In This Reading Response Thought Piece, The Theoretical Basis Of The

1083 words - 4 pages

In this reading response thought-piece, the theoretical basis of the former Han Dynasty will be discussed in the first section of this paper and, the reasons that the Han Dynasty was more efficacious will be discussed in the latter part. Firstly, the theoretical basis of the Han. The Han Dynasty was founded by one of only two commoners, in Chinese history, to rise to power. This rise to power despite an economic barrier of the Han's first Emperor is perhaps testimony to the Han's staying power in Chinese history and, will hopefully be reflected in this thought-piece. Although there was some level of distress in the Empire after his death, the Emperor Wen is credited with forging a sense of "stability" in the empire. Emperor Wu, would also have a far-reaching effect in Chinese culture by implementing important changes in foreign/domestic policies.Having discussed some of the more prominent figures from the Han Dynasty, we will now delve into the realm of the theoretical basis of the Han. The Han political system was a bureaucratic system; that is, there were many high officials who were relatively powerful figures, but the power always lay with the emperor. The high ranking officials, for the most part, were formulated for administrative and not governance reasons. Although, exceptions to the rule as in most things, did exist. Although formally, the type of political system was emperor, with bureaucracy accompaniment, the emperor rarely delved into the lives of the commoners. This was done mostly by notables within the community who achieved their status as either wealthy landowners, merchants or individuals of elite status. As I mentioned earlier, these posts or ranks were given not for governance, but rather administrative reasons. Although this seems to be contradictory, it actually serves as a measure for checks and balances. While the central government affords them a small amount of power over the local power structure, they also have to protect the central government's interest to retain this luxury. To become a member of the government during the Han Dynasty, one usually had to come from a family of means. Not that these posts were exclusively for the wealthy. However, to become a learned member of society, it usually required formal training, and investment in books and materials; something that a family of lesser means could obviously not afford. And because the prior Emperor Wen, personally required capable men to have to take written examinations, which he personally gave himself. We come to see the emphasis that was placed on learning in the Han Dynasty.Later, Emperor Wu would later provide patronage for the Confucian school of thought, and form an Imperial University by recommendation only. This forged a sense of community because government officials were not mindless officials but rather, learned individuals with a similar ideology, one of classical learning. As the book stated, this new found reliance weakened the absolute...

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