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Han Vs. Mayan Essay

911 words - 4 pages

The Han and Maya Empires The Han Empire was formed in 202 B.C. and lasted until around 220 A.D. It came about through the fall of the Qin Empire. Some peasants first challenged the Qin Empire but failed. An aristocrat and a commoner led the next rebellion. The aristocrat eventually defeated the Qin forces and declared himself dictator and named the commoner King of Han. The commoner's name was Liu Bang and within months he seized the former Qin capital and declared war on the dictator. During the years of war to follow Liu Bang selected talented people to command his armies and run his government. Eventually he won and founded one of China's greatest empires lasting for four centuries. This was the beginning of the Han Empire. The actual beginning of the Mayan civilization is not as easily traced. They arose out of the end of the Olmec society around 200 B.C. and lasted until around 800 A.D. Even though we know they arose from the Olmec's, there is not really any solid evidence to show that the Olmec's were conquered by what was to become the Mayans. The way that the Han Empire emerged is solely significant in how their people led their lives and what they believed. Since Liu Bang was once himself a commoner he worked to lesson the people's burden and lower their taxes. Liu Bang controlled the Qin heartland and used his top military commanders as kings of his distant realms. Eventually he replaced these kings with his own heirs to secure the dynasty and with this the military nature of the new government gradually became to assume a more civilian character. It is believed that the light government hand reflected a Daoist belief that the best government rests easily in the hands of the people. In contrast the Mayans had a very rigid class system and the commoners were expected to support the splendor of the elite. In the Han empire it was possible to rise up through the ranks of the commoners and become a high ranking official. The Mayan commoners were born into their class, married amongst their class and eventually died in their class. The Confucian ideology that permeated the Han Empire eventually led to Daoist beliefs system or religion. The Han's used a key Confucian thinker to explain large-scale natural events. Dong said that the realms of Heaven, humanity and earth were joined in the monarch. If the state governed well then the people prospered and heaven and earth gave favorable signs, If a ruler was tyrannical then negative events occurred such as plague or earthquake. The Mayans believed in dozens of universal deities, as well as local gods and goddesses. The gods stood in a hierarchical...

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