Han Dynasty - history.
Publié le 26/05/2013
Extrait du document
of merit rather than birth.
Written examinations were adopted as a means of determining the best qualified people, although use of the examinations in actually makingappointments was limited.
A school was established at the capital for training government officials.
The administrative bureaucracy was systematized, and a career civilservice was created and extended through much of the empire. Although personally interested in the magical side of Daoism, Wudi made a descendent of Confucius the superintendent of public instruction, encouraged the study of thefive Confucian classics (the Shu jing, or Book of History; the Shi jing, or Book of Songs; the I Ching or Yi jing, or Book of Changes; the Li ji, or Book of Rites; and the Chun qiu, or the Spring and Autumn Annals) on which Confucian education was based, and appointed those adept in Confucian knowledge to senior administrative posts.
In anattempt to provide an all-inclusive ideology for the empire, however, the Han incorporated ideas from many other philosophical schools into Confucianism, and employedpopular superstitions to augment and elaborate the spare teachings of Confucius and of his principal disciple, Mencius.
These beliefs became part of popular folklore. Commerce flourished under Wudi.
Internal trade expanded with the long period of domestic peace, lower taxes, and the reduction of the power of local princes.
Wudi'sministers kept prices steady by buying grain and cooking oil when prices were low and placing them on the market when commodities became scarce due to drought or poorharvest.
Canals and irrigation works were dug and roads constructed.
The country grew richer and stronger, the farms became prosperous, and the cities increased in size. Almost from the beginning of his reign, Wudi set about expanding his empire.
In the northwest, the Xiongnu (Hsiung-nu), a seminomadic tribe of mounted warriors, hadbeen raiding areas of northwestern China for some time.
Wudi sent several expeditions against them, formed alliances with central Asian tribes, and broke the power of theXiongnu.
With his northwest frontier secured, Wudi expanded into the northeast, conquering Manchuria and much of what is now Korea.
He added territories south of theYangtze River as far as Annam, in northern Vietnam.
The conquest of what is now Yunnan province opened a route into Burma and India. Perhaps the most interesting of Wudi's conquests were those in central Asia.
By taking control of territories in Ferghana (in what is now Uzbekistan) and the valley of theJaxartes River (also called Syr Darya River, in what is now Kazakhstan), far west of China's present boundary, Wudi's troops were able to open the Silk Road, a 6500 km(4000-mi) trade route linking Chang'an and Rome.
The Silk Road allowed China to trade with the states of the Persian Gulf and even of the eastern Mediterranean.
By thetime of his death in 87 BC, Wudi's empire was as large as the Roman empire was to become a few decades later under Julius Caesar. However, Wudi's expansionist policies also had the effect of draining the imperial treasury, necessitating sharp increases in taxes and increased government control of theeconomy.
Although these policies were effective for a short time, in the long term they weakened the dynasty substantially. C Wang Mang Wudi's immediate successors maintained the empire for a time, but three consecutive weak rulers allowed imperial regent Wang Mang (45 BC-AD 23) to concentrate power almost entirely in his own hands.
Wang Mang was a senior member of a family that had married into the imperial clan.
His power grew until finally, in AD 9, he declared himself emperor of the short-lived Xin (Hsin, “New”) dynasty ( AD 9-23). Although Wang Mang had seized power through murder and intrigue, he was a reformer who wanted better, less corrupt government.
He wanted to remedy the abusesresulting from the growing strength of feudalism.
Much of the land was now held in large estates, rented out in small plots to farmers at exorbitant prices.
In the first year ofhis reign, Wang Mang seized all of the land, striking at the power base of the barons and gentry.
The land was divided into equal tracts and given to the farmers whoactually cultivated it.
He then proceeded to abolish slavery, made no-interest loans to farmers, and became a patron of Confucian learning. However, these reforms faced serious opposition.
The feudal barons formed an alliance and rebelled against Wang Mang.
They were joined by members of the Liu family,who were descended from Jingdi (Ching-ti), a former Han emperor, and a civil war followed.
As the empire fell into disorder, militant secret societies formed armed bandsand attacked villages and towns.
