Rise And Fall Of The Han Dynasty

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The citizens of ancient China had to provide the resources and labor to build the wall, and this caused them an immense amount of suffering. Emperor Qin Shihuangdi sent 300,000 conscript laborers and countless prisoners to build the wall (Langmead and Garnaut 2017). However, this number does not cover the full scope of the labor, as for each man working on the wall, “dozens must have been needed to build service roads and transport supplies” (Lewis 2007, 59). The leaders of the Qin and Han dynasties pushed the workers into building the wall through press gangs and conscript labor, and prisoners had no choice but to go and build (Man 2008, 38). Even though the government forced the citizens into labor, they also had to pay heavy taxes to pay …show more content…
Peasants would have to sell their grain to the wealthy or borrow from the wealthy (Lewis 2007, 22). This allowed the wealthy to control the peasants, because without them, the citizens would end in financial and legal trouble. The wealthy controlling the peasants decentralized the government’s power and led to the downfall of both dynasties. Heavy taxation also caused social unrest during the Qin dynasty, and this, coupled with the unrest caused by the forced labor, contributed to the downfall of the Qin dynasty (Langmead and Garnaut 2017). The construction of the Qin and Han Great Wall caused the citizens to suffer, and it even contributed to the downfall of both empires, but another problem existed, the formation of a nomadic empire, a large threat that had to be dealt …show more content…
An early, disastrous, defeat at the hands of the newly formed, powerful Xiongnu caused the policy of appeasement. The Han called this policy he qin, and they sent gold, silk, grain, and Chinese princesses to the Xiongnu in exchange for the agreement of peace (Lewis 2007, 132). The tributes sent to the Xiongnu each year were extremely expensive, but they did not satisfy the Xiongnu chieftains. Consequently, the Xiongnu kept raiding, and peace was only resumed on the premise of higher payments (Lewis 2007, 136). The policy of appeasement was very detrimental to the Han, but if the Qin had not constructed the first Great Wall, then the Xiongnu would not have existed. The Han would not have had to use massive amounts of resources to appease them. Eventually, the Han replaced this extremely expensive he qin policy with ideas of war to push the Xiongnu back and build another

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