Han China and Imperial Rome Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:15
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Category: China

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Imperial Rome and Han China are both well recognized empires, known as strong and fairly successful. Although the empires had some differences they also had similarities in their methods of political control. Similarities between these empires include the belief that leaders had connections to God, religious tolerance, and public works provided to citizens.

Along with the similarities in political control the differences include Rome having a democracy while China had a centralized bureaucracy, Rome had lesser domestic repercussions while China had harsh punishments, and Rome offered assimilation to become a citizen while China did not need to offer assimilation because it conquered states that were already chinese. Imperial Rome and Han Dynasty are similarly structured societies. Both empires believed that their leaders had some sort of connection with God.

Rome believed that their emperors were to be viewed as god-like individuals and were to guide them unto the right path. China called their emperors God of Heaven and the emperors had to follow the Mandate of Heaven which states God would bless the authority as leader, and if an emperor did not provide adequately for their empire they could be replaced. Han China and Rome both also tolerated religion. Rome integrated Christianity into its culture while Han China allowed for Buddhism to become integrated. Neither empire persecuted due to religion.

The last similarity between Han China and Imperial Rome is the fact that both empires decided public works were important enough to spend quite a bit of money on and to provide to the citizens. These public works included roads, bridges, canals, and aqueducts. All of these were an important part of society as they allowed for transportation, communication, and sanitation. The government in both societies decided how to view the leaders, what they would permit as far as religion, and what to spend government funding on.

As well as these similarities, Rome and China had their differences. Imperial Rome differed from Han China in some aspects. For instance, Rome had divided the empire into smaller sections so it could be easier to manage, as each sector had a branch of government to control it. China did not have a Democratic approach, but a Bureaucratic approach. There was one emperor that controlled the entire empire, and the government was highly centralized. Another difference between the government in Rome and China were punishments.

Imperial Rome had short and superficial domestic repercussions compared to the strict legalism society of China. Punishments in China were swift and harsh to persuade citizens to stay in order. The Chinese believed humans were dumb and short sighted and had clearly defined laws and rules that were strictly enforced. Rome did not focus so much on punishments as China did. The last difference between these two empires are their allowance or need for assimilation. Rome conquered Germanic tribes that refused to conform to society, even though Rome offered assimilation.

This would eventually lead to the end of Rome. China, however, did not need to offer assimilation due to the fact that the conquered nearby states had already accepted chinese culture to be their own, therefore having one culture throughout the empire instead of a mixture of cultures. Han China and Imperial Rome are comparable in political standards in the means of the view of leaders, that they were closest to God, how they decided to spend political funding, on public works for citizens, and their tolerance for religions, Rome allowing Christianity and China allowing Buddhism.

Rome and China are contrastable in the sense of Rome being Democratic while China was Bureaucratic, Rome being lenient with punishments compared to Chinas strict legalism beliefs, and Rome offering assimilation to conquered Germanic tribes while China conquered already Chinese states and did not need assimilation. Both empires are valued respectively for their contributions to modern society, including their similarities and differences.

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