Han Empire

The Han Empire at its greatest extent.

The Han dynasty was the second supreme administration of China, went before by the Qin dynasty from 221 to 207 BCE and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period from 220 to 280 AD. Traversing more than four centuries, the Han period is viewed as a brilliant age in Chinese history. Right up 'til today, China's larger part ethnic gathering alludes to itself as the "Han individuals" and the Chinese script is alluded to as "Han characters". It was established by the revolutionary pioneer Liu Bang, referred to after death as Emperor Gaozu of Han, and quickly hindered by the Xin dynasty (9–23 AD) of the previous official Wang Mang. This interregnum isolates the Han administration into two periods: the Western Han or Former Han (206 BC – 9 AD) and the Eastern Han or Latter Han (25–220)

The Han Dynasty emerged in 202 BC. It was the first dynasty to embrace the philosophy of Confucianism, which became the ideological underpinning of all regimes until the end of imperial China. Under the Han Dynasty, China made great advances in many areas of the arts and sciences. Emperor Wu consolidated and extended the Chinese empire by pushing back the Xiongnu (sometimes identified with the Huns) into the steppes of modern Inner Mongolia, wresting from them the modern areas of Gansu, Ningxia and Qinghai. This enabled the first opening of trading connections between China and the West.

Nevertheless, land acquisitions by elite families gradually drained the tax base. In AD 9, the usurper Wang Mang founded the short-lived Xin ("New") Dynasty and started an extensive program of land and other economic reforms. These programs, however, were never supported by the land-holding families, for they favored the peasant and lesser gentry, and the instability they produced brought on chaos and uprisings.

Emperor Guangwu reinstated the Han Dynasty with the support of land-holding and merchant families at Luoyang, east of Xi'an. This new era would be termed the Eastern Han Dynasty. Han power declined again amidst land acquisitions, invasions, and feuding between consort clans and eunuchs. The Yellow Turban Rebellion broke out in 184, ushering in an era of warlords. In the ensuing turmoil, three states tried to gain predominance in the Period of the Three Kingdoms. This time period has been greatly romanticized in works such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

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221 BCE206 BCE
Han dynasty
206 BCE220
Three Kingdoms
220280 >>