 615 Words
The Imperial Roman Empire (31 BCE- 476 CE) and the Han dynasty (206-220 CE) were considered the strongest empires of their time and nearly unrivaled in conquest and expansion of their empires. They both varied in similarities and differences such as government, belief systems and economy.

Both imperial Rome and Han China had a complex political system which was called a bureaucracy in which they established long periods of peace and prosperity within their empires. The Roman government leadership type was a strange mixture of democracy and the roman republic; in which the true power was held, having the wealthiest people appointed to the Roman senate and Roman republic. In contrast the Han dynasty was a monarchy in which the eldest male within the royal family was appointed emperor upon the decline of the current emperor succeeding him, keeping power confined in the blood lines. Both empires reached immense status of power both differently such as the Han dynasty being more unified, centralized and the emperor ruled following the mandate of heaven. Meanwhile the Romans where more of a republican city state which the emperor had limited power due to the fact that he had to pay homage to traditions.

Systems of belief varied from civilizations to civilizations such is the case of Rome and Han. The Han dynasty had two political philosophies called Daoiswn and Confucianism; in which it maintained peace and prosperity and allowing no persecution of citizens because everyone followed the same ideology. On the other hand, Rome had religious tolerance in which the choice was not that of the government but of the individuals, up until the reign of Emperor Constantine when he implemented the edict of Milan which allowed no persecution of Christians. The yin bases of daoiwsn placed a belief that a woman should be calm, gentle, and polite, do as she is told by her husband and honor family tradition. The Romans believed that women should not be allowed to read, write or conduct business; anything that is considered that of a man.

Rome and Han economy was based on the use of agriculture and trade. The Romans was a slave based economy in which they utilized their slaves to work on lands and produce goods while Han economy depended on the output of the farmers and peasants; the small land owner’s taxation was reduced and heavier taxation was placed on merchants to allow output of goods. Both Han and Rome had some form of trade in which their empires grew; this was a crucial part in the development of the economy. The Romans developed a system of trade networks along the land and on the sea bringing in travelers plus not to mention exporting and importing goods. The Han had the Silk Road which allowed them to trade with various countries and trade silk along that path. The Han developed a system of coinage of copper coins which had nominal value; in contrast Rome had a complex and developed coinage system with gold and silver coins which had real value.

These two civilizations developed quite differently and yet quite similar to each other in respect to government, system beliefs and economy. These would also be the factors that would destroy these empires mainly the economic factors and the chaos it would bring into their societies and the corruption of bureaucrats in the government. The coining system of china would also lead to hyper inflation and the Romans over taxation of land. The system of bureaucracy which both empires had would eventually lead to internal corruption within the stronghold of powers and unequal distribution of power and eventually the empires was thrown into chaos and anarchy.

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