The Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE)
By: Jaxon Gatons and Kyle Foster
The Han Dynasty came to power after rebelling against the Qin Dynasty. The reason the people rebelled was they started the building of the Great Wall of China. This project took a lot of human sacrifice to build. The battle for power lasted four years until the Han finally prevailed. Lui Bang ( aka Emperor Gao) was the first emperor of the Han Dynasty. The seventh and longest ruler of the Han was Emperor Wudi. He reigned for 54 years! The emperors of the Han Dynasty changed how political members were recruited. It was based on their skill and not their birthright or wealth. They also reduced peoples tax burdens. But, as all great things must come to an end, this great dynasty did too. There were many internal and external reasons for the fall of the Han Dynasty. One of the internal reasons that helped the fall of the Dynasty was the court had grown weak. The people that lived in China's villages knew when the tax collectors were coming to their town so they hid from them and did not pay the taxes. This made the government financially weaker and not be able to pay the army. One of the external reasons why the Han Dynasty fell was the nomads (tribes of people living around China's borders, example The Mongols) which had previously been bribed with money to maintain the peace were now invading China, as the Han government was not able to pay them due to the lack tax money. Although the biggest reason why the Han Dynasty fell was the Sino-Xiongnu wars. China has been fighting this war for over 200 years. This war damaged the silk road trade route and damaged the economic system within China. Even though the Han Dynasty eventually won this war it was the fatal blow to the military and the economic system of the Dynasty that left China devastated beyond repair. After the Han Dynasty, China would not unify as a country or dynasty for over 400 years.