The Establishment Of The Han Empire And Imperial China / Edition 1

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Overview

The Han Dynasty created an enduring Chinese empire comparable to the Roman Empire. In this book, narrative chapters, biographical sketches, and translated primary documents give readers a unique overview of this important founding dynasty.

The Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E. to C.E. 221) ruled a large prosperous Chinese empire that was roughly contemporary with the Roman Empire and comparable in size. The Han was founded by Liu Bang who ruled as Emperor Gaozu. The Han emperors turned away from the harsh rule of their Qin predecessors and promoted Confucianism and other schools of thought while retaining some of the useful autocratic features of Legalism. Under Wudi (140-87 B.C.E.) the empire expanded to include parts of Central Asia, Korea and Vietnam. Under the Han dynasty the Chinese developed steel, the water mill, high quality stoneware (china), and paper.

Designed as an introduction to the founding and consolidation of the Han Empire, this work offers information on the founding of the Han Empire; conflict between town and countryside and the empire and barbarians; technological innovations like steel and papermaking; social changes and the lives of women and children; and a comparative look at Imperial China in world history. Excerpts from Confucius on government, recently found Qin laws written on bamboo strips, and contemporary historical accounts lend depth and immediacy to the work. Brief biographies of key rulers, rebels, and philosophers give readers a look at events through the eyes of participants. An annotated bibliography, index, chronology, glossary, and 26 illustrations and maps round out the book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"China's Han Dynasty created a prosperous empire from 206 BCE to CE 221, promoting a less harsh society than that of their Quin predecessors and developing technological advancements from the water mill to stoneware and paper. From elements of social change in Han times to kingdom problems and issues, its role in world society and politics, and its importance in establishing centralized control in Asia, ^IThe Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China^R is essential reading for any college-level scholar who would understand the importance of this developmental period."

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MBR Bookwatch

"The establishment of the Han Empire, solidifying the Qin unification of the warring states, is of paramount importance in the history of China, and arguably, in world history. This excellent introduction to that dynastic period devotes separate chapters to the political, institutional, technological, and social ramifications of the era….The writing is engaging and not pedantic. This volume, very much focused on the Western or Former Han (the Xin and later Han are dealt with in two sentences only), is a promising eastward expansion of this series on the ancient world."

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School Library Journal

School Library Journal
Adult/High School-The establishment of the Han Empire, solidifying the Qin unification of the warring states, is of paramount importance in the history of China, and arguably, in world history. This excellent introduction to that dynastic period devotes separate chapters to the political, institutional, technological, and social ramifications of the era. The final chapter is one of the most interesting and important: in an interpretive essay the writers consider the cultural and political consequences of the Han Empire in East Asia, make comparisons (especially to Rome and Persia), and look ahead to post-Han China. A few pages suggest a reevaluation of the First Emperor, arguing that he might have been unfairly vilified by Han apologists. There are 20 biographies, 14 primary-source documents, several time lines, a brief glossary, a bibliography (including film, Internet, and curriculum guides), and a mere 16 black-and-white artifact photos or line drawings. Some information is repeated, but given the complexity of the material, this is rather a bonus. The writing is engaging and not pedantic. This volume, very much focused on the Western or Former Han (the Xin and later Han are dealt with in two sentences only), is a promising eastward expansion of this series on the ancient world.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

GRANT HARDY is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.

ANNE BEHNKE KINNEY is Professor of Chinese, and Director of the East Asia Center at the University of Virginia. As a graduate student she spent two years in the department of History and Archaeology at Peking University. She is the author of Representations of Childhood and Youth in Early China (2003), and has published numerous articles and scholarly publications.

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Table of Contents

Series foreword
Ch. 1 The establishment of the Han empire : an overview 1
Ch. 2 The center and the periphery 29
Ch. 3 Technological innovation and empire 53
Ch. 4 Social change in Han Times 69
Ch. 5 Imperial China in world history 91
Biographies : the personalities of the Qin and Han empires 107
Primary documents of early China 125
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