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The Success Factors of the Empire: Analytical Essay on Han Dynasty

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We are living in a process of globalization nowadays, and the trade between countries and countries makes us nicknames that human beings are close to each other as living in the same village. However, thousand years ago, people still did not know what the Earth was, and humans dispersed wars constantly. As human self-evolution, there have been a number of unified orders that have gathered a large number of human beings, such as money, religion, and empire. From my perspective, there are three important characteristics of the success of the empire, which are a successful unification war, one or more religions that play a positive role in building a harmonious society, and the empire must rule many different nationalities with different cultural identities and independent territory, which can be flexibly adjusted.

The rise of an empire is always accompanied by a successful unification war. In 221 BCE, after the demise of six countries, Emperor Qin Shihuang established the Qin dynasty, a feudal and centralized dynasty. Emperor Qin Shihuang was an emperor who had made tremendous contributions to China’s history and had a tremendous influence. He conformed to the trend of historical development, unified China, ended the long-term separation of princes, and was conducive to the people’s life stability and on the same page with the common aspirations of the people of all ethnic groups. On the one hand, he made an indelible contribution to China’s reunification, he established a centralized system of feudal autocracy, which has had a profound impact on China’s history at that moment, and also a series of measures have been taken to consolidate and unify, such as unifying words, measuring, and currency. The unification promoted economic and cultural exchanges across the country, consolidated the unity of the country, and also expanded the territory through unified war, which made the Qin dynasty become the first unified multi-ethnic country in the history of China. On the other hand, the rule of the Qin dynasty was extremely brutal. Endless military service, servitude, and tyrannical punishment have brought tremendous disaster and suffering to the people. Furthermore, to unify the minds of the people so that he could better control the country, Emperor Qin Shihuang took the terrible method that burning of books and burying of scholars, which destroyed many precious Chinese cultures. Although the Dazexiang uprising led by Chen Sheng, also known as Chen She, failed, it eventually led to the demise of the Qin dynasty. The Qin Dynasty played a role of connecting the past and the future. It ended the history of Chinese slavery and started a period of feudalism in China’s more glorious period. The Qin Dynasty has only been in existence for more than 30 years, but it has affected China for thousands of years, and its historic status is absolutely significant.

On the positive side, religion can unite people’s strength and consolidate the role of a stable society. The same religious beliefs and a strong sense of identity-based on common religious beliefs can enable the same sect to form a unified, indivisible whole. The nationality of religion and the formation of its religious cultural circle undoubtedly build a solid foundation for the harmony and stability of the nation, the country, and a certain region of the world. For those countries with the same faith and a single nation-state, religious belief is an important factor in uniting the nation and safeguarding the stability of the nation, especially in the nation’s state, which is subject to foreign aggression and shackles. At this juncture, the same religious beliefs have become a powerful force for the survival and unity of the nation-state. In this regard, Islam played this role in its creation. Islam was born in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century. At that time, Arab society was in a period of great change. It has not yet formed a unified country, political disorder, and clan tribes were accustomed to each other. The mad oppression and exploitation of the ruling class has caused the vast majority of the working people to live in dire straits, and the class contradictions have become increasingly serious and prominent, and the invasion of outside forces has further deepened this crisis. At this historical moment, the founder of Islam, Muhammad, the slogan “Allah is the only god” and put forward the propositions of prohibiting usury, charity, peace, and tranquility, reflecting the requirements of the upper class and the desire of the vast majority of the exploited people to get out of trouble. Islam was created at the juncture of this historical turning point for adapting to economic changes and establishing a unified country. It objectively promoted the unity of the Arabian Peninsula and social stability. As far as the world is concerned, various ethnic religions and world religions accepted by different ethnic groups will form the region of religion itself because of the interrelationship of religions. Thus, there will be religious culture circles of different sizes, such as Christian for Europe and North and South America, Islam for Central Asia, and Buddhism for Southeast Asia and East Asia. Religion replaces a unique and attractive world for the believers, and through the canons, the teachings put forward specific requirements and norms for the behavior of the believers and thus play a greater role in social control. In class society, religion is often used by the ruling class and becomes an important tool and means for the ruling class to maintain its rule and maintain the existing social order.

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At the same time, another religion, Buddhism, also had an essential influence on some countries, such as China. Buddhism is completely opposite from various aspects compared to Islam. Islam has an external god, and believers also pray to Allah for all the benefits, however, Buddhism wants people to change themselves to be better, and finally can become Buddha. The Tang dynasty in China was an era of openness, freedom, creativity, and imagination. At this powerful period, not only the various ethnic minority cultures had been promoted, but also many exotic cultures came from many other countries. Many emperors of the Tang dynasty believed in Buddhism, and Xuanzang was destined to India for studying Buddhism. When he returned to China, Tang Taizong sent the prime minister to meet and personally met him in Luoyang. Xuanzang brought back a large number of Buddhist books and Tang Taizong ordered the organization of a large-scale Buddhist scriptures forum and dispatched people to assist Xuanzang in translating Buddhist scriptures. Xuanzang is one of the greatest scholars in the study of traditional Chinese Buddhism, and a master of the Indian orthodox Buddhist doctrine. In spite of the difficult, he went to India to seek Buddhism, collected a large number of Buddhist books, and translated. It has not only profoundly affected the development of East Asian culture, but also laid the foundation for East Asian culture to play a positive role in world culture.

The empire must rule many different nationalities with different cultural identity and independent territory. The Han dynasty was one of the most powerful dynasties in Chinese history, but for the rulers of the Han dynasty, a strong country meant a huge territory and numerous opponents. Since the Han dynasty inherited the Qin dynasty, the opponents to be faced by the surrounding opponents are not only powerful northern nomadic regimes, but also many existing areas that have not yet been fully conquered. In the north of China, the biggest opponent of the Han dynasty was undoubtedly the Xiongnu. The Western Han still followed the fortifications and defense strategies originating from the Qin dynasty, and sometimes even exchanged the Xiongnu at the expense of some economic interests. The inaction of the early Han dynasty was established under this kind of peace. Under the background of partial friction and most peace, the economic potential of the farming civilization was far stronger than that of the nomadic civilization of the Xiongnu. When the strength gap between the two sides increased, the Emperor Wu of Han launched a war against the Xiongnu. The military is always only a means, and political and economic control and utilization is the purpose. After severely hitting the Xiongnu, the Han dynasty and the Xiongnu under the rule of Emperor Wu entered a period of peace

In conclusion, the success of an empire is made up of many different factors, and if an empire only has some advantages, or has some unacceptable drawbacks, the empire will soon be destroyed just like the Qin Dynasty in China. Besides, from the perspective of cultural integration, in the process of integration of many small cultures into big cultures, the imperial powers are magnificent. Whether it is ideological communication, material exchange, or exploration of the unknown, in the unified environment of the empire, it is more dispersed, quicker, and more convenient than in the past.

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The Success Factors of the Empire: Analytical Essay on Han Dynasty. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
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