The Decline and Fall of the Classical Civilizations
The classical civilizations Han China, Gupta India, and Rome all declined and eventually collapsed all together due to internal corruption, economic decline, and external invasions. Although Rome was destroyed culturally and politically once it fell, China and India were able to maintain some culture due to the religions Confucianism and Hinduism. One of the causes of the collapse of all three civilizations is that all three empires were ridden with political corruption during their later years, all three suffered under poor leadership, and moral decay also characterized the fall of these once great empires. In Han China the central government’s control disappeared, and as a result, the bureaucracy became more corrupt. Due to this loss of power, local proprietors decided to pick up the slack and ruled their neighborhood however they saw fit. Peasants were taxed even more than they already were and the proprietors demanded more services of them. Many had to sell their land and become laborers on estates, and some people even had to sell their own children into service. Military generals’ later took over the falling empire to try to raise it back up. There were several empires that rose and fall until the bureaucratic system was revived for good. This period of havoc did leave behind a mark in the Buddhist minority that was left and in the newer styles of art and literature. Unlike the fall of Rome, the disruption was not permanent and china eventually regained its former state. The decline of Rome is actually very similar to the dramatic collapse of Han China. After 180 C.E. political confusion produced several weak emperors, who only damaged the empire even more, and several power struggles over the succession to the throne only weakened the once powerful empire. Similar to the downfall of Han China, army intervention only complicated political life and contributed to political decline from the top of the...
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