The Causes of the Collapse of the Mighty Han Dynasty

Level 7

Undetermined Number of Sentences – Opinionated topic sentence (i.e., argument), three different points with specific examples, secondary information, specific dates/key figures, primary source evidence, manipulating key primary source information so that it is weaved into your own words through ellipses and/or brackets, specific vocabulary, appositives, insight, natural transitions that link to previous sentence, thoughtful conclusion.

The Han Dynasty,the predecessor to the Qin Dynasty, evolved in a negative manner through out the time that the Han Dynasty possessed the Mandate of Heaven. Religious issues, weak leaders, and a struggling economy led to the eventual downfall of the Han Dynasty.

There was no definitive religion or philosophy in the ever changing Han Dynasty,rather the state religion changed as new rulers controlled the Dynasty. First, Liu Bang,a peasant,claimed the Mandate of Heaven and founded the Han Dynasty. Liu Bang ruled with the philosophy of Daoism which believed in “Wu- Wei”. To rule with Wu-Wei was to not interfere or in Laozi’s words to govern like “frying a small fish”. This analogy points out that when governing with Wu-Wei a ruler should not prod or interfere to much,but should practice active passivity. Later, Han Emperor Wu adopted the philosophy of  Confucianism. During the rule of Wu every official within the government had to pass a difficult test on Confucian philosophy. Wang Mang,the next Han ruler, also declared Confucianism as the state philosophy. Then, the lame emperor did very little religiously and was a main contributor to the downfall of mighty Han Dynasty. Finally a new religious cult called the Yellow Turbans rebelled against Confucians,the Yellow Turban slaughtered Confucian scholar officials around China. These Yellow Turbans preached that they followed a miracle-worker god,who had given their leader Zhang Jiao a sacred book called “Crucial Keys to the Way of Peace”. This religious uprising which offered equality to all was easily crushed as the dynasty’s imperial army destroyed this rebellion. Confucianism continued as the philosophy of China and would remain the main philosophy for the next 2000 years.

Politics and governance in the Han Dynasty had a rocky start. The first Emperor Liu Bang chose to make the eastern half of China feudal ,while the western half mirrored the Qin Dynasty’s imperial bureaucracy. His top generals,who assisted him in defeating the Qin Dynasty,were fiefs controlling large amounts of land in the eastern half of China. Similar to the Zhou dynasty, feudalism resulted in the vassals rebelling within the first 50 years of the Han Dynasty. Next, Emperor Wu defeated the rebelling vassals and politically changed China for its own benefit.He made his political system imperial bureaucracy,forming provinces that were ruled by appointed governors who reported directly back to Wu in the capital. This form of politics and governance functioned properly because of philosophy. The philosphy at this time  was Confucianism, which did not honor the wealthy. This resulted in a balance as local wealthy families cooperated with peasants and scholar officials to gain respect. This system of imperial bureaucracy in which states report back to the capital is very similar to the political system in the Roman Empire,except for the fact that this system of politics lasted for 2000 years while the Roman Empire eventually fell.It was not this imperial governing system that led to the downfall of the Han Dynasty,but rather the fault lay in the hands of a weak emperor who was controlled by his own eunuchs.

Finally, the fall of the Han Dynasty,like the fall of many empires,can be linked directly back to economic inequality. At first in the Han Dynasty very few economic issues arose as Daoism believed that money was fools gold. Then, in the Han dynasty ,during the rule of Emperor Wu, large landowners started to profit themselves.This resulted in farmers without much land often having to sell themselves into slavery. Wang Mang then staged a coup d’etat in which he confiscated all the land and equally redistributed it to the people.One can almost see an early form of communism here. This attempt to please the poor only resulted in Wang Mang quickly losing the Mandate of Heaven. China was hit by a natural disaster, and this eventually lead to his assassination . Undeniably this rich-poor gap was a major factor in the downfall of the Han Dynasty.

In conclusion the ever changing Han Dynasty eventually fell due to an economic gap, a change in religious and philosophical belief,and poor political decisions and weak leaders.


About noobtrucker99

i assassinated people
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