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The Collapse of Empires:

Comparing the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire.

Imagine Rome, a vast empire whose arms reached as far to west and east as their was land to claim. Now imagine the Han Dynasty, an empire which brought trade and prosperity to China. Both were magnificent empires, ruled by excellent persons, but even then, these great empires too had their faults. These faults, in turn, caused the utter collapse of the respective empires. There were many different factors, both internal and external, that led to the collapse of these once great empires, slavery and invasions by nomads, for example, among others.

As previously stated, Rome and the Han Dynasty were quite powerful at their peak. And as many powerful empires seem to do at their peak, they began to degrade. Now one similarity between these two empires is the Government, which ultimately lead to the discontentment of the people. The Romans, who often favored the people of high society to the farmers that were the backbone of their empire, eventually learned that leaving the peasants out of political discussions would lead to their ruin, through peasant revolts. The same could be said of the Han, except not only did the peasants not get a say in government, but they also had more taxes imposed upon them, even after most of them had to retreat down towards south China because of the famine that was spreading in north China during the Yellow Turban Rebellion. The government seems to have done all they could to make sure the commoners felt as unimportant as humanly possible. These events lead to major revolts against the government.

To continue, there were differences in the collapses of these to empires as well. Intermarriage, for example, was a major factor in the disintegration of the Han Dynasty, while Empirical Expansion was a factor for the Romans. During the Han Dynasty, invaders from the North were the number one worry of the people and the government, however, that didn’t stop the Chinese from intermarrying with them as the Han Dynasty began to weaken and allow the northerners to live inside the Great Wall [of China]. As the northerners intermarried, their beliefs and customs intertwined with that of the Han, and they began to lose their hold over the people of their empire. To the Romans, empirical expansion was one step forward and two steps back. This is not to say that they weren’t skilled conquerors, just that as the empire expanded, more pressure was placed on the Emperor at the time. Eventually the empire got so large that one emperor finally gave the order to stop expanding, building a wall in what is now Britain, to halt any further expansion that way. Also, as the empire expanded, the stress placed on the military was also very visible, revolts amongst the conquered peoples placed pressure on the military, often causing them to retreat in land towards the capital, Rome.

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