The Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty
The Roman Empire and Han dynasty attract significant interests among historians. There exist similarities and disparities concerning the way both entities gained and lost their power. Historians attribute the Han Dynasty’s rise to power has been resulted from the adoption of legalism as the empire’s system of governance. This system exhibited an aspect of harsh regulations, but effective form of administration. On the other hand, the Roman Empire used a more politically focused system of governance. While the Han Dynasty designed its leadership policies based on Confucian ideas and concepts, the Roman Empire imposed governance based on Roman laws and classical teachings (Ropp 36). The collapse of the Roman Empire was more devastating when compared to the Han Dynasty because of the considerable levels of diversity in its cultural settings, traditional values and army force.
The fall of the two empires is attributable to various aspects of internal disputes and dissatisfaction. The Han Dynasty experienced numerous disputes among its leaders. Furthermore, rampant cases of inequitable distribution of land and tax burdens on peasants contributed to rising dissatisfaction of the populace. Proprietors were becoming more powerful as compared to the weakening central government. They imposed exploitative tax policies and undertook massive land grabbing. These issues promoted unrest and uprisings such as the Yellow Turban. The interplay of ineffective leadership and dissatisfaction by the populace promoted the fall of the Han Dynasty due to its inability to protect its territories. The fall of the Han Dynasty had minimal effects on the Chinese civilization as other dynasties took over leadership soon after. The Sui and Tang Dynasties promoted Confucianism and continued the bureaucratic leadership style employed during the Han Dynasty. Thus, the Chinese did not require reinventing their civilization(Duiker and Jackson 129).
Similarly, the Roman Empire witnessed numerous cases of infighting and rising dissatisfaction of the population. Other factors that contributed to increase of disunity within the empire included ineffective administration due to the vast nature of the empire. The Roman Empire faced considerable financial burdens concerning the protection of its borders. This translated into huge tax burdens on the population. A combination of tax issues and cases of epidemics such as plague adversely affected the empire. Ineffective leadership was also a factor considering the extravagant lifestyles of the Rome Emperors in disregard to the populace. The increasing discontent by the lower class and declining focus on the social and political status within the empire created a severe situation. Various aspects that united the people no longer served the expected purpose. The Roman Empire weakened politically, economically, and in matters relating to culture. In this regard, the empire became vulnerable to external attacks especially from the Germans. The weakening of the Roman Empire encouraged the people to seek protection from powerful landowners rather than the Empire rulers. This led to the decentralization of power and loss of control over various trade routes.
The decline on morals and values in both empires also fostered disunity. Both the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty witnessed declining standards in public health care and political irresponsibility, especially concerning corruption. Moreover, increased levels of unemployment due to weakening economies in both empires promoted their decline (Scheidel 200).
While the aspect of classical civilization in relation to the Han Dynasty underwent minimal changes, the Roman Empire faced complete failure due to the lack of a clearly defined and well-integrated political, cultural and economic system. The case of the Roman Empire and the Han dynasty is comparable to the current political, economic and social aspects in the U.S. Evidence demonstrates that the combination of an ineffective political system, weakening economy and increasing levels of dissatisfaction among Americans is likely to lead to unimaginable crisis in the country.