Han Dynasty(Xi Han Dnasty and Dong Han Dynasty), China Culture

Kao Tsu (Liu Pang), when he established the Han Dynasty in 202 BC, didn't really change that much from the system that Ch'in had set up.  He still got the kings and their families to live at his capital city, and he still sent out governors and judges whom he could trust. But Kao Tsu didn't kill or exile the scholars anymore. Instead, Kao Tsu called for smart educated men to work for him, to be the governors and judges he needed, because he knew they would be good workers and make fair, wise, decisions (but still he would not let any women be judges, no matter how smart they were).

China Culture

Kao Tsu did allow some areas to have their own rulers, if the rulers were really loyal to him. This earlier part of the Han Dynasty is called the Western Han, because Kao Tsu's capital was in Western China, at Chang'an.


Kao Tsu's wife was the Empress Lu. When Kao Tsu died, Lu tried to take over power for herself, and she succeeded in controlling Chinese politics for some time, even though it was very difficult for women to get political power at this time.

Han Dynasty(Xi Han Dnasty and Dong Han Dynasty), China

After a short civil war, a new dynasty, called Han (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), emerged with its capital at Chang'an. The new empire retained much of the Qin administrative structure but retreated a bit from centralized rule by establishing vassal principalities in some areas for the sake of political convenience. The Han rulers modified some of the harsher aspects of the previous dynasty; Confucian ideals of government, out of favor during the Qin period, were adopted as the creed of the Han empire, and Confucian scholars gained prominent status as the core of the civil service. A civil service examination system also was initiated. Intellectual, literary, and artistic endeavors revived and flourished. The Han period produced China's most famous historian, Sima Qian (145-87 B.C.), whose Shiji (Historical Records) provides a detailed chronicle from the time of a legendary Xia emperor to that of the Han emperor Wu Di (141-87 B.C.). Technological advances also marked this period. Two of the great Chinese inventions, paper and porcelain, date from Han times.


Kings / Kingdoms

Events In China

Comments / Worldwide Events

Xi Han Dynasty (206 B.C. 8 A.D.)

Archeology and Historical Sites
Historical Figures
Maps of Xi Han


Han Gao Zu Liu Bang (206 194 B.C.)

Chu Ba Wang (206 202 B.C.)

Xiang Yu (232-202 B.C.)crowned himself Xi Chu Ba Wang. Liu Bang set up the Hong Men Banquet in 206 B.C. The battles between Han and Chu began until Xiang Yu was defeated and killed himself in Wu Jiang (202 B.C). Han Gao Zu was surrounded in Pingcheng while attacking the Huns (Hungarians). Made Changan his capital (200 B.C.). Killed Han Xin (197 B.C.) and Peng Yue (196 B.C.)

Fall of Egypt (30 B.C.)

Roman Empire covers most of Western Europe.

Birth of Christ

(~4 B.C.).

Andean peoples and Toltecs inhabit South America

Han Hui Di

(194 187 B.C.)

Han Lu Hou (the queen) took over the administration in 194 B.C.)and killed concubine Qi and her son prince Zhao. Killed Jing Bu (195 B.C.). Xiao He (193 B.C.) and Fan Kuai (189 B.C.) executed.

Han Lu Hou

(187 179 B.C.)

Queen Lu Hou in charge of the administration, and made Chen Ping and Shen Shi Qi her left and right ministers (187 B.C.). Lu Hou abolished prince Xiao Di and was kill by You.

Han Wen Di

(179 156 B.C.)

Chen Ping and Zhou Bo as left and right ministers. Jia Yi (202-157 B.C.) given the title of National Scholar. Chen Ping dies in 178 B.C. Prince Qi (later known as Han Jinh Di) killed his cousin Prince Xian over a game, sparking the Rebellion of the Seven Kingdoms by Xian's father Duke Wu, after the death of Han Wen Di.

Han Jing Di

(156 140 B.C.)

Sent princess to marry the Huns (Hungarians) prince. Rebellion of the Seven Kingdoms of Wu and Chu (154 B.C.). The tomb of Jing Di's son Liu Sheng was unearthed in Hebei in 1968.

Han Wu Di

(140 86 B.C.)

Zhang Du's (?-114B.C.) expedition to the West (139-132 B.C.) which helped to open up the Silk Road (130-115 B.C.). Established an administration with scholars, and a civil system (130 B.C.). Sent Wei Qing (?-108 B.C.) to fight the Huns. Established a Game Official position in his administration. Wu Di ordered Hou Qubing (140-117 B.C.)to fight the Huns (119 B.C.). Li Guang commited suicide the same year. Sima Xiangru died in 117 B.C. Conquered Korea (108 B.C.). Dong Zhong Shu (176-104 B.C.) died. Sima Qian , the first to write history of China (97 B.C.). Ordered Li Ling to attack the Huns (99 B.C.). With only 5000 soldiers, Li was defeated bitterly. Sima Qian urged Wu Di to spare Li's life and got himself into trouble. Instead of beheaded, Sima Qing was castrated (98 B.C.). Dong Fong Shuo (154-93 B.C.) and Li Guang Li (?-88 B.C.) died

Han Zhao Di

(86 74 B.C.)

Huo Guang (?-68 B.C.) assigned to be in charge of the administration. Home-coming of Su Wu (140-60 B.C.) in 81 B.C. Sang Hong Yang killed (80 B.C.)

Han Xuan Di

(74 49 B.C.)

Huo conspired to overthrow Han (66 B.C.). Zheng Ji (?-49 B.C.) built irrigation canal (59 B.C.). Gui Zi fought invasion led by Huns' king (59 B.C.). Tibet established empire (57 B.C.)

