Similar Questions for How did Wudi Expand The Chinese Empire from Yahoo AnswersQuestionAnswer
The Silk Routes (collectively known as the 'Silk Road') were not only conduits for silk, but also for many other products. They were very important paths for cultural and technological transmission that linked traders, merchants, pilgrims, missionaries, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers among China, India, Persia and Mediterranean countries for almost 3,000 years.
Extending over 4,000 miles, the routes enabled people to transport trade goods, especially luxuries such as slaves, silk, satins and other fine fabrics, musk, other perfumes, spices and medicines, jewels, glassware and even rhubarb, while simultaneously serving as a conduit for the spread of knowledge, ideas, cultures, and diseases between different parts of the world (China, India, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean). Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the great civilizations of China, India, Egypt, Persia, Arabia, and Rome, and in several respects helped lay the foundations for the modern world. Although the term the Silk Road implies a continuous journey, very few who traveled the route traversed it from end to end. For the most part, goods were transported by a series of agents on varying routes and were traded in the bustling mercantile markets of the oasis towns.
The Central Asian part of the trade route was expanded around 114 B.C. by the Han Dynasty, largely through the missions and explorations of Zhang Qian, but earlier trade routes across the continents already existed. In the late Middle Ages, transcontinental trade over the land routes of the Silk Road declined as sea trade increased.
Though silk was certainly the major trade item from China, many other products were traded, and various technologies, religions and philosophies as well as the bubonic plague (the so-called 'Black Death') also travelled along the Silk Routes.
East and West silk roads
There were two main parts of the silk road. There was the East and the West silk road. They were both very dangerous. On the East silk road it was all desert so people used camels to carry their goods. Travelers on the East traveled in groups called caravans. Dangers that faced travelers on the East silk road were bandits, sandstorms, and mirages.
The West silk road was very mountainous; some peaks reach over 20,000 feet. People traveled by yak instead of camel because they could stand the harsh weather. Dangers were headaches, dizziness, and ringing to the ears caused by lack of oxygen. This route was also called "the trail of bones" since so many people and animals died.
The first person who used the terms "Seidenstraße" and "Seidenstraßen" or "Silk Road(s)" and "Silk Route(s)", was the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877. The Silk Road earns its name from the extensive Chinese silk trade, the main reason for which the road was created.
The Silk Road
The Silk Road in the 1st century.
For more details on this topic, see Cities along the Silk Road.
As it extends westwards from the ancient commercial centers of China, the continental Silk Road divides into the northern and southern routes bypassing the Taklamakan Desert and Lop Nur.
The northern route, which is the narrowly-defined and original Silk Road, starts at Chang'an (now called Xi'an), the capital of the ancient Chinese Empire. The road was defined about the 1st Century BCE as Han Wudi put an end to harassment by nomadic tribes.
The route travels northwest through the Chinese province of Gansu from Shaanxi Province, and splits into three further routes, two of them following the mountain ranges to the north and south of the Taklamakan Desert to rejoin at Kashgar; and the other going north of the Tian Shan mountains through Turfan, Talgar and Almaty (in what is now southeast Kazakhstan).
The routes split west of Kashgar with one branch heading down the Alai Valley towards Termez and Balkh, while the other traveled through Kokand in the Fergana Valley, and then west across the Karakum Desert towards Merv, joining the southern route briefly.
One of the branch routes turned northwest to the north of the Aral and Caspian seas then and on to the Black Sea.
Yet another route started at Xi'an, passed through the Western corridor beyond the Yellow Rivers, Xinjiang, Fergana (in present-day eastern Uzbekistan), Persia (Iran), and Iraq before joining the western boundary of the Roman Empire. A route for caravans, the northern Silk Road brought to China many goods such as "dates, saffron powder and pistachio nuts from Persia; frankincense, aloes and myrrh from Somalia; sandalwood from India; glass bottles from Egypt, and other expensive and desirable goods from other parts of the world." In exchange, the caravans sent back bolts of silk brocade, lacquer ware and porcelain.
The southern route is mainly a single route running from China through northern India, the Turkestan–Khorasan
Need help with information about the Han Dynasty?Answer
Analyze state and society during the Han dynasty. Why did the Han founder choose the Qin bureaucratic-centralization model of government and administration? How did Confucianism legitimize that model? What role did the civil-service examination play in the genesis of a new class, the scholar-gentry?
After the civil war that followed the death of Qin Shihuangdi in 210 B.C., China was reunited under the rule of the Han dynasty, which is divided into two major periods: the Western or Former Han (206 B.C.–9 A.D.) and the Eastern or Later Han (25–220 A.D.). The boundaries established by the Qin and maintained by the Han have more or less defined the nation of China up to the present day. The Western Han capital, Chang'an in present-day Shaanxi Province—a monumental urban center laid out on a north-south axis with palaces, residential wards, and two bustling market areas—was one of the two largest cities in the ancient world (Rome was the other).
Poetry, literature, and philosophy flourished during the reign of Emperor Wudi (141–86 B.C.). The monumental Shiji (Historical Records) written by Sima Qian (145–80 B.C.) set the standard for later government-sponsored histories. Among many other things, it recorded information about the various peoples, invariably described as "barbarian," who lived on the empire's borders. Wudi also established Confucianism as the basis for correct official and individual conduct and for the educational curriculum. The reliance of the bureaucracy on members of a highly educated class grounded in Confucian writings and other classics defined China's statecraft for many centuries.
