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The Methods of Political Control in Han China and Imperial Rome

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The methods of political control in Han China and Imperial Rome were similar in many ways. Both had a central ruler, yet they were different in the ways used to control citizens and the handling of internal conflict.

Han China and Imperial Rome were similar yet different in the topic of rulers. Both empires had one main figurehead. With Han China it was the emperor, while in Rome it was the republic leader. One big difference in the rule of the two main rulers was the lower class voice. In Han China the lower class had no say in political affairs. While in Rome the lower class had representatives in the senate, which would transfer their thoughts to the main ruler. The reason for the difference in the lower class might date back to the beginning of the empires. In early China it was always aristocrats that held all power, this idea system carried on for a long part of Chinese history. While since the start of the Roman Empire, the lower class always had some form of power. This idea carried on for all of the Roman Empire. Another difference in the two empires rulers were how they were chosen. In Han China all emperors were chosen by family ties. In Rome the rulers were voted in.

The methods used to control citizens in the two empires varied slightly. Both empires used religion to keep order. In Han china religion was used because of the exams system relying so much on Confucianism. In Rome the people were scared of the Gods, which led them to behave in fear of being killed by them. The reason people held the exam system to such a high standard is due to the fact that it is the only option for middle class people to get into the Bureaucracy system. So many of the people learned and practiced Confucianism which taught peace and good behavior. In Rome the Gods were known for striking down any that angered them. An event as simple as a house fire could be brought back to the Gods. The two empires differ in how they kept the people liking the government. In China they used the Mandate to Heaven. If people thought the ruler came from god they wouldn't disrespect them in fear of disrespecting the God. In Rome the rulers took a different approach of treating their people well. Other than the slaves everyone in Rome were relatively well treated. Both empires used social classes to unite their people. In China the rulers used a class of highly trained bureaucrats. While in Rome, land and rewards were given to war heroes.

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