A Comparison of the Decline of Han China and the Roman Empire

924 words 4 pages
A Comparison of the Decline of Han China and the Roman Empire The decline of China and Rome both shared similar economic strife in that they were both subject to barbarian and nomadic invasions, therefore having to spend large amounts of money on frontier defense; however, they differed in that the Han Empire collapsed in part due to the high taxes imposed on the peasant class resulting in a large peasant rebellion, such as the Yellow Turbans, while in Rome tax collections was in danger of abandonment as residents of the empire were few in number and in financial difficulty. In addition, the two empires were similar socially because of large epidemics, diseases, and plagues that caused a population decrease. Also, both experienced a …show more content…

Rome became much more fragmented, eventually dividing the Mediterranean world into three zones. Rome and China both had central, united governments that ended up dividing into several pieces. The governments, no longer able to continue and prosper due to revolt and economic set backs spilt Rome into two and eventually 4 parts while splitting Han China into three parts. In addition, great landed families in both empires grew in power and weakened the central state, reducing its resources. When comparing the two, political differences are also made evident. The government in Rome failed mostly as an effect of the problem of succession. Rome had many weak emperors, and the decision of who would next reign often resulted in civil wars that further fragmented the empire. Within Han China, the bureaucrats took over, corrupting the government, while the emperor transferred power to landlords, who gained more power. Han China and Classical Rome share many parallels in social, economic, and political aspects. Socially, epidemics and cultural decline shared a part in decline of both empires while China’s common culture resulted in less of a complete decline in the Han Empire. Looking into economics, both civilizations suffered from having to pay for defense on borders due to nomadic invasion, but the way the government dealt with taxes and how they were effected by them differed. Finally, politically both empires were fractured into various parts, but in Rome


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