Under Wudi, China regained control of territories, first conquered by Qin Shihuangdi, in southern China and the northern part of Vietnam. New commanderies were established in Korea, and contacts were made with the western regions of Central Asia. The conquest of Ferghana and neighboring regions in 101 B.C., which allowed the Han to seize a large number of the "heavenly" long-legged horses valued for cavalry maneuvers, also gave China control of the trade routes running north and south of the Taklamakan Desert. In return for its silk and gold, China received wine, spices, woolen fabrics, grapes, pomegranates, sesame, broad beans, and alfafa.
Disputes among factions, including the families of imperial consorts, contributed to the dissolution of the Western Han empire. A generation later, China flourished again under the Eastern Han dynasty (25–220 A.D.), which ruled from Luoyang, a new capital farther east in present-day Henan Province. Organized around a north-south axis and covering an area of approximately four square miles, the city was dominated by two enormous palace complexes, each 125 acres and linked by a covered pathway. Ban Chao (32–102 A.D.), a member of an illustrious literary family, reasserted Chinese control of Central Asia from 73 to 94 A.D. Trade, less rigorously controlled than in the first part of the dynasty, expanded, with caravans reaching Luoyang every month.
There was also an expansion of diplomacy: fifty envoys from Central Asia were recorded in 94 A.D., and Japanese envoys visited in 57 and 107 A.D. Jugglers from West Asia arrived in 122 A.D., and the reported arrival of an emissary from Andun (the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus) bringing ivory, rhinoceros horn, and tortoiseshell suggests a direct link to Rome in 166 A.D. The development of paper, water clocks, sundials, astronomical instruments, and the invention of a seismograph in 132 A.D. attest to the technological and scientific sophistication that marks this period....
Historians have divided Han dynasty in two timeline: the Western or Former Han which ruled from 206 BC to 9 AD and the Eastern or Later Han which reigned from 25 AD to 220 AD. The boundaries as were laid by Qin and later retained by the Han dynasty are what make Chinese nation to this day.
The centralized tax system and well established and unified military force enthused China to lead many expeditions towards West, South Vietnam and Korea expanding their empire even further. Han rulers also forged into new relationships with the people of the Western areas of Central Asia, which had the most important impact on the history of the world. At the same time, Hun nomads were also posing a severe threat to the rulers. To prevent them, emperor Wudi conquered several areas that lay towards the end of the Great Wall of China making their presence felt in many parts of Central Asia and different parts of the Silk route.
Under the new legal set up, punishments were still levied on the similar lines as that of Qin but Confucian laws were implemented. Many recorded evidences show emperor beheading corrupt officials as a form of punishment. Han rulers often sought Confucians advice for moral guidance and the most crucial step was the initiation of civil service examinations.
Irrigation system was further developed in Northern areas of China and crop rotation became very popular. The state tried to have a monopolistic control over the iron and salt, but this was only for a limited period. Besides silk weaving, copper work was yet another most important occupation of the villagers.
Like the Qin before them, the main goal of the Han was to unify China.
The Han Dynasty actually consists of two separate dynasties. It is considered as one dynasty by the Chinese because the second dynasty was founded by a member of the former Han dynasty who declared that he had restored the Han Dynasty. The original Han Dynasty was overthrown when wealthy families gained more power than the emperor. The families became allies through marriage and were responsible for the selection of officials. The widow of Emperor Yüandi succeeded in placing all of her relatives in government and ruled in place of her son. Her nephew, Wang Mang, eventually declared himself emperor of a new dynasty, the Xin (new). His rise as emperor is unusual because he gained much public support and began the ceremony where a seal of the precious stone was passed to the emperor. From then on, whoever held the seal was the official emperor. Wang was overthrown by a secret society of peasants known as the Red Eyebrows (they painted their eyebrows red). Descendents of the Han eventually joined in the uprising, and it was the armies of these nobles, under the leadership of Liu Xiu, who killed Wang in the year 22. The fighting continued until the year 25 when Liu became emperor. As emperor Liu was called Emperor Guang Wudi. Millions of people died during the fighting, leaving land behind for peasants, and often freedom from debt as lenders passed away.
The second Han Dynasty had much success with its foreign policy. Part of this success was due to luck rather than any great accomplishments. The Huns, previously one of the most dangerous enemies of the Chinese, were defeated by the Xiangbei and the Wuhuan. Half of the Huns moved south and became part of the Chinese empire. The Huns appeared to be trying to reunite and form a large empire comprising of Turkestan. Thus, in 73, the Chinese began a campaign in Turkestan. The whole of Turkestan -- which would have ensured a trading monopoly although Emperor Mingdi died and Changdi became emperor -- was quickly conquered. The emperor favored an isolationist policy so that much of what was gained in Turkestan was now lost. Banchao, the deputy commander who led the invasion, stayed in Turkestan to try and hold onto what was won. Eventually, in 89, a new emperor came to power with a renewed interest in holding Turkestan. Despite this military success, economic and political struggles arose in China. Internal struggles for power taxed the peasants until in 184, when another peasant uprising occurred. This movement was initiated by the Yellow Turbans and served to unite the factions that had previously been fighting because they needed to unite to defeat the Yellow Turbans. Although China had conquered them, the country did not return to a united state. Rather, three kingdoms emerged and the Han Dynasty came to an end.