Rome/Han Fall Comparison
- Pages: 4
- Word count: 896
- Category: Roman
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Two of the most significant empires of the classical period were the Rome empire and the Han dynasty. Both of these nations developed a well built Bureaucracy, emphasis on family, and boasted the invention of many technological advances. These two powerhouses still affect our everyday lives. However, all good things must come to an end.
Both empires experienced problems of equal distribution of wealth. Massive gaps developed between the people of the upper class, and the people of the lower class. Lower class jobs, such as farmers, produced a very minute amount of money, while people of a higher status, such as politicians, made massive amounts of money. There were basically two types of people: those who lived in wooden huts in the forest, and those who lived in massive palaces in beautiful and enormous cities. This issue eventually led to the revolting and rioting of the lower class. They believed that it was unfair that there was such a large gap between the classes. They believed that all the money in the empire could be easily divided more fairly, if not equally, than what was occurring in the current situation.
Both nations also experienced regionalism. They began to, “tear apart,” and individual sections eventually broke away from one another. The empires also experienced political corruption and instability. As the dynasty was nearing its end, the Han had corrupt regional leaders. These regional authorities rose to power, and took control over small regions that they had gained access to. They were “back-stabbers,” who fought each other for more political power. These rulers became too powerful, and caused the imperial authority, that had been in place for centuries, to collapse.
Rome divided as well, mostly due to Diocletian. He was an emperor who split the empire into two halves; the western Roman Empire the Byzantine empire. After revolts, military generals divided the western Roman Empire into even more parts, and barrack emperors rose to power. A barrack emperor is the leader of a group of soldiers, who uses his army’s power to take control of the government. Barrack emperors all held power over their divided piece of what was once Rome. These rulers fought each other, in an attempt to take all of what used to be Rome for themselves. They wanted to rule over the entire empire. However, they all ended up killing each other, and no single one ever took total and complete control of Rome. These political issues in both empires led people to develop a mistrust of government. When both empires fell, new styles of government were formed, along with new types of leaders being brought into power, giving citizens much more trust in government.
The division of a nation also leaves it more vulnerable to attack. Both the Rome and the Han were surrounded by barbaric tribes, who always posed a threat. When the Huns invaded the western Roman Empire, there were hardly any reasonable defenses to hold up against the repeated attacks of, not only the Huns, but the barbarians and vandals as well. These enemies took large parts of Roman land, and developed them into what would eventually become such modern nations as France, England, and Spain. Meanwhile, in the Han dynasty, the Mongols hammered the Han with blow after blow, greatly weakening the dynasty even further.
Both empires also underwent changes in religion. When the empires split, new religions began to unveil themselves to the public population. Christianity took roots in Rome, while the Han were introduced to Buddhism. These caused confusion among the populace, making them even more susceptible to attack than ever before.
One huge factor that only occurred in Rome was the development of various plagues and diseases. The plague, known as the Antonine Plague, was responsible for the deaths of millions upon millions of people. There were two known diseases, believed to be smallpox and measles. All of these were vicious killers, and, along with the low birth rate, caused a massive population decrease in the Roman Empire.
Another factor that occurred in Rome was inflation. In an attempt to make more money, the government raised the prices of many goods and services. However, because many of the items which price was elevated were aimed more towards the lower class than the upper class, hardly anybody could afford them.
In the Han Dynasty, the Three Kingdoms rose. They were the Wei, Shu, and Wu. These three powerful nations rose in quick succession. The Wei, being the first, was very influential, and appealed to the citizens of the Han. Most people abandoned the disaster that was the Han Dynasty, and became members of what would become the Three Kingdoms.
Both the Han dynasty and the Roman Empire both fell due to similar reasons. Even though at times these two nations held huge amounts of power they, were no match for the destructive forces of invading tribes, plagues, and political division. Both of these empires were know as “classical civilizations.” Classical civilizations were civilizations of great power, that took place during the classical period, a time period when great civilizations took a massive amount of power and influence over other ancient civilizations and even modern nations as well. The fall of these two great empires marked the downfall of the classical period. The post-classical era then began.