Published on March 25, 2008
The Qin and Han Dynasties: The Qin and Han Dynasties Emperor Qin The Han Dynasty The Silk Road Major Changes in China Emperor Qin: Emperor Qin Qin is the name of the local state that took over China after the “Period of the Warring States.” They took over the smaller states one by one and reunited China. The ruler made changes to the government that would last for 2,000 years. A Powerful Ruler: A Powerful Ruler Qin based his rule on the ideas of legalism. He had his opposition punished or killed. He burned the books that people wrote that opposed his views. Qin unified China. He created a common currency that would be used throughout the empire. He also had many roads and canals built to make travel and trade easier. The Great Wall: The Great Wall Northern China was bordered by the large Gobi desert. Nomads moved around with herds of animals. These nomads would often attack villages and steal food. These nomads were called the Xiongnu. The Great Wall of China was constructed to keep the Xiongnu away from the villages. The wall was finished 1,500 years after Qin. Why did People Rebel?: Why did People Rebel? Many people of China viewed Emperor Qin as a very cruel leader. Aristocrats became angry with him because he began to reduce the amount of power they had. Scholars hated him for burning their books. Farmers hated him because he forced them to help build roads and the Great Wall. The Han Dynasty: The Han Dynasty Liu Bang – founded the Han dynasty. He began as a peasant farmer and worked his way into military power and defeated his rivals. He declared himself emperor of the Han. He throughout the harsh rules of the Qin dynasty. What was the Civil Service?: What was the Civil Service? The dynasty reached its highest point under the rule of Han Wudi. Wudi wanted the highest qualified workers to hold government positions, so he created a test known as the civil service examination. This exam favored the rich, because schooling for the test was costly. Only those who passed got the jobs. The Chinese Empire Grows: The Chinese Empire Grows The population of China grew from around 20 million to over 60 million people in a short period of time. Many families could not produce enough food to survive. They had to sell farms to the aristocrats and become tenant farmers. Aristocrats created armies to force more people to sell land to them. An Era of Inventions: An Era of Inventions Waterwheels were invented to help grind more grain. Drill bits were invented to mine for more salt. Ironworkers invented steel. Paper was another Han invention. Acupuncture – way to cure illness by sticking thin needles into a patients’ skin. The Chinese also invented a rudder to move the sail of ships, so they could sail into the wind for the first time. The Silk Road: The Silk Road Chinese merchants became rich trading goods with other parts of the world. The most expensive item was silk. The Silk Road is an extensive trading network from China throughout southeast Asia and into parts of Europe and Africa. This trip was expensive, because merchants and traders had to pay taxes to the kingdoms they passed through. Major Changes in China: Major Changes in China The Han dynasty began to fall apart, because later rulers became weak and foolish. The lost the respect of the people. This created a time of uncertainty and a civil war broke out in China. Many of the people of China turned to Buddhism for the answers to the question that they were seeking. Buddhism became more popular that Confucianism and Daoism.