Han Yuan Di

(49 32 B.C.)

Inlaws of Empress Wang (75-33 B.C.) became powerful (49 B.C.). Korea established empire (37 B.C.)

Han Cheng Di

(32 6 B.C.)

Wang Zhao Jun married Hun's King (33 B.C.). Made Wang Mang duke of Xin Du (16 B.C.)

Han Ai Di

(6 0 B.C.)


Han Ping Di

(0 6 A.D.)

Wang Mang murdered Emperor Han Ping Di (5 A.D.) and crowned himself king (6 A.D.)

The Han dynasty, after which the members of the ethnic majority in China, the "people of Han," are named, was notable also for its military prowess. The empire expanded westward as far as the rim of the Tarim Basin (in modern Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region), making possible relatively secure caravan traffic across Central Asia to Antioch, Baghdad, and Alexandria. The paths of caravan traffic are often called the "silk route" because the route was used to export Chinese silk to the Roman Empire. Chinese armies also invaded and annexed parts of northern Vietnam and northern Korea toward the end of the second century B.C. Han control of peripheral regions was generally insecure, however. To ensure peace with non-Chinese local powers, the Han court developed a mutually beneficial "tributary system". Non-Chinese states were allowed to remain autonomous in exchange for symbolic acceptance of Han overlordship. Tributary ties were confirmed and strengthened through intermarriages at the ruling level and periodic exchanges of gifts and goods.


Kings / Kingdoms

Events In China

Comments / Worldwide Events

Xin Dunasty (9 23 A.D.)

Historical Higures

Wang Mang

(? 23 A.D.)

Wang Mang established the Xin Dynasty and abolished the sales of fields and slaves (9 A.D.). The Rebellion of Chi Mei (18-27 A.D.). Liu Xiu of the former dynasty, rebelled against Wang Mang in 22 B.C.


Han Wei Yang Wang Liu Xuan

(23 25 A.D.)

Liu Xuan was crowned Emperor and defeated and killed Wang Mang at Kun Yang,

In 141 BC, Wu Ti became emperor. Wu Ti was called the Martial Emperor, because he led many campaigns against the Huns (the Chinese called the Huns the Hsiung-Nu). At this time, the Huns were living north and west of China, and they tried to invade all the time. Wu was able to set up a safe and peaceful trade route for sending Chinese silk and other things across Central Asia to West Asia, Egypt, and the Roman Empire, in exchange for Roman gold.


Wu Ti also set up the first university in China, in 124 BC. Young men (only men were allowed to go to university then) were chosen for being very smart and hard-working and then the government paid all their expenses while they went to the school. At first the university had only fifty students, but it grew quickly. Students at the school mainly studied Confucian philosophy, which Wu also made the official state philosophy. Now men who wanted to become governors and judges had to pass a very difficult examination to see if they were smart and well educated enough.


In 111 BC, Wu Ti invaded northern Vietnam, and made it part of the Han empire. And in 108 BC, he invaded northern Korea and took it over.


Wu Ti died in 87 BC.


Kings / Kingdoms

Events In China

Comments / Worldwide Events

Dong Han Dynasty (25 220 A.D.)

Archeology and Historical Sites
Historical Figures
Maps of Xi Han

Han Guan Wu Di

(25 58 A.D.)

Made Leyang as the capital and Established Dong Han.

Japan sent messengers to China.

Christ crucified (30 A.D.)

Britain Roman Emperor Hadrian built walls as frontier with Scotland

North Peru- Moche civilization (200 A.D.)


Han Ming Di

(58 76 A.D.)

Sent messengers to India to get the Buddhist scripture (65 A.D.). Buddhism was first introduced into China (68 A.D.).

Han Zhang Di

(76 89 A.D.)

Ban Chao was sent to explore the west, reaching as far an Rome and Persia. Huns (Hungarians) defeated by neighbor and 58 of its tribes surrendered to China (87 A.D.)

Han He Di

(89 107 A.D.)

Dou Xian defeated the Huns (Hungarians).

Han An Di

(107 126 A.D.)

Japan sent ambassador to China (107 A.D.).

Han Xiang Di

(126 145 A.D.)


Han Zhong Di

(145 146 A.D.)


Han Zhi Di

(146 147 A.D.)


Han Heng Di

(147 168 A.D.)

The Huns rebelled against China; Zhang Huan suppressed the rebellion (155 A.D.). The Huns invaded China with neighboring tribes (158 A.D.)

Han Ling Di

(168 190 A.D.)


Han Xian Di

(190 220 A.D.)

Dong Zhou gained control over the Han Dynasty and moved capital to Changan (190 A.D.). Cao Cao rose in power and moved the king to Xu (196 A.D.). Liu Bei deployed army from Xu Zhou to attack Cao Cao (197 A.D.). Liu Bei visited Zhuge Kongming at Long Zhong and asked him to be his adviser (207 A.D.). Lu Fan volunteered his service to Sun Ce (Sun Quan's father). Cao Cao became prime minister and Sun Quan defeated Cao Cao at Chibi (208 A.D.). Liu Bei and Sun Quan fought for Jing Zhou (205 A.D.)

After 200 years, Han rule was interrupted briefly (in A.D. 9-24 by Wang Mang, a reformer), and then restored for another 200 years. The Han rulers, however, were unable to adjust to what centralization had wrought: a growing population, increasing wealth and resultant financial difficulties and rivalries, and ever-more complex political institutions. Riddled with the corruption characteristic of the dynastic cycle, by A.D. 220 the Han empire collapsed.

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