Compare & Contrast Han and Rome Essay
Compare & Contrast Han and Rome
When Han China and Imperial Rome are compared, one can find both similarities and differences in terms of techniques of imperial administration. A similarity would be that both are bureaucracies. However, both are also different. One major difference is that Han China had the civil service exams. They also differed because Han China had a much greater emphasis on religion than the Romans. These differences led to very different futures for the two empires, both of which were among the strongest in the world at the time.
The first comparison is that both Han China and Imperial Rome were bureaucracies. They had a sole ruler, but they had many others governing specific portions of the empire. This allowed for the empire as a whole to be in better shape. This is due to the fact that a more localized ruler would better know both the area and its needs. They would also be more dedicated to their job as they would be managing the area they live in, so every decision they make would impact not only their life but possibly the lives of family living in the regions they are governing. The empires would be much worse off if they had their single ruler managing everything, as they would not fully understand the needs of the areas, nor would they care as much as they would most likely have no personal ties to those regions. Due to this, both empires were much more powerful and well organized.
Another comparison is that Han China had the civil service exams, while Imperial Rome had nothing similar. The exam allowed for overall better governing and management of the empire. This is because the examination filtered out those who were unqualified for those positions and instead filled them with intelligent people who could do good for the empire. If they let unqualified people in that would greatly increase poor management because they would not be knowledgeable enough to make decisions that would benefit not only that one area, but the empire as a whole. Without the civil service exams, many unqualified people entered positions of power in Rome, and so there were many problems.
The final comparison is that Han China had a greater emphasis on religion than Imperial Rome. In Han China, this was found in the mandate of heaven, the structure of family found in the government, and that to get a good job in the government one needed to be educated in Confucianism. When the Han first took power, they incorporated the mandate of heaven into Confucian values, If the ruler was a good ruler, then they were supported by the heavens. Confucianism also led to the family hierarchy becoming the basis for government structure. Subjects owed the emperor the same obedience that they gave to their fathers. Religion was also important because one needed to be knowledgeable in Confucianism to get a good job, as the tests were mainly based off of Confucian texts. Rome, on the other hand, had no real religion within the government.
While both Han China and Imperial Rome were different in terms of imperial administration because of Han China’s civil service exam, as well as Han China’s focus on religion, they are still similar due to the fact that they are bureaucracies. Even so, these differences and more led to very different futures for both empires, neither of which ended very well.