Wang Mang had believed that proper institutions would eventually bring peace to China, but in AD 23, an army led by the Liu clan breached the gates of Chang'an, murdered Wang Mang, and restored the Han dynasty. D The Eastern Han During the civil war, the old capital of Chang'an was largely destroyed, and the victorious Liu family moved the capital eastward to Luoyang (Lo-yang), in what is nowHenan province.
The name Han was again used, but Chinese historians refer to the dynasty after Wang Mang as the Eastern, or Later, Han.
Its first ruler, Guangwudi(Kuang-wu-ti, 5 BC-AD 57), was vigorous and assertive.
The borderlands were reoccupied, the Xiongnu were again defeated, and tribute was again collected in Korea and Annam.
Like others of his ancestors, Guangwudi became a patron of Confucian learning and worked toward government reform. His successors were different.
Many took the throne in their teens, and the empire was actually controlled by ministers who encouraged the young emperors to lead a life ofdissipation.
This usually led to an early death, another child emperor, and a continuation of rule from behind the scenes.
Once again, peasant revolts and militaryinsurrections became frequent.
An armed Daoist cult, the Huangjin (Yellow Turbans), spearheaded a revolt that spread through much of the empire.
Generals and ministers plotted coups and counter-coups, with the child emperors as little more than pawns.
One such general, Dong Zhuo (Tung Cho), burned Luoyang in AD 190. Although the dynasty continued in name, the confused power struggle virtually eliminated any real Han authority.
Finally, in 220, the last Han emperor, Xiandi (Hsien-ti),who had been placed on the throne at age eight, formally abdicated in favor of Cao Pi (Ts'ao P'i), the son of his chief minister.
Cao Pi proclaimed himself the first emperor ofthe new Wei dynasty.
This date marks the beginning of the so-called Period of Disunity, which lasted from 220 to 589. E The Period of Disunity Chinese unity was fractured, and three rival states—Wu, Wei, and Shu—contended for power in the territory of what had been the Han empire, waging incessant warfareagainst one another.
In 265 Sima Yan (Ssu-ma Yen), a general of the Wei dynasty, took over the throne and established the Western Jin (Chin) dynasty (265-316) innorthern China.
By 280 he had reunited the north and south under his rule.
Soon after his death in 290, however, the empire began to crumble.
The non-Chinese tribes ofthe north seized the opportunity to attack.
Invasions began in 304, and by 317 the tribes had taken northern China from the Jin.
For almost three centuries northern Chinawas ruled by non-Chinese dynasties, while the south was ruled by a sequence of four Chinese dynasties, all of which were centered in Jiankang (Chien-k'ang), in the area ofwhat is now Nanjing (Nanking).
In 589 Yang Jian (Yang Chien), from the non-Chinese Northern Zhou state, succeeded in conquering all the other states and reuniting Chinaunder what became known as the Sui dynasty (581-618). III ECONOMY During the Han empire, the Chinese were an agricultural people.
Wheat and millet were grown in northern China, as they had been for centuries.
Rice, which can producemore calories per hectare than other grains, continued to be grown wherever farmers could get enough water to do so.
Chinese farmers drained swamps, dammed streams,and built irrigation canals.
During the reign of the early Han emperors, a long period of peace and a strong, centralized government allowed irrigation works to expand.
Moreand better crops were grown, and the population increased.
During the waning days of the Western Han, central control weakened and feudal armies ranged over the land.Then irrigation works fell into disrepair or were destroyed altogether, causing local and regional famines. During the long peace of the Han period, many cities grew in size, particularly Luoyang.
Merchants and craftsmen organized themselves into guilds, and, in fact,membership in the appropriate guild became necessary to engage in most lines of business.
The guilds fixed minimum prices and regulated wages and working hours ofguild members and their employees.
Each guild had a patron god that was enshrined in the guild hall.
The guilds also served as social protection units, and often would call. »
↓↓↓ APERÇU DU DOCUMENT ↓↓↓
- Han Dynasty - history.
- Han Dynasty - History.
- Qing Dynasty - history.
- Shang Dynasty - history.
- Qin Dynasty - history.