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Han vs. Qin Dynasty

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Topics: Han Dynasty
Comparison paper between the Han and Qin Dynasties

Throughout most of China’s history, China is ruled by dynasties. A dynasty is a family of kings that gains control during the downfall of the previous dynasty. The dynasty would gain control of China by establishing their dynasty explained by the Mandate of Heaven. The concept of the mandate of heaven is that God grants a particular family the right to rule. During the classical time period in China, two important dynasties the Han and Qin ruled over the Chinese people; both dynasties expanded, while the Qin followed a Legalist way of ruling the Han followed a Confucian way both dynasties were extremely influential times for China.
Both Qin and Han dynasties expanded China to be much larger and more powerful. Under the control of the Qin dynasty, China doubles its borders. The Qin expansion extended to the south gaining control of modern day Hong Kong. A large accomplishment credited to the Qin dynasty’s first emperor Shi HIaungdi is the Great Wall of China, which was created to prevent invasions from the north. The Han also expanded China’s borders pushing into Korea, Indochina and central Asia. The Han expansion created more opportunity to have direct contact with India. Trade with the Roman Empire was also conducted as an effect of the expansion.
While gaining more land for China, both dynasties are important for many more reasons. With the gain of land both dynasties needed strong governments.
The Qin Dynasty believed in a powerful and harsh government. The Qin followed a legalist theory. Legalism believed in controlling ideas and actions of the people. Punishment held a prominent role in maintaining social order. The Qin rulers were so against Confucianism that they burned all Confucian books and even killed Confucian scholars. The Han government was extremely different. During the Han dynasty rulers moved away from Legalism and chose Confucianism. Confucianism is the teaching that social order, harmony and a good government could be maintained if people follow basic relationships like between ruler and subject, father and son etc. Filial piety is the respect for one’s parents, and it plays a large role in Confucianism. Mutual respect and education are critically important in Confucianism also. Aside from ruling so differently both dynasties relied upon their bureaucracies. The Qin Dynasty appointed different bureaucrats to rule over large divided provinces. The Han dynasty held a complex state bureaucracy, to be a bureaucrat you would have to take civil service exams. Both dynasties ruled in very obvious different ways. During the rule of both dynasties many technological advancements were made. The Qin built many roads and canals to make traveling or trade easier. The Qin held national census so the ruler could tax its people. The government created standardized coinage, weights and measurements. Also, the government made Chinese written script all the same, they wrote on silk. Silk was a huge invention for China; it was the source of lots of trade and monetary gain. The Han started to write on paper, which lead to books becoming readily available and cheaper. Many important inventions we still used today were created at this time like the wheelbarrow, compass, seismograph and stirrups. Both dynasties had many advancements still important today in China. Both Dynasties have strong influences on the way China is today. They expanded China and shaped its government. The technological advancements at this time are still used today everywhere in the world. In conclusion the Han and Qin dynasties were very influential times in the history of China